PREVIOUSLY : Finding Faith (A Novella) – Intro
Part 1 : What Do The Lonely Do?
Weeks had passed since Faith locked herself away with nothing more than embittered feelings and a broken heart. Dark thoughts running rampant as she made a futile attempt to remove herself from a world that had grown cold.
Nothing was the same. The sun that blinded others with it’s brightness bore a dull appearance when she would take short glances, so she slept the days away. The moon’s beauty faded like a star dying out, bringing more agony and unrelenting tears as loneliness set in each night. Her favorite foods lost their appeal, appeared before her as a mess of blandness; so she stopped eating.
She felt undesirable, picked herself apart for hours on end. Unable to figure out where she’d gone wrong, what she’d let go and lost as the time passed; she could no longer bare the sight of herself and covered all mirrors.
It seemed no one could get to her, to talk her out of her ‘madness’ as they deemed it, so they all stopped calling. They stopped showing up.
Lena Shaw, the lone friend that chose to stick around, leaned against Faith’s bedroom door with her arms folded across her chest. She could only shake her head, wondering how she would drag the usually joy-filled Faith out of the depression she’d fallen into. It seemed no positive word she could give would be enough. And, most certainly, she did not wish to hurt Faith’s feelings any further.
“Barefoot In The Park is showing at the Drive-In today. That’s your favorite, and I think we should go.” When they opened for a short moment, Faith’s eyes seemed so empty and distant. “I mean, I don’t care for those old films but I’d watch it with you if it meant cheering you up.”
Her lips barely parted as she spoke, her usually soft voice croaking out. It dripped with intense agony, masked by a dry and monotonous tone. “They make up in the end. Not really in the mood for seeing someone else’s happy ending.”
Lena nodded her head, staring down at her watch briefly. This time, she’d been trying for well over three hours to pull Faith out of bed. She remained curled in a fetal position, buried deep in the center of the bed under a mess of heavy blankets. “I know you’re hot, because staring at those thick ass covers is making me hot.”
“Please, just go. You have your own marriage to worry about. Don’t,” Faith’s voice caught in her throat, her heart tightening as the realization hit her once again. “don’t end up like me.”
Lena poked her bottom lip out, chuckling as she let out a low sigh. “Too late for that. Look, I’ve got my own issues, however, I’m faring a little better than you and I’d like to spend the energy I have getting you back on your feet. You haven’t eaten, haven’t showered. Faith, I understand the pain, honestly; but you can not go another day like this. It’s not healthy. And it’s certainly not worth putting yourself through this over a fool like Levi.”
Certain Faith was paying no attention to her antics, she feigned the desire to throw up as his name slipped past her lips. Of everyone in Faith’s life, Lena had never liked Levi Porter, had never trusted him. As far as she was concerned, his way of doing so was terrible but it was an absolute blessing that he would no longer be in Faith’s life. Of course, she kept these extra thoughts to herself.
Another hour passed before any type of movement was made. And once she saw a glimpse of ‘restored’ life within her friend, Lena leaped into action. A hot bath was drawn, clean clothing and linen were found. A home-cooked meal was prepared, all of Faith’s favorites made with love.
Wanting to keep a lively mood, Lena threw on a CD with some of her favorite dance songs. It took some doing, but Faith took her first steps back into the world without any further arguments.
“I’ll accept that you’ve at least picked up your fork, but I need you to take a few bites too.”
“I don’t have an appetite.” Faith sighed, shaking her head for a long while as she tried to process the thoughts and questions that left her mind in such a jumble of confusion. “What?”
She stammered, letting out a forced and pain filled laugh. “What is this? What is my life? What are you talking about?”
“Are you kidding me? What. The. Entire. Fuck?”
Lena remained silent, watching helplessly as tears streamed down her dear friends’ face. She felt a hug was needed, but what exactly would that hug do? Absolutely nothing.
“For better or for worse, that’s what we said. He gives me the worst and doesn’t even try to give US the chance to work back to the better. What are you talking about?”
“It’s his loss, Hun.”
“Tuh. My loss. Sixteen years of my life, lost. Years of ditching my own dreams to help him succeed in his, time lost. I don’t have any money of my own, how will I survive.”
“I’ll give you my last if I have to.”
“Family who couldn’t stick by our side, family I let walk away because you’re supposed to submit and-” She tossed the fork she held down, covering her face. Long moments passed before she spoke again. “Was it because I couldn’t give him the kids he wanted, Lena?”
The question caught Lena off guard, leaving her speechless for the first time in all the hours she’d spent within Faith’s personal space. “I-I don’t know how to answer that, Hun.”
“I tried, I swear I tried. Miscarriages, failed tries in between.”
“None of that is your fault. It just wasn’t meant to be.”
“It was all my fault, whatever it is … it’s all my fault.” Her frail hands fell from her face, resting on the table as she spoke softly. “I wasn’t obedient enough, always had to speak up as if what I felt or thought mattered. I let myself go.”
“I’ve never been small. I probably left him disgusted and was just too stupid to see whatever signs he was trying to give me. And maybe-”
“Faith! Stop that. For a man who did not know the worth of a treasure he had, nothing you did or could have done would have ever been good. And I don’t mean to sound rude in how I say it, but that’s just a fact of life. Looks don’t keep a man, nor does a baby or acting as his personal slave or anything else. He will go where he wants to be, and if that’s not with you then it’s his damn loss.”
Fresh tears fell, her voice fading once more as she listened. “I’m so lonely. I don’t know how to do anything on my own. What am I going to do? Why is this happening to me? What did I do to deserve this?!”
Lena waited a long while before she spoke, speaking as gently as she could. “You don’t deserve it, Faith. You’ve been one of the kindest people, with the warmest spirit and biggest heart I’ve ever known in my life. I don’t know why it’s happening, but I’m certain you know that with all hardships and troubled times, there comes some sort of lesson. The circumstances surrounding the lessons are unfair, but I firmly believe that it’s needed, and when it’s all said and done, it’s what will be best for you. Loneliness is something everyone feels, it comes and goes. What you need to know and understand is that you will not be alone. I’ll be here, and we’ll mend as many relationships with your family as we can along the way. You think you don’t know how to do anything on your own, okay. We’ll learn new things together and we’re work and work until you can handle everything on your own. This moment is the worst, you can only go up from here. May take some time, but you will be perfectly fine. Believe it, trust that.”
“I wish I could.”
Faith stood and walked slowly back to her bedroom, back to solitude. Lena remained seated, quietly thinking of what she would do next.