I went over to Rosalind’s house because the Sunday Sisters had gatheredto pray for me. I told them I didn’t believe in God but attended serviceswith my mother because it pleased her, and I wanted to give her that, sothey prayed for God to lift the veil from my eyes and soften my heart,that I might accept his love, which made me fidget in the wicker rockingchair—the only single-occupant seat in the room—but that was not themost uncomfortable part.
The most uncomfortable part was the man looking down at me fromthe photo on the mantelpiece. Pete, at possibly his peak of handsomeand happy, arms wrapped around Rosalind and all that airbrushed bliss.The last time I’d slept with him had been over ten years ago, so it madesense that I wasn’t sure if I could recognize him, which is not to say thatperhaps it wasn’t him, because it definitely was, but that he was maybenot the same person I once knew.
I might have known that Rosalind’s husband was Pete, had I beenpaying better attention. My mother had probably mentioned it to me,among a long list of updates about other people I no longer cared to keepup with.
The next woman prayed for my mother, who was at home, dying, butthe woman didn’t seem to know this as she kept saying things like “feelbetter” and “back on her feet,” like the problem was a sprained ankle. Infact, my mother had been on her feet just fine that morning during theworship service. Confusing, no doubt. In the silence that followed, Rosalind opened her eyes and gave me an apologetic smile. The other fivewomen kept their heads bowed over clasped hands.
Rosalind prayed next. She thanked God for his blessings and clarified my mother’s condition without causing embarrassment or breakingconfidence. She was very eloquent, and also very tall. Stately. I wonderedwhere she had gone to high school. Not around here.
After she finished, a collective relief rustled through the circle and sixsets of eyes turned my way.
“Thank you,” I said, taking a careful sip of tea. “That was very kind
of you all.”
“I hope you feel refreshed,” the redhead said.
“Totally blissed out.” I hadn’t been Evangelical for a while, so I pulledfrom my yoga lexicon instead.
Rosalind spread her Bible open on her lap. She was a pretty woman,neatly put together. It was a prettiness that seemed to age well, that one