An excerpt from the novel ‘Darkness’
By Cazzy Lewchuk, Staff Writer
The first 33 years were pretty normal.
The next 56 were the most brutal experiences I can imagine.
If there is a Hell and I am destined there, I can only imagine that I am already descending into its depths.
If there is a Heaven—and every day I still imagine there is, somehow—the Lord will have to explain His reasons behind what He has put me through.
Deborah Hunter, née Ridge. That is my name. Or it was, to the eyes of the public. I have all kinds of names these days, but my friends still know me as Debbie or Deb. I grew up in the dirty ‘30s when we were all poor. Married a sweet young boy from high school. Cried for days when he was whisked away to fight for our country. We rejoiced when he came back unharmed, we settled down, we had two beautiful children and a bun in the oven. Was it a sin, that I did what my friends did and stayed at home to raise my young ones? God put me on this planet to do something more. If there was one good thing about that night, it’s that I realized my life was designed to do more things than many others’.
I just wish those things weren’t so awful.
I have never been proud. Never. Maybe on the surface, I was proud that my husband loved me and that I maintained our house and children okay. But I was never the exceptional girl in school or at my call centre jobs. I have never made a beautiful work of art or recorded a hit song. Everything that I have done in all my years of existence was done for my family and to survive. The satisfaction isn’t there.
I cry, every day. Most of the time they don’t notice. Sometimes they laugh, but mostly they leave me alone. It’s kind of them, I suppose. I pray and I wash and do what I can to get rid of the sins—oh, so many sins!—that plague me daily, but nothing helps.
What caused Him to condemn me to this life? Was it the penny candy I took from a shop when I was a girl? I had stomach pains for a week. I could barely move and I bawled and told my mother everything. She whacked me and forced me to apologize to Mr. McGill who owned the shop. Was that not my penance?
Perhaps it was the far more serious sin I committed the night before my boyfriend left for Europe. We knew it was wrong, but I might never have seen him again, and it felt so beautiful! We were alone and in my bed and oh, I felt better than I had ever felt! The passion!
But of course he came back and we had many more nights like that one. We were married afterwards, and it was never a sin again.
Why did God care? Why did he send them that night, years later? And if God truly does care, then why has he never seen fit to judge me about everything I’ve done in the decades since? Perhaps He is just waiting to judge when I somehow escape this life… this miserable world… and I can truly suffer in the afterlife for what I’ve done.
I do deserve it now.
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