By Susan Sage
“He lied,” Sharina sobbed out the words she hadn’t wanted to say.
“He said he loved me and then he left. He just left.”
Brooke moved to the couch where Sharina sat swaying as if she was in a rocking chair. She rubbed her hand up and down her friend’s back.
“I … can’t … stand … liars,” Sharina continued choking out words between gasps of tears. “Don’t they know the trouble it causes? It’s cruel. I’d rather have someone not say something if they don’t mean it.” She reached for the box of tissues on the table next to her.
“Okay, tell me. What happened?” Brooke twisted and sat crossed-legged on the couch, so she could see the expressions on Sharina’s face.
“Let’s start when I was five. My dad walked out and never came back. Not a word. He just walked away. He’d said he loved me. Then when I was twelve, my sister died. I thought she loved me. We said we’d be together forever.” She broke down again, then took a deep breath and continued.
“I’m so sorry.”
“And then there’s Aunt Clarise. How could she act so happy but not be?” Sharina looked beyond Brooke. “She used to tell me about all these wonderful things she’d done for other people, helping build houses, cleaning up areas in the inner city, and working at homeless shelters, when in reality, she was homeless, doing drugs, and bilking people out of money every chance she got.”
“She’s in jail now, right?”
“Yes,” Sharina said shaking her head. She drank a few sips of water from the glass Brooke had given her and continued. “It’s been six months since Lance broke our engagement. He told me he didn’t actually love me. Why did he say it if it wasn’t so?”
“What brought on the emotions today?” Brooke set her own tumbler back on the wooden table.
Sharina stood and walked to the window of Brooke’s apartment. She slid it open and breathed in the scent of wisteria. She turned back to her friend, drew in as much air as her lungs would hold, and released it slowly. “I come from a family of liars, but today I realized, I’m one too.”
“How?” Brooke stood up and walked toward her friend. She opened the sliding glass door and stepped onto the balcony. Sharina followed, and they sat in the chairs on the deck.
“I’ve been trying to be what everyone wants me to be so no one else would leave me.” She dabbed at her eyes with the balled-up tissues in her hand. “If I could just be a better me, maybe I wouldn’t lose anyone else.”
Brooke reached across and took Sharina’s hand. “You being a better you wouldn’t have stopped your dad from leaving, your sister from dying, or your aunt from being who she was.”
“I’ve tried so hard to fit everyone’s ideas of who I should be, that I don’t even know who I am anymore.
“You can’t live for other’s expectations. You will never be happy until you are true to who God made you to be.”
“Who is that? I know God loves but … ”
“I don’t have the answer to that, but He does.”
“Ask Him what?”
“How He sees you and who He sees when He looks at you.” Brooke stopped and smiled. “I have a great idea. My family’s cabin up at Lake Cheney is empty this weekend. Why don’t you and I drive up there? I need to do some writing in peace and quiet and you can spend the weekend talking to God.”
“Do you think He’ll tell me?”
“I just know that when I’ve asked for clarity, He’s either given me the answers or refocused me to help me find them. He gave you a whole book to help you know who you are in Him.” Brooke stood and grabbed Sharina’s hand. “Why don’t you run home, pack a bag, and I’ll be there to pick you up in an hour.”
Sharina felt a small smile lift the edges of her mouth. She hugged Brooke. “You are such a good friend. Thank you.” She moved back inside and headed for the front door. “See you in an hour.”
As her friend left, Brooke bowed her head. “Father, show her who You see when You look at her.” She hurried inside to get ready for, what she hoped would be, a healing weekend for her friend.
About the Author
New to north Idaho, Susan Sage and her husband are enjoying getting to know the new area. She continues to work on her craft writing about God’s purpose and sovereignty in all aspects of life. She enjoys writing devotionals and flash fiction. She enjoys mentoring other writers who are new to the craft.
You can read Susan's flash fiction on the 2nd Thursday each month here at Pandora's Box Gazette.