As I walked to the church doors, I pondered on what Benjamin had said. And it is true, nowadays there are very few long-lasting friendships. I placed my hands on the church door handle and started to chuckle. I envisioned me crossing the thresh hold of the church and burning up on-site like a vampire. It amused my mind for a few minutes as I walked around, looking for Peter. As I was heading to the back of the church, I saw Peter. He announced that he had some errands to complete and wanted to know if I wanted to help. I thought about it and said sure, as long as I do not have to read papers and sign my name.

We both were laughing at my reply as we started to head out of the church. The first place we hit up was the grocery store, Crystal had a list of food that she needed. Then there was a list of bills that needed to be paid, so Peter went into the bank to do that. While he was there, he asked more question on a mortgage loan. At that point, I started to zone things out. I really did not care, and besides, it was none of my business. I went to the car and sat there while Peter did what he had to do. When he came back, he had one other thing to do. We were both hungry, so we dropped by a diner and had a quick bite to eat. After that, we took the groceries home. While putting away the groceries, Peter asked me if I wanted to cook dinner tonight. I asked him what restaurant would he like me to call. He was like no restaurant and actual meal, you know preparation cooking and serving, making dinner! I started to laugh and said for the safety of us all, 911- take out is best! I reminded him of the time I made rice, veggies and chicken. And how I thought lemon juice would be a great idea. Even the stray animals on the streets would not eat my cooking. They were probably starving and knew their life was in danger if they ate my food.

Peter told me I was banned for life from ever stepping into the kitchen. He may, by nature, want to save people, but even he knows a lost cause when he sees one. Dinner was in the over, and I decided to help out with washing the dishes, something that I knew I could do. Peter was sitting on the couch, going over his sermon.

I made a couple of observations while listening. Maybe it was because he was reading off of a piece of paper. Or the fact he was trying to memorize what he was going to say. It just did not feel right, it sounded like his grandfather work all over again. There was no drive … no power with his words, it was a drum beating the same beat over and over. There was no get up and go. Peter is a passionate man, and I did not see that passion when he was speaking. If I could not see the passion, nor will the congregation. And me being me, I let Peter know this. And of course, he took a bit of an offence to this. I asked him why is he speaking like his grandfather? They are two different people, and his work should not be the shadow of a great man! That he has the right to shine, just like his grandfather. I pointed out he has been reading the Bible since he was five. Went to college for this position, so he knows his stuff. He needs to speak from the heart and not a piece of paper. Address the people of the congregation. Know them on a personal level! He has been going to this church since he was in his mother’s womb. Sing the songs that relate to what his message is about. And most of all, recognize the concerns and issues that the people and the public are having.

By far am I a religious person, but when I speak, I speak from my heart. Yes, I get under the skin of many … the majority of the time that is on purpose. Over the years, I have learned to respect myself and not allow others to sway my beliefs. With that, I also give that in return. I do not try to persuade anyone from their beliefs, and I am actually willing to listen to what they have to say. If I did not want to listen, I would never allow Peter to run his work by me. With this being said, I love to be educated and learn new or more on a subject. I have learned passion, respect and tolerance. On a side note, I do struggle with tolerance, especially when I have to deal with ignorance and self-absorbed individuals, my favourite is trolls. But the point is, if you have a passion, let it be your passion and not someone else’s work! Speak from the soul, and everyone will listen to you. Heck if we can stomick politicians lying to us over and over, I and many others can respect anyone that speaks with passion and love!

That night I could hear Peter and Crystal talking. He was telling Crystal what I had said earlier about his sermon. I felt bad, I did not intend to upset Peter to this degree, he is trying to impress his grandfather and just wants to be like him. Crystal put it in a different perspective! It was an observation that I made. It was not to put his words down. It was seeing something more in him, and that I wanted him to achieve greatness! That is when I heard Crystal tell him that at least I had the guts to tell him to his face that he had no passion or drive behind his words. Many others would have told him what he wanted to hear and not what he needed to hear! He was doing what his grandfather wanted and not what he was good at. That was the end of the conversation for the night between the two of them.

I woke up to the light shining on me and the shower running. Crystal had already left for work that I knew. That left Peter, and I could hear him speaking. He was going over his presentation again. I tapped on the door and asked if he would like a coffee. I had to laugh, I startled Peter, and the words that came out of his mouth is something you would not think a preacher would say. After that, I asked him if his heart was back to the proper location, which I heard a long extended, yes. With a coffee would be great! I could not help thinking, if the world had more males like him in the worlds, people like Crystal would be so happy. And there would be fewer bastards out there!

It was only seven in the morning, and I knew it was going to be a great day. I slept so well with little interruptions during the night. Peter and I were sitting together, enjoying the sunlight and our coffee, he had asked if I would go to the church with him and listen to his sermon. The remaining coffee in my mouth went down the wrong tube, I started to cough. The first thing that came across my mind was of yesterdays event. The second was, I knew the others that were going to present, they would be there. Let us just say I am not the most welcoming face there when they are there. When I say ‘they’ I am speaking mainly towards Peter’s grandfather for the most part. To this day, he believes that I am possessed and have given my soul to Lucifer. So just to make sure I heard things right I repeated Peters request. Peter started to laugh and said yes, that he wanted me to go with him. I was laughing while I told Peter that I had a busy day. The first goal was to flush the toilet several times, sooner or later, the water will swirl counterclockwise. Then I had to wash my clean hair, just because there might be dirt that I missed. But because it is him, I will put this busy day ‘to-do list’ off for a different day. We finished the rest of our cup of coffee and got ready to leave. Putting the remainder of the coffee in travelling mugs, we departed for the church.

The doors were still locked once we got there. We turned on the important lights and Peter set himself up. I sat on the bench in the middle row but at the very back. Peter was getting everything ready for the others to show up. As he was doing this, I looked all around. I pictured all the benches filled with people. I pictured in my mind the people’s energy. I closed my eyes, and soon, I could see and feel the energy.

I started to hear soft sobbing! I opened my eyes and looked over. Beside me was a female, roughly around my age. She kept on saying, “I am so sorry, please forgive me, Peter.” She was looking at me as if she knew me, but I had no idea who she was. Then she went back to crying and asking for forgiveness. The pain that was radiating off of her was overwhelming, I was starting to feel physically ill. As I was getting up to move, Peters grandfather was walking in with a group of three other men. That is when I heard the sobbing woman ask me if I remembered who she was. This was like the worst timing … I replied, no! That is when she mentioned her name, Shelby Wright. I repeated the name as I thought about it and shrugged my shoulders, the name did not ring a bell. The four men were walking by me at this point, and one of the gentlemen was like who are you talking to. “I am Shannon Cornfield’s half-sister.” The spirit of Shelby Wright said to me.

That name I knew all too well, Shannon Cornfield and I butted heads several times. That is when the lights when on inside my head. For a short time, Shelby and Peter were dating in high school. She was a freshman and Peter was in grade eleven. Slowly everything was sinking in …, and four men were staring at me with questions written across their faces. I brought the name up, and they wanted to know why. And I was getting the feeling that they do not know she is dead. Which makes me think Shelby just died. One thing I was certain about, they did not know, and I would be damned if I was going to say a thing. I have not felt so uncomfortable in a long time. If I was right, I was going to cause a lot of trouble. Do not say a thing, and they will still prob for answers. Finally, Peter came out and let his presence be known. I got the vibe off of Peters grandfather he was not pleased with what he just witnessed. Under my breath, I cured so only my ears could hear. When I looked back at the spot where Shelby had been, she was gone. I tried very hard to erase the drama from my mind, which was not going to be easy. Peter came up to me and asked me what happened. I gave him the short version of what I saw. I also told Peter that she died within the last 12 hours no more than 24 hours. Peter muttered a couple of words under his breath, got up and started to get to work.

As I listened to the guys work, I was working on keeping my eyes open. I guess I was starting to nod off because I had no idea there was an elderly lady beside me. I stretched out loud and with reflex, my hand when to my chest with the final resting place over my heart. All four men were looking at me. That is when I explained a spider landed on me. Peter started to laugh as the others chuckled, even Peters grandfather cracked a smile. Once my heart was back to its proper position, the lady stopped laughing at me. She told me that she used to play the piano for this church. Her last year here was Peters first year. She nudged me and said Peters grandfather was a dried-up old fart then, and he had not changed. Goodman … boring as they come. I fought back laughter. It was nice to see that I was not the only one that saw this. That is when she told me she still enjoyed coming here to listen to their sermon and to watch over her loved ones. There was no god to care for them, so she felt it was her job. That is when she asked me if I would watch over her great-granddaughter, Crystal. That is when I made the connection. I smiled and whispered, I would watch over both Crystal and Peter. I received a pat on the back, kiss on the head, and I was told I was a good person. I think I would have been happy with, ‘I am a good person.’ the pat and kiss were a little too much, I am not a huggie touchy type person, even though I know there are people out there like that, I am not. She left and then I started seeing different energies starting to form in the benches and pathway. I guess this must be a place of comfort for many individuals souls. And to my relief, they all left me alone. They found comfort with just listening to the men to speak out loud.

Just as everything was wrapping up and I was ready to leave the building for fresh air, Shelby grasped my arm. ‘please tell my dad how sorry I am. And tell Peter I never stopped thinking about him.’ As she was speaking to me, a man burst into the church crying uncontrollably.

For one second put aside everything and put your feet into my shoes. I do not think I need to put down the words that bounced around in my head. This wonderful day I woke up to, well, I am starting to feel more and more uncomfortable. I whispered once the man was at the altar, hysterically speaking to the men. I made eye contact with Peter than his grandfather. I pointed to the door, and I made my way out of the building. It had been close to two maybe three weeks since I had my last smoke. I was doing so well, I actually never really wanted a smoke. That was up until now! I had the ‘what if’ scenes playing in my mind. And the person that was going to slam the hammer down on me was Peter’s grandfather. And to be honest, at the time, I had no idea how I was going to respond. What started off with being an innocent idea of listening to Peter at work, has turned into a nightmare.

And to make matters worse, Shelby would not leave me alone. She really wanted me to bring comfort to her father. And if I am right, the sobbing man, that would be her father. I role played the scenario in my mind. And I saw disaster, no one that has received the worst news of their life, wants a person to walk up to them and say ‘I speak to dead people and your daughter is here.’ If there was ever a reason for the burning of witches, I think this would be one of them. I do love a good bonfire but the thought of being roasted alive … yeah … not so much so!

Peter walked out of the church and apologized to me. I told him there was no need to apologize to me, but if he had a smoke, I could really use one rate about now. On cue, he pulled out a cigarette for himself and one for me. He mentioned he did not want to be the cause of me smoking again. I laughed and muttered, “me stopping was a fluke and could happen again.” As I put the smoke to my mouth, I started to feel nauseated, I may have inhaled it two or three times and just allowed it to burn in my fingers. I asked him how much trouble did I cause. He did not need to answer, his energy started to shift. Which was not good news for me! This was not the time to defend me, nor explain what happened. I told Peter that I was going to start heading to the coffee shop, he knew which one I was speaking of. When things calmed down, I could be collected there!
The warm and fuzzy thought of making a B-line to the coffee shop, that did not happen. The man that was once sobbing was storming out of the building yelling and screaming at me. Threw his bloodshot, swollen eyes, he recognized me! Pointing his finger at me, he was yelling fraud … satanist … witch! Normally this would have fired me up, poking a sleeping bear is never a great idea. I would have normally been up in his face like he was trying to do with me. Though this was different, he is a parent that will be burying his child. I will never be able to understand fully and completely what he is going through. Though his pain was radiating off of his body, that means nothing! I will never walk in his shoes.

I kept myself as calm as possible as three men tried to get this man out of my face, and Peter had put his body in front of me. It looked like the sobbing man was going to go into the building, so Peter went to go to his car. The sobbing man made a fast move and tried to punch me. It was out of reflex, I block his punch and what I thought was a light push, ended up that the man was on the ground. There he cried out loud and between breaths I made out, “my baby … how could you know she was dead when I just found out!“The normal me would have wanted to continue the fight after what he pulled, but between his pain and Shelby’s pain, I did not have the heart to do so.

A wise person would have walked away. I must not be all that wise, I got down on my knees near the sobbing man. I placed my hand on his back and told him, “there is nothing in this universe that I can say that will make this situation better for you. I only know what I saw, nothing more.” Which made him cry even more. At one point, the man was crying into my lap. All I could think of is rub his back as a mother would do for a child that is in distress. A couple of times he cried “why … why would you do this”! Now a normal person would shut up while they are still ahead, I must not have been normal. I told the man to check Shelby’s phone … she received a message that drove her to her actions. At first, I do not think he heard me, because he asked me what I said. I repeated myself! Like a lightning bolt, his sadness turned into rage, and he was cursing like a drunken sailor pacing back and forth while ranting. That is when I heard Shelby cry harder, and she kept on asking for forgiveness. Shelby told me her story!

In her early twenties, she met a man that she thought was perfect. He was charming giving and sweet. When they first moved in together, everything was great. Then he started to show signs of being controlling. Family and close friends warned her. She told everyone that she could handle things. She found out fast that she could not. More and more, he would isolate her from friends and family. Dictating what she is to wear and where she is allowed to go plus how long she is to be. If she were late for any reason, he would overreact and take a temper tantrum. He would go through her email, cell phone and started going to her job site. There was one time that her boss told everyone that they had to stay until the job was done. Shelbys ex-boyfriend stormed into her job site and started to pull her out of work. When her boss got involved, her ex-boyfriend took a swing at him. Charges where place against the ex by the boss. When they got back to their place, he started to yell at her, making threats that if she ever leaves, he will kill her. When she started to cry, he started to beat her up. That is when the officers were at the door. This was what Shelby thought was her break. Her final break of him, in the past Shelby tried very hard to get away from him, this was the last straw.

She took him to court for domestic violence, he got what seemed like a slap on the wrist. He was placed under house arrest, with strict conditions, which was to last for eighteen months. Because she did not report past offences to the police, and he had no previous charges, everything was against Shelby. Her ex made arrangements to live with his mother while he was under house arrest, the mothers home was just over an hour drive away from where Shelby was living at the time. The strict conditions were, he was to have no contact with Shelby directly. The conditions were also placed on Shelby, which she had no problems following. He was not allowed to come more than 100 meters of Shelby’s worksite. Shelby’s soon to be, living address was only given to the lawyers and probation officer, which the lawyer and probation officer were never to give to him. He was to report to his probation officer when there is a scheduled date. He was not to drink alcohol or do drugs. He was to attend anger management classes and see a counsellor. As well he was not allowed any weapons. The last condition was, he had to give her the money for his share of bills and the damages that he had caused, plus Shelby’s lawyer’s fees. During the time of the court procedures, Shelby started to pack her stuff and was getting ready to move. There was no way that she was going to continue to live at the address she and her ex had shared. Shelby handed in her notice, informed those that needed to know. For her ex to gather his belongings, arrangements had been made.

Which by this time, she would not be at this address. Everything seemed to be running smoothly. She was less than one week away from leaving everything behind her and moving on. Shelby’s ex-had followed what the judge had said. There was no contact what so ever. Her lawyer called her once to ask her to come and collect a check that was at his office for her. She got off all social media and started to reconnect with old friends the good old fashion way. Things were starting to look brighter, and she was starting to feel the life come back to her. The last thing that Shelby remembered was a text message and his face. That is all she remembered!

Very slowly, I said, “holy …. cow”! It was not that loud for anyone to really hear. Everything that Shelby had shown me was a nightmare from hell. This is one of the issues with the system, it does not matter if your male or female being controlled by another. The system has loopholes, that can be twisted and turned. Many will say there is protection out there, but for individuals like Shelby, there is nothing but death that can protect her. She could have called the police, they might have gotten there in ten to twenty minutes. By that time, in this case, the guy is gone, and the damage is done. All the officers can do is their job within the laws. Many will say the officers are not doing their job good enough. They are wrong, the officers go home just as frustrated that they, meaning the perpetrator, get away with this crime just to repeat the same acts again. The perpetrator believes they are above the law, and nothing can stop them. And you can play the ‘what if the game’ or the ‘I should have done’… in the end, there are the action, behaviour and conclusion that equals the facts. You can not blame the judge or the officer, they are following the law that is placed out in front of them. Education is power when we have the power, it is hard for anyone to control you unless you give that power away.

I can feel my eyes warming up, I did not shed a tear, the feeling was there. The overwhelming feeling that I was picking up on and my emotions were a little much at the time. I could hear different voices all at once, and I just shut down and went on autopilot. I could feel someone assisting me up off the ground. Then like many times in the past, I saw a little red bird. It was flying around in the air, sing its song. I glared at this man, pacing back and forth. The world was falling down around him, and he was not handling things well at all. My mind had gone foggy, and all I could picture was a police car flashing its lights pulling into the church driveway. Then with a snap of a finger, I was back to normal!

Stupid is what stupid does, and I went up to the over emotionally, hysterical threatening man. Everything told me to keep my distance. When he is stressed, he has the tendency to get violent. My gut said let someone else deal with this, yet I did not listen. In a very calm voice, I started to talk to him. Once again, he took a swing my way. He was not thinking properly, and I had my instinct. One advantage I had over him, I was calm. I blocked his advance and placed him in a bear hug. Picture this in your mind … five foot six inches little twig verse a six-foot-something dude that is built like a tank, and I was bear-hugging him. I started to guide him in a sway back and forth. Repeating over and over again, Psalm34, “the lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” After saying this like the sixth billionth time, he started to speak with me. Once I felt like he was calm and coherent, I told him that he needs to go home. Love ones need him now more than ever. Just as much pain he is in, so are they. This is not the time for anger, but time to mourn and help each other get through this horrible time in life. I searched my pockets for money, I handed over a dollar, I told him to go and get coffee for everyone at his home, he was needed there. He nodded his head in acknowledgement and left for his car.

As he got into his car, I hear from behind me, you have a bigger set of balls than we do. No one is stupid enough to get in the way of Billy when he is on a ramp page. All I could muster up to say was “I know”! I watch a car roll out of the church parking lot as two cars rolled in. And that was my cue to leave, I had had enough drama to last me a while. I was ready to crawl back into the little cave that I came from. The lady that exited the car introduced herself to us all and stated the reason for being here. Peters grandfather smoothed things over while Peter asked if I was getting hungry. Something that I had not thought about, which meant I should get something to eat. Peter gave me the keys to the car and asked me to get it started. When I looked over my shoulder, I saw the group talking. I could not hear them, but I got a feeling, they were going to allow Billy to slide by on his actions this time. Since there was really no harm done.



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