Those Necessary Thorns: Desiree Elizabeth Taylor

MEET DESIREE ELIZABETH TAYLOR

 

because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.” (2 Corinthians 12: 6-10)

 

 

     Meet Desiree Elizabeth Taylor aka Desi (Dez-ee) aka D.E.T. (Don’t Even Think about it). She is African-American, tall (for a female) and medium build in her late twenties. She is a full figured woman with curves to die for and legs that should be insured for millions. She is all natural with medium length hair, brown eyes, dimples and a killer smile. She is “silly” in a sweet way and intelligent. She is judgmental – or so it appears – and serious while sympathetic and sincere.

     Some would say she is wholesome – while others would gladly call her a bitch. She wears many ‘hats’ (as most women do), but her ‘hats’ bear the burden of those who look up to her, envy her and despise her.

     She is married and is ALL things to her husband and half of all things (if not ALL things) to those around her. Always on public display, it is obvious that everyone examines her every move. Even in the midst of such scrutiny she handles it with the grace of a lioness.

     “She must be perfect” – or so they whisper in judgment. If only they knew or cared to engage her, they would undoubtedly become aware of her silent anguish. They would know she grew up not allowed to make the slightest of mistakes as this would mean to all those around her that she is, in fact, human and not infallible, therefore killing any hope those people ever had of the perfect woman being able to exist. But, this grooming made one thing certain for such a prodigy, Desiree was born to change the world – somehow – But how when women and men alike are intimidated simply by her presence? 

     She believes in GOD but feels like she let his calls go to voice mail or a cell phone ignore over the past few months. Desiree’s story begins in a church on the first Sunday, better known as communion Sunday. The choir is singing, “It’s Gonna Rain” by Rev. Milton and the Thompson Singers. As the selection ends the preacher takes to the pulpit to deliver his sermon about purpose and deliverance and willful sin. As she sits next to her husband at the family church where she grew up, she listens intently and looks around wondering if anyone can see the shame and guilt dripping from her ill spirit like a drain after a pouring rain.

     The preacher commands the congregation with these words, “You knew what you were going to do before you did it. It didn’t just happen. If you are anything like me, you planned it. You put it on your calendar or made a mental note. You even put things in place so that your plan would go uninterrupted.” She mumbles a silent “I’m sorry” as tears start to well up in her eyes. Meanwhile, the congregation is in an uproar as the preacher continues.

     “No one made you do it. You did it because you wanted to and you figured you’d ask for forgiveness later!”

     “I’m sorry.” Again she mumbles.

     “Let your heart not be troubled sinner!” He stomps. “The Lord thy God has something greater

for you. Cast your burdens on him and walk in your purpose!” The preacher screams. “Some of you even have your just in case he wants me to stay bag in your trunk right now! Let go of your wicked ways! They will keep you from the Kingdom of Heaven.”

     “This is too much to handle.” Desi’s heart starts to race. “I’ve got to get out of here.” Posting up the black churches international symbol of “excuse me one second” she holds up her almighty index finger and steps lightly across the other church goers on her golden brown leather seated wooden pew. “I can’t handle this.” She couldn’t stop sobbing and excused herself in a failed attempt to cover the turmoil brewing inside her with each word.

     It seemed the combination of the Holy Ghost and the tall wooden oak vaulted cathedral ceilings and wide aisles were not enough to contain the volcano that was threatening to erupt inside Desiree. She made a mad dash for the sanctuary doors she swiped a few tissues from the box resting on the last pew, better known as the usher’s row. The congregation was so involved in the preacher’s words and the choir’s rendition of the gospel song, “Make Me Over Again” that no one appeared to notice her sprinting through the foyer. Her heels made no sound as they barreled down the twelve maroon carpeted stairs. When she made it to the first corridor, she paused momentarily trying to determine whether to run out the double doors of the church or continue down the second flight of stairs to the women’s bathroom in the basement of the church. Bathroom, she hastily decided to shake her head as if to snap out of a momentary lapse of insanity. With lightning speed, Desi found herself bounding down the steps two at a time until she heard the faint sound of her heels hitting the linoleum floor. She flung the door open, barely stepping inside before her silent tears became bursting uncontainable sobs and gasps.

     Gripping the solid white walls on either side of her barely stable figure she inched her way into the safe haven away from the spectators and church-goers that would undoubtedly bombard her with unwanted questions and prayers. The click-clacking of her heels echoed through the short hallway adjoining the tan and white tiled floor that led to the open space between the sink and three stalls.  Those white walls that felt safe just a moment ago started to simultaneously close in and swirl in a counter-clockwise motion around her. She fell forward on the white porcelain counter top knocking her knees against its wooden oak doors. “Shit!” It was all she could do to keep from fainting. Her head felt just as heavy as her heart. With one elbow on the sink and the other arm extended she slowly turned on the cold water. The cold splashes popped onto her features like hot grease. In slow motion, her hands came together to form a cup of sorts to carry the colder water from the faucet spout to her face. With her head tilted toward the ceiling and her eyes closed tight the water made contact. She allowed every single drop of life to inhale and exhale from her body. Her hands slid methodically down her cheeks, then her chin, and then her neck onto her shoulders and passed her breast and dropped like forty pound weights to her sides. Her breast were full of stress with each rise and fall as her breathing had become deliberate and labored causing her to swallow hard with each compression. She was drowning in her own tears. 

     Suddenly, she was awake. Fully. Honestly. Awake. Desi’s eyes started to gradually open and the long thin white fluorescent lights affixed to the ceiling became clear. Now moaning through her tears, her head reluctantly starts the cautious climb forward. The enormous mirror directly in front of her anxiously awaited the reflection her shameful brown eyes, it was time to come clean with the woman in the mirror. Her naked eyelashes held big droplets of water that seemed to shine unsteadily as she blinked lethargically at her reflection. Disgusted, she turned away only to force her neck back to its original position.  With square shoulders and flat palms against the counter top, she leans in for closer review of the turmoil in her face staring back at her.  Her conscience would not let her run from it any longer. With tears still falling she bit her bottom lip and painfully remembered what brought her to this point.

 

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© Author Sabrina Childress