Friday, February 29, 2008


TRISHA R. THOMAS is the author of Nappily Married, Roadrunner, Would I Lie To You and the top selling Nappily Ever After, which was a finalist for the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work. Her debut novel was optioned by Halle Berry and Universal Pictures for adaptation to film. Trisha lives in Riverside, California.


Hoping to get away from emotional baggage in Los Angeles, Venus and Jake move to Atlanta. Yet the constant cloud of the past follows them: a difficult pregnancy and Jake being charged for the murder of his accountant. Though Jake never spent one night in jail, he fears the case will be reopened and he’ll once again have to fight for his freedom.

And the timing couldn’t be worse since Airic, the biological father of Venus' daughter Mya, suddenly demands parental rights with the child he hasn’t seen since her birth. A nasty custody battle ensues. Airic's new wife, Trevelle Doval, a famous TV evangelist--may be behind his sudden interest. Venus is in for the biggest fight of her life.

What would you like your readers to take away from your book?

Nappily Faithful is my fifth novel. By now I know what readers are looking for, bottom line, they want to feel like they're walking in the character's shoes, every emotion, every experience has to ring true. So for me, knowing my readers are satisfied is all I can ask.

What are the joys and sorrows of writing?

The joy of writing is being creative and seeing those pages come to life. The sorrow is 'self doubt'. Always questioning if I got it right.

Do you have any marketing tips that work?

Marketing is all about being present and accounted for. Readers like to discuss what they've read. Giving them a forum to open up, whether it be email or blogs, says you respect your reader. I respect anyone who takes the time to have read my story. I want to hear what they have to least regarding the story. There are a few people who just want you to write what they want you to write, controlling creativity usually isn't a good thing.

What is something readers would be surprised you do?

Probably not a surprise if they've read any of the Nappily books, but I'm pretty quick to grab the scissors on my hair. It's a release, a cleansing so to speak to start anew.

Do you have any advice for those aspiring writers?

Read when you're not writing, and write when you're not reading. It's a constant process. Right now I'm reading Alexander McCall's The husband on Zebra Drive. Before that I finished Kimberla Lawson Roby's Sin No More, I love all her books. I've got a full stack of books I can't wait to read.

What’s the most interesting change in your life as a result of being a published author?

My life really hasn't changed that much. I've always been a creative person. At one time, I owned two bridal/prom salons. I designed a full line of wedding gowns, so producing something from my creativity is just the way I've always lived. I must admit, dealing with happy readers is far more fun than dealing with Bride-zillas.

What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?

It's not easy. It takes me close to a year to write what you just read in two nights. Well, the process of making it look easy and read smoothly is where the work comes in.

How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)

Can you us give us a sneak peek of your next book?

I'm currently writing Nappily In Bloom. I take pride in the fact that my books don't have to be read in any particular order. Although it's a series based on one character, each story stands alone. Nappily In Bloom is going to be another fun, drama filled story readers can sink their teeth in and not let go till the very last page. I love my job.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Please give the readers a brief bio on you the person and the writer.

My name is Linda Wattley, My heart felt desire is always doing the Will of God and seeking and experiencing truths that confirm me as His beloved daughter. I am widowed with two adult sons, Robert III and Marcus. And I have one granddaughter, Jaelynn. My life is fulfilled spending time with my mother, Jackie Bushner and enjoying my family. I live in Akron, Ohio and I work for ICWUC in their mailroom. My pleasures are enjoying companionship with my soul mate and outings with my friends. I love reading, writing, long walks in the park, movies, praying and meditating on the Word of God.

As a writer, I write because it is my calling. All that I share is a message from God. I will be the first to admit I am a writer who will always need an editor because when I write, my focus and drive is on delivering a message to the souls and hearts of readers. It is like having tunnel vision. Once I sit down and start keying, everything that unfolds is fresh off the press in my mind and heart. I love when God inspires me to write because it lets me know I am not alone in this world and the spirit world is real and finds it way through me to reach the world. There just isn’t anything like it.

Tell us about your current book?

Actually, my current book is the presentation of my “Healing Trilogy” consisting of “Something about an Angel”, “Deeper than Love” and “This Thing Called Love” which reveals the human developmental stages of becoming adults in a world that undermines love. In the beginning we mimic life and then we take that out into the world leaving us eventually to face who and what we are. In the end, we need to know God to get to best of our human existence.

What would you like your readers to take away from your book?

I would love for my readers to experience spiritual and soulful renewal. To be able to shed off the self the world introduces us to be and put on the best self that God has made each one of us to be. My work is designed to introduce, awaken, re-establish and establish foundations for love to thrive upon in a world denouncing it because it knows the real meaning of love is God manifestation in the flesh. If I can let a brokenhearted soul who has given up on love, joy, wholeness and happiness to take the step to begin again, then my labor is not in vain. It is about love and knowing how wonderfully made God made each one of us.

Are you a morning writer or a night writer?

I am definitely a night writer. Basically, I am a night person who thrives best during hours beginning around 11:00p.m. That time of night it seems the world is less active allowing for me to sense my inner spirit in all matters to my life. I think, write and meditate better during this time.

What aspect of writing do you love the best, and which do you hate the most?

I love the inspirational aspect of it the most. Knowing the spirit is whispering in your ear and mind is a beautiful experience. To come up with hate is a little tough but I will try (smile). I guess I hate some of the requirements expected by publishers and agents to give your work value. They seem to want to box you in to their mindsets that do not allow unique thought processes to reach the masses.

What’s something you wish you’d known earlier that might have saved you some time/frustration in the publishing business?

I wish I had known that entering the literary world that it is not just about self-expression, gifts and talents, sharing goodness, like any other profession, corruption is possible.

What’s the most interesting change in your life as a result of being a published author?

I have met some wonderful people along the way.

How much marketing do you do? What have you found that particularly works well for you?

Right now, I am in the process of rebuilding my foundation after taking a dive over a year ago in my pursuit of my dreams. Beginning right here with your magazine is actually my first start officially coming back on the scene. While rebuilding, I kept my name out there by doing blogs and remaining active with writers’ groups. Eventually, I will seek professional guidance to what is best for reaching the multitude with my message. I do have a publicist that has been very patient with me as I rebuild my foundation. For sure, I will not be jumping.

What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?

I would like for non-writers to understand there are all kinds of writers out here and they all write for different reasons. God has writers who can bless your life if you let them.

Name your top five favorite writing books.

I do not have five but I do have a Two: “Publish & Market your Christian Book”- Tamika Johnson-Hall, “How to Self-Publish that Great Novel without Going Nuts”- Delores Thornton

What do you do to make time for yourself?

I come home and stay out of the mainstream of life as much as possible. I keep my life as simple as possible. When things are in order, there is time to do things you like and enjoy.

This month our theme is Black History. What are you doing to celebrate Black History?

I plan to listen to speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr. and pray that we come to realize we need to identify ourselves as amazing people.

How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)

I can be reached at and my guestbook at

EXCERPT: Something About an Angel

Something about an Angel

by Linda Wattley

Leona Tillard is searching for something that not even she understands. She knows there is more to life than what she has faced in her early childhood. Thanks to her Grandmother, she considers the possibility there is a God. In her life there is a father who loves her dearly and yearns to protect her from her past. But how can he do it when her first father took possession of her soul leaving her to wonder where is this God that loves little girls who do not know when love has gone bad.

Something About an Angel gives readers an opportunity to privately enter the abyss of molested souls of children. It reveals how the soul develops under these circumstances. There is a healing tool unfolding throughout the book leading to spiritual renewal. The characters represent the beginning of all souls seeking to survive in a world of mixed signals. They will talk to you and you will know their hearts.

Chapter Fifteen

“You’re going to be sorry, Leona,” Sarah said as I got dressed.

I took a quick shower and put on my favorite blue jeans and a white sleeveless blouse. I felt kind of pretty. I even put on lipstick with a little blush. I combed my hair back and put it in a ponytail to the side.

When we got to the bonfire, it was crowded with a lot of couples sitting close together. Some of the girls were sitting on the boys’ laps. I was amazed at how large the fire was. It crackled and popped as it lit up all the faces of the teens gathered around having a good time.

I started getting a little nervous when I realized that just about everybody was smoking weed and cigarettes. I even noticed them passing wine around from person to person, drinking straight from the bottle. When the bottle came to me, I just passed it on to the next person without a second thought.

“Tony, you call this fun?” I asked.

“We don’t have to stay here. Let’s go to my place. I want you to meet my puppy. I just got her a week ago. You want to do that instead?” Tony asked.

“I don’t think that’s a good idea,” I said.

“My mom is home if that’s what you’re worried about. Come on, Leona,” he said.

When we got to his house, his mother was just closing the front door.

“Tony, I’ll be back in a couple of hours. I’m going over Linda’s house to play cards. Who is that cute little girl with you?” she asked.

“Leona, this is my mom. Mom this is Leona,” Tony said.

“How do you like it here so far?”

“So far, I’ve had a good time,” I said.

“Make yourself at home. Nice meeting you,” Tony’s mom said.

Their house was small but very well taken care of. Everything was neatly in place. Deep blue furniture and plush carpet made the living room look rich. Mirrored pictures were perfectly placed on the walls. The house had a real fireplace that had a small fire burning. Just when we were about to sit on the couch, Tony’s puppy ran and jumped up on his lap.

I wasn’t really a dog lover, but his puppy was really cute. It was a black toy puddle with two little red bows tied behind each ear. She was so tiny I could hold her in one hand.

“How’s my little lady?” Tony said to the puppy as he ran his hands through her curly fur.

“She is cute, Tony,” I said hoping he would put her away soon.

With her in his arms, he got up and turned on the stereo and went into the kitchen. He came back without the puppy. He had two tall glasses in his hands.

“Hey, I made us a couple of strawberry drinks with a hint of brandy,” Tony said.

“I don’t drink,” I said.

“This is so good; you won’t taste a drop of alcohol. I promise. Just taste it, if you don’t like it, you don’t have to drink it,” he said.

I took a sip and braced myself for the awful burn of the alcohol.

Surprsingly, it was pretty good so I decided to keep drinking. We sat on the couch and listened to some nice and slow music and watched the fire burn in the fireplace. He gently placed his arm around my shoulder and my head rested comfortably on his chest. I got a little tense at first, but slowly allowed myself to relax into him.

He began to massage my shoulder with his hand and I jumped up off the couch so fast I knocked off my glass onto his nice clean carpet.

My hand clamped over my mouth. “I’m so sorry.”

Tony chuckled. “It’s okay.”

I looked around the room frantically for anything to soak up the crimson liquid that was quickly seeping into the carpet.

Tony got up and went into the kitchen, reappearing with a towel and a bottle of carpet cleaner.

He bent down and started scrubbing the stain. “I can’t begin to tell you how many stains I’ve had to get out of this carpet.”

“Where’s your bathroom,” I asked, willing myself not to pass out on the carpet I had just ruined.

“Down the hall on the left,” he said.

Once in the bathroom, I looked in the mirror. My eyes looked like I might fall asleep at any moment. There was a grin on my face like I had never seen. I started rubbing my hands on my hair. Unfamiliar sensations darted through my body. After emptying my bladder, I splashed some water on my face and went back to the living room.

“What took you so long, beautiful?” Tony asked as he met me at the bathroom door.

“Did I take that long?” I said with a soft voice.

“Come here; I want to show you something,” Tony said as he grabbed me by the arm and walked me farther down the hall.

“This is my favorite room in the house. You like it?”

Not wanting to go all the way in the room, I peeked into his bedroom. It was like something I had never seen before. The walls were deep red with white trim. Then there was a big round bed that sat right in the middle of the room. It was covered with a red crushed velvet bedspread. His ceiling was made out of mirrors. The room smelled really nice. It was some kind of man’s cologne that reminded me of musk oil.

Tony got real playful then. He actually picked me up off the floor and threw me on the bed. When I hit the bed, I sank right in the middle of it and bounced back to the surface. My head started to swim, and then I just started laughing and couldn’t stop. It was a waterbed. He stretched out next to me on the bed. We both laid there with the waves undulating under our backs, looking up at the mirrored ceiling.

“This is awesome. I love your room,” I said with a smile.

He put his hand in mine and with his other arm he pulled me into his body. He wrapped his leg around me and just held me. Tony took my hair out of its ponytail and began to stroke my hair slowly.

My heart was slamming against my ribcage it was beating so hard. I could barely breathe. I wanted to jump up and bolt out of his house and never look back.

Gently, he put his hand on my chin and turned my face toward him. He looked at me like he could see right through me. He rubbed my face and brought his closer to mine. I turned my head but he turned my face gently back towards him. My hand reached to grab his arm and move it, but when I grabbed it I had forgot why I even touched him.

Tony was very quiet and I didn’t know how to break the silence.

My arms were already bare and Tony began to rub my arms slowly. I felt every finger on each hand against my skin. He unbuttoned my blouse, and when it came open, my nipples on my small breasts got hard and tingly.

I inhaled sharply as I felt the coolness of the air on my exposed skin.

“I’m sorry, Leona. I shouldn’t be doing this,” he finally said.

“Doing what?”

“You know what I want,” he said. “Ever since I saw your hips in those jeans, I’ve wanted to have sex with you. I’m not going to lie about it.”

I sat up and pulled my shirt closed. I felt around on the bed for my ponytail holder.

He reached over and touched my hand, causing me to pull away.

“Leona, I thought I was going all the way with you. But there is something about you that won’t let me do it. When I looked in your eyes a while ago, I thought I was looking at an angel. I really thought I saw a real angel.”

All I could manage was a meek smile. On the inside I felt like I had been hit by a bus. Not only was Sarah right, but I was also rejected. I wasn’t sure how to feel about what had just happened.

“I better get you back to your room before Papa Bear starts looking for his cub,” he said with a smile.


When we got to my room, Tony walked me to the door then he reached out for my hand and kissed it softly.

“Thanks for giving me a special night, Leona.”

“Thanks for making me feel special,” I said.

I sighed and leaned back against the door, but almost fell through when it was yanked open behind me.

“I heard y’all out there! I know what special means. You had sex didn’t you?” Sarah demanded.

“Girl, what is wrong with you? You shouldn’t have been trying to listen to us in the first place. And what does special have to do with sex anyway?”

“My Daddy told me I was his special little girl; that’s why my momma hates me. It is sex, Leona!” Sarah said with a slur in her voice.

“You’ve been drinking, Sarah! Look at you!” I yelled.

I couldn’t figure out how she got drunk. I looked around the room and found an open bottle of wine, and then I saw some boy’s tennis shoes halfway under the bed. Now, I could hear whistling in the bathroom. It was Darnel. He had come over right after Tony and I left.

“Leona I didn’t expect you back this soon. It usually takes Tony all night with the chicks. What are you doing back already? You must have locked your legs on him,” he said.

Horrified by what I was seeing, I could only stare at Darnel in his bikini underwear.

“Oh, no, Sarah, you just tell me you didn’t do anything, and we can put this behind us.”

Sarah put on her sad puppy dog expression and said, “What did you expect? You left me all by myself, Leona. Darnel came by to see if I changed my mind. Well, I didn’t, so he stayed with me.

I was about to start cussing both of them out when Sarah started laughing and yelled, “Gotcha! You thought I did it, didn’t you! Ha! Ha!” she laughed.

“Where is Monique?” I asked, angry and suspicious now.

“She’s staying all night at the camp,” Sarah answered.

“Hey, Darnel, you got to go. My daddy is right next door,” I said.

Darnel put his clothes on in front of us and as he took a long swig of wine, he wiped his mouth and started laughing.

“Cool, I’m ready to go anyway. Sarah is a trip. All she did was worry about you like you were her girlfriend or something,” he said.

Sarah just sat on the floor. As soon as Darnel walked out the door, I headed right over to where she was sitting. Her clothes were half on and off, her hair was messed up, and she nodded in and out. For the first time, she looked ugly to me—blood shot eyes, dry skin and bad breath just didn’t make me feel close to her right now. I see why parents want to whip their kids’ butts sometimes.

“You better take a shower before you go to bed. You stink and look horrible,” I said.

“Leona, are you mad at me?” Sarah asked.

“No, I’m not mad at you, fool! No, I take that back. I am mad at you,” I said.

“I didn’t do anything. We were just playing!”

“Playing what, Sarah?”

“He was just trying to make me take off all my clothes so that he could make me feel special. It was fun and I really liked it. But it reminded me of my daddy’s game, so I stopped playing,” Sarah said.

“What game did you and your daddy play?” I asked.

Suddenly, it got real quiet. Sarah didn’t say a word; then she burst out crying. She placed her hands on her face and slobber started easing out of her mouth. She started crying, so I didn’t ask her any more questions. I was afraid of the truth and she was afraid to say it. I helped her to the bed. I had to leave the room.

I went into the bathroom to start my shower. I got undressed in the bathroom. I allowed the water to flow just enough with only hot water to create a steam room affect. I entered the shower and leaned my body back against the wall and closed my eyes.

There were a lot of things on my mind. Tony had seen my mother and Mark. They were right here in town and I needed to find them, and I needed to decide how to approach Daddy about it. I didn’t want anybody’s feelings to get hurt, especially Mark’s feelings. I knew I had to be careful about how I handled this. Tony made it seem like Daddy played a big part in their disappearance.

Then there was Sarah; I just didn’t want to believe her father was having sex with her. That would mean she was not a virgin anymore. We swore by our virginity when we really wanted to prove something that we strongly believed in, like crossing your heart or swearing on your mom.

The hot dripping of the water caused me to sweat. The water beads rolled down my forehead and ran down my body. I was feeling my way around to change the water temperature and grab my soap and washcloth then I felt a soapy washcloth glide across my chest. It startled me so much that I jumped and almost fell in the shower.

“It’s just me, Leona. I hope you don’t mind. I needed a shower too, at least that’s what you told me,” Sarah said.

I didn’t know what to say; I was shocked. I opened my eyes to a naked female body. Sarah stood in front of me with this nest of hair hiding her privates. I just looked at it. I had no idea hair grew like that down there.

“It’s just hair, Leona. It won’t bite,” she chuckled as she covered her body with soap and water.

I was locked in position. I tried to make my body run out of the shower, but my curiosity made me stay. I tried to cover up my private parts with my tiny little washcloth. Sarah laughed at me again. It was obvious her mind was made up; she was staying in the shower.

Sarah adjusted the showerhead so that it was more forceful and balanced the hot and cold to create a perfect flow of water.

“Don’t pay me any attention; just take your shower like I’m not even here,” Sarah said as she continued splashing water all over herself.

I just stood there and looked. She had curves I had never seen before. Her body was beautiful.

I wondered how boys saw her.

Did they really see her beauty or did they just want to touch her?

No sooner than I had that thought, Sarah stopped washing her body and began washing mine. I wanted to stop her, but then I didn’t want to stop her. I wanted to know why it felt better for her to wash my body than it did for me to do it.

As she covered my whole body with suds, I realized that what I felt was familiar; these were old feelings from when I was bathed by grown people. Each stroke of the washcloth wiped away tension that I didn’t know I had.

I had to admit, it was the best shower I ever had. Sarah was still a little giggly from the wine. I had never seen her so happy and beautiful before. Sarah was caught up in her own world. It just so happened I was part of the scenery.

It didn’t seem to matter that we both were standing naked in the shower together. More things were happening to me. I was seeing myself differently. For the first time in my life, I could say my body was okay and it was not some monstrosity to hide from the world. Instead, it was God’s gift for me to accept.

Sarah almost fell twice. I caught her and held her right between my arms and her head just fell on my shoulder. She put her arms around me, and our bodies touched. I gently used both of my hands to pull us apart.

This was probably how wonderful life was for us when we were babies. Touch made us alive and gentle. The older we got, the less touching we got. No wonder people walk around always needing something and they have no idea what it is. As I stood in the shower with drunken Sarah I felt like I had been born again.

When I stepped out of the shower, I grabbed Sarah and wrapped her up in a towel. I helped dry her off and I pulled her nightgown over her head then I guided her to my bed because her bed was a sloppy mess. Sleeping in it was out of the question.

Thank God Monique was gone for the night.

“Thank you, Leona, for taking care of me,” Sarah said.

“Okay, take your butt to sleep,” I said.

As I put lotion on, I felt the softness of my own skin. I never realized how smooth it was and in the beauty of its color and texture; even the few hairs on my skin were beautiful. I hugged myself and promised to love myself forever.

“Are you all right over there?” Daddy asked as he knocked on the door.

“Yes, we’re going to bed now. Goodnight, Daddy,” I said.

I quietly slipped into the bed, hoping to not awaken Sarah. As soon as I covered myself up with the covers, she rolled right next to me. I left her there.

She was just a big overgrown baby who needed shelter.

EXCERPT: Deeper Than Love

Deeper than Love
by Linda Wattley

What could be deeper than love?

Leona Tillard is a molested angel who has grown up and now facing the world on her own. She joins the U.S. Army in hope to have a new beginning in life. Soon she learns love can mean so many things to people. She meets Nate Watkins. He falls head over heels in love with her and protects her from others including her self. But he is not the only heart she wins in the game of love; others are charmed by her touch. Nate’s love has a price, a price Leona is not willing to pay. In the end he teaches her: There is nothing deeper than love; forget what momma told you. You belong to me now.

Deeper Than Love reveals the complexity of understanding love in a world not sure of its meaning. You will find our souls wrestle with its reality as we face people that face us not knowing where either of us been. In the midst of searching for love without considering trust we discover there is something deeper than love and it owns our souls. What is it and what does it want from us. How do we shake it loose? For sure only God Almighty can free us from its clutches. Deeper than Love reveals a reality we deny; yet we face daily. Who would admit we are lost? The characters share what the world has given them in such a way, the readers will wonder how they knew our inner and deepest thoughts. Healing the foundation of our souls begins when we understand, we are not alone.

Chapter Nineteen

The next morning, I woke in a hospital bed. I wanted to go home, but I had to wait for the doctor to release me. Since it was so early in the morning, the nurses were busy with their paperwork and changing shifts. I slipped out of my impromptu room and went to see Bruce. He had been moved out of the ICU and into a regular room.

Bruce was sitting up watching TV. For the first time, in a long time, I was afraid of him. I stood in the doorway debating whether I was going to see him as Bruce or my Father.

“Come here, baby,” Bruce said as he reached his hands out to me.

I slowly made my way across the room and nervously checked to make sure my gown was completely closed in the back.

“Come here, I’m not going to bite you. I can’t blame you for feeling uncomfortable. You got to remember one thing. I’ll always love you, Leona.”

I didn’t say anything. I just sat on the edge of the bed.

“Thanks for coming to see me,” he continued as if we were having the friendliest conversation in the world. “I knew you would. You’re my little savior. The doctors tell me I died. You believe that?” He shook his head incredulously.

“Yeah, I was there when they brought you back.”

“Do you know why I’m here? I’m here because you broke my heart. My life was never the same when you left me. Sarah is good to me, but she can’t take your place. Leona, I don’t want to live without you.”

Suddenly I felt like I had just rolled in mud.

“Please don’t go there. I see you’re still a sick man. I can’t deal with this today,” I said as I started to leave the room.

“Don’t go. I’ll spare you my grief,” he said sarcastically as he slumped down in his bed.

“That was a nice letter you wrote Dennis. How did you know what to say?” I asked as I tried to change the subject.

“I told him what I knew was right. He didn’t do anything wrong. I didn’t want him to end up hating himself like I did all my life because my Father didn’t understand me. I have to be honest with you; I found those words in a book my Mom gave me before she died. She told me to read it one day. Well, I saw a chapter called, ‘To My Son.’ When I read it, I thought about Dennis. I wouldn’t know how to talk like that to anybody.”

“So, you are telling me, you could have done things differently?”

“Baby girl, we know what is true and right. Whether we use it or not is up to us. We do what we want to do, and sometimes we don’t care about the price.”

“Bruce, are you telling me you knew you were wrong for what you did to us?”

“How did I become ‘Bruce’? I’ll always be your Father. Don’t take that from me.”

“Fathers can’t be little girls’ lovers too.”

“It depends on the individual and what he or she believes. Some places in this world, it is accepted. I don’t feel bad about what I shared with you. I gave you all my love. When I touched you, I was touching you with all the love I had.”

“Did you ever think about what you took from me?”

“I didn’t take anything. I gave you everything. You were the first person I ever loved. Everybody else took from me; they never took time out to understand me. You gave me everything I needed.”

“You took my right to be a virgin!”

“A virgin? That’s what you’re mad about. You can’t be serious. Why would you let a stranger take it when I was right there to do it right?”

I crossed my arms against my chest. “I thought you admitted you were sick all those years in Dennis’ letter?”

“I said what is expected and necessary when a man is dying. I wanted him to have peace about almost beating me to death. I thought that was the least I could do.”

“You mean to tell me you didn’t mean a word of it?”

“At the time, I was dying. I was trying to do the right thing by my son. I meant it as far as giving him peace of mind. It worked. At least, I hope it did.”

“So, you admit you were wrong?”

“I was scared, Leona. You know I don’t deal with fear very well. As those sick days went by, my Mom’s voice kept me alive. I began to remember every word she told me about God and life. It changed me. I guess I thought I was riding my Mom’s skirt tail to heaven.”

“You should be a new person.”

“Yeah, I’m a new person. I now know God accepts me just as I am. I don’t have to be scared anymore.”

“I thought I hated you,” I mumbled looking down at my hands. “It wasn’t until you practically died I realized I still loved you.”

“Come here,” he pleaded. “I’m not going to do anything. I just want you closer to me.”

“I’m good right here,” I said as I scooted farther away from him.

“You’re mine, Leona.”

“I heard enough.”

I got up off the bed and walked out the door. Just when I was turning out the doorway, I bumped smack into Dennis’ broad chest leaning against the wall and he didn’t look happy.

“I heard every word he said. I hate him, Leona,” Dennis said as he ran down the hall far away from me and his lying Father.

I held my head down and walked to the elevator. I felt like my whole world was closing in on me. I was the only person on the elevator, so I allowed the walls of the elevator to hold up my now weak body. Fortunately for me, my parents were coming to see me. When they saw me getting off the elevator, they helped me walk back to my room.

As soon as I hit the bed, I fell asleep.

The doctors were concerned about my blood count. I had to stay another night in the hospital. I was ready to go back to Fort Sill. I was beginning to feel like I was contaminated. All I could hear was Bruce’s voice over and over in my head, “You belong to me.” The sound of it made me want to throw up. In the back of my mind, I wondered where Dennis had gone. He didn’t come see me. I fell asleep that night with a frown on my face.

A soft hand holding my hand as it dangled out of the bed awakened me. When I opened my eyes, I was surprised to see who it was.

“You’re finally awake. Your parents just left. I had to come see you. I missed you so much,” she cried as she stood up and put her arms around me.

It was Sarah. It wasn’t until that moment that I realized how much I missed her over the years. She was the one I shared my innermost thoughts with when I needed to talk. We always understood each other. She didn’t let me go for a long time. I held her even tighter as I saw I needed her a lot.

“I’m sorry I hollered at you. I was so scared,” Sarah cried.

“It’s okay, and you know that.”

“Scoot over and let me lie next to you.”

I scooted over and she climbed into bed with me. It was just like the good ole days when we used to sleep in the attic together. I didn’t feel well, but I wasn’t going to tell Sarah. I wasn’t telling anybody about my baby.

“How are you feeling? Why are they keeping you?”

“They were worried about my blood. I have to stay for observation.”

“Yeah, right, you’re pregnant, Leona. When are you due?”

“Excuse me, but I didn’t tell you I was pregnant.”

“You didn’t have to tell me. I’m your sis, remember? Besides I was pregnant before, I see it all over you.”

“Okay, you’re right, but you better not tell anybody,” I said vehemently. “My baby’s Daddy was killed in a car accident.”

“Sorry to hear that. You’re keeping your baby?”

“What kind of a question is that? Of course, I’m keeping it.”

She chewed her bottom lip. “I had a baby too. Bruce wouldn’t let me keep it,” Sarah said with her head hung down.

“I have to be honest, at first I thought I wasn’t going to keep it but in my heart, I knew I couldn’t kill my baby. It’s a part of Doug and me.”

Sarah looked up at me and smiled.

“When I was pregnant, I felt so special. I was carrying life inside of me. I was my own little creator. I wanted our baby so bad. I was going to have somebody to love and love me. I couldn’t wait to see it grow. I was going to be a good mother. But Bruce wasn’t happy about it. He took me out of town to a place like a clinic. They gave me some gas, knocked me out, and took my baby. I woke up in the car as he was driving us back home. I cried for days. I felt robbed. I almost killed myself. That was the first time I ever hated Bruce.”

“He did it to protect you. You would’ve been a public shame.”

“That’s nothing new. At least, I would’ve had love in my life.”

I realized there was no need in my talking now. Sarah was caught up in the memory of losing her child. I couldn’t believe Bruce got Sarah pregnant and then took her baby. He was pure evil. Because of Bruce, I was in this hospital and no telling where Dennis was.

A muffled cough and shuffling of feet drew my attention to the door. Tony stood there for a moment looking embarrassed.

“Sorry, I’ll come back later.” He turned and walked away.

“No, wait, don’t leave,” I insisted as I gently lifted Sarah’s head off my shoulder. I attempted to jump out of the bed to run after him, but he kept walking.

“Sorry, Leona, I just couldn’t help myself. Between Bruce and talking about the baby, I lost it. It’s my fault he left.”

“It’s okay. He left because he wanted to leave,” I said sadly, knowing I needed to talk to him. I needed to know why he abandoned me.

“I didn’t know you and he were still seeing each other. He looked good with his fine self.”

“We’re not. I don’t know how he found me.”

“He knows about the baby?”

“No, I’m not telling Tony anything. He would hate me for it.”

“Thanks for coming, Leona. I owe you one. I’m going to check on Bruce.”

“All right, take care of yourself, Sarah.”

After Sarah had been gone for a while, Tony came back. I turned my head away when he stopped in the doorway. All of a sudden, I felt naked. It seemed like I had gained ten pounds; my face felt swollen like a water balloon. I was ashamed of myself for some reason. Something about Tony always made me look at myself critically, and the result was usually not good.

“Why did you turn your head away from me woman?”

“You come walking in here like you’ve been keeping in touch with me. When was the last time, I heard from you?”

“Every time I called you, they told me you weren’t there. You never answered any of my letters. What else was I supposed to do?”

“I never got any messages or letters.”

“I’m not lying. There were times this Duchess chick told me she would tell you. I gave up trying. I got my pride, you know.”

I sat up in bed, not believing what I was hearing.

“I thought you forgot about me when I didn’t hear from you. I tried to hate you,” I said as the tears rolled down my face.

“Baby, listen, why do you think I’m here? Warren called me and told me you were here. I got here as soon as I could,” he said as he sat on the edge of my bed with his arms opened wide to hold me tightly in his arms. His hypnotic cologne, strong embrace, and soothing voice made me feel like a young woman again. I relaxed and melted into his arms. I didn’t want time to take us away from each other again. He allowed me to hold on for as long as I wanted.

“What are we going to do, baby? I want to marry you and have a family together,” he whispered in my ear as he held me.

The next thing I knew I was wetting the side of his face with my tears. Those were the tears of the secret life I lived. He was very gentle with me as he waited patiently for my answer. Unable to hide in the dark any longer, I pulled myself away from Tony. He looked at me wondering what was going on with me.

“Tony, give me your hand,” I asked as I reached for it. I placed his large hand on my stomach and held it there. I took a couple of deep breaths and proceeded to tell him the truth. “Tony, remember when I told you about Doug?”

“Yeah, he was killed in a car accident.”

“I’m having his baby.”

Tony dropped my hand and turned away from me.

Tony stood up and paced back and forth several times, visibly struggling with his anger.

“Wait a minute; you’re telling me when we made love you were pregnant with another man’s baby? That’s dirty Leona.” He struck the wall with his fist.

“I didn’t know. Doug had just died, and I didn’t know how to accept that. I didn’t know I was pregnant yet. I was confused, and you made me feel like that was okay. I just took the moment. I’m sorry.”

“You’re good at keeping secrets. I got to think about this,” he said as he kissed me on the cheek and walked out of the room. I slumped back in my bed and let the tears flow.

The next day, I checked out of the hospital. Tony didn’t come back to see me or call. “Are you going to see Bruce before you leave?”

“No, I just want to get out of here.”

A man in a hospital security uniform approached us accompanied by a man who was clearly a police detective.

“Excuse me, are you Leona Tillard?”

“Yeah,” I answered.

“We need for you to come to the security office to answer some questions.”

“I’m her father,” Dad said, stepping between me and the rent-a-cop. “She isn’t going anywhere until we know why.”

The real cop spoke up now.

“Sir, there has been an attempted murder. We have reason to believe Miss Tillard may be a suspect.”

EXCERPT: This Thing Called Love

This Thing Called Love

by Linda Wattley

Leona Tillard has been told her whole life she have a serious calling to be a healer. But to Leona, she is still that damaged child molested by her father. As she comes to learn God is truly not a worldly experience but an experience beyond it, she ventures into realms of reality that her loved ones do not know anything about. To them, she is sleeping but there is much more going on than sleep. In the meantime, someone is taking advantage of Leona’s gift to heal. As a result, all hell breaks loose to bring her enemies to righteousness. The question of love always asks, should I stay or go. That is the private questioning of Leona’s heart as she witness her husband transform into a different person other than the person she married right before her eyes. It appeared some form of darkness took out his light. A family eventually explains why love was never enough.

This Thing Called Love reveals God manifesting in the heart of a molested angel and restoring the years of the locusts. He meets her right where she is. Her honest communication with Him opened the door for her to be set free from the demons of her past. Eloquently, the spirit of her being rises and transforms her total being to light and she welcomes fulfilling God’s dream in her life. The healing takes place when she learns God was there from the time she was born. She went looking for God to confront Him on how He does things; in the end, she fell in love with Him and wanted to share God with the world.

Chapter Twenty-Three

Sarah and I ended our conversation leaving me with a serious reality check about what made me who I am. As I lay stretched across the bed, my mind went back over our whole conversation. I still could not understand why she was so strong and I was so weak. That thing about trust consumed my mind as I searched for understanding of its significance in life. How could I so easily give my naked body to someone I didn’t trust?

When I was a child and I wanted to escape the world, I found a place in myself to go and be safe and at peace. That unseen and untouched world was my reality. I didn’t need anybody there. Coming back to the real world, I never identified myself with a body. It was only a means of being among other people. Trust was not an issue because I didn’t give my true self away. The world only received the self it made. That person was not valuable to me so I used her to make other people happy since that is what she was programmed to do by Bruce. He wanted her body especially her private parts and he got it. Her reward was a smile and a deep exhale because he was pleased.

The next morning, I woke up by the sun shinning through the bedroom window. I rolled over and there Sarah lay on the other side of the bed.

“Girl, when did you come in here?”

“Right after you fell asleep.”

“It has been a long time since I’ve slept next to someone I loved. I hope you didn’t mind.”

“It’s no big deal. Maybe that’s why I slept so well myself. Since Nate died I’ve slept alone. “

“What are we going to do today, Leona?”

“You know I got to get back to my son and my friend.”

“Speaking of her, I can’t believe she is Bruce’s daughter. You talk about a small world? What are the chances of something like that happening?”

“I know when I met her in the service; I felt it was something unusual about her. We hit it off pretty easy when we met. I don’t know if it was because we had the same name or what.”

“The good thing is she found her long lost father.”

“This is true. Unfortunately, it turned out to be Bruce,” I said as I began to remember his unlawful touches to my body.

“Are you ever going to tell her about our games with Bruce?” Sarah asked as she sat up on the bed.

“I don’t think so. Bruce seems to have changed over the years. I don’t want to be the one who turn her long search to find her father into a nightmare.”

“You’re right. I want to take you to breakfast before you go.”

“Alright, we can do that.”

Sarah and I got dressed and drove into the parking lot of Bob Evans restaurant. It was only 8:30 in the morning and the parking lot was filled with cars and several out of town church buses. Two of the buses were all the way from Mississippi. As I turned around after shutting the passenger door to Sarah’s car, someone walked up to me and shouted, “Hallelujah!”

“Amen!” I responded not knowing what else to say.

“I remember you! You’re that healer who healed my daughter.”

“Sorry, I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I said trying to speed up my walk.

“Who is she, Leona? Is everything all right?” Sarah asked as she walked over to my side of the car.

“Yeah, she thinks she’s seen me before.”

“Honey come over here you’re not going to believe whose here!”

The next thing I knew a strange man was shaking my hand uncontrollably.

“Lord have mercy, it’s the healer. Thank you for healing our daughter.”

“Leona, what are they talking about?” Sarah asked.

“I kind of have this gift that’s all.”

By the time we opened the door to enter Bob Evans; the couple who recognized me had told everybody the healer was here. The crowd of churchgoers from Mississippi surrounded me and left me no space to move. Sarah was lost in the crowd as she tried to stay close to me.

Someone was standing behind me and put their arms around me and whispered in my ear.

“I love you.”

Immediately, I turned around and our eyes met. It just couldn’t be happening. In the mist of the crowd, praising God, Doug appeared with a smile from heaven. When I saw Doug I almost fainted as he caught me before I lost my balance.

“Doug, is it really you?”

“Yes, it’s me baby. How are you doing?”

“I don’t know. These people are treating me like I’m some kind of saint or something.”

“You healed a lot of people when you came to Mississippi. That is not something people forget.”

As I began to remember my experience in Mississippi my head started spending because it reminded me of losing Nate. Becoming fearful and out of touch with reality, I began to yell Sarah’s name.

“Sarah! Where are you?”

Sarah forced her way through the crowd of people and grabbed me by the hand and guided me out of the restaurant. Once we were back outside, I broke down and started crying. Sarah put her arms around me and led me to sit on the bench near the entrance of the restaurant.

“What’s the matter, Leona?”

“Did you see that man in there that was hugging me?”
“Yeah I saw him. What about him?”

“That’s Doug. We were going to get married but something happened. Then, I met Nate.”

“So why are you crying?”

“I don’t know. These people are from Mississippi and Nate died while we were down there. I can’t take anymore. I don’t want to see Doug right now. Take me to Najeè.”

“What are the chances of you seeing Doug again? Don’t you want to at least say good-bye?”

“I can’t go back in there. Would you tell him I’m not well and will call him later?”

“Ok, let me get you back to the car.”

Sarah went back into Bob Evans and found Doug in the mist of the crowd. She told him I wasn’t feeling well and told him good-bye. Doug followed Sarah to the car ignoring every word she said.

“Leona, it’s me Doug. You know I can’t let you go that easy.”

“Sorry Doug, but you are bringing back too many memories for me right now. I have to sort things out before I go crazy.”

“Calm down baby. I’m shocked too. When I saw you, I felt it was God answering my prayers.”

As I began to relax, Doug became more of a welcoming presence as I reached my arms out to embrace him. Sarah walked away from the car and turned her back towards us. Unexpectedly my eyes closed as my head dropped on his shoulder. Our embrace was renewing my strength and calming my thoughts.

“Leona, what are we going to do? I believe we are destined to be together.”

“I don’t know, Doug. I just know right now I feel so much better. I’m afraid you’ve caught me venerable.”

“That does not mean you can’t love me. Let’s not talk anymore. I’m going to let you go and hope you want me one day.”

“I never stopped loving you.”

Doug gently covered my lips with the tips of his fingers so I would not say another word and turned and walked away.

“Are you alright, Leona?”

“No, I want to go home.”

“What about our breakfast date?”

“Sorry Sarah, I don’t want to be around people right now.”

“I’m not people. I am Sarah.”

“I know.”

“Tell you what, I’ll cook us some breakfast and take you to Bruce’s house as soon as we’re done eating.”

“Ok, I can handle that.”

We had breakfast and arrived at Bruce’s house near noon. I put on my happy face because I didn’t want anybody to question me.

“Sarah it was so nice seeing you. You got to come to Indiana.”

“You mean that?”

“Of course, come spend time with Najeè and me. You have a pencil and paper in that mean purse of yours? Write down my number and address.”

“Ok, I have it.” Thanks, Leona.

Ok sis stay as you are.”

“I’m going to let you go.” Sarah said as her eyes began to become teary.

“Come here Sarah, give me a hug,” I said as I held her tightly with all the love I had for her.

“I love you.”

“I love you more,” I said as I waved good-bye.

Leona, Najeè and I gathered our belongings together and loaded up the car and headed back to Indiana. Leona looked a little sad leaving Bruce. Finally I see someone in his life yearning to be in his presence without judging him.

“Thanks for bringing me, Leona. I feel I can go on with my life. I believe my mom can rest in peace now.”

“That’s good. It was a good trip for me too. Looks like Najeè had a good time. He’s already sleep.”

“Sabrina and Najeè played together all day and most of the night. She is such a sweet little girl. She really loves Bruce.”

“Oh yeah, it doesn’t surprise me. Everybody loves Bruce.”

“Do you love him? You make me wonder if something happened between you two.”

“Why would you ask me something like that?”

“I don’t know. It just seems like you’re not that comfortable around him.”

“I love him. He was the only father I knew for a long time. When I found my real daddy, Bruce and I kind of grew apart. We’ve already talked about this. You act like I’m lying about something.”

“That’s not my feelings at all. Sorry if I made you think that. I just thought you would have been more comfortable around him, that’s all. I guess what I want to say is, if you don’t want to be around him I can plan to visit him again on my own without bothering you.”

“He is your father. That makes sense to me. Now that I’ve visited him, I will probably check on him more often.”

“Yeah, he’s my father. I don’t know when I will call him that. One day I will. I’m sure.”

As I drove down the street not far from home I began to feel a need to have Nate still in my life. The driving up the driveway almost made me cry. I just didn’t feel like crying so I forced my emotions to back down and leave me alone.

Leona stayed the night and left the next morning for home. That first night alone with Najeè in the house was very difficult. I doubled my blankets and rolled my body up in them and got Najeè in his blanket and watched television until he fell asleep.

About nine o’clock that night the phone rang. It was my parents calling me to see why we didn’t come to Columbus while we were in Ohio.


“Leona I can’t believe you didn’t at least call us while you were in Akron.”

“I was bringing Leona to meet Bruce. Najeè and I will be visiting again later.”

“That doesn’t tell me why you didn’t call or give us a chance to see you.”

“Mom, I guess I’m embarrassed.”

“Embarrassed about what?”

“When Nate was living, I let him keep me away from you. I’m sorry.” I cried.

“It’s ok. We understood more than you realized. Leona, don’t you ever think we are not here for you. If you need us, we will be there.”

“I don’t deserve it.”

“You are our child and will always be our baby. You and Najeè are not alone in this world. If you want to come back home, your daddy will come get you.”

I held the phone speechless. It was like the dawning of understanding love was coming to light. My heart warmed with feelings that made me feel special. My parents love me more than I ever understood.

“Are you all right?”

“Yes, Mom I’m ok. Thanks for loving me.”

“Always, baby and don’t you ever forget it.”

“How’s Daddy?”

“He’s been working hard as usual, but doing fine. How is my grandson?”

“Najeè is doing ok. He played with Sarah’s daughter while we were at Bruce’s house.”

“Oh, Sarah does have a child. I forgot about that”

“Yeah and she is a cute little girl.”

“Did she get married?”

“No, but she seems to be doing very well on her own,” I said.

“Leona a friend of mine has heard a lot about her. Do you know how she is managing to do so well?”

“She kind of told me she has older men who give her money.”

“That’s not all. She is a big time drug runner for the most powerful drug dealer in Akron and Cleveland.”

“That’s not true.”

“I wouldn’t lie to you.”

“Nobody called her or knocked on her door the whole time I was there.”

“You don’t get it. She must have sacrificed a lot spending time with you.”

“Mom, I’m sorry but I think there has to be some kind of mistake. Sarah isn’t that kind of person.”

“If you don’t want to believe it, you don’t have to believe it. I’m telling you because I don’t want you caught up in any mess.”

“She didn’t seem like she was worried about anything.”

“She probably wasn’t. You can’t worry about anything doing that kind of stuff. I hear she do drugs too, Leona.”

“No way does she do any drugs.”

“Yes, Leona, Sarah is a coke head.”

“Mom, she wasn’t doing any drugs while I was with her.”

“I told you now what you do with the information is on you.”

“You know your brother just had another baby.”

“No, he and Jennifer are still together?”

“Yeah, you know she loves her some Dennis.”

“How are they doing?”

“They live here in Columbus. They brought a nice house. He still has issues, but he is with his family.”

“Mom I’m sorry I questioned you about Sarah. I know you wouldn’t lie to me.”

“No I wouldn’t. I felt you had a right to know.”

“I really enjoyed her while I was there.”

“That’s nice. You just be careful in the future when you come to Akron.”

“I will. Love you, Mom.”

“Love you, too. Goodnight.”

“Goodnight Mom.”

I helped Najeè off the couch and got him in bed. I needed to pour me a glass of wine and go to my own room. So much was heard and my mind needed to place my rampant thoughts.

Of course Sarah was on my mind. As I visualized her presence in my mind, I now see why she appeared so strong. She wasn’t feeling too much of anything. Looking into her eyes now I see I was the only sign of emotional reactions to life Sarah had. Even when we would talk about her daughter she seemed estranged to the reality of bonding. Was I in fact the last love her heart ever felt?

This thing called love seem to demand meaning if we are to embrace one another. Even though I supposedly abandoned Sarah, she still loves me. My parents love me although I abandoned them to please Nate. Doug’s love for me has never reduced its fire not one degree over the years. Why do they love me? Better still, what is it that keeps me special in their lives? Trust does not seem to have anything to do with it. I’ve proven to let them down and cause them grief. Help me Lord to understand.

“Mommy, I want my daddy,” Najeè cried as he crawled into my bed.

“I want him too,” I said as the tears slowly flowed from eyes.

That night I held Najeè in my arms as we both fell asleep. Holding him close to me reminded me of how much I loved my son and as I felt the depth of that love I understood why I am so loved. When you love someone you accept that person has a place in your heart that external circumstances cannot move.

About twelve o’clock that night as I gently moved away from Najeè to stretch him out on Nate’s side of the bed, the phone rang. Through the darkness I managed to put my hand on the phone.



“Yes, this is Leona.”

“Do you know who this is?”

Laying in the dark hearing only the strong pounding of a racing heart and the suave voice on the phone, I was finally able to speak the name.


“Are you sure about that?”

“Yes. You know I could never forget you.

“I want you and Najeè to come home. I don’t want to live without you anymore.”

The words silenced me as I searched my heart to see how it felt. I didn’t know what to say. It was like a dream and I couldn’t speak.

“Leona, please talk to me.”

“I am trying so hard to answer you. I don’t know what to say.”

“Say you will marry me and make me the happiest man in the world.”

I heard a loud sound in the living room as my front door was kicked in. “Tony you have to call 911!”

Najeè went to the restroom and I had to get to him. As I ran into the living room, three men dressed in all black clothing and stockings pulled over their faces were throwing my furniture all over the room as though they were looking for something.

“Oh my God, please don’t hurt my son!” I yelled as I reached out for Najeè as he ran into my arms.

“We just want what’s ours.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Sarah was here and she has our stuff.”

“Sarah does not live here. She has never been to my house before.”

One of the men grabbed me by my arm and threw Najeè on the couch and held a gun to my face.

“You just told a lie. We followed her here last night. Either you tell us where she and our stuff are or your son will be missing a mother.”

“He just lost his father for Christ sake. I swear to you. Sarah has never been to my house.” I cried as I lost my balance and fell back on the couch. That’s when I heard a voice.

“Don’t hurt them. I’ll give you what you want.”

“Sarah, how did you get here?”

“I’ll explain everything later.”

One of them grabbed her by the arm. “You better have it all or you are a dead woman.”

“Here take it. Leave my family alone.”

Sarah handed the man a black briefcase. With tears in her eyes she turned away from me.

“Get in the car, Sarah. The Big Man wants to see you. You better be glad he likes you.”

“I’m not going back.”

“Sarah, you know you are. Stop being stupid!”

“I can’t live like this anymore.”

“You tell him yourself. I’m not dying for you.”

The other two men who hadn’t spoken a word grabbed Sarah and carried her out the house while the other man carried the briefcase.

“Sorry this is strictly our business. Here take this money and get your door fixed,” he said tossing me a stack of bills.

By then Najeè was crying and holding me so tight I couldn’t move to see what they doing with Sarah. Suddenly a train of police cars circled my house. Immediately, I had flashbacks when Sarah was shot in front of my mother’s yard. I couldn’t let it happen again.

“Najeè, Mommy will be right back. Sit right here until I come back.”

I ran outside and two of the men were standing with their hands in the air while the man that had done all the talking grabbed Sarah and pointed a gun to her head.

“Please don’t hurt her!” I cried.

As I ran towards Sarah, I tripped on something hidden in the grass. I hit the ground. All I could hear was Najeè crying for me.

“Put down the gun!”

“Get back or I will kill her!”

One of the men stood with both hands handcuffed next to a police officer. “Come on man, she ain’t worth it.”

“That’s right man. We ain’t come up here to kill anybody,” The man with the gun looked at Sarah and pushed her towards the police officer and dropped his gun.

“Leona, please be alright,” Sarah yelled as she kneeled down on the ground beside me.

I could hear her, but I couldn’t move. I tried to tell my mouth to move but the thoughts weren’t connecting. All I could do was lay there while Najeè and Sarah cried.

“Call an ambulance. This woman has a head injury.” the police officer yelled.

“Everybody get back!” the police officer yelled as he called the paramedics.

After hearing the sirens and gun shots, Maria and Jamar ran over to my home and found my lawn covered with police cruisers. They heard Najeè crying for me and followed his voice to find him. There he was down on bending knees crying for me to wake up. Jamar gently picked him up and carried him into the house while Maria stayed near me to find out what was going on.

“Officer, I am Leona’s best friend and neighbor. What can I do?”

“Does she have any family or anybody who has information about her medical history and insurance?”

“Her family lives in Ohio. I will get the information you need.”

Maria looked at Sarah and walked passed her not knowing who she was. She went into the house to find my purse and get my id and insurance information out of my purse. Before Maria went back outside she gave Jamar my address book and told him to call my parents. Meanwhile, I was placed on a stretcher and covered with a sheet. Oxygen was immediately given to me because I couldn’t breathe on my own.

News traveled fast because the Watkins had arrived and began taking over the situation. Maria handed the officers the information they asked for and ran back in the house to check on Najeè. She and Jamar agreed she should follow the ambulance to the hospital and he would take Najeè to their home before the Watkins takes him away from them.

“So we meet again, Leona,” Grandma said as she opened her arms to receive me.

“No Grandma, I can’t be dead!” I cried as I refused to embrace her.

“Come on, Leona, we don’t have much time,” Mark said as he motioned for me to receive Grandma’s embrace.

“I can’t leave Najeè. I won’t come.”

I turned and began running away from them. The more I tried to run, the more I was drawn closer to Grandma and Mark.

“Don’t make me do this. It ain’t fair!”

“Leona, come to me. It is ok. Our son will be alright.”


“Yes, baby it is me. We must hurry. Go to your family.”

I turned around and ran right into Grandma’s arms. While receiving her embrace, I turned back around to see Nate and he was gone.

“We will be back later.” Grandma said as I faded into the light of her being.

“Leona, it is time for you to deliver the message that will re-establish the foundation of the world.”


“That’s right, I have much to impart to you. Come daughter. Let us begin.”

The wave of light permeating in and out of God engulfed me and placed me into a room appearing to be the Bible illumined in a light I’ve never seen. There were other beings there protecting this book standing all around it. I walked into it without thought of whether I should or not. The deeper I went into the book, the lighter I felt as a robe of light was placed on me. After I received my robe, I was positioned in a chair with a desk. As soon as I sat down, the words from the book consumed my mind as I closed my eyes to be bathed in its glory.

Mixed Signal Syndrome is the disease that has infected Our Master’s people. It is the cause and the cure to a world dying in ignorance. Duality was supposed to put them in a state of choosing best. Due to being children of God, they have been given free will. This free will is their power to be children of God. Whether they know this or not, the power to be whatever you choose is making the world a state of chaos.

This Bible consists of an antidote that will begin the healing process of alleviating the affects of Mixed Signal Syndrome. Good and evil are powerful forces used to mature God’s children. A lack of knowledge has made these forces humanity’s enemy. The words contained here are transforming immediately upon conception. You being one of the keepers of its contents will be able to go to and fro at will to the dark places in consciousness and plant the seeds of healing.

The next step of being impregnated with this cure will begin now. You will not remember how this will take place but your heart, mind and body will be able to generate the cure without thought. You will know what to say and do at all times. Your reward is great. We thank you for joining us in bringing God’s plan to past.

After the last word was received, my chair turned into a bed of light and I remember nothing of the implantation.

“She’s been in a coma for over two weeks now. Dr. is there any hope of saving our daughter?”

“Miss, we have just never seen anything like this. Your daughter is not deteriorating. At any…”

“Dr., did you see that?”

“Yes, I did. Excuse me let me check her pulse.”

As the doctor came closer to shine his light in my eyes, my eyelids suddenly opened and startled him as he jumped back.

“Leona it is your mother. Thank God you are awake.”


“He’s fine. He has been with us and your friend Maria.”

“What am I doing here?”

“Leona, I am Dr. Logan. You are one lucky lady.”

“What happened?”

“You hit your head pretty hard when you fell to the ground. A sharp-edge brick was hidden in the grass. It didn’t do too much damage outside. It left you with a scare which is well hidden with your hair. The bad news, it knocked you unconscious for over two weeks.”

“I have to get out of here. There is so much I have to do.”

“Young lady, you have to calm down and let me take a complete look at you. After that, we will see what is best for you.”

“You don’t understand I have a lot to do.”

“Baby, let the doctor take care of you so you won’t have to come back in here.” Daddy said with a concerned look on his face that made me bow down every time.

“Okay, please bring Najeè to me.”

“We’ll call Maria and have her bring him to you,” Mom said as she reached for the phone on the stand.

“Leona, you are a patient I feel honored to have. I know you have a work for the Lord,” The doctor whispered as he left the room.

Maria and Jamar came to the hospital to see me and Najeè was with them. I felt great inside knowing there is so much more to life than meets the eyes.

“Mommy!” Najeè yelled as he ran into my arms.

“You have been with Jesus, Mommy?”

“Yes, I’ve been with Jesus. He let me come back home.”

“I love Jesus, Mommy and I love you, too.”

“Thanks for taking such good care of Najeè for me.”

“You are so welcome,” Maria said as she gave me a loving hug.

“It was nice having him around,” Jamar said as he hugged me.

“I have so much to do. I can’t wait to get out of here.”

Maria smiled. “Girl, you got to get your strength back.”

“Trust me I am very strong and ready to do the Will of God.”

“All right now, we are getting ready to have some church up in here!”

“Mom, these are Nate’s parents.”

They introduced each other and forced themselves into my room causing it to be extremely crowded. Jamar and Maria saw my room needed some space and volunteered to leave while Najeè stayed with me.

“We’ll be back. We’re going to have some breakfast.”

“Alright, I’ll be here. I’m not going anywhere,” I said joking with them.

“How are you doing?” Mrs. Watkins asked as she gave me a kiss on the cheek.

“I am fine. Thank you.”

“Leona, your Father and I will let you’ll be alone. Breakfast sounds like a good idea.”

“You want to come with us Little Man?” Daddy asked as he reached his hand out to see if he would grab it.

“Can I come back and be with my mommy?”

“You sure can. We won’t be gone long.”
The Watkins and I were now the only people left in the room. I surprisingly didn’t mind. I had no animosity towards them anymore. I could tell they were afraid of what I would say to them now we were alone. I just didn’t have anything harmful to say.

“Leona, we were scared to death when we heard what happened. Thank God you’re alive. The church members have been asking about you,” Minister Watkins said.

“I bet God is getting their hearts ready to receive me soon.”

“You mean you are coming to heal again?” Mrs. Watkins asked.

“Yes, it will be very soon. I need a piece of paper. Please, would you find me a pen or pencil?”

Mrs. Watkins pulled her small note pad out her purse and handed me a pen.

“Thanks, I really need to be alone right now. I have to write down a few things. Please don’t take it personally,” I said as I began to write without looking up to see if they were still there.

Mixed Signal Syndrome is also the crossing over of politics and religion. Tell my people, it is time to let go. I come to save the sick and the lost. I come to set the captive free. My ways are not your ways. Good an evil can no longer occupy their minds. Through my son Jesus Christ, the truth will set you free. No more mixed signals placing them mentally and emotionally into bondage. The day that thou hear my voice, harden not your hearts. There is a peace that the world can not give. It begins now.

I dropped the pen as I dosed off to sleep. I don’t know how long I was sleep but when I woke up, the Watkins was standing there looking at me like I was crazy.

“What in the heck is this jibber jabber you’ve wrote here?” Minister Watkins asked with disgust on his face.

“Very interesting, isn’t it I asked.

“You can’t go public with this. People will attack you,” Mrs. Watkins said.

“What people?”

“The people that is not ready for this kind of stuff.” he answered.

“You’re not talking about church people are you?” I asked with a smile on my face.

“I’m talking about everybody.”

“Oh well, it is time they got ready.”

“Don’t tell me you’re bringing this into your healing ministry.” Mr. Watkins asked.

“Mr. Watkins, I don’t feel like talking to the preacher in you right now. I want you to know it is too late to walk away from the truth. Once the truth is released, it transforms on its own. You will tell me about it soon.”

“It’s got to be the medication. I’m going to give you a chance to relax. You are doing some serious hallucinating.”

“Do you know how real God is, Mr. Watkins?”

“Of course I do, why do you think I preach?” he asked.

“I’m talking about God, the Creator of the Universe. I’m not talking about the God people have made as human as they are. This God is not a means of egotistic control over people. This God I speak of has principles and structure. Things do add up with this God.”

“Leona, what’s your point? You think we are misleading people about God?”

“Put it like this. Jesus was not that excited about the church institutions when he walked among us and I don’t believe he is that excited about it now. It is time to re-establish the foundation as God would have it be.”

“I’ll see you later, Leona. You’re not making any sense.”

“Take care,” I said as I turned my head towards the window.

When I was finally released from the hospital, Maria came to pick me up and let me know Sarah was still in town and had been staying at my house with Najeè. I couldn’t believe she wasn’t arrested with the other drug dealers who followed her to Indiana. As I went to unlock the door to my home, Sarah opened the door with tears in her eyes.

“Leona, please, you have to forgive me. I didn’t know what I was doing.”

“Can I come into the house?”

“Yes, let me help you.” Sarah said as she moved away from the door entrance for me to slowly walk in.

“Leona, Najee is with Jamar. I figured you and Sarah have some things to talk about. Call me when you are ready for him.

“Thanks, Maria I will do that.”

“I didn’t know they would find me. After you came to see me, I started thinking about what I was doing. I didn’t want to live like that anymore. Would you forgive me, Leona?” Sarah asked as she dropped to the floor on her knees before me.

“Sarah, how did you get in my house in the first place?”

“The door wasn’t lock. You had gone next door and I just came in and hid in the closet. I didn’t know how to tell you I wanted to be with you.”

“What do you want from me Sarah?”

“I want you to let me be your sister and start a new life. I need you, Leona.” Sarah cried.

“You don’t have to beg me. But you have to understand I am on a mission for God. I have a serious calling on my life. Do you think you can live with that?”

“Anything you say, Leona. I just need to be with you. I want to know this God you love so deeply. Would you help me know Him?”

“Come here, Sarah” I said as I reached my arms out to embrace her.

“I won’t let you down, Leona. I promise.”

“You have to go get your daughter. She deserves to have her mother.”

“Okay, I can do that.”

“I’m a little tired. Would you get Najeè for me? I’m going to rest a while.”

“Yes, thank you Leona. Everything is going to be alright. You watch and see.”

For several weeks, I experienced severe headaches from my head injury. Often times, my memory would fail me but I would manage to cover it up pretty well.

Sarah called Bruce and told him about her new life and how she would like to have full custody of their daughter, Sabrina. Bruce was reluctant about it but trusted her to do the right thing since she was living with me now. I had to admit it was pretty nice having someone in the house with Najee and me. It didn’t seem so big anymore. Bruce packed Sabrina’s things and drove to Indiana to bring her to Sarah. We kept looking out for him and Sabrina. While waiting for him, we gathered together in the living room to watch a movie.

Finally, the doorbell rang. When we opened the door, Sabrina was standing there with tears in her eyes as she pointed to the car parked in my driveway. Bruce was slumped over the steering wheel. I told Sarah to take care of Sabrina as I walked out the door to check on Bruce.

“Bruce, are you alright?” I asked.

“He’s not moving, Momma. I tried to wake him up.” Sabrina said as she stood on the porch looking on to see what was going on.

“Bruce, wake up!” I yelled as I attempted to lift him up off the steering wheel.

“Help me Sarah, he’s still breathing.”

We managed to get Bruce out of the car and walk him into the house. Gently we sat him down on the couch and elevated his feet.

“What happened? Where am I?” Bruce asked as he began to panic.

“It’s me, Daddy,” Sabrina said as she put her arms around her father.

“It’s ok Bruce, Sarah and me are here too. Are you alright?”

“My insulin is in the car. I need some sugar,” Bruce said as he began to weaken again.

“I got some candy Mom. I’ll go get it,” Najeè said as he ran into the kitchen and came back with some Hershey’s chocolate candy bars.

“Thank you, little man,” Bruce said as he motioned for me to open it for him.

“I’m going to get your medicine. Where did you put it?” Sarah asked as she tried to hide her fear of losing Bruce.

“It’s sitting in my glove box. Thank you.”

We finally managed to get Bruce’s sugar regulated and insisted that he stayed over night. He was reluctant about it at first but saw it was late and he didn’t see that well at night so he took our offer and stayed.

I pulled out the bed hidden in the couch and made it up real nice for him. Sabrina and Sarah stayed in my once guest room, now is their room. Najeè went to his room for the night. I was about to go to bed myself until I heard Bruce call my name.

“Leona, may I talk to you for a minute?”

“I was actually going to bed. Maybe we can talk tomorrow.”

“Tomorrow may be too late. I promise you I won’t keep you too late.”

“I hope that is all you want to do is talk, Bruce.”

“I am a changed man Leona. I wouldn’t dare put my hands on you. I just need to talk to you that’s all.”

I grabbed my quilt out of my closet and sat down on the far end of the bed and gave him my attention.

“Leona, I am sincerely sorry for what I took from you. But I want you to understand it was only out of love that I did it.”

“Please don’t mix love in that. There is no way you could have thought that was love.”

“Hear me out. I loved you, Leona and Sarah deeply. I didn’t know how to show you any other way. A man is taught so many things. You don’t question a lot of things. It was just so normal for a man to want his female children. It was accepted through so many generations. People never talked about it.”

“I hate what you did to me. I’ll never know who I would have been if it hadn’t happened to me,” I said as tears filled my eyes.

“Leona, baby, it was so hard for me to not love you as I did. It was so deep inside of me and I would even pray sometimes that God would take it away, especially after I saw how you hated me for it. But you know Leona, it didn’t change a thing.”

“How wonderful should I feel?”

“Wait a minute, you said Leona. You mean to tell me you played that game with her too while you were in Vietnam?”

“Yes, yes I did. It was the only love I knew. Her mother took her and ran from me. Before her mother died, she told me Leona had died of pneumonia and to not look for her.”

“Don’t you see? She didn’t want you no where near her child. I wonder if she will ever remember such a horrible thing.”

“I hope not. I don’t want her hating me too.”

“Don’t you feel any remorse at all?”

“It wasn’t until I started going back to my momma’s church that I began to question what I had done. But it still wasn’t piercing because that kind of love runs through the church too. See, Leona, my sisters and I was close like that. We didn’t see anything wrong with it.”

“But you’ll didn’t share it with the world. You kept it a secret. Didn’t that tell you something?”

“Not really. Our family along with most families back then thrived on secrets.”

“You got to understand, Bruce. It is wrong.”

“Only because it hurt you in the end, do I actually regret it. I stand on God knowing my heart and intentions. I have a right to do that.”

“What did I actually take away from you, Leona?”

“My virginity and you took my right to choose whether I wanted to have sex or not. You took my own first moment of understanding intimacy. And, Bruce you took my childhood and made me a woman without a foundation to understand it on.”

“Whoa, it was going to happen sooner or later. Wouldn’t you rather it is with someone you know and love you?”

“You made me a freak!”

“No way, are you a freak. Yes, I took your virginity. Yes, I took your right to decide when you would have sex but I gave you so much more. I gave you my love. Don’t that account for something?”

“Dang it Bruce, that is not love. That is taking something that is not yours. They call it molestation!”

“Maybe you would have been different if I had never touched you. But how do you know if you would have been worse off than you turned out to be?”

“That’s just it. I will never know. And, that is the most painful thing about it. I didn’t even know anything about trust. I trusted you with my life that you would protect and take care of me.”

“Baby, I did just that in my understanding. Didn’t you hear me?”

“I regret that it hurt you in the end. I am sorry for that. But loving you, I can’t be sorry for that,” Bruce said as he leaned his head back on his pillow.

“I love you Bruce. I’m going to trust God will use it for good.”

“I love you too, Leona.”

“You have to understand this thing called love has a lot of caves in it. The presence of it is so primitive that it can make people do some strange things, Leona.”

“Bruce, it is not so strange when God is in it. You just can not approach people without God.” I said as I began to understand without spirit, the world corrupts the power of love.

As I stood up to walk back to my room, Sarah ran into my arms. She had heard our conversation.

“If you can forgive Bruce, I can too as well as my father for the same thing.” She cried as she looked away from Bruce.

The next morning we awaken to Sabrina crying as she sat on the couch where her father slept the night before. Bruce had folded the sofa bed back to a couch and folded his bedding. There was a note sitting on the table. I picked up the note to read it.

Dear Leona and Sarah,

In this life, you can not say you have never been loved. I loved you with a love greater than any man will ever love you. You know why? My love is not of this world. As God is my witness, you will learn that one day. I apologize to you both for not understanding my love violated your space in this world. I will spend the rest of my life praying to God to restore all that was taken and lost. I feel the genuine intent of my prayers will bless your lives tremendously. I thank God you two were in my life. You two gave me a love I could not receive or find anywhere in this cold and stinking world. When I die, I can rest in knowing you loved and forgave me for altering your paths in life. One thing I’ve learned, the devil meant it for bad. I feel in my heart, God is going to use it for good.

Tell my daughter I love her and I will be back to see her soon.

Love, Bruce.

“Sabrina, your dad told me to tell you he loves you. He will be back soon to see you.”

“Can I read the letter?” Sarah asked

“Sure. I’m going to start cooking breakfast,” I said as I walked away as my eyes watered. Once again, I was caught up in mixed signals. But this time I know God is with me. For I walk in the spirit of His love not the fabricated love of the world.

EXCERPT: Last Day Of Victimization

Last Day Of Victimization

Linda Wattley

LAST DAY OF VICTIMIZATION is a soulful journey of an ex- victim who survived many forms of abuse. While on this journey, priceless nuggets of wisdom were accumulated revealing the mysteries behind the world’s reasoning for using victimization to survive. Not only will this be revealed but also the reality that “all things work together for good to them that love the Lord”.

This book is for anyone who has been victimized be it rape, molested, robbed, natural causes, birth defects, injustice, etc. It is also for those who love them and would like to assist in their healing process. The contents of this book are written to the spiritual man. When a soul has been victimized, the spirit is vexed and at times enters a state of hopelessness. LAST DAY OF VICTIMIZATION imparts a message from God through the author a spirit of restoration, hope and tools to re-establish their foundation to begin again.

The author knows the plight of being a child of God in a world against love and spirit. The reality of being in the world and not of the world is the truth that will set His people free from His enemies. Today in our prisons, hospitals, homes and the world as a whole, victimization is manifesting in so many forms. The source of this loosed evil is satanic influences the world denies exist. Even the unbeliever will have to question his or herself after reading LAST DAY OF VICTIMIZATION because it presents the evidence that you are either of God or Satan, of the Abel or Cain spirit, Adam or Jesus and or Christ or Anti-Christ.

As the author of this book, I have written a Religious Column for over twelve years for the Frost Illustrated Newspaper in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I had the freedom to share unique truths from my understanding of God to my readers. Today I contribute articles to Faith Writers, The Blessed Room, and The Cheers online Magazine. I am a survivor of childhood molestation, mental, physical and emotional abuse. I have studied Psychology at the University of Akron. In my lifetime, I have read over a thousand books pertaining to God and spirituality. I have also done speaking engagements sharing my experiences with others and encourage survivors that abuse does not have to be a life-sentencing.

My work has answers and spiritual truths for all victims that can be remembered as needed. I am a Christian, yet God has blessed this book to have universal power to reach anyone wanting more out of life than what has been given and experienced. I am honored to deliver this message to the world.

Chapter Three - Victimized Presence

Doses of Reality

As the time passed, I grew too weary to think about what happened to me; instead my interest was in what was it about me that gave my victimizers the signals I could be captured. I went back to the nature of a child because children are the most sought after and innocent victims in the world today. They have the potential to allow love to be given and received. Children give us a chance to do the right thing for humanity.

Compared to a child, I found I as well as people I had talked to who had been victimized, all had a heart to do the right thing by people and life. We tend to have a respect for God and our spirituality. When I accepted this woman as a partner in fulfilling my dream, I was busy praying and hoping to be a blessing in her life because there was no pleasure for me being blessed alone.

Where I was thinking about prospering her life while we worked towards my goals, she was interested in her own progress at my expense. She led me to believe the value of my dream was valuable to her as well. There was not anything childlike about her presence. Her presence in the world joined the other worldly conscious of greedy and selfish people.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 1Peter 5:8

Facing the Victimizer

It was amazing how powerful this woman was inside my mind, heart and soul. For so long I denied the reality that this woman had raped me without putting a hand on me. Mentally, emotionally, soulfully and financially this woman took me from a safe place to an unsafe place in the world.

There were times I would call her on the phone and get no answer. Then I would send e-mails begging her to do the right thing. She would write me back like I was a child, lashing back at me with words making me feel like scum. There were times after reading her e-mails I felt like I was the selfish and inconsiderate person in this adventure knowing deep down I only asked for what was rightfully mine.

I was broken inside in reference to feeling comfortable calling her on the phone. Her voice went through me like thunder causing my insides to tremble so I dared not call her. This behavior just increased my reality of victimization. It also awakened past fears of the voices of my angered mother, stepmother and stepsisters. I could never win with them and subconsciously the reality ruled my life even now.

Facing her was a frightening experience because my soul was aching so badly from the losses that I couldn’t take any vibrations from her. Those concerned for my future and life often told me to be careful because she could give me a terrible reputation in the literary world. Their concerns added to my fears of facing her as I was told of possibly being blackballed. Understanding their concerns, I knew they did not know something deep down inside of me was telling me what to do. It was as though a voice in my mind revealed the predators had to be exposed to help others. This began to give me strength to get beyond the paralyzing fears and the possible outcome of facing my predator.

The thought that I was invisibly raped troubled my mind. I didn’t know how to face her as a person anymore. She had taken everything I worked and sacrificed my life for from me. What do you say to a person who knows they have raped you knowing there is nothing you can do about it? My next question was: How do I face her without communication?

Crazy question, I know, but it did enter my mind. There was a strong need growing in me to let her know what she had done to me. It was crazy because she knew exactly what she had done. Then, I wondered why I could not face her. I had no idea what I was afraid of, then I discovered I was afraid of falling apart. At the time, if she breathed on me, I would die. That is how fragile my emotions had become.

She had awakened the frightened child within.

It was like being a wounded animal injected with deadly venom. My pride was eating me alive as I backed down from facing my victimizer. What was it inside of her that gave her such a dark and evil permission to destroy lives? Surely there was something in her that was not in me. It was like our natures were as different as day and night. I call it the Abel and Cain natures. Cain had a killer instinct while Abel lived to please God.

In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. 1Jo 3:10

Society attacks early when the individual is helpless.--

B. F. Skinner

Victimizing Children

As a child, life was difficult to face. I had no clue how beautiful life could be. I was consumed by living in a fantasy world filled with angels instead of referring to the loveless, vial and at times violent attacks on the mind, body, soul and spirit of a child in a home consisting of victimizing; today, we use the term dysfunction. I began my journey through life with a foundation established with scars of long term victimization.

I didn’t know anything about love beyond the love introduced to me by my environment. This love did not inform me of being a child of God. It taught me silence is normal. You do not ask questions about your feelings. You just follow grownups.

Being a quiet child, I found it to be my normal identity. My mother told me even as a baby I was quiet. To figure out what would be a normal level of silence for my nature would be difficult to know because when I was molested, my soul was silenced as it quenched the reactions of unlawful touch. That was one of the prices of being molested early in life, you do not know who you really are or would have been if it had not happened.

Victimizing for me as a child consisted of the heart wrenching agony found in adulthood except the pain exists as more normal for me because there were no other feelings to compare to. The developmental stages of understanding life are altered to fit the vibration of victimizing making us susceptible to predators in the future. I didn’t know I carried the vibe. Other abused children and I face the world differently than children who have been loved and nurtured. For sure if you look in our eyes, our souls would reveal our private abyss of darkness. Our eyes do not hold the twinkle found in the eyes of a well nurtured child.

As I revisit the raping of my soul through my literary experience, I imagine many vital emotions and feelings are damaged and shut down mainly for sure my ability to discern danger of predators.

There are people in the world this will never happen to because they are awake to the reality of worldly games people play when they want something from them.

Even today, if you approached me, I will still be gentle and willing to consider the possibility God can show up in your presence. In the world that is considered naïve, stupid in some cases or just plain immature. Does this mean I am retard due to molesting? Or does it mean I will not let victimizing force me to grow tough skin?

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; Matthew 5:44

An Invasion of a Child’s Soul

As I am observing my granddaughter experience the splatter of the waves of water as it poured through the faucet from the bathtub, I marvel in how she is so captivated by the ripples and the freedom to enjoy it without any interruptions. While she was enjoying the wonderment of the wetness of water, I was able to recapture the possibilities of trusting life, my surroundings and light in the newness of each day. All of those things were in her bright beautiful eyes. She sat in the bathtub not concerned about her nakedness. Her body was free to be one with the water; its texture, waves, bubbles etc. There were no worries of any form of invasion, intrusion, unnatural infringements; she was free to blossom and unfold into a free creation of life.

While thinking about how powerful I had become by making the decision to give Jaelynn a bath. I could have made the water too hot or cold, or decided I was going to turn the water off and shorten her moment of pleasure as she splashed the water simply by immediately beginning to take the washcloth and soap and wash her body. Hearing one word from me could’ve interrupted her hypnosis of nature playing with her as the water trickled between her fingers. I could have even begun to wash her hair, something she was not ready to experience. But I chose to give her as much time within reason to enjoy her moment of exploration.

I imagined when I was a couple years older than Jaelynn’s, age five instead of almost two, my father was in the same position I was in; empowered to determine my fate in that moment. I probably felt the wonderful flow of the water and played with the bubbles not knowing I was in the room with a predator I loved. He had the power to enhance my life’s adventure or alter it forever as he sat watching me in the bathtub, wet, and covered with bubbles trusting life. Each moment of sensations be it water, bubbles, my wet flesh, were moments weaving my soul forever.

I am sure I was not concerned about any potential dangers. Daddy was there and he was taking care of me while Mommy was gone.

The washcloth probably felt normal as he began to wash my small frame. Each stroke of the washcloth saturated with soap touched my flesh getting me closer to getting out of the bath tub but then there was no wash cloth instead a wet boney finger flickering me between my legs. I am sure I wondered what was happening as my natural life’s rhythm no longer felt open and moving towards a light instead there is a rumbling inside of me I had no control over. I imagine looking to my dad to save me from the storm. But when I looked in his eyes lightning struck me blinding my eyes and I didn’t see Daddy as I remembered. Instead he was like an old aged tree with branches gripping me. The grip did not scratch me but it interrupted my life’s flow. No longer did I spread my wings instead I kept them closed. Watching Jaelynn, I was sure that’s what happened to me.

I remember one time I was talking to a mother who had entrusted a male babysitter with her three-year old son. She told me how full of life her son was prior to this particular day, she remembered her son being feisty and eager to challenge life. She said that day when she returned the spark in his eyes was gone. He was no longer running around and enjoying his space instead he was sitting upright in a chair with no interest to join others. That was the last day this mother had that baby sitter in her home but it was too late for her son, his natural life flow was already altered and it was never discussed at all.

I saw the hurt in this mother’s eyes as she shared her story. It had been more than thirty years later and this mother still felt the pain of losing her son’s innocence to a man she trusted with her child. She knew what happened to him but she had no idea what it had done to her.

That is how victimizing works. It is like a virus that is extremely contagious and takes root in our souls. It is that presence in our being that is so fragile and fragmented that we can never hold it in our hands. This is what a victimized child faces in the world. While we are trying to hold the internal trauma, the world victimizes us more. This is reality and it aches and this aching becomes a normalcy to be abused by others is a sure sign of normality. Imagine if you will a little girl in the bath tub and a finger flickers the private parts between her legs. She’s trembling while her predator watches with eyes unknown to her; yet she knows something is happening to her and the predator is sending strong and foreign vibrations through his touch and response to her convulsionary reactions of his indulgence.

Finally, he picks her up and embraces her gently in his arms and it seems that is the only thing that stops the volcanic eruption inside her virgin body. He strokes her and tells her he loves her but she is passed out by now. Though she has blacked out, her soul has received impulses that will mar her presence in life forever. She has now become imprisoned to the world of victimization.

What about the little boy who became silenced in his interactions towards life? Was he physically penetrated with a thrust that shattered his soul in one stroke? Unable to explain his reactions to the possible massaging of his private parts along with a possible thrust of his rectum, he too entered the world of victimization without realizing he has been raped.

Before the invasion, life was like flowing uninhibited. No stones or debris could stop the ever unfolding light within that connected the soul to all life. It was safe but as a child you do not realize that is what it is; you are just being and allowing others to be.

But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. Luk 23:28

The barb in the arrow of childhood suffering is this: its intense loneliness, its intense ignorance. ---


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