Mandy rolled over and away from the sunshine blaring in through the window. The pillow next to her was indented from last night’s mystery man. She pulled the covers up to her chin and inhaled his scent. It was a smoky mix of Tibby's Bar and his cheap cologne. She shut her eyes tight and tried to remember the night before.
When the room finally paced itself down to a slow spin, she sat up and looked around. On the floor next to her feet was her underwear and dress. Her shoes were by the front door and her stockings were between there and where she sat. She stood up and walked to the bathroom. She stared in the mirror. Her eyes were ringed with leftovers of her eyeliner and mascara. Her hair was flattened on one side and she was missing an earring.
“You look like a whore.” Mandy imagined what her mother would say if she were alive.
“Whatever. I’m having fun, isn’t that what life’s about?” Mandy answered herself in the mirror while stretching and smoothing the skin on her neck.
“Great, he gave me a hickey and I’ve got a meeting this morning.” With her hands gripping the sides of the pedestal sink, she peered even deeper into her reflection.
An hour later with a scarf strategically tied around her neck, Mandy headed to work. The four mile ride led her past the restaurant where she and the guy she brought home ate breakfast before going to her place. She pushed a CD in to play in hopes that the music would drown out her thoughts. Instead it just made her think even harder about last night. She really couldn’t remember the guy’s name.
Once she parked her car at work, she checked herself in the review mirror. This wasn’t the first time she had brought a guy to her house and couldn’t remember his name. It must have something to do with the all the shots she had at the bar.
“Why do you keep doing this over and over again?” Mandy asked herself.
She recalled a time about five years ago when she was in a youth group at her church. Everything back then seemed right in the world. She had good grades in school and was lead in the school play. Everything changed when her mom died her senior year. Watching her waste away to cancer was horrible. Mandy quit going to church.
“God, why would you do that to me? Why would you take my mom?” She asked God angrily.
As she crossed the parking lot to get to her office building, she noticed a bright white balloon floating down to the ground. She stopped as it landed in front her. She kicked it out of her way and it popped. A piece of paper with writing on it floated to her.
She picked it up and read it out loud, “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Romans 7:15 ESV.”
As she was stooped down reading it, she bowed her head and spoke to God again but without anger, “Dear Lord, help me.”
Her tears flowed hard onto the dry pavement below. Each one releasing all the pain she had held in for so long.
“Mandy, are you okay?” It was Joe, her co-worker from the next cubicle. He was standing over her with his hand on her shoulder.
With all the strength she could muster, she opened up to Joe about what had just happened. He hugged her and told her that he had wanted to talk to her for a while about God but was too afraid of what she would say; they weren’t really the closest of friends.
They walked into the office and agreed to have lunch later to talk. Mandy felt relieved that God still loved her after all she had done and vowed to never repeat them again.
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