Her foot shakes as her fingers grip the leather handle of her Bible case. The man’s booming voice rattles her to the core – and for all of the wrong reasons. Would this guest preacher standing at the front of the church stop speaking pure psychobabble?
“Men are logical, women are emotional. It’s why God has ordained marriage to have the husband as the leader, the pilot. Wives are the co-pilots. They are born to follow.”
Her cheeks flame while a handful of the congregation murmur a solemn, “Amen.”
She feels her husband’s steely blue gaze on her, but she refuses to look at him.
“Men were born to lead. It is why they have that “go-get-’em” attitude about life!” the preacher nearly shouts.
She cannot bear to hear anymore of it. She stands to leave, forgetting her Bible and its purple case on the empty seat next to her. Swallowing hard, she ignores the prying glares and stares of the others as her heel-clad feet help her escape to the solitude of the restroom. She takes a deep breath and stares at her posh reflection in the mirror.
“What am I doing here? This is not the right place for me.”
She pushes through the door to exit the church, but nearly runs over her husband.
“Why are you leaving?”
His angry scowl cannot be avoided this time. Her heart races and she wonders for a moment if he will try to drag her back into the sanctuary. He’s the man she chose to marry three years ago, but as they stand studying one another in a place she had grown to despise, she wonders if they ever really knew one another. Did she even know herself?
“I cannot stand this message anymore… please, I need to get some fresh air.”
“The spirit of rebellion is all over you!” he says with a raised voice.
“It’s called reason, you know,” she fires back.
His eyes widen even more. “Get back in there and sit with your parents.”
She walks briskly to the door. He follows her, but she manages to step outside before he reaches for her arm. She knew that he would not leave his precious duty as the Pastor’s “armour bearer” – a fancy word for a church’s lead usher.
“By the way,” she says coolly, “I am on birth control, because as I’ve told you at least sixty times now, I don’t want kids.”
With that, he storms out of the church to follow her.
“No! You have to stop taking those pills! It’s abortion! I cannot have a closet abortionist in my house!”
“Well, good. Because I’m leaving you.”
Silence follows her words. She turns her back on him. He lets her go. It is the last time she will see him as his wife.
As she drives out of the parking lot, she feels oppression and guilt physically lift from her shoulders. She is free. Gone from a life that made her into a servant, a “co-pilot”.
“Here in my mind
You know you might find
Something that you
You thought you once knew
But now it’s all gone
And you know it’s no fun
Yeah I know it’s no fun
Oh I know it’s no fun”
– Oasis, Whatever