Sin. An immoral act considered to be a transgression against divine law. No matter how many times Charlie reminded herself of what the word meant, it could not have been further from how she feels about Viola. To Charlie, Viola is a miracle, not a mistake. To Charlie, Viola is an angel, not a sinner. Charlie sees Viola like a precisely placed constellation of stars or beautifully painted piece of artwork. Charlie sees her like a mug of warm hot chocolate in the harsh winter, or a perfectly sculpted snowflake from the sky.
Although Charlie thinks she is wonderful, she hates Viola for making her feel this way. Charlie hates that she can’t stop her palms from sweating or her lips from quivering whenever Viola’s skirt hitches up her legs. She hates the way her heart flutters whenever Viola laughs, and the apples of her cheeks glow a rosy pink. She hates the strange tingling sensation whenever Viola bites on her metal lip ring. But most of all, Charlie hates her long bright purple hair that cascades down her back like the sweetest bed of flowers. It torments Charlie that Viola has done this to her.
Of course, Charlie never saw it coming. Charlie thought that she would fantasise over muscular, handsome boys, six packs and jaw lines. She never expected to feel so guilty for loving someone so beautiful.
All Charlie can do now is sit on the wooden bench, on the third row in an empty Catholic church, and watch the days and nights pass by her. She tilts her head slightly to the left and remains focused on the cross with the nailed hands on either side. She feels silence beat her.
“What did I ever do?” she whispers loudly, the only response being the isolated sound of her echo. “What did I ever do to deserve this?
“It’s not fair that I don’t have a choice, that I can’t choose a way for me to get out. It’s okay for her. We could be sitting two inches from each other but it might as well be two miles. She doesn’t have the slightest idea what damage she is doing to me…” She speaks a little louder. A single tear rolls down her cheek, but nothing more.
“It isn’t fair that I go to sleep every night and I have to stop myself from closing my eyes because she will be the only thing I see. I will see her freckles sprinkled on the bridge of her nose, her single dimple that sinks gently into her cheek, and her eyes… Gosh, her beautiful emerald eyes. I have chastised myself for feeling this way about her because you said it was wrong a long time ago,” she spits out with anger.
The blood boils in Charlie’s veins. Her head gets occupied with images of Viola and every aspect of her face. The more and more she tries to hate Viola, she only loves her even more. A deadly cycle.
“I’m a good girl. I do everything I am told to do. I wear my skirt at knee length. I come here every Sunday. I recite your prayer before I sleep at night. Every night. But for her, I just can’t do as I’m told. I can’t deny how much I want to kiss her. I want her so badly. But your book… my book… says that I’m wrong. So for that, I can’t even look at her the way I want to.”
She runs a hand through her hair, her breathing increases and her cheeks burn in the heat of her frustration. Her desperate sorrow and longing.
Edited by Eleanor Hardy