Morgan woke up about 9am that Saturday morning. She had meeting Peyton on her mind. As she put on her well-worn jeans, her Mom had patched with red velvet to cover the holes, and around the cuffs, she thought how happy she was to have a boyfriend. He would not admit they were a couple to anyone else and she was not allowed to tell anyone. Having a guy who liked her was exciting, though the secrecy alarmed her at times.
She was thirteen, and he was a little older, he had talked her into intimacy months ago, maybe a little more forcefully than she hoped. There were misgivings, her upbringing did not hold with such, she was a Christian and knew she was very wrong. Considering what went on at home, well, it could not be as crazy as all that.
The sky was the cloudless cerulean of early Spring, and she walked down the street to the cul-de-sac. She kept checking that no one was paying attention to her. Walking past her brother’s house was a bit nerve-wracking. People might be sleeping late, she hoped so anyway.
Peyton’s parents and siblings were out of town. He and Morgan decided a few days earlier, it would be a perfect time for them to meet. She knocked once, and he ushered her through the door he opened.
“Let’s go to my parents’ room. They have a waterbed, and it will be nice,” he said.
She followed him, noting he had not kissed her as was usual. The room was large, and the bed was king size. She had never been on a waterbed before. It was unnerving being in his parents’ bedroom. It did not seem right and added to the feeling of unease. Never were their illicit meetings comfortable, her conscience screamed at her each time, but this was almost undoable.
He was rougher than usual and seemed in a great hurry. There were no tender kisses or caresses, only an act that could almost be called rape, but Morgan had taken off her own clothes. You could not accuse someone of something when you walked yourself into the situation willingly.
“Get your clothes on, now,” he said, immediately upon conclusion of the act.
She began putting on her clothes. Peyton crossed the room to the dresser, and she heard a drawer slide open. He turned around presenting a .38 Special in his hand, spun the cylinder, showing her all the chambers were empty. Then he put a bullet in the revolver. Morgan was still dressing, and now her fingers began to lose the ability to work correctly.
He said, “We’re going to play Russian Roulette, and you are the target.”
“You love me, this is a joke, right?” She said, still wrestling with the buttons on the shirt.
He came over, spun the cylinder, put the gun against her temple, and pulled the trigger in quick succession three or maybe, four times.
Morgan ran out of the room without being fully dressed.
Peyton yelled, “I never want to see you again, or I will kill you.”
The neighborhood was small, so it was impossible that they never see one another, but Morgan never went near him again. She could tell no one what happened because then she would have to admit the affair, so one more secret was added to a multitude of others.
She thought it over and over again. The only explanation for her survival after the chamber was spun and Peyton pulled the trigger was, wrong as she was to be there, Jesus saved her. It did not wholly curb the wildness, but it slowed her down, likely keeping her from more trouble than she may have entertained.
One day, years later, Peyton brought his heavily pregnant wife to meet her. She was never sure of the purpose of this introduction but supposed him to be gloating. A time later she learned he ruthlessly abused his wife. Eventually, he killed a woman and was executed for causing the death.
The Lord delivered Morgan from years of pain by letting her leave that killing field. Perhaps she did not learn all the lessons she might have from those events, but she came away convinced that life had a purpose and that living was a treasure. Humans might be disobedient and make unwise choices, but God was and is always in control.
© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan