Short story from Michael Robinson


Michael Robinson (right)and fellow contributor Joan Beebe



She had left the church at age sixteen never wanting to return. Now twenty-six years later she found herself sitting in the pew quietly weeping. She thought, would there be absolution for the kind of life she had had? It all was a blur, the drugs and prostitution. It started the night that her father wanted to have sex with her when she was sixteen.

He came into her tiny room with the shades closed, with the smell of jasmine in the air. She was a medium sized girl. He body had developed nicely, and her father watched her attentively while she lay in bed with a sheer night gown surrounding her delicate body. He stood in the shadows of the room and watched her for a long time. Finally he got the courage to sit next to her.

She awoke, alarmed to find her father watching her with probing eyes. He began to touch her shoulders and her body froze. He continued to move his hand down her breast. His hand started to shiver.  She was unable to mutter a sound other than a weak whimper as he continued to probe her tender body. He was physically demanding in his sexual advances with her. There was no sensitivity as he all but forced himself onto her.

She found herself staring at the ceiling while he pleasured himself with her. She was numb that night that her father forced himself onto her. Now for ten years there had been a chain of unspeakable experiences with pimps, Johns, and being hooked on cocaine. One day it quietly came to her that if she could make it back to the church, she could regain her life before that night with her father.

She had always believed in god since she could remember and she did not blame him for the many years she was mental, physically, emotionally scarred by life. She stumbled into the church with her tattered soul, her clothing revealing her now fully developed body, damaged from years of abuse.

A nun was kneeling at the altar for her morning devotions when she noticed the young woman. The young woman’s physical appearance brought tears to the nun’s eyes. The nun knew her story and had lived the story herself. Both women kneeled at the altar and simultaneously began to weep. It was at this moment that life began for them both. A nun and a prostitute had found peace and absolution for sins that had been committed against them. It was their faith that had allowed them to discover the true meaning of absolution.