I stopped mid step the moment I heard my name. They didn't know I was just down the hall and their voices seemed to waft through the air, heavy in their own secret conversation.
"I suppose we won't be seeing your daughter in church then?" I recognized the older stern tone in her voice realizing it was the lady who lived down the street. Was she grilling my mother about my church attendance? I frowned. The truth was, I hadn't been to a church since I was a child. I squared my shoulders ready to walk in and defend myself when I was taken back again by my mothers own sweet melodic voice.
Addressing the lady politely, she said, "Crystal, she is no ordinary girl. She's been raised all over the world and she has very different views than what is taught in church. I don't worry, her connection to God may be unique, but it is there nonetheless."
Immediate tears stung my eyes and I had to quickly move away from my position in the hall as I heard them approaching the door. I suddenly didn't want to be seen. In a few swift strides, I found myself in a bathroom with my hands over my mouth. I had never heard my mother speak of me this way. I had always assumed I was a disappointment to her because try as I might, I never fit in with religion. Regardless of how she truly may have felt about me, in that moment she had defended my freedom and no matter what twists and turns our relationship has taken, her voice is forever lovingly burned into my memory, "She is no ordinary girl."
No mama, I'm not. Thank Goddess!