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March 2, 1995
Annie and I are taking turns sleeping in the children's room with them. Sleep is difficult. Derrick and Jaco still haven't returned. No sign of Mr. Pritchard either.
My worry has turned into near panic. I want to go out and look for them, but Bobby screams if I leave his sight. Annie seems scared as well, but she puts on a brave face. I don't want to leave her alone with both children. They still talk about Ralphie whispering to them, but he can't get past the barrier now. We try to occupy their minds with games and word puzzles. But our fear must be showing.
At least they do still sleep.
After I put them to bed, Annie and I talked by the fireplace at the corridor entrance. "You've been quiet the past few days," she remarked. I told her I was worried. All three of them had been gone too long. "Can I tell you something, Sister?" She pulled a sheet of notebook paper out of her pocket. "I was going through Derrick's office. Mostly cleaning—and somewhat snooping I guess. Anyway, I found this." She held out the paper for me. It was a penciled sketch of a half-naked woman, very detailed, especially the face. Derrick was talented, I'd have to admit that. Perhaps too talented. "Anything you want to talk about?"
Out of control, I started to cry. Where was my resolve to serve and obey God now? "You know, I'm not one to judge, Sister. You're young, pretty, strong . . . Priest or not, the man's not blind to it."
I sobbed, unable to keep the fear and guilt at bay any longer. “I stopped him before it went too far. I did. I stopped him.” Where were my precious vows now? Admitting my sins to Annie, instead of praying for ALL of their safe returns. “I stopped him, but I didn’t want him to . . .”
Mark your calendars! Rapture and Genesis are regularly priced at 99 cents (with the exception of this week's sale). Purgatory will be released on May 20th!
And in May, join me as I close out the trilogy! XOXO