Crisis of Faith

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(Evelyn)

“Have you heard about that new haunted house?” Faith asked.

I rolled my eyes, “you’ll have to be more specific than that. There’s a bunch of new ones, every year.”

“Not like this one. It’s X-rated!” Faith exclaimed loudly.

“Not so loud!” I admonished as several of the other women in our church knitting group glared at us.

Faith blushed furiously.

I laughed, “what’s supposed to be scary about naked people?” I asked quietly.

Faith frowned and whispered, “I think they still wear some kind of costumes, and they do the normal scary things…”

I shrugged, “Sounds normal then I guess.”

“It’s going to be in the warehouse right down the block from the church! Daddy’s going to stop it though, he told me.”

I eyed Faith. She really was the perfect Catholic. She was also the only grown woman I knew who still called her father ‘Daddy’.

“How about a bet?” I asked, slyly.

“Gambling is a sin,” hissed Faith primly.

“Well, I don’t think your father is going to be able to shut down a haunted house.”

“He will! Daddy can do anything!”

“If that’s true, then it’s not gambling, it’s a sure thing.”

Faith pursed her lips.

“Come on, if you don’t take the bet, it’s like saying that you don’t believe your father can do it. I mean, that’s the only way it’s gambling, right? If you aren’t sure?”

I just loved pushing her buttons; she was so cute when she was angry. Her jet-black eyes would get all squinty and her little pert nose would crinkle up and her ears would twitch behind the wisps of black hair that always escaped her tight bun. And if she was irritated enough, she would let go of some of her tightly held principles and be just a little wild.

“I suppose that’s true,” Faith said finally, just a hint of light reflected from her squinted eyes. “And when I win, I want you to join the choir.” She nodded firmly.

I let out a breath. Faith had been trying to get me to sing with the choir for months, ever since she overheard me sing Adele’s ‘Rolling in the Deep.’ The problem was I had terrible stage fright.

“You know I can’t do that.” I said.

Faith smiled, “then I guess there’s no bet.”

“Come on, ask for something else?”

“No way, it’s the choir or nothing.”

“Fine.” I said.

“Really?” Faith looked shocked and excited.

“Really. But if I win, you have to go the haunted house with me.”

Faith gasped and instinctively shook her head. “Come on, ask for something else?”

“It’s the haunted house or nothing,” I told her resolutely.

Faith looked at the hat she was knitting critically as she mulled over my offer. I looked down at the scarf I was working on. It was the ugliest piece of crap that had ever been knitted. Faith’s hat, on the other hand, was impeccable with perfect small stitches and a colorful pattern too. She knitted tons of hats for cancer patients and was pretty great at it. She really was too perfect. It was my job to liven up her life with silly bets and pornographic haunted houses.

“Alright,” Faith said finally, “it’s a bet.”

She beamed at me, and my clit tingled the way it always did when Faith was happy with me. That was something I tried not to think about. Faith would never explore that feeling with me, even if she felt the same. But that tingle was the reason I went to her church and joined her knitting group. Unrequited love was a bitch, but it was all I had.

At night when I was dreaming, I liked to imagine that someday, somehow, I’d find a way to open her up to the idea that being gay wasn’t sinful. But in the daylight, I knew that would never happen. And even then, so what? She’d never indicated that she liked me as anything more than a friend, no matter how much I tingled when she smiled.

Still, my little eternal flame of hope flickered optimistically as I imagined taking Faith to an X-rated haunted house. That was exactly the kind of thing a person needed to really relax some inhibitions.

(Faith)

The idea of a sex-themed haunted house made me more excited than I wanted to admit. It embarrassed me that I wanted Evelyn to win our bet. I wanted to go see the debauchery in person, and I wanted a way to do it where I didn’t have to admit that I wanted to go.

Evelyn always found a way to give me an excuse to do the things I knew were wrong. Like how she’d argued that I had to take her bet or else I wasn’t properly honoring Daddy. She was so clever like that. I wondered if she knew how much I liked that about her.

But the wonderful thing about this bet was that if I won, she would sing. The first time I had heard Evelyn sing just a few months ago, I nearly wept at the beauty of her voice. And when I saw her, the passion in her face as she sang of love… Shamefully, I had imagined it was me she sang to.

I could never decide, since then, if it was a good thing or a bad thing that she never sang when she knew someone was listening. kocaeli escort On the good side, it made it easier to pretend she was just a friend. The way her singing affected me, I am not sure I could hide my adoration. On the bad side, I didn’t get to hear her sing unless it was by accident. I spent more time than she knew hiding out of her sight, listening to her glorious voice.

Was it a good idea to push her into joining the choir? Was I playing with fire?

“Alright ladies, that’s enough knitting for today. See you next week!”

Evelyn and I packed up our projects. I glanced at Evelyn’s scarf and couldn’t quite stifle a laugh. She frowned at me.

Even unhappy, she was beautiful with her curly brown hair that spread out in uncontrolled frizz from her round face. Her light brown eyes always seemed to hold a gleam of amusement at the world and her full lips were far more likely to be quirked up in a wry grin, than pursed down as they were now.

“What? Don’t you like my work?”

“It’s beautiful, Evelyn, really.” I said.

“Well, I’m glad you think so, because when it’s done, I’m giving it to you! And I expect you to wear it.”

My heart fluttered wildly as I imagined wearing her scarf that she’d made with her own hands. It would be like her hands caressing me, through her work. With an effort, I pushed away that improper thought.

“Of course!” I agreed, hoping that none of my sinful thoughts showed in my face.

What would Evelyn think, if she knew I was so degraded. She wouldn’t be my friend anymore, that was for sure. And if there was anything I needed in this world, it was Evelyn, if only as a friend.

When I got back to my apartment, I made a phone call to the only other person who mattered to me.

“Daddy? How did your meeting with the town council go today?”

“Perfectly well, of course.” Daddy answered in his smooth deep voice. “They’ll be setting up their house of sin in Mercerville, instead.” Daddy continued smugly.

Disappointment flooded me. Then excitement. And finally, pride.

Of course, Daddy got his way, he always did. And now I’d get to hear Evelyn sing, every week! But I wouldn’t be able to see the terrible X-rated haunted house with Evelyn. That was probably for the best, I reminded myself. What if I got excited and did something regrettable? No, it was better this way.

(Evelyn)

Should I give up?

Or should I just keep chasin’ pavements

Even if it leads nowhere?

The Adele song burst out of my phone’s tiny speaker, startling me from my daydream. I couldn’t help but grin as I picked up the phone. Faith would never know I chose a song about unrequited love for her ringtone. Even if she heard the chorus, she’d just think I liked Adele. Sometimes it amazed me how naïve she was. She worked hard at maintaining that naivete though.

Shaking my head I answered the phone, “Hey, Faith.”

“Evelyn! Are you busy?”

“Nope,” I said, I was just lying in bed, as a matter of fact.

“Then get down to the church for choir practice!”

My heart sank.

“I lost the bet?” I asked.

“No haunted house in St. Johns!”

I wanted to argue, to weasel my way out of the deal. But, if there was one thing I believed in, it was keeping my word. Especially to Faith.

“Be there in fifteen.” I said and hung up.

I took two minutes to feel sorry for myself, then I slipped on jeans and a sweater and walked to the church that sat smack dab in the middle of the town center. I could even see the spires from my bedroom window, it towered over everything.

The trees that lined the street were still full and green this early in Fall. Vibrant leaves fluttered intermittently in the gentle wind. I shivered and stuck my hands in my pockets to keep them a little warm on this unseasonably cool day. I breathed in the autumn air deeply, trying to calm my anxiety.

I walked slowly, enjoying the cool breeze as I worked to settle my nerves for what I was about to do. If I had a hierarchy of things I didn’t want to do, telling Faith how I felt was at the top. The very next item after that was singing in front of people. And, the third thing was, there was no third thing.

Only two things I didn’t want to do, and one of them I was going to do today. And just to please a woman who I could never tell how I felt about her. I was an idiot.

I stood at the church door, my hand gripping the handle, and stared at it for five full minutes before Faith opened it for me.

“Evelyn, there you are!” She bounced as she greeted me, her boobs jiggling softly under her fuzzy sweater.

“Hi.” I said nervously, jerking my eyes up to her smiling face.

Like pulling my foot out of quicksand, I painfully lifted it up and moved it in through the threshold of the door. There, half of me was in the church. It was just as difficult to get my other leg in. Fully inside the church, I sighed.

Faith took hold of my arm and tugged me. My whole body came alive at her touch. The next thing kocaeli escort bayan I knew, I was on the stage, being enthusiastically introduced to the choir members.

(Faith)

I nearly let Evelyn off the hook when I saw her standing, frozen faced and rigid, outside the church door. But she was just such a good singer! A voice like that should be shared.

Telling myself it wasn’t just for me, I pulled open the door and dragged Evelyn to the choir.

I had warned them that she had stage fright, so the director had put Evelyn in the back of the group and hadn’t made her sing alone at all as he usually did to judge each of our range and best placement. I stood next to her. She was quiet for twenty minutes, but she didn’t bolt. When she finally started to sing, it was barely a whisper.

By the end of the hour-long practice session, I could just hear her when I stood right next to her. At this rate, I figured it would only take a month before I could actually hear her, and maybe two months after that before she was loud enough to be heard by the audience. Maybe in a year she’d even do a solo!

It would be worth the wait.

“That was horrible,” Evelyn said as we walked out of the church.

“You were great!” I encouraged her.

“I was not, and you know it.”

“You showed up, you didn’t run, and you didn’t faint,” I pointed out. “It was a great first day!”

“I… You are such a good friend.” Evelyn said.

The comment was unexpectedly painful. Was I a good friend? Didn’t Evelyn deserve a friend who didn’t secretly lust for more?

Not for the first time, guilt washed through me, deep and powerful. Here was something to add to my confession tomorrow. I made note of it as I mentally recited a quick prayer asking forgiveness for my impure thoughts.

Why couldn’t I like one of the nice boys that Daddy kept introducing me to? Why did none of them make my heart feel full like Evelyn did? Why had God decided to burden me with this sinful desire?

And could I really be a good friend if I wanted more? Pain burned in my chest. As always, I pushed the thoughts away, not wanting to think about things that were impossible.

“What are you going to dress up as for Halloween?” I asked, changing the subject.

“I’m going to be a sexy nun. That’s appropriate, right?”

I choked on a laugh at the unexpected answer. As always, Evelyn’s quirky humor chased my dark thoughts and mood away.

“No really, I want to know. Maybe we can match our outfits?” I insisted.

“Maybe I’ll go as a demon, and you can be an angel?” Evelyn suggested, “or how about I’m Eve and you’re an apple? Or I’ll be Maleficent and you can be Briar Rose, or…”

“Hey, why are you the evil one in all these pairs?” I interrupted.

“I think what you mean is why are you the good one. And that’s because you are the good one.” Evelyn winked at me.

“I’m not always good,” I protested weakly.

“Name one time you broke the rules.” Evelyn dared me.

“I…” I considered it. “I…”

I wanted to break the rules. But no, I never actually did any of the things I imagined doing.

“You can’t! Admit it, you’re the good one.”

“Then all the more reason for me to dress evil for Halloween, right? Isn’t that what it’s all about, pretending to be something different?” I argued, wanting Evelyn to be the one to suggest a naughty outfit for me.

“Alright, then what do you want to be?” Evelyn asked me.

Disappointed that the ruse hadn’t worked, I thought about it. Suddenly the perfect idea popped into my head. A strong woman who, while she lost her way, turned out to be a heroine in the end. And she was hot. No one could fault me for dressing as a superhero, right?

“I could be Harley Quinn?” I suggested.

Evelyn snorted, “and I’ll be Poison Ivy.”

I considered it. I wasn’t sure why all of Evelyn’s suggestions were villainous. Before I could dwell on that thought, the image of Evelyn wrapped in vines and not much else popped into my head.

“Oh, you’d make a great Poison Ivy,” I said, trying to keep my tone even and light.

(Evelyn)

Clearly Faith had no idea that Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn became lovers. I smiled to myself. I would enjoy knowing the hidden meaning in our costumes.

“Deal, I’ll be Poison Ivy, and you’ll be Harley Quinn.”

Faith looked thoughtful for a moment; her eyes unfocused as she saw something in her mind. I knew just what she was doing, planning out everything she’d need to make her outfit. She wouldn’t just buy a costume, like a rational person who wanted to dress up as a popular character. No, Faith always made her own.

“We can go shopping at the thrift store for supplies next weekend,” she finally said, coming out of her vision.

“Oh no,” I said. “I’m going to buy an outfit. You’ve seen my crafting skills.” I reminded her.

“Oh,” Faith sounded disappointed.

I didn’t know why she would be. She’d seen me wear store-bought kocaeli escort costumes since forever. Why should anything be different this year?

“I could make your costume, if you want?” Faith offered.

Her voice was quiet and nervous, the way she sounded whenever she was afraid she was doing something wrong. But what could be wrong about making a costume for me? Sometimes I wish I could look inside her head; I was sure it was full of all sorts of interesting secrets she thought were too weird to admit to.

I’d managed to tease a few of those secrets out of her, over the years. But I knew there was probably a motherload in there.

“If that’s what you want to spend your free time on, I’d love to wear anything you make.” I said.

Faith sighed with relief, “Great! Then after church on Sunday we’ll go shopping.”

I stifled a groan as I remembered that I would be standing with the choir during church. Going to services was a lot more fun when I got to hide in a pew in the back and just watch Faith sing. I also got to avoid the entire communion part of the service that way.

Faith knew I wasn’t Catholic, and so did Father John, of course. He even showed me how to put my hand over my heart to pass on taking the wine and wafer and just get the blessing when I went through with the communion line. It still made me feel uncomfortable though.

Father John was one of the more progressive Catholic priests, as far as I could tell. He didn’t mind that an agnostic came to his service every week and was now joining his choir. He didn’t pressure me to convert or anything, and neither did Faith, for which I was grateful. Both of them seemed to be happy enough just seeing me there, at the church services and in the groups where I joined Faith.

“I’m scared,” I admitted to Faith, hating the way my voice broke on the word.

Anyone else, and I’d never admit it. But with Faith? There was only one secret I kept from her.

Faith stopped on the sidewalk and took my hand in hers. The heat of her touch sent shock waves up my arm and a quiver in my pussy. I took a deep breath to steady myself. It was just a hand! It meant nothing.

“I know, Evelyn. I’m so proud of you though! I’ll stand right next to you in the back. I can even hold your hand if it helps.”

“Yes, it helps.”

I wasn’t sure if holding Faith’s hand would help me feel less nervous. But I did know it would certainly distract me really well. How could I worry about singing when I would be worried about sweaty palms instead? How could anxiety take me, when the most beautiful woman in the world was holding my hand?

It may not have been X-rated, but a held hand was enough for me.

(Faith)

Long after I stopped holding Evelyn’s hand, I could still feel the heat of her. I couldn’t understand it, what was happening to me?

I’d held hands with Evelyn before. We’d known each other since we were little, we used to have tea parties and play dress up. When had my feelings changed? When was the last time I’d touched her? I tried to remember.

I couldn’t recall. Obviously, it hadn’t made me feel this, this unease. We’d grown into womanhood together and had even been roommates for a bit in college. If I tried to pinpoint when things had changed, it all came down to last Halloween.

Evelyn had shown up to help pass out candy at the church dressed as a pirate. She’d bought the costume online, and it was clearly meant to be sexy. Evelyn had tried to fix it a bit, safety pinning the blouse closed where it lacked buttons and wearing black tights under the strategically ripped pants. But halfway through the night the safety pins had popped, and Evelyn’s cleavage had burst into view.

I’d never seen her breasts like that. They were large and perfectly rounded. To my embarrassment, I’d stared. When I’d looked up into Evelyn’s face, an apology on the tip of my lips, she’d had the oddest expression on her face. For some reason, it had set fire to my lady parts like nothing had ever done before.

I remembered that my cheeks had warmed, and we stared at each other for what seemed like forever but was probably only twenty seconds. Then, Evelyn had closed her eyes and took a deep breath. When she opened them, she laughed and said that I looked like I’d never seen boobs before. And just like that, the spell had been broken. I’d laughed and kept my eyes off her the rest of the night.

But, after that, I couldn’t ever seem to get back to the way I saw Evelyn before. As my friend, my best friend. It had gotten even worse when I’d heard her singing that Adele song. And now, now I couldn’t even hold my friend’s hand without thinking lustful thoughts.

This couldn’t go on.

That Saturday, I went to the evening service at church. I needed to get my secrets off my chest before I held Evelyn’s hand during the Sunday morning service. I needed to confess.

After the service, I waited until the crowd filtered out, then slipped into the confessional. After a little wait I heard Father John take his place, the sound of his steps and his breath were as familiar to me as my own.

“Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It has been a week since my last confession. These are my sins,” I spoke the traditional words, crossing myself reflexively.

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