I have never regretted this life, I say to myself, as a mantra, over and over again. My knees send me a sharp pain directly to my head, as if punishing me for lying.
One more shooting pain and I’m convinced to stand up and sway to the chanting. They’ll think I’ve gone crazy, the other nuns, but that’s okay. They decided I was a bit wacko years ago.
As I sway and listen to the singing, I feel that deep, heavy, sensual swelling erupt in my breast.
I am filled with an inexpressible elation that lifts me off my feet and swirls colors above and around me. Deep red, purple, yellow and white co-mingle to lift me even higher. My eyes moisten and I look around me. The church has expanded to become a cathedral. The small stained glass windows are now larger than skyscrapers, etched into murals of pastoral scenes with beautiful peasants, men and women, farming the lush land. The huge pink hand of God beacons for them; they follow.
I collapse onto the hard stone floor and feel the sisters kneel around me, clucking in dismay. “She did it again,” they say. “Shhhhhh, let her sleep. She needs to sleep.”
The next time I open my eyes, I’m in my tiny gray room with a cross on one wall. A window on the other wall overlooks a small, well-tended garden. I stand up, shakily, and look out. The sun is now lowering, and the late afternoon colors bruise the landscape. I’ve been gone for ten hours.
Where was I? I wish I could remember. I kneel by my small bed and pray.
My head clears.
The hours pass.
I am, again, sure of my occupation.