Jillian and Hezekiah, always quick with a pep rally.

“All things are new, Treva.”

“With God in your life, all things are possible.”

“Treva, God is living in you. You have everything you need.”

And on and on. I know she means well but not even Jillian, an eyewitness growing up, truly understands what I went through. She couldn’t. There was no bridge between what Jillian saw our mother say and do and what I felt at the core. That’s where the damage was, at the core. That’s where the Treva-that-should-have-been was upended. No pep rally will convince me that everything is okay. See Mother in a different light?  Jillian is crazy to even suggest this could be a good thing. I am not going.

I shift my gaze from the water to Jillian to tell her, but a realization flips my stomach. Jillian told Mother that I don’t have a job. I know she did. And Mother thinks I’ve failed, that I’m miserable, and wants to see for herself and gloat. If I don’t go, she will say it was worse than she thought, that I couldn’t bear to show my face. I rock my leg as a hint of spunk returns. No way will I give her the satisfaction.

“We’ll be there,” I say in monotone.

Jillian flings an arm around me and squeezes. “Really?”


She stands and outstretches her hand to pull me up. “I’m glad, Treva. I think you made the right decision. Now let me see those girls and this beautiful house you put together.”

My body rises warily, not trusting what my mind has come up with.

Excerpted from Heavenly Places.  © 2008 by Kimberly Cash Tate.  Published by Walk Worthy Press.  Used with permission.