I, Natalie Taylor: Church Is Ruining My Life

May 31

Exhausted from all the drama of Eunice…I’m sleeping in.


June 1

Debated on going to church this morning, then kept on sleeping.

And slept some more.

And found a bag of crisps and ate those. Watched TV. I think I’m going to have to give up working at the church. It’s ruining my sleep and TV time. Besides, it’s making me not want to meet people.

It’s official. Church is ruining my life.


June 2
9:45 a.m.

“Miss me?” My heart leaps. Yes, Yes, Yes.

“No.” Of course I have to lie.

But I’m all smiles. Ugh. Weakling.


Yes! It’s Monday. I’ve already forgotten how much I hated having him in the office, now I look forward to Mondays.

“So….miss me?” I just want to know what he’s going to say.

“Always.” Not exactly what I thought I’d hear…but I’ll take it. No, I won’t. But…


He’s leaning against the door, looking amazing, and I’m trying to remember that he has someone else. Or so he said.

And there’s also Frankie. But Tav’s not available… There should be some kind of drugs you can take so that you’re not attracted to someone who is not available.

Attracted. I’m not attracted, even though he could be attractive.

Now I’m distracted. I have a whole week to get through.

“Are you okay?” Oh great, my face is registering all my emotions again. Stop thinking. Start working.

“Yes, just a crazy week ahead.” I’m acting like I know what’s ahead. I don’t have a clue.

“Well, I’ll be gone for most of the week. That should free up your time.”

Whaaat? He’s going to be gone?? Not sure who turned off all the lights in my office but it sure got dark in here…

“Fine.” Now I’m sounding rude. Hurt? That’s what happens when I get disappointed and don’t want anyone to know, but then they do know because I do something crazy like withdraw and get distant.


“I mean that will be fine as it will give me time.” So I smile and hope he does believe me.

“I’ll miss you.” He’s going to miss me? Trying not to smile. Won’t smile. Won’t smile…

I’m smiling.

“Yes. Yes. I’ll try not to die pining away for you.”

“I know…it’s going to be tough on you.” He’s teasing. And he’s gone. I’m watching him stride out the door, aviators on, blue jeans, white Tshirt…

I hate him. Final verdict.

Sort of.


June 5
12:45 p.m.

“I wasn’t expecting you to be here until much later…”

“I wanted to see if you…”

Faith came storming into the office, irate. So ticked off, she didn’t even notice Tav.

At this point in time, I could gladly strangle Faith. I so want to know what Tav was going to say.

“Where’s Kate?” I’m fascinated watching the golden waves bouncing as she’s in a quivering rage.

“In her office,” I wave her on. “Here, let me take you to her.” I’m dying to know why she’s in such a fit so I graciously show her the way.

“Kate! I will not have you subverting my authority!”

This is getting even more intriguing. What authority?

“What authority?” Yes. Kate and I are thinking the same thing.

“You purposely left my name off of the front sign board. And don’t lie and tell me differently,” irate voice continues.

“Yes, I did,” Kate’s admitting this…it’s not going to go well. I can feel it in my bones…like someone just walked over my grave. I get this feeling sometimes. And it always means trouble. “The problem was there wasn’t enough room to add your name…”

“The problem is that you resent me as the worship leader. I know you so well. But let me tell you, if I like, I could have you both fired.”

Both? How did I get involved in this? I didn’t really worry about being fired. Allan, our Personnel Chair, liked his church office staff and would fight for us.

“Is there a problem, Kate?” Tav is trying to help.

Tav’s joined us in Kate’s office.

“Yes, there is,” Faith’s now upped the drama ante since she has Tav Tav’s attention. “Oh Tav Tav, I’m just so hurt that Kate would remove my name from the sign board.”

The hurt card! The tears are flowing. I’m thinking of getting Pete’s mopping bucket for her.

“I’m sorry, Faith. But as I explained there wasn’t enough room this week to add everyone’s name on the board.”

“But this is important to me.” Torrential downpour now.

“Kate, feel free to delete my name,” Tav suggests.

“Oh Tav, thank you. You’re always so good to me.”


1:00 p.m.

Ten minutes of As My Stomach Turns starring Faith was all that I could handle.

I quietly move back to my office. I just don’t want to draw any attention to myself. I’ve heard enough. After seeing Faith’s performance at church, I can’t figure out why Tav is always so nice to her. She isn’t attractive. Or smart. Or even kind.

At least, I didn’t think so.

Kate stomps into my office on her way out to add Faith’s name to the board.

“Isn’t it great to be back?” I think it’s funny.

“Just wonderful! I’m going to kill Tav.” Kate is obviously not happy. “And if someone’s shaken those letters off again in spite of…”

“In spite of what?”

She gives me a mysterious little smile. “Wait and see.”

“Okay. Let me do the board for you.”

“Not a chance. I’m going to do it.”

Faith’s out of Kate’s office glowing. I should have gone with Kate.


“Pastor Tavish is such a sweetheart. He is so good to me.”

Double yuck. And she’s gone.

The sun shines again.

“So?” Kate’s back and putting away the unused metal letters in the box.

“So what?”

“Anyone touch the sign?”

Kate shakes her head. Eyes dancing.

“Did you lace the door with poison?”

She shakes her head again.

“Okay Missy. How did you fix it?”

“I just stuck a note on the back of the sign board.”

“What did it say?” I am more curious than ever.

“Simply this: God forgives you, I forgive you, but the police won’t.”

I burst out laughing.

“It gets better.” Kate almost can’t tell the story because she’s laughing so much too. “Mark called me and apologized. It appears he had three terrified sons come and confess that they were the ones who were shaking the sign board to knock the letters off.”

“Pastor’s kids! Typical. Trust me, I know this!”

I remembered a group of us youth finishing up the bread and grape juice in the church’s refrigerator.

“It’s in the Bible,” Marky convinced us. “David did it.”

“Jesus even told the story.” That was Johnny adding his seal of approval. Whatever Johnny said, we did.

We’d been studying Mark 2 in Sunday school. Gwen wasn’t too sure. I was too hungry and decided it made sense. What was good for David, was good enough for me.

The Deacons were horrified on Sunday morning. Our mum rushed out and bought more juice and bread. Dad and she thought it was hilarious and repeated the story to all their friends. Great parents!


June 8
12:30 a.m.

“I miss you.” Text from Frankie.


“Yes. Going to see you very soon. Will call you too.”

Thanks Frankie, my life is going to be so complete now.

Why am I so mad at Frankie? Oh yes, because he just breezes in and out of my life whenever he chooses. I refuse to answer. I need my sleep.

Natalie Taylor
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