Great Openings Contest Nonfiction Winner: Prayed Upon by Amy Nordhues

Ch 1 The Office Visit

It had been seven long years since I’d found myself back in that office. The blinds were drawn, as they had been before, creating a cocoon-like feel. I couldn’t decide if it scared me or comforted me, and I decided a little of both. Noticing the big leather sofa along the back wall was gone, I discovered what must be my seat, an oversized walnut leather chair and ottoman, and sat down.

The pencil sketch, I thought, doing a quick scan of the walls. Relieved I didn’t find it, I recalled my sessions almost a decade ago when I would stare at it from my spot on the sofa and wonder what that girl’s story was, if she found healing here and where she was now. Was I as
sick as that poor girl had looked in her drawing seven years ago? Had I made a mistake in returning? Surely I wasn’t that bad off, or maybe I was in denial? The girl in the sketch had looked so sad and so broken, haunted almost. But by what? I had wondered.

I still remember the doctor’s words the day he caught me studying it.

“She is very damaged. In fact, she has over 100 different personalities.”

“Really?”

“Yes, she had horrible things done to her, things too awful to repeat, things involving ritual abuse, and well, things I won’t burden you with,” he said with a smile. Glancing over at the drawing, he seemed to take a second to honor her. “Anyway, where were we?”

Shuddering at the memory, I welcomed the secretary’s sweet drawl wafting through the doorway. “You know he is completely booked up right now,” she said, causing me a wave of guilt. I had just waltzed in here without so much as a phone call. A friend of mine had had an


Note from Inspire Christian Writers: This piece has been reformatted for the Web.

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