Goddess Ch. 04

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When the alarm clock went off on Monday and I tried to move fast out of bed my overworked muscles rebelled, screaming in agony. That morning I had a breakfast of aspirin on toast with a coffee chaser. It got better as I started moving, but climbing the two steps to get into the bus on the way to work became a new experience in pain.

I had to cover a press conference that morning and when I arrived back to the office I had a message to call Father Patrick. After being confronted with my daughter’s feelings I could not contemplate another session of gilt generation so, I didn’t return the call. It was an uneventful day, like if life was giving me a bit of a breathing space to recover from the avalanche of sensations and all the other experiences from the weekend. Not even the news were demanding. There were neither political scandals, like a Minister confessing to making love to his wife on top of the ministerial desk, nor more road deaths than were to be statistically expected. There were no politicians actually carrying their promises through, and Christopher Skase continued to be put forward as an example of good businessman because of his ability to make more money out of nothing. In a nutshell, nothing really happened outside the ordinary.

Relieved by the reassuring dullness of a boring day I bought a cooked chicken and some tomatoes on my way home, looking forward to a relaxed dinner and a well earned rest with a good book in my hands an some good music in the background. I was climbing the stairs to my flat looking carefully at where I was putting my feet, as the light in the first landing was not working. When I arrived to my floor and lifted my eyes, the first thing that I saw was Father Patrick standing in front of my door, waiting.

‘Good evening Franco. I left messages both in your office and in your answering machine, but you never returned them’. I felt both embarrassed and annoyed by his presence. ‘There are many things happening at the moment Father and I have not had the time to call’. In his most admonitory tone he said ‘It is at times like this that…’ He never got to finish his phrase. To my surprise the door of my flat opened and Camille came out, greeting me with a kiss and the words ‘Franco, are you going to stand here? You should be hospitable and invite Father Patrick in’. She led the way and we followed. She walked with a sensuality of movement that not even a hermit would have been able to ignore. She had set the table for dinner, with three places. A bottle of red wine was breathing, ready to be poured. She took the chicken from my hands and said ‘I have made some potato salad. Please sit down while I serve the chicken.’ The domesticity of the scene was overwhelming. No one would have believed that we did not live together, least of all father Patrick who appeared to have lost his ability to talk.

Camille came to the table with the chicken cut in a tray, surrounded by sliced tomatoes and a bowl with the potato salad. She sat down and said ‘Franco, you should have served the wine! Father Patrick seems to need a drink right now’. I looked at him and thought that she was right. Father Patrick was very pale, his eyes following every movement that Camille made. I poured the wine at the same time as Camille served the plates. Father Patrick gulped down half his glass in a single swing, looked at the food and started to say Grace. ‘I think that you can spare us the liturgy, don’t you?’ Camille did not sound aggressive, just matter of fact and, to my surprise Father Patrick complied.

Camille was the only person in that room that was acting in a totally self assured manner. She chatted over trivial matters during the dinner but when we finished eating she said ‘I’m sorry that we don’t have a dessert, but as a replacement I will give you the facts that made me grow up so far away from any religion’. Father Patrick stood up and said ‘I think I will be going now’. Camille’s answer to his attempt at making good his escape came in her most commanding tone ‘Sit down’. She had eyes full of fire and the pause between ‘sit’ and ‘down’ was a very effective messenger of her determination. Father Patrick sat back as if a giant invisible hand had pushed him back onto his chair and Camille began her story.

‘When I was twelve years old my mother was an unremitting prude, something that she continues to be today. It soon became clear to me that there was only one reason for her prudishness: Religion. Born from staunch Irish catholic parents she is herself a good catholic that still today abides by the Pope’s warped ideology. Anything to do with sex outside the marriage and for the purpose of procreation remains abhorrent to her. In fact, I am totally convinced that she only had sex twice, the first time she fell pregnant with my brother, the second time with me.’

‘My father never went to church, but he could do nothing to prevent my mother from taking my brother and myself along every Sunday. Unluckily for him my brother followed her steps and is today a member of Opus Dei. He is also the proud father of four totally dysfunctional children that will need a lot of counselling Betturkey if they are to have any chance to survive in one piece.’

I’m looking at Father Patrick sitting in his chair. He has developed an instant interest in the rather worn out carpet, his eyes refusing to look at Camille. I wonder if he feels as aroused by her presence as I do. What would he do if Camille were to offer to him the pleasures of the flesh rather than its mortification?

‘When my father and my mother separated, my mother continued to insist that I had to attend mass at least every Sunday. She used to argue with my father that she had to accept me going to a state school rather than the catholic one because of lack of money, but she steadfastly refused to compromise on Sunday church going. At one point things got so bad that my father had a solicitor writing her a letter saying that if she refused him access he would initiate legal proceedings to gain full custody. After that, in the interest of avoiding a court battle it was finally agreed that I would be with my father from Friday afternoons to Monday mornings. My mother knew that my father would not expect me to go to church, as he was not prepared to go himself. So, to satisfy her rather morbid piety I had to go to mass at least one day of the week before school, at the very ungodly hour of seven o’clock in the morning.’

‘Even fifteen years ago, at such an early time there were definitely more shepherds than flock. Most of the time it was just me, sitting towards the back, the priest and two altar boys, one who at the time was about my age, the other about three or four years older. The older boy was called Brendan, the son of a very catholic family of Irish stock well known to my mother through the church’s Catholic Weekly that seem to be all that the she read. I remember feeling very miffed because she would never have a word of encouragement for me but was always putting them up as examples of what everyone should be like: Pious, pure and God fearing.’

‘At eighteen religion had as little appeal to me as it has now, with its litany of prohibitions, its demands of at the best self-sacrifice, at the worst self-punishment, or the constant push for the denial of one’s own needs and the like. When I started having sex with my father my dislike for religion grew even further as I discovered every day how much I enjoyed sex. Even at that tender age I thought that nothing that felt so good could be bad. Today I would add for the benefit of those who are still believers that neither God nor mortal would create enjoyment as deep as sex and then forbid people to experience it unless it was done in the context of trying to outdo the Marquis de Sade.’

‘I think that it would have been obvious to anyone who cared to pay a minimum of attention to me that if I was going to church was not because of a belief but only to maintain a resemblance of peace with my mother. It was not surprising then that a couple of days after I had a very erotic medical examination and indeed, weekend, while going through the empty motions in an equally empty church I decided that I would have some fun by taunting the priest with a full confession. I was young then but determined to make him loose his control.’

‘The priest was Father Michael, about my own father’s age and not at all bad looking. ‘Forgive me father because I have sinned’ I started and after the standard trivial questions and answers I began telling him how two weeks before I had lost my virginity to my father. I didn’t omit any detail; in fact I even tried to make it sexier! I dwelled for a long time in the description of my feelings, how they would like radiate from one spot to encompass my entire body. I don’t think that he realised it, but rather than facing the confessional I was facing sideways, keeping my ear as close as possible to the grill. As my story evolved I could hear his breathing getting heavier, and heavier and heavier. When I got to the part of my father and me returning from the doctor’s surgery for the second time and kissing each other passionately he had had enough. ‘Stop! Stop immediately!’ he half cried, half yelled. The door of the confessional flung open and a disheveled priest stumbled out.’

He grabbed my left wrist and bodily lifted me from the kneeler, dragging me at full speed into the sacristy. I got really worried. I thought that I had pushed him far beyond his breaking point, into what I would now describe as a full psychotic episode. I pleaded with him to let me go but it was to no avail.’

‘He pushed me in, locked the door and faced me. Looking like a madman he said ‘you must be and you shall be punished. Strip naked now!’ I was fairly scared and I would have been terrified if I had not seen the two altar boys standing in one of the corners, looking with a great deal of interest and remarkably little surprise. I thought that it would be unlikely that he would murder me in front of witnesses, so I decided to obey. My school uniform had an interminable line of buttons on the front and I started undoing them from the top, one by one until I got to the last one.’

‘I Betturkey Giriş raised my eyes and looking directly into the priest’s face I helped my uniform slip, first over my left shoulder, then over the right until it fell on the floor. I reached to my back, unhooked my bra and, pushing my shoulders forward let it join the uniform at my feet. Still without moving my eyes from the priest’s face I hooked my thumbs on my pants and slowly pushed them down. I took my shoes off and only then I stepped to the side, away from my fallen clothes, my arms hanging alongside my body, without making any attempt at covering myself.’

I can see in my mind Camille standing naked at the age of my daughter, her same desires, her same inquisitive mind and body, her same determination. The events of yesterday come back and so does my erection. What am I going to do with Marianne? Do I wait for the problem to go away? What do I do if it doesn’t?

‘I could see that my audience was virtually in a hypnotic trance. The priest looked as if he had been nailed to the floor, while the two boys were moving closer, but looking as if they were advancing by the floor moving them rather that by them lifting their feet from the ground in a normal walk.’

‘The spell did not last long. There was fire in Father Michael’s eyes when he lifted me and laid me on the table in the middle of the room. In what it looked to me a well-practiced action, the two altar boys grabbed my ankles and spread my legs up and out. I felt already aroused and waited for the touch of those three pairs of hands to send me skyrocketing into an orgasm but it was not to be.’

‘I felt Father Michael’s thumbs forcefully parting my buttocks. I didn’t know then what he was going to do and it didn’t feel all that bad either. That is, until the pain started. I had hurt a lot when I lost my virginity but this was far worse. He was penetrating me trough my back passage and it felt as if all the pain in the world was concentrating there, as the light of the sun does when passing through a magnifying glass. I screamed I cried and struggled, but they would not let me go until the priest ejaculated. Soon after they left me alone in the room, curled up, still naked on the table, still in pain and crying. When I tried to sit on the edge a shot of pain spread from my buttocks across my whole body. Moving very carefully I lifted myself off the table and used some tissues to wipe myself, noticing that there was a bit of blood on them when I finished. I got dressed and went back into the church to pick up my school bag that had been left at the confessional. Father Michael and the two altar boys were kneeling at the altar, praying and oblivious of the pain they caused, ignoring their profound hypocrisy, blind to the reality around them, ready to enforce on others the standards of behaviour that they never bothered to consider for themselves. They didn’t even lift their heads when I walked past them.’

Father Patrick looked up for the first time and half cried, half shouted ‘You are lying, you are a perverse liar trying to poison Franco’s mind!’ He stood up again but Camille made him sit again, this time by just pointing at the chair and saying ‘You can check your facts, Father Michael is now the most righteous Bishop Michael O’Reilly, so you could ask him about his predilection for back passages of whatever sex.’ Father Patrick went pale but he did sit down and Camille continued with her story.

‘Today, what Father Michael did would not surprise me at all coming from a priest, after all you only have to read the papers an see the stream of claims of sexual abuse and convictions of many clergymen being published almost daily. Fifteen years ago it was a different matter! I suppose that following a tradition that I believe still today continues to be held among many catholic priests and brothers, Father Michael was much more attracted to boys than girls. I suppose that in my case he just worked up a compromise with himself by subjecting me to anal intercourse.’

‘When I arrived to school that morning I had to tell my teacher that I had injured a muscle in my leg to explain my difficulties in walking. My lie had to continue, so the reason for my red eyes was just a bad case of hay fever, not my tears of frustration and pain. I would have loved to turn Father Michael in but I already knew that it would be nearly impossible to find anyone who would believe me and that if I did it, my newly established sexual freedom could be brought to the open and quashed. So I kept the pain hidden so life could continue unchanged.’

‘Two days later, in one of the rare days in which my mother was not working she answered the phone while I was doing my homework. ‘I am sure that she would be delighted’ I overheard her saying through the mental fog of trying to maintain my interest in the inane textbook that I was supposed to read. My mother, looking happy, which in itself was a rarer occurrence than her not working, said to me from the door ‘better have a shower and get changed. That was Brendan O’Reilly. His family has invited you for dinner. They’ll be here in one hour to pick you up’.

‘The images of being held down came rushing in and I could fell the pain again. I didn’t want to go; I didn’t trust any of them. Nevertheless, like the good daughter that I was I got up, had a shower and changed. The days were getting warmer so I put on a summer cotton dress and went back to my studies. My mother, to my utter surprise came over and said ‘come and I’ll put some make up on you. The O’Reilly’s are a pillar of our community and they are exemplary Catholics. Father Michael of our parish is a member of the same family. You must look your best and behave impeccably!’ Was she just dressing the lamb for the slaughter? I didn’t know and I couldn’t tell her so, once again, I complied.’

‘Soon the doorbell rang. Too soon I thought. My mother called me and we opened the door together. Brendan was standing there, expressionless. A taxi was waiting. While shaking her hand he said to my mother ‘my father apologises for not being able to come, but he has been called to an emergency in the hospital’. I didn’t believe it and I could feel Father Michael penetrating my back passage while Brendan was holding me down, watching. My mother, all milk and honey said ‘I understand and there is no need to apologise.’

‘The taxi ride took more than half an hour. We lived a considerable distance away from the affluent neighbourhoods. Brendan’s father, James was, by any standards, rich. His parents had developed a rural empire with properties in the richest parts of Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria and he had consolidated his fortune with large industrial interests and straight ownership of a private hospital. Brendan kept looking through the cab’s window while I just watched the traffic ahead. The driver must have wandered why not a word was being exchanged between his two young passengers.’

‘We arrived to a house big enough to be a church with a front garden protected by a high and ornate steel fence. Brendan paid the driver. The taxi fare was more than what I was getting as my allowance for a full year. He held the door of the car open for me to get out. He was acting like a sheep but I already knew the wolf behind. Father Michael was forcing my buttocks open and I could feel the cold and hard table against the skin of my back.’

‘He took a leather key case from his pocket and unlocked the front door, holding it open and motioning me in, then closed it and locked it again. His hand took my wrist with a strong grip. Father Michael is dragging me from the confessionary. ‘My father and my mother went for a week to one of our properties, only my sister Annie is here’. My heart sank. I fully understood that I was the only remaining sheep and I also knew that I could not physically fight Brendan and win.’

‘We climbed up a seemingly never-ending staircase and into a bedroom about the size of my mother’s apartment. I heard the door closing behind me. Annie was waiting for us. She was four years older than her brother, very attractive and, as I was to learn later, doing well at university. Wearing a lacy body suite she raised from the bed and came to meet us. ‘Hello Camille, Brendan told me about you’. Her voice was mellifluous and her eyes were assessing me. ‘Lift your arms’ she said and I did not dare to disobey her. As my hands reached up her brother, standing behind me lifted my dress over my head. I was surprised. I expected that Brendan would be enacting all his sexual fantasies with me but I didn’t really know what to do when Annie was the one calling the shots. My bra and my pants follow my dress in rapid succession.’

‘Don’t look so surprised’ Annie said. ‘I like both, boys and girls and so does my good brother. Brendan gets an abundance of boys in all his church related activities but not too many girls. I can have as many men as I want at university, but I have to keep the appearances, and there are not so many discreet girls, so I let him have sex with me and in exchange, he brings me girls who know how to keep their mouths shut’. This was said in a totally matter of fact fashion, but I could feel the subtle threat behind it.’

‘She took my hand and led me to the bed. She slipped out of her body suite and lay down by my side, running her hands all over my body. I was confused. I didn’t dislike it but I could not completely set aside all the brain washing that I had been subjected to. One thing was having sex with a man, even if he was my father but… I looked at Annie’s eyes and said ‘what about all the teachings of the church?’ She laughed. ‘That’s to keep the masses controlled. No person with brains within the church follows what the Pope says. They didn’t do it in the past, they don’t do it now, they never will. Take Father Michael for example. He is our uncle and he pays less attention to the Pope and the instructions of the saints than I do. Or if you want to dig deeper in history, read a detailed account of the life of Cardinal Richelieu. This does not mean that we don’t believe in God, all the contrary. We believe and we pray to him with all our heart and we know that he will forever protect us because we are his chosen people. The rest of the flock doesn’t need a God, they only require a shepherd to move them around from pasture to pasture. Besides, they are happy just providing us with their fleece so, why change it?’

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