Cammie's Lost Years
by Janice Daugharty
2010 Copyright Janice Daugharty
Cammie tugged on her black lace gloves -- too short now that her fingers had gotten fat--while listening to the preacher beyond the double white doors of the church.
Did they preach first and sing last? She couldn't remember. But if she'd gone this far, she had to go in. If she'd gotten all dressed up in her black jersey dress--too short, too, now that her hips had broadened--and walked clear across Cornerville to get there, she had to go in.
At least with some class, they could say that.
She parted the doors just a crack, and a creaky groan that sounded like it came from her mouth caused the preacher to look up and everybody seated both sides of the center aisle to look back. She tipped in, closing the off-set doors as softly as possible; she had to lift one and hold the other just so with a shuttling motion. As she tipped across the white tile floor, she could hear sand grinding under her shoes. She smiled. Somewhere she'd read that First Ladies are taught to smile and walk softly through the cabin--meaning an airplane cabin, Cammie supposed--chin up and shoulders erect, to avoid being waylaid by people in awe of them.
She could see her huge breasts heaving. She could see, the pinched toes of her black patent pumps. Were they out of style now, the shoes? Things like that had the power to foul Cammie up. Things like that, and the shrunken gloves and dress. But she'd come so far....
She eased into an empty seat, aisle-side, second from the rear, thank God! and took heart in the fact that the tall bald preacher with a holy wan face was again preaching, preaching as if Cammie came every Sunday night instead of every ten years while everybody else now stared straight ahead, except for weasley Bea Maine, on Cammie's left, whose dark doll eyes beneath nylony bangs kept cutting right.