Shadowed: Chapter 15, Part 2: Felicia Hates
Felicia Thompson hated working late, but that was nothing compared to risking her life to join the resistance.
“Of course, all that was nothing compared to losing her son 48 hours ago.”
Oh wait, Felicia doesn’t actually say that.
For years she had thought working for Paul Stepola in a high-security-clearance job in the Chicago bureau of the NPO was the very definition of stress.
“Then her son died, and she truly learned the very definition of stress.”
Oh wait, Felicia doesn’t say that, either.
Okay, so she does have this to say:
Losing a son—a bright, beautiful, overachieving, in-love twenty-seven-year-old—had doubled her over with grief.
Though not so much that she hasn’t stayed at work almost from the moment it happened.
When was Felicia so doubled over with grief that she couldn’t answer Paul’s phone calls, or call him herself? Or do his dirty work for him?
To top it all off, Sensitive Felicia is afraid her husband, a middle school teacher named Cletus, will commit suicide, he is so grief-stricken.
But she’s still at work. But don’t worry, she calls Cletus to tell him that she’ll be home in only a few hours. So you can see how devoted to her family she really is.
And in between doing Paul’s dirty work for him, she’s been pestering him on how to convert. Because now that God has shown himself real by murdering her son, she wants to make sure she ends up where her son isn’t, and be able to worship the being that murdered her son, ASAP.
What a great mom.
Paul, in a odd little surge of foresight, has left a secret file at work, just in case he ever can’t make it into work but still wants to instruct a coworker on how to convert.
Of course, I suppose Paul could just tell Felicia over the skull phone, but I guess he doesn’t feel like it. Instead, he leaves her a skull phone message to tell her how to find it.
“It appears to be random notes about the crazy believers,” his message said, “but it is a prescription for receiving Christ.”
This prescription is a short three paragraphs, condescendingly ending with this:
People “receive” Christ by what they call the A-B-C Method. Accepting this truth. Believing in God and Jesus and what he did on their behalf—dying on the cross for the their sin [sic]. And Confessing this, or telling someone else.
I get that this ABC thing is a Thing, but that doesn’t make it any less silly.
(Although there seems to be some disagreement on what the A, B, and C should stand for. This site, for example, has the A as Admit and the C as Consider. (And they have a D… for Do.))
The transaction, as some like to call it, happens when they acknowledge this in prayer—that they are sinners, need God’s forgiveness, and receive it and Him.
And I’m sorry to keep harping on this, but it seems to me that it’s God that has just committed the truly unforgiveable sin, by offing all those men, little boys, and little babies.
Reading this file in her car (Sorry, Suicidal Cletus, I guess you’ll just have to wait a bit longer to see the mother of your dead son!), Felicia admit to herself that she had always really believed in God, “until it had been all but shamed out of her in elementary school.”
Really? The same elementary schools where “God was simply never mentioned“? Okay.
Felicia checked her rearview mirror [she has pulled into a random parking lot]. The last thing she wanted was to attract attention, particularly of a cop. How would she explain sitting there in the dark, reading a top-level-security-clearance federal file by the tiny car ceiling light, and weeping?
Well, first of all, I can only imagine the cops have more important things to do right now. There are (respectfully) naked, dead corpses and stolen cars to deal with, after all!
Secondly, I can only imagine that that two days after the incident, the sight of people breaking down and weeping in public would be an all-too-common sight, and not something that would shock anyone, let alone a cop.
Finally, how would the cop or anyone else know, just by looking, the clearance level of the paper Felicia is reading?
Gotta love the priorities of our newest (almost) RTC!
Felicia further reflects on how she doesn’t really want to go home (even though her son didn’t die at home, but at his own home, in his fiancée’s arms). This is a sentiment that strikes me as understandable, but still self-serving in the way it always feels self-serving to me when people claim, “Oh, I hate hospitals!” or “I hate funerals!” Because the rest of us love them so much. You may not want to go home, Felicia, but your son is dead and your husband needs you. Get your ass home and quit stalling!
Yanno, I’m a big enough evil atheist to admit when I’m wrong, and I was wrong in my recollection that this chapter actually contains Felicia’s transaction. She actually comes only so far as “no more pretending God didn’t exist,” but demands in prayer an answer as to why he would kill her son, since that act doesn’t exactly seem one of a god who loves her. Go figure. She considers this question a “sincere challenge,” so she figures it’s only fair that God will answer it. Then she’ll make her decision.
I’ll say this for her—ridiculous as the whole thing is, that’s still way more thought than Paul or Jae put into their conversions.