"...and when you give to the poor, you are giving to God. Because God is in every act of kindness. Food for the Hungry is a wonderful charity that..."
I stare straight ahead, fixing my eyes on nothing. Why is he still talking?
"...and this changes lives, dear people, changes lives..."
I don't like this man. I don't like him and he won't shut up. My fingers are twitching again. I shut my eyes and open them again. Wood, there's wood everywhere. And glass, too colorful. And candles that dance cheerfully and mock mock mock. And smiling people who grew old and fat and now are going to donate some of their vast amounts of money to feel like they made a difference. For God.
Me, I'm ready to scream.
Because I know God doesn't exist. Or if he does, he doesn't give a crap about orphans or sick people or whatever this charity is for. Because if he did care, there wouldn't be orphans or sick people.
Or storms. Or boats. Or accidents.
Here comes the blackness again.
"Oo, is she alright? Poor dear, she's fainted, get her some water."
"Melanie? Mel, sweetie, can you hear me?"
I can hear her alright. Doesn't mean I'll open my eyes.
Whispers twist and twine themselves together above me. Funny how you hear sss the most when you're listening. Words like sad...and storm...and sister.
I start to laugh. I can't stop. I don't even open my eyes. I hear the talking trail off, and I know they're staring. I laugh so hard I choke, and now I'm crying.
They called me Melanie. They all know my name now. They'll never confuse me with her again.
And that's what's so wonderfully, terribly funny.
I got my wish.