Wicked Nature

Teen fraternal twins, Joel and Joanna King, have been raised in a strict Christian household all of their lives. They have been thought to only think in pure ways and stick to church. But when they finally begin to think for themselves, things spin out of control. Enter the world of two pure souls who fall to the hands of the sinful world. This is the destruction of innocence.

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1. Remember That Your Eyes Can Be Your Enemy.

 

We were the preacher’s kids. That’s what everyone at school called us, that’s what everyone at church definitely called us, and that’s what the community labeled us as. Every move we made and every word we spoke was watched and observed. If we slipped up, it made a sinful person feel good about themselves and it embarrassed our father. That’s why slip ups weren’t a normal thing with us and we tried our best to avoid anything associated with sin. We never attended any of the high school parties, didn’t indulge ourselves in any music unless it was from the Gospel genre, and we tried our bests to stray away from any crowd who didn’t have Jesus as their main thought. If you were to look up the word ‘perfect’ in the dictionary, our faces would indeed be beside it.

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours, now and forever. Amen…” 

I lifted my head up slowly and opened my eyes, staring right into my father’s. My brother did the same on the other side of me, brushing his hand against mine to let me know that he was still there. I glanced over at him and gave him a small smile, right before turning my attention back to my father. He gave the both of us a proud smile before he marked our foreheads with oil, creating the traditional cross with his fingers. This was something that was done to me and my twin brother every Sunday in front of the congregation of my father’s church. We were the examples set for the other teenagers; we were our father’s trophies.

“May the blood of Jesus Christ, Our Savior, be with you wherever you are,” my father said to the both of us, his voice feeling the sanctuary as he spoke into the microphone. His face was magnified on two big screens at the front of the church, so not only could people sitting in the back of the sanctuary could see, but so could the people at home watching online. If you haven’t guessed it by now, my father was the preacher of a “mega church.” He reached out to people in over ten different states and a select few countries. 

He nodded his head at us, silently instructing us to go back to our seats and we did in almost a synchronized manner. I smiled that same fake smile that I put on every Sunday, showing people that I was a happy little Christian girl. My brother did the same. We were both far from happy though. We took our seats back beside our mother and she gave us both that same wink of approval as always. I gave her a small smile just as my father began his sermon.

Everything after that sounded like gibberish. They say your ears only hear what they want to…well, my ears were going to miss out on the whole service.

When I think of the direction my life has gone in, I can’t help but to frown. You would think that I was happy seeing that my father was the owner of a mega church that raked in thousands of dollars each service from offering alone, which meant that we were an extremely wealthy family. I would say that your assumption was wrong because to be quite honest, I’m not happy. I can’t really speak for my brother, Joel, because I never know what he’s thinking these days, but I can speak for myself and say that I’m miserable. It’s not easy being eighteen years old and not being able to do normal young adult things, such as seeing late night movies with my girls or getting all dolled up with them to attend a party or the club. It’s no fun being on close watch every second, every minute, and every hour of your life. I’m eighteen, yet I feel like I’m six.

“Joey, get up. It’s time for the final prayer,” Joel whispered from beside me, tugging my arm as I sat there like a boulder, too zoned out to realize that the service was almost done. Had I zoned out that long? I shook myself from my darkest thoughts and stood up, smoothing out my peach colored skirt. Joel gave me a quick look of confusion right before he bowed his head. I didn’t bow my head until I heard my father speak into the microphone again.

With my eyes closed, I thought about everything but God. Instead, I thought about ways that I could possibly escape my lifestyle. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to be accepted into Heaven when it was my time just like everyone else, but I was getting tired of spending seven days of the week worshipping and praying when I barely even made time for myself. I could hear people mumbling their small praises of agreement as they listened to my father’s words and I momentarily opened my eyes to see my brother impatiently drumming his fingers against the pew in front of us. There was only so much he could take, just like me.

“Let the church say Amen.”

“Amen.”

Sighing, I lifted my head and wasted no time in starting towards the nearest exit. “Joanna, aren’t you going to stay for awhile and greet the first time visitors with me?” My mother’s voice asked from behind me and I looked over my shoulder to see her standing there with Joel.

“You know I would love to, mom, but I’m just not up for it today. My stomach is cramping really bad, so I think I’m gonna go sit in the car.” I frowned slightly and held my stomach for extra emphasis.

My mother shook her head. “I keep telling you to take medicine before you come to church when you’re on your cycle. Go ahead and sit in the car then. Joel, you go keep your sister company,” she spoke with a little bit of sympathy in her voice, handing Joel the extra pair of car keys she had to my father’s truck. Joel nodded eagerly, most likely happy that he wouldn’t have to stand back and greet those first time visitors.

It was the same routine every Sunday, where we had to stay back and talk to the people who made their first visits to my father’s church. Then right after, my mom would leave without my father because he always had to stay back and take care of last minute business. It was her duty to make sure dinner was ready and on the table when he got home. “You the best damn liar I know, Joey,” Joel said with a chuckle when we were out of my mother’s sight and heading out into the hot, California sun.

“Don’t cuss on the Lord’s property,” I said back to him, having to look up at his tall stature.

He scoffed. “Since when did you become such a saint?” he retorted, nudging me in the side with his elbow. “You just got done lying to mama back there. You know you ain’t cramping.”

I shrugged and looked around, easily navigating my father’s all white Range Rover parked in his reserved spot. “Everybody tells a fib every once and awhile, Joel. Just ‘cause we’re the pastor’s kid’s doesn’t mean that we can’t lie.” I shot him a sneaky grin and stood by the car, waiting for him to unlock it. 

“Well if that’s the case, then I got every right to cuss, Joanna.”

“My name is Joey, mothafucka,” I shot back, glaring at him before I pinched him with my fingers. He hissed and pushed me away before finally unlocking those doors so we could both get in the backseat of the car. 

“Don’t cuss on the Lord’s property,” Joel said back, clearly mocking me. I sucked my teeth and began to remove my clip on earrings that my mom always made me wear since I wasn’t allowed to get my ears pierced. I didn’t think it was fair at all that Joel had his ears pierced, but then again, he had gone and got it done without our parent’s permission. That was two years ago and he still gets fussed at for it. If you were to look at his arms, you would see tattoos. I wonder why my parents favored me more over him?

Ignoring his teasing, I tossed the earrings into the cup holder in front of me. “Did you bring the stuff?” I asked, feeling that emotion of guilt wash over me like it always did whenever I asked him that question. 

Joel bit his lip and looked away from me, glancing out the window beside him. “We can’t keep doing this on church grounds, Joey. This shit ain’t right…”

“Did you bring it?” I hassled him, leaning up so I could get a better look of his face. His leg began to nervously bounce up and down.

“Yeah…”

“Since you’re so worried about doing it on church grounds, why do you bring it with you every Sunday?” I furrowed my eyebrows out of confusion. He was the most complicated person I had ever come across.

He sighed. “Because I know you’re gonna ask, Joey. You depend on this shit.”

“You do too!”

“Yeah, but not more than you. That’s probably what you think about in church, huh? Coming out to dad’s car so you can get a quick fix…” Joel paused to look around, checking to see if anyone was watching.

“Whatever, Joel. Just give it to me,” I demanded, reaching towards the pockets of his jackets. He snatched away and backed away from me before finally deciding just to pull it out of his pocket. My eyes lit up as I looked before me and saw the Ziploc bag full of cocaine: the one thing that made me feel alive in my world of bleakness.
 
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