A sleight old man next to me furtively glanced around the sanctuary as if on high alert, looking for salvation in the shadows of a stained glass window. The pastor droned about a terrible event that happened on this day, no doubt mythological, but I had long ago tuned him out. These people in the church were shifting their moods by the minute, paranoid, then grief-stricken, then blissfully in awe of something the pastor revealed about God’s whatever. The church was perfectly calm on any normal Sunday, and I could not help but wonder.
“What’s the big deal?” I asked the excited old man, in a hushed voice. He took a sharp tone with me and announced with a completely unacceptable volume, “Jesus Christ! You didn’t know it’s the tenth anniversary of 9/11?”
I immediately felt incredibly guilty for all those innocent people’s lives. Memories came flooding back. This was the day when everything changed. When those towers fell, they fell on all of America. How could I have forgotten?
The entire church now knew I had committed the ultimate sin. I had forgotten 9/11. Darting, paranoid eyes trained on me and the walls closed in. Stained glass windows became vicious demons intensely bearing down on me. The preacher stared knowingly into my eyes and gestured towards hell. This was the worst moment of my life.
Honestly, I didn’t know why 9/11 was so important to these people. It’s not like any of them even knew anyone who died on 9/11. At first, I decided they were all just mad that I was not grieving over some dumb terrorist attack from 10 years ago, but then I realized these people were mourning 9/11 because it helped them continue to believe in America’s invincibility. 9/11 was a divine test that America failed, and by forgetting, I had failed again. This realization filled me with unfiltered dread. I could take this hellish sanctuary no longer. I ducked out of my pew and headed down the aisle. Hateful glares, even from children, filled my entire field of vision.
I have lost all faith in God and my mind is under siege from hateful demons. There is only one logical course and that is to fall into the hands of Satan.