I broke up with Tommy King when he told me he had followed a girl home on his plane ride back from being a summer missionary. I was in shock and hurt. For a diversion, I volunteered to teach weekly devotions in my dormitory.
“Nice meeting you,” I said to a new girl as I gathered my Bible and materials to go back to my room. “What’s your name?” I asked as she followed me out the door like a lost puppy.
“Oh, yeah! Nice to meet you, too! That was a very good devotional you gave tonight. You are a good teacher!” she said almost mechanically as she widened her cornflower blue eyes. “My name is Jane or Janie," she said.
“Thanks for the compliment! Where are you from, Janie?” I asked as we walked down the hall.
“Up state New York,” she said.
“How did you end up way down here in the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky?” I asked.
“It’s a -- long story. I’ll have to share it -- another time,” she blurted as if her words tasted bad.
Her body stiffened and her countenance changed to a morbid sadness as we parted our ways.
"See you around!" I said.
"Yeah, see ya, okie dokie," she said as if in a daze.
Over the next few weeks, Janie became my Siamese twin. Not only did some girl hijack Tommy out of my life, Janie was sucking away what was left of it!
Janie hinted she couldn’t go home for Christmas because nobody would be there this year. I felt sorry for her so I called and asked my parents if I could bring her home. On the way home in the car Dad and Janie got into a big argument! Dad wasn't used to being corrected by anyone. He was ready to turn the car around and take Janie back to the college but my mother gave him a certain look.
Out of the corner of my eye I saw Janie's familiar, euphoric grin: she had enjoyed upsetting my father and she was still gloating over it. I barely tapped her on the arm and whispered, "If my dad isn't happy, nobody's happy." Thank God, our trip home became quiet. It finally hit me just how much Janie was damaged!
As a peace offering, Janie bought my folks an expensive, electric, percolator for Christmas. Due to my dad's grave yard, work shift at Ford's, he slept all day and better avoided the many demons of Janie. One more episode happened while coming home from church. Janie wanted the last word of the argument and so did my dad. When my meek mother had had enough, she turned around in the front seat of the car and gave Janie such a look it made the crazy girl zip her runny mouth shut.
By the time I got back at college, I was ready to do what my Dad had suggested. The problem was I didn't know how to disconnect a control freak who demanded my undivided attention every night at six o'clock! My caring roommate, Judy, was worried sick that Janie was an escaped serial killer from a New York prison. I was more worried about my sanity and my poor grades.
My prayers were answered when the Dean of Women, Miss Mac, invited me to stay at her apartment a few days. I asked her how she knew about my situation and she said she couldn't reveal her source. (I love my roomy.)
It was pure heaven to get away for a few days!
Miss Mac, my angel, offered a secluded place for me to stay for the rest of the school year! It was in one of the honor student trailers across campus. She drove me over to Archer Hall so I could sneak in the back door to pack my stuff. Judy said Janie was bugging her to death to tell her where I had gone.
One Friday night at the trailer while I was alone there was a loud knock on the door. I peeked out the corner of the window and saw Janie with her back to the door and her hands on her hips; she was very upset! I was sure she didn't see me so I slid down behind the door hoping she would think nobody was home.
She banged on the door again.“I KNOW YOU’RE IN THERE, KATHY! YOU’VE GOT TO LET ME IN TO TALK OR I'LL GO CRAZY . . . PLEASE!!!JUST FOR A FEW MINUTES, P-L-E-A-S-E, KATH!”
Janie continued her fist pounding on the door. The glasses and dishes rattled in the cupboard like the Jack Hammer inside my stomach.
“IF YOU DON’T OPEN THIS DOOR I AM GOING TO GO KILL MYSELF TONIGHT!
"Go ahead!" I said in my head. I felt terrible for feeling that way.
"THIS TIME YOU WILL BE SORRY!” she screamed. “IT WILL BE ALL YOUR FAULT WHEN THEY FIND ME FLOATING IN THE RIVER!"
As she walked along the side of the trailer she pounded the aluminum siding yelling, “I’M GOING TO GO KILL MYSELF RIGHT NOW!”
Her running, footsteps trailed off into the cold, black night.
I felt more relief than guilt.
After that night she never bothered me again! Not, because she killed herself but because she found a new friend.
I was glad I did not let Janie inside the trailer that night.
I was glad she didn't kill herself.
I was glad her obsession with controlling me was finally over.
Evidently, I wasn't helping her anyway. She needed her demons cast out by a seasoned Christian and she needed professional ears to help her tormented mind.
I was thankful to the Lord for using Miss Mac to save me.
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In Nazareth, most of Jesus’ home town people rejected him. Even though He was the Son of God He would not force his neighbors, friends and family to believe in Him. When they tried to kill Him he left the city and He shook the dust from his sandals which meant He would never come back. Jesus knew when to break away from those who would try to destroy Him.
This Bible story gave me great comfort back then in not feeling bad because I couldn't help Janie. I learned recently she died last year in 2014 at 66 years old. I hope she got the help she needed. I know she was saved so she is now home with Jesus with no more torment.