She could never do anything.
Her parents thought nearly everything
was immoral & blasphemous.
A boy from school had gotten her
a poster for her birthday
of her favorite band Good Charlotte.
It was just harmless pop music
but her parents didnt approve of
all their black clothes, tattoos, spiky hair, and eyeliner
so they were making her tear it down.
It was the only thing
hanging on her walls
that was hers.
Everything else had to do with
Joseph Smith & the Morman Temple.
That's all the two of them ever talked about
but when she actually asked questions
and was critical of the beliefs of the church
they just shut her down
with empty answers & irrelevant metaphors.
"But Mom there isn't anything bad about this band! It's made for kids!"
"That's what worries me Amanda...the media & music companies want to poison your mind. The morals of this country are falling apart, heck they're not even there anymore. Amanda...you and I both know that this band does not follow the teachings of the prophet. You know how we feel, you need to choose the right. Remember?"
With her head down and tears falling, she knew she couldnt win.
Her Mom said, tearing the poster off the wall.
She held it out to her.
"Come on. Rip it up."
"Rip the poster in half."
"No. No way. If you wanna tear it, then you do it. I'm not gonna destroy a gift from my friend. What is the point of this? Am I not allowed to have anything?!"
Her father stormed into the room.
"Young lady....I am NOT going to stand for such disobedience!"
Her mother stood in the doorway, while her father violently ripped the chords for her phone and t.v. out of the wall.
"Three months grounding. To your room, no phone, no tv, and absolutely no theater activities after school. I don't care what it's for. Now sit on that bed, and get out your book of morman. Dinner will be ready soon, you can come down then."
He slammed the door shut and locked it from the outside. They had a special lock installed.
She paced the room, her thoughts going a mile a minute.
If she didnt do something, she would lose her mind, she decided.
Inside a pile of stuffed animals was a phone.
Her secret phone.
One of those prepays, she kept it on with babysitting money.
She didnt know if it would do any good, but she called the cops. She had to try something.
An hour later
they were eating dinner in silence, when the doorbell rang.
Her father shot her a suspicious look, before getting up to answer.
The girl could hear the officers talking to her father at the door.
They came inside and sat in the den
for a good five minutes, maybe more.
Finally he called her into the room.
"Did you call the police on me?"
"...yes." She said, looking down.
"Why? I havent hit you. Have I?"
"No. But...you keep me locked up all the time. You wont just let me be a normal kid. You're so into the church, you can't see what it's doing to you. Officers I've spent the past two months locked up in my room. Now they want to ground me three more months. All because I wouldn't tear up a Good Charlotte poster. Just because they're not mormon, doesn't mean that they're bad. Does everything have to be about church? All the time"
The two cops looked at each other, concerned, with wrinkled brows.
They were both young, crew cutted, blond hair, blue eyed, boys in blue.
One spoke up, clearing his throat.
"Amanda...a band like that...doesn't follow or honor the teachings of the one, true, prophet....Joseph Smith."
"Yes, you really must obey your parents. The lord commands it."
The girl shrieked, blood-curdling, up the stairs
to her room.
They were everywhere, there was no escape. Her parents, teachers, neighbors, friends, and even the police.
It was the Mormon Church's town.
She finally embraced the solitude
decided to just ride it out
wait them out
and then get out.
When I finally got a car
I would drive by her house
and she would always be there in the window
waving back at me.
She had two long years of that
before she was finally
granted freedom at eighteen.
My friend in the Tower of Zion
the Morman Rapunzel
Pretty in Pink with her short blond hair.
She had to be free.
Today she lives on a piece of land
with her husband and some dogs.
She made it.