The next morning, Marilyn came into the room and said “how are you feeling today?” Reverend Nick moaned and pleaded with her again to let him go. Ignoring him, she said “it looks like the hole surrounding the feeding tube is going to close on its own. I don’t see any need for stitches so now you’ll get your first meal.”
She said “I’ve added an antibiotic to help with any potential infection and I’ve decided to wait a few days before I start the next procedure.” Reverend Nick had tears in his eyes as he asked her not to do it. She said “are you afraid?” He said “yes.” She smiled as she finished the feeding and said “good.”
People started to notice that Reverend Nick had not been seen for the last few days. Most believed that due to the stigma of the trial and possibly the guilt, he had just left town. Since the parish belonged to the church and the van he drove had been provided by the congregation, nothing was suspected when the van was left behind.
The very few supporters he still had were saddened by his departure and they tried to understand his need to leave. The search for a new pastor began. The town needed a new beginning and wanted to put that terrible tragedy behind them. Only a soft investigation into Reverend Nicks’ disappearance was conducted. After all, he had been exonerated and was free to leave if he wanted.
Five days had passed since Marilyn had given Reverend Nick a feeding tube and it was healing nicely. That afternoon, she came in the room and said “I won’t be feeding you today. It’s never a good idea to have a surgical procedure with a full stomach.”
She looked at Reverend Nick and said “you don’t have anything to say?” Reverend Nick said “I am putting my life into Gods’ hands.” Marilyn laughed as she said “your life is not in Gods’ hands. Your life is in MY hands and my hands are going to take part of your intestines from inside your body and put them outside your body.”
She anesthetized the site and made an incision. It wasn’t a difficult procedure as no part of his intestines were necrotic. It was just a straight cut and re-positioning. She attached the bag that would collect his waste and with a few stitches, the operation was complete.
She asked Reverend Nick again, if he was feeling any pain. She knew he was lying when he said “no.” She angrily said “you will.” She pressed hard on the incision and watched him cringe. Again she asked. “How about now? Are you feeling any pain?” Reverend Nick cried out “yes, yes.” She said “I could give you something for it, if you’d like.” He said “yes, please.” She looked down at him and said “I don’t think so.” As she was leaving the room, she said “I will see you again tomorrow.”
She was dutiful when it came to feeding him and emptying his bags. After almost a month, he had completely healed. There was no sign of infection. He had never spiked a fever and seemed to tolerate the high protein liquid diet well. He had lost weight but not enough to cause alarm.
Marilyn looked at him and said “tomorrow’s a big day.” When he asked her what she meant, she smiled. She said “get a good nights’ rest and don’t forget to say your prayers.”
When she walked in the next morning, she rolled her tray of instruments to the side of the table. She picked them up one by one. “Here is the scalpel. Here is the cauterizer and this”…Nick had a look of pure horror on his face as he asked her what she was planning to do.
She grabbed his face with her hand and said “revenge is my new art and I’m about to paint my masterpiece.”