Miriam and Heather grew up in the same neighborhood, on opposite sides of a street that was only just too busy to be easy to cross. That street came to represent their relationship: a minor schism that was always too inconvenient to bridge. Their faiths had split fifty years prior over a matter no one remembered. At school, they were neither friends or enemies but mutual mild irritants. Each was too shy to approach the same crush. They attended seminary together, but almost never spoke.
Through perverse coincidence, they came to minister churches on opposite sides of a street too busy to easily cross. They had an uneasy truce until Deacon Miriam renovated her church. It looked grand, drawing all eyes. The next year, Pastor Heather found the funds for a renovation, and soon her church stood taller and more glorious than that across the road.
The chasm between them widened. Over the next decade, each church added grandeur until they gaudily outshone everything else for miles. Their rivalry finally came down to height, and each heightened their steeple to the extent their church could bear. One stormy night after staring daggers across the street, the two women climbed their steeples, reaching to the sky and screaming at the other.
In a satisfying story, the two proud women would be struck by lightning, or they would find common ground and reconcile. This is not that story. Heather and Miriam hated each other well into their dotage, with no satisfying resolution.