October 26th, 2004

Mask

Confession

It was directly after Holy Communion that Sarah figured it all out. It was all about sex. She nearly vomited, swallowing back bile with the memory of her big brothers words.
“If you throw up the wafer, the priest has to eat your vomit.” He laughed, and she felt her eyes get hot with shame.
Adam and Eve had sex and were bad, Jesus died for sins, so that everyone could have sex without worrying about hell. She knelt on the padded pew and put her hands together, but she wasn’t praying. She peered at the old ladies and the children, the infants newly baptized to be cleaned of their parents’ sin.
It was everywhere.
Sometimes, at night, she would put her teddy between her legs and roll around under the covers, pleasant sensations tickling her insides. Once, her daddy came in on her doing this, and she felt shame, though she didn’t know why until now.
She looked up at the cross, bigger than her parents, and the statue of the man there, half lidded eyes, stretched torso, bleeding feet. Her Sunday-school teacher told them about this.
“Every time you sin, Jesus hurts a little more on the cross.”
“I’m sorry.” Sarah said, and meant it.
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