Sliding down in the pew she avoids the laser sharp eyes staring at her from behind the pulpit. Two hundreds girls, all dressed identically, and he can still find her in the crowd.
Predictably, he reads from Corinthians. In her head she recites the passage along with him, having heard the same speech for six years running. The first Mass of the school year always includes the message given in 1 Corinthians 6, verse 12-20. Thankfully, this year would be her last.
He looks up as he turns the page. "Hypocrite," she mouths to him, loud enough to elicit a quizzical look from the girl next to her. She ignores it and turns her attention back to the book in her lap. A sense of satisfaction spread through her as white confetti litters the floor; the words of God shredded beneath her feet.
Startled out of her paper shredding trance by sudden movement next to her, she froze as everyone slid to their knees in prayer. She looked at the door behind her, calculating if she could make a run for it before the Headmistress stopped her. Unlikely.
Hypervigilant, her eyes constantly scanned the walls of the cold stone church looking for escape. She caught one nun glaring at her; were nuns even allowed to glare in church?
Taking a deep breath she tried to calm herself; looking like a mad women was not becoming of a school captain. She focused on the shredded pile of bible scriptures by her feet, trying to distract herself from the increasing waves of nausea threatening her composure.
A presence next to her forced her to look up. “On your knees,” he whispered, putting a hand on her shoulder. The touch burned through her jacket as the words reverberated in her head. For the past six years she heard those words too often. That voice; those words. She couldn’t speak, paralysed by fear and shame.
She did the only thing she could. She ran. Her feet moved faster than they had ever moved before.