Once when she was twelve, an early Sunday romantic dream left her misbehaved and secretive by the time she and her parents left the house.
They spent the bright and hot morning at Uncle Brian’s spacious and opulent Full Gospel Church of the Disciples of Christ. The place was quietly air-conditioned at a comfortable sixty-five degrees. Sunlight shown through rows of stained-glass windows and reflected off highly polished blonde hardwood walls. Sarah and fifty others sat in a rich, spiritual flavor, on rows of pews covered with cushioned white leather. This was no place for children.
She sat quietly through song and prayer and Uncle Brian’s sermon about sin, how it corrupted the corruptible and damned their souls to eternal hellfire. She listened to an intense preaching about Jesus rising from the dead and becoming savior to anyone seeking salvation from that awaiting hellfire. Sarah shut her eyes and saw herself standing alongside a busy Jesus rescuing lost souls from a fiery damnation that looked a lot like the inside of a spewing volcano. This was not a place where they sacrificed virgins. She felt safe. Almost.
Recalling the dream caused her to flinch between her mom and dad, but she kept her eyes closed. She had done nothing wrong. It had been a dream, after all, likely caused by her hormones taking orders from her DNA. It was her biological clock’s alarm reminding her that she was female and old enough to bear children.
But her parents and the rest of society said otherwise. Which is why she read romance novels under her bed covers, sneaked peaks at Internet porn, and wrote erotic stories on her laptop.
Her face burned. Would the man from her oversized Bible throw her into the spewing lava for thinking about sex?
Uncle Brian’s sermon was long. Her anguish was longer. Reaching the right age would be longest of all. Somehow, she would survive.