The girls sat in their usual circle, cross-legged on the floor with knees touching.
“Really,” Allison was saying, “I think that basing every theological argument on one pet bias is–”
“Girls, I’ve been thinking,” Jennifer said loudly, cutting over the other voices. Allison stopped mid-sentence. “We just sit around chatting. Getting to know each other isn’t a very spiritual activity. I wish you would stop discussing things that are hard to think about, too,” she said, staring directly at Allison. “We need to be more open with each other.”
“I mean, I’m pretty open,” Allison said. “Everyone knows I’m a Calv–”
“I mean open about our sins,” Jennifer said quickly, trying to cut Allison off before she could say that awful word again. “It will unify us. We’re all sinners. We might as well tell each other. I’ll start, and then we’ll go around. I had a complaining spirit today.” She sighed loudly and cast her eyes to the floor. “I can’t believe it. I have sooo,” she lingered on the word so until the rest of us starting looking bored, “much,” she finished. “I want to apologize to everyone of you that I complained to.” She looked over at the girl next to her, Sally, and nodded encouragingly.
“Hold on a minute,” Sally said. “I hadn’t thought about this yet. Um…oh, yeah! I stole a car, sold it, and used the money to buy drugs.”
“Ok,” Jennifer said. “Next?”
“Well, to be perfectly transparent, I love your boyfriend,” the next girl, Kelsey, said. “And I hate you for dating him. Sometimes in class, I write lists of ways you could accidentally die, and then I imagine myself comforting him until he falls in love with me. Wow, Jen, you’re right! I feel so unified with you.”
Jennifer growled as Kelsey leaned over Sally to hug her.
The next girl was a visitor. “Hey,” she said. “My name is Sheila. I’m here just to see what opportunities this place has. I love the atmosphere. You guys are so open. To be honest, nothing pops into my head right now that I could confess.”
Jennifer stopped sharpening her knife and tore her glare away from Kelsey. “We’re all terrible sinners. You definitely sinned today. Think harder.”
“How about I go?” Allison said.
“No,” said Jennifer. “Next?”
“I was upset that I had a bad hair day,” the last girl said. “I know I should be happy, but… you know.”
Jennifer nodded. “Even when your hair looks like you put your finger in an electrical outlet, you should be happy. Oh, honey, thanks for confessing.” Jennifer gave the girl a hug. Soon they were both crying.
“Oh, that feels good,” Jennifer said. “Sheila, don’t you want to feel good?”