Rahab trotted purposefully down the school corridor. She shivered, not from the icy wind which puffed gusts of frigid, rascally air on its mission to vaporize the acrid stench of fuming cigarettes, steal Rahab’s papers, or haul the miniscule, veil-like skirts of her classmates (Rahab could no longer call them friends) as high as they could possibly reach.
Rahab hated this time of school the most—she was easily bright enough to cope with the lessons, partly since her accomplices slowed the teacher by flirting or fighting . Lunch was no real problem. Even within her filthy and slatternly dorm she had forged a small empire around her bed as a single island of purity within the school. But on the four-hundred metre trot from class to dorm at the end of an exhausting day, she was subjected to all the fiery arrows the local demons could lay their hands on. She always marched purposefully and unhesitant down this aisle but had yet to escape the spiritual barrage. Sometimes she thought of giving up, turning her back on the budding faith that the one Christian influence (a junior nurse) had planted in her not two months ago.
Today however she was grounded in determination, partly due to the unexpected result of trying to break up a small row and receiving a blow to the jaw. No thoughts of surrender were in her mind when from a small classroom someone called her name.
“Rahab? Want to play?” came a voice from a circle involved in Truth or Dare. Rahab instinctively tried to refuse, but finally reasoned that it was a harmless game. At any rate she would merely offer truth from her already unhidden life. So Rahab cautiously inched into the sparse square of floor in which the children crouched. She dodged the dirty, graffiti-clad desks, littered with undone homework and obscene messages scribbled onto paper planes. She crouched between the two other girls in attendance. The spinner revved again and again, and Rahab started to relax as the game went on. She was even relieved to discover that they played her version—in which a darer must provide three different options.
But one turn Rahab’s luck finally ran flat out. The spinner stopped pointing directly at her heart. She started to say another “Truth”, but Jack interrupted her.
“You cannot choose the same thing three times in a row. Ladies and gentlemen, it is a dare, and I am wide open to suggestions! You know, Rahab, you were much more fun before you fell for this Christianity nonsense.”
“How about we ask her to strip to her bra and pants--and that has to stay till we finish of course?” purred Jordan as he fished a new cell phone from his pocket and flashed it round to ensure the camera and video facilities were evident to all.
“Or maybe we could ask for her to puff right through one of these.” This was Dave, and he wormed around for a thin, two inch white cylinder with a bright orange tip. “No more addiction breaking nonsense now.”
“Let’s say creep into Mr Muscles office and take--or break--his precious PDA” rasped Matilda.
“Rahab, the choice is yours.” the group barked in unison.
By this time Rahab had scrambled back against a desk, and hugged one of its legs for the small consolation that a steel pole, even unmovable, can always give to one attacked. She would not go for the thievery or arson--it was wrong, irreversible, and dangerous. She poised between the other two options for a few minutes, much to the annoyance of her companions. Her defence against the cigarettes was sturdy: She had promised God not to when she asked for his help, and having taken one a second would be nigh irresistible.
She was about to consent to the last remaining option. Anyway most of these boys already had photos of her, in what she now considered a previous life, posted on the end of their beds.
Then she thought of her favourite Bible verse--she called it the “My shield verse.” Slowly she mouthed “Submit yourselves then to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.*” Her mind was made up, she stomped through the ring, ignoring the threats and jeers that she would never live down. as soon as she was through the door, she sprinted to the nurse’s room for comfort, rather than to her own. At last, in the pure white bay, she was free.
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