Genesis Girl

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Seth rolls his eyes. He clearly doesn’t get it.
So I inch closer to him. “For centuries holy people … nuns … monks … hermits … they locked themselves away and took on the sins of the world. They were living sacrifices of prayer, and it made the whole world better. They kept knowledge alive through the Dark Ages. Vestals are living sacrifices too. We are reminders that you don’t need chips and you don’t need texts, and you shouldn’t give away every last piece of yourself for one more hit.”
“Because selling yourself is so much better?”
I square my shoulders. “Yes.”
“But you’ll never have a normal life. Doesn’t that bother you?”
“Of course not. Not when ‘normal’ is so messed up. Not when ‘normal’ gave a whole generation of people brain cancer.”
Two weeks of cloistering. Two weeks of pacing my room, dusting the bookshelves, and pressing my face against the windowpanes, unable to see anything but the walled courtyard below. Two weeks of hoping Fatima, Beau, and Ethan didn’t know about my disgraced situation. Two weeks of reciting my favorite verse from the Vestal Code of Ethics over and over again.
I am loyal. I am discrete. I follow the rules. I picture Fatima brushing her hair to the rhythm of Ms. Corina’s voice at night in our dorm. “One hundred strokes, children,” Charming Corina would tell us. Then her saccharine voice would call out, “I am loyal. I am discrete. I follow the rules.” Brush. Brush. Brush.

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