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You call her down to the altar to pray for her while placing an A on her wardrobe. You see a sin that needs rectifying. An error in her ways and a light that is dying since she's alone, clutching a womb.

She's in a room filled with sinners, but somehow, hers is the most egregious. She's the poster child for weakness and secrets that most would rather leave unknown. But she is showing, and she's shown that she is devoted to the church. Ignoring how much it hurts to hear her name in whispers. A mixture of gossip and concerns about her absent mister.

Scandals and smoke seeped into the oak and monochromatic stained glass. She follows the path to the steeple like the north star. The Cathedral is for people scared and scarred, and she's given the trinity her heart.

She sees redemption in her saunter down the aisle. She believes faith will repay her for being just a child and used as a sacrificial lamb. She's given her hands to men in robes who probe and scold her for a path she didn't choose.

She's a victim who is being chastised by scriptures for a missing filter and a groom. Judgmental eyes tend to disguise and not realize the truth for what it is. She's just a kid having a child by a man who gets to hide behind traditions that say this is for the best. That her abuse is nothing more than a test to one day testify just how much she's been blessed.

Because predators don't get the lashing of an altar call. Instead, they are given cushions for their fall. Comfort in their moment of indiscretion. A primitive lesson that tells them it was the female's recklessness. They are the exception - the welcomed tolerance that grants them grace in their violence.

Melissa Menny is an author with a Bachelor's of Arts degree in Journalism. She is a poet and a writer in all aspects. When she is not working, she enjoys painting, music, and spending time with her husband and sons.

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