Ben rushed into the classroom last minute, just as sister Mary was closing the door. He apologized and sat down. Prayer went smoothly, then homework, but when they got to Bible reading, he knew he was in trouble.
“Benjamin,” sister Mary called over the pious heads of all other twelve year olds, “Where is your Bible?”
He stood up, looking humbly at his desk.
“Respond, please, young man. Where is your Bible?”
“I left it at the dorm, I mean dormitory, sister Mary.”
She came closer, her habit making a rustling noise. He got ready to be hit, but instead, she spoke: “That is all right, you can use mine. Now, everyone, open Exodus, chapter 13. Mark, begin reading.”
Sister Mary stayed with Ben as the other boy read aloud, indicating the line with her ruler. He could smell her freshly-washed frock, a hint of pepper on her breath, and the natural smell of a woman on a hot day. It made him sweat.