The sound of the breath I let out pierces the silence. I look out the window right next to my bed. It’s still dark out, but there are no stars. It’s dark in here too. I can’t turn on the light because that will interfere with my roommates’ sleep. I turn on my phone’s flashlight, ready to point it anywhere it’s required.

’Seek Him early.’ Right?

It’s 4 AM and I’m fully awake. Ready, for the umpteenth time to meet Him. Today is different, I can tell. Something is going to change. I’m seated in the yoga meditation position, upright with both legs crossed over each other.

I am awake and very alert this early contrary to every other day. A number of factors contribute to this. For one, I was already tucked in bed by 9:30 last night. I decided to go to bed immediately after the scheduled 9 PM prayer. They say early to bed, early to rise. I’ve also had a bath. It has become a routine for me to have a bath between 4 and 5 AM every morning. None of the girls in my hostel are getting ready for any outing by this time. The bathroom is all mine and is still very neat since none of them has gotten the chance to splash water and/or lather everywhere. Typically, I go back to sleep after this morning ritual. I never have classes before 8 AM. This morning, however, I’m making a sacrifice. Another sacrifice. Another chance. Something feels right about today. 

My roommates are asleep. I can barely hear them breathing. I’m grateful for this. None of the three girls snores. I smile and say a silent prayer of gratitude for them amongst other things. There’s so much to be grateful for.

Holding my phone over for light, I open my Bible to a random page as I do every day. I like to believe a random text is waiting for me in there to help me through the day. After, I go to the chapter given by the manual. 

John 17. I’m supposed to go with the first verse, but I already know it. I know nearly every verse in this chapter. My dad has been reminding to read this chapter every chance he gets. He believes I’m destined for God’s glory and this one of the parts of the Bible that address it.

The first few times, I skimmed the chapter because daddy said so. I was always eager to get into the actual prayer. One day, however, I decided to check out what exactly I was reading. Maybe I shouldn’t have. I read the chapter word for word. There were no problems up until the twelfth verse.

I notice my finger is over it right now. I don’t remember tracing my way to the verse, but here we are.

While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.’

The first part, for anyone who believes in the name of Jesus Christ, is ultimate comfort. The second part was the problem. 

”It’s too deep for you to understand.”

I wonder if they all came together and agreed on that as a collective answer. Every time I asked, that’s the answer I got. 

”We’ll go into that later.”

That’s the next best reply.

How could a god so kind and loving doom his own creation to destruction just so he could be more ominous? Perhaps that’s not even the reason. I honestly don’t know, but I also can’t seem to wrap my head around any justifiable reason. The thought of being created with the sole purpose of being the bad guy and getting punished for it.

I think about Judas Iscariot, a villain to many Christians. I remember being taught to hate him. I also remember it was predicted that Jesus would be betrayed. Judas fulfilled the scripture and was lost. He killed himself because of guilt that he shouldn’t even carry. Was he truly free, or was he just always meant to be a pawn? Are we truly free, or do we have it all written out for us?

What if I’m a pawn? What if that’s why I keep going back to the sins that make me make sacrifices to meet the being who can cleanse them? What if the guilt is one that I can’t carry because I actually shouldn’t?

I was right. Today was meant to be something. Today, I can’t be guilty anymore. I’ll keep searching, because I actually have no answers to any of my questions. I’ll keep asking my questions though. I’m just not going to carry the guilt of asking them anymore. 

I sniffle, and that’s when I realise I’ve been crying.

”You’re just not going to say anything?” I look out the window at the stretch of sky that I can see.

I chuckle lightly as I wipe my tears away with the back of my hand. I shake my head, sighing as I close my Bible and put it on one of the louvers of the window. I don’t want it right next to me. Not today.

I turn off the flashlight of my phone, put it next to my pillow, and lie right beside it. I sob quietly for a few more minutes before I drift asleep.

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  1. There are so many religiousy disturbing questions that this story touches. If you’re destined to go to hell, is it your fault? Do you deserve it? This was a great piece in it’s entirety and I’m sure the 300 other people who read this are asking themselves the same questions too

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