Tara sat on her canopied pink bed with her legs pulled up and her arms wrapped around them. The knees of her jeans were wet with tears, but the streaks were already drying on her cheeks--no fresh tears fell from her eyes; although, she continued to shake with sobs. After a few more minutes her sobs quieted, and she released her legs, flipping around so she lay on her stomach, chin resting on her hands.
It looks just like any other Mormon girl's room, she thought as she looked around. She was tidy by nature and had always enjoyed rearranging and redecorating her room every few months. The last time she'd done so, she'd created a little Young Women's shrine on her dresser--framed pictures she had received from her teachers and leaders, a mirror admonishing that "modest is hottest," and several little handouts that she had especially liked adorned the top. Her scripture bag hung from a hook nearby underneath a poster that reminded her of the importance of getting her spiritual nourishment. She looked away and sighed. I haven't used those in a while. Sitting up, she tugged at her shirt, as if sheer will power could make the material lengthen downward to the top of her jeans.
I thought I had everybody fooled, but really I was only fooling myself. Where's the girl that truly believed that "modest is hottest? Where's the girl that promised herself a temple marriage? She reached beside her on the bed and picked up something long and thin. She looked at it for several seconds as renewed tears gathered in her eyes. Then she threw it across the room.
Tara closed her eyes. Who am I kidding? I know exactly when that faithful girl started to leave. And it all started with a thought...
"Hey, Tara," her friend Natalie called.
"Hmmm?" Tara replied as she stuck a french fry in her mouth without looking up from her homework.
"I have a question for you."
"What would you do if you weren't Mormon for a day?"
Tara raised her head and gave Natalie a quizzical look. "What do you mean."
"You know," Natalie shrugged, "if you didn't have to live by all of those rules you follow, just for one day, what would you do?"
"I don't know. That's not likely to happen."
"Okay, just wondering."
But the question kept nagging at Tara until she finally began to think about the some of the things that her friends did that she couldn't do. Where was the harm in merely thinking about the things she would do? It wasn't like she was actually doing them. However, once she begin thinking about everything she was missing out on, she found her resolve not to do them slipping. A cuss word started to slip out here and there, and then she started to participate when her friends told dirty jokes. One thing led to another until...
Now I'm here. Pregnant, and wishing I had never thought about the answer to that stupid question.