JUSTICE! They announce.
As they pull me from the bed of man violating me for the third time.
JUSTICE! They demand.
As they drag me into the temple courts to the new teacher everyone is whispering about.
WHAT WILL YOU DO ABOUT JUSTICE? They challenge, as they stoop to pick up large stones to mete out their own version of it.
I stand there, naked, ashamed, and terrified.
What will it feel like? I wonder.
To be hit with the stone that rabbi has at the ready?
And then another and another?
To hear the jeering chants of the crowd?
Kill her! Stone her! JUSTICE! JUSTICE!
My heart pounds, my head throbs and I collapse into the dirt.
I beg the ground beneath me to open up and swallow me whole.
I cover my ears, hoping to tune out the muddled voices that seem to argue in the background, waiting excruciatingly for the first blow.
Minutes pass and time warps.
I am confused. Perhaps this is all just a bad dream.
I hear a thud. What is that?
I slowly lift my head and witness the unbelievable.
Stones fall to the ground, one-by-one, as each accuser turns and walks away.
JUSTICE? WHAT HAPPENED TO JUSTICE?
The crowd slowly dissipates and I am left alone.
I crawl to the alleyway, looking to escape the scorching heat of the sun and perhaps find something to cover my bruised and filthy flesh.
I feel a hand under my chin, lifting it up.
I AM NOT ALONE.
My eyes fearfully meet the gaze of the new teacher. The one everyone is whispering about.
What? What do I see?
Is it JUSTICE?
But somehow so different than what I have known all my life.
Not the kind that punishes.
Is it JUSTICE?
But somehow it speaks in ways unexplainable to the depths of my soul.