I stared at the ground
On my knees hunched over
Hiding from the ones reprimanding me
Trying to cover my wrist
Branded by the universe of my greatest weakness
My deepest secret
My worst sin
Haughty laughs resounded around me
Rebuking me for something I couldn't control
Tears rolled down my cheeks
I moved my hand so my wrist was visible to me
Through the defeat in my eyes, I was able to make out
The brand of Lust
A goats head
Embedded in my skin
The most despised
But no one understands
That I've never felt the desire
That everyone associates lust with
All I've ever felt
Is the desire to be cherished
To be told that I am loved
And cared for
Someone who will tell me that I can make it
That's what I lust for
What I hope and pray for
But I have yet to be near it
So I must bear this brand
Until someone comes around
Who isn't defined by their sin
Someone with compassion
Someone with love in their heart
The voices around me grew louder
Full of hatred
"Throw her in a cell!"
"Get rid of her before she can enact upon her heart!"
That isn't what's in my heart...
That was never in my heart...
The voices grew louder
I covered my ears with my hands
Wishing that this would end
I then heard a commotion
Footsteps scurrying back
"WHO DO YOU PEOPLE THINK YOU ARE?"
"HOW DARE YOU!"
"GET BACK YOU FERAL DOGS!"
"YOU DISGUSTING BEASTS!"
I peered up and saw a girl
Standing in front of me
She was wearing a sleeveless shirt
Something no person in this world would dare to wear
She had a lion on her wrist
She continued to criticize the crowd
"SHOW ME YOUR WRISTS, YOU HYPOCRITES."
I heard a few sleeves being pulled up
"You prides and envies live up to your pitifully low expectations"
"So you all want her dead?"
She looked back at me with a kind smile
The crowd roared
Fury enveloped her face and she whipped around to face them
She began laughing
A mocking laugh
The same tone of voice that was directed at me
Directed at them
She raised her arms
"Then let whoever has not sinned strike first"
"Whoever has not thought or acted upon their hearts desire"
"Let them be the one to begin her execution."
The crowd went silent
A few stepped back in fear
The girl dropped her hands
And on her other wrist
Was a dove
"That's what I thought."
"Who do you people think you are?"
"Criticizing another human just like you"
"One who has enacted upon their heart just like anyone else"
"But you don't know her."
"You don't know what kind of lust she desires"
"It's not just sexual you single-minded maggots"
"Posers, the lot of you"
"You don't understand that our brands are here to make us grow"
"None of you even entertained the thought, have you?"
"But you think we're in Hell already"
"That we can do whatever we damn well please because our brands are open to others"
Some in the crowd fell back in fear
"We are not defined by our sins"
"We are defined by our growth"
She showed her wrists
"And this is the outcome."
"May God have mercy on your miserable souls"
She turned to me and held out her hand
I stared at her for a few moments
And cried out in agony
She knelt down and grabbed my branded wrist
I looked back up at her
She had something glimmering in her eyes I had never seen before
"We'll get through this together"
"Can you stand?"