At the apartment that evening, Bruce and Stevie were preparing for the next day. In Stevie’s case, that meant a book report for reading, and rehearsal of basic multiplication. For Bruce, that meant Algebra homework and Literature. This would not be bad on a normal night, but Bruce’s mom was determined to have Bruce memorize the Bible, apparently by the end of this week. As he plowed through the riveting plot in the book of ‘Numbers’, Bruce also wondered how he would face the bullies who had locked him up on Friday. Bruce was sure they would not be pleased he had gotten free and spent the weekend at home.
After finishing his assigned reading, Bruce again was allowed to read a part of the Bible of his own choice, and again he let the book open itself, hoping for a nice Psalm or Proverb, but instead the book fell open to an early part, to Genesis 14:10 –
Now the Valley of Siddim was full of tar pits, and when the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, some of the men fell into them and the rest fled to the hills.
This passage did nothing for Bruce, so he again set the book on its spine and let it fall open. Again, the Bible most unnaturally ignored the middle sections, and fell open to Deuteronomy 7:10 –
those who hate Him He will repay to their face by destruction; He will not be slow to repay to their face those who hate Him.
A bit vengeful, that seemed, though Bruce felt he could identify with that up to a point. Once again, Bruce set up the Bible, and this time it fell open to Psalms 55:13 –
But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend,
An odd verse thought Bruce, especially in the context of betrayal by a friend – one nice thing about not having any real friends, was that the friends you did not have, would not desert you.
Bruce put away the Bible, kissed his mom goodnight, and went to sleep. He did not sleep well, but dreamed of violence and pain.