My mother and father twitch nervously, waiting for what I have to say. I practice the lines in my head as I pace back and forth in front of them. My speech was perfect as I practiced in front of the mirror, now nothing sounds quite right. I can’t find the words to describe the magnitude of my regret or worry, I bite my lip and choke at the thought of actually speaking, but I do. I forget my carefully chosen words, my secret escapes my lips like blood from a wound: painfully spilling out. I wait for the response but it does not come, I start shooting explanations, anything that will take away the silence. But as my mother’s tears fall, I know better than to linger.
I sit in my bedroom, hands clasped in prayer when the door opens and light streams in. I lower my head in shame at the silhouette of my parents. They come inside and sit beside me, my father with his kind eyes, my mother with her caring worries. I find their arms around me in a warm embrace, instantly bringing back the guilt. My tears surge and drip onto my shirt, my father hushes my sobs and strokes my hair, telling me it will be okay, he will look after me. My mother holds me tight; she talks of God’s love for his children, and how I am just as worthy as anyone else. How she and my father are here to guide me, all I have to do is let them. Her loving words ring in my ears until they are all I can hear, like an addictive melody on repeat, carrying me off into deep slumber.