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The Apple Never Falls Far From the Forbidden Tree
I hate going to confession. However, this is a time when I think I need some guidance. I open the smooth pine door and slip inside the small dark booth.
“Forgive me father for I…I may have sinned.”
I try to speak slowly but by the end of my tale my speech is fast even to my ears.
“My brother, Abraham, is gay. Everyone tells me gay people are bad but I’m not sure now, which is why I’m here. When he told her, Mom I mean, I wasn’t supposed to hear but I hid on the stairs. I remember their conversation word for word. I don’t think I’ll ever forget…
“You're doing this on purpose aren’t you! Well it isn’t funny!”
“Mom, I’m sorry but this isn’t a joke. I think I might be gay.”
“NO! No, you aren’t…aren’t THAT.”
“NO! NO! This is not possible. It’s just not.”
“I’m sorry Mom but I just can’t lie to you anymore”
“STOP IT! JUST STOP IT! I can’t believe you’re doing this! Choosing to live in sin!”
“Choosing?! CHOOSING?! You think this was a choice?! I didn’t choose this. Trust me, if it was as simple as choosing who I’m attracted to then we wouldn’t be having this conversation!”
"Then mother started lighting candles to the saints and praying. Abraham walked out and we haven’t seen him since. I don’t know what to think. I mean, in church we learn that being gay is a sin but isn’t everyone born into sin? What makes his sin worse than anyone else’s? So does that mean my brother is going to hell? What if I’m on his side? Does that mean I’m going to hell too? I don’t think that it is his fault he is the way he is. I’m on Abraham’s side with this one but…"
“MOM! Say something please!”
I snap my head up. I’m sitting in a hard backed kitchen chair. I touch my hand to my face only to find it wet. I look up and see my son clutching the hand of a thin, blonde boy with glasses. God, I haven’t thought of my brother in years. He came back a few months after that day in kitchen with a partner. Mother wouldn’t even look at him.
Luke still waits for me to say something but my mind is blank. I look into my sons expectant, scared eyes and say the only thing I can think of.
“Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.”
I hear my son’s angry footsteps as he storms out the back door and the softer, faster ones of his companion as he followed. I keep reciting.
“And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.”
Evil? Evil. My son has to repent. He has too…
“For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
forever and ever.”
I never noticed how much Luke looked like Abraham. No, no Luke isn’t Abraham. He won’t make the same mistakes my brother did. Mistakes? Mistakes. I was on my brother’s side back then but I was young. Corruptible. I didn’t understand what a grave sin my brother was committing. Luke will see the light. He will come back. He will. He has to.