O Lord, forgive me my sins.

(For the FanBBS August 2010 competition. Prompt: deception of a character, the narrator or reader.)

Our Father

Who art in Heaven

Hallowed be thy name

The scented smoke from the burning incense burns my nose. I mumble the given words like the others in the cathedral. They gaze at their prayer-books and I'm staring at the stone floor because I'm terrified that someone will have seen through my lie.

The priest at the front sets a good example for us, all red robes and blank expression. Perfection in the eyes of God. I glance to my right, where Mother and Father are still standing. I don't dare try to meet their gaze. Eyes are a window to the soul, and I'm so scared I'll see something I don't want to. Or that they'll spot me for what I am.

Thy kingdom come

Thy will be done

On Earth as it is in Heaven

My mind is ticking over and I'm analysing every word dropping out of our mouths. This prayer is a lie through my teeth and I know it. Some people would object to that, but I know better. God knows I wish I didn't.

Mother nudges me. My heart stops.

"Are you okay? You look pale," she mutters quickly, going straight back to her missed words of prayer.

I nod, trying to calm myself down.

Give us today our daily bread

And forgive us our trespasses

As we forgive those who trespass against us

My mouth is dry. I can barely get the words out. I don't dare hope. I'm too far past redemption. And I can't hide it before God. I wish I could. I wish I could change. I wish, I wish, I wish. But there's no shooting stars to wish upon and I don't have a genie and wishes are for little kids. I wish I was a kid again. Then I might be able to grow into something different. Purer.

I wouldn't have to lie to everyone around me.

Lead us not into temptation

And deliver us from evil

For Thine is the kingdom

What a joke. Every day is a temptation for me. Every day I wake up and go to school and I see him. We're inseperable, but everyone around us thinks we're just friends. Every day is temptation because I see those deep hazel eyes and his slightly crooked smile, and I'm addicted to him. Nathan. I love every single piece of him. And it's wrong.

I have to pretend that I'm not bothered by his girlfriend, the stuck-up blonde bimbo she is. I smile and I say hello and I pretend to like her, even though I'd love to wipe that slapped-on smile off her face. She's faker than pirate DVDs, and it kills me to see him with her. I know I'd be much better for him. But every day I have to smile and lie and tell him how well she and Nathan match and how happy I am for them.

The power

And the glory

Forevermore

"Are you sure, Jared?" Mother murmurs. I nod again. Lying is easy when you've had enough practice. Nobody can know my secret. Although I feel bad about lying to them all, I can't stop or my life will be over.

He's never going to see me as anything more than his best friend. And even if he did, it would still be utterly wrong. At least that would be the case in everybody else's eyes. Including my own.

Amen

I can't lie to God.

Hey! I finished my first contest entry! Do drop a review if you can.