AUTHORS NOTE:

This is a prologue to my new story. There are several things you should know before you continue to read:

1) It will not be in first person from beyond this chapter;
2) It will have moments of slash in it;
3) I am Catholic and a Catholic High School survivor so all thoughts, opinions and comments that are written are not said to offend any religion, belief system or are even my opinion, thoughts and comments. It is solely for entertainment purposes only;
4) Despite my religion, I am 100% anti-homophobia in the church. It is wrong;
5) I am really bad at updating so if at it any point you feel it's been too long since I updated, please kick me up the bum; and finally,
6) I am writing this story as I am the slash judge over at ADoR and felt it was time I shared my slash in an original fiction setting, rather than fanfiction. Please feel free to go check out all the Slash suggestions, and the other categories, as well as suggest your own favourite stories!


[Challenging his Faith]


"Dear Lord, forgive me for I have sinned…"

It had been God - damn, nothing like taking the Lord's name in vain while sat in church - knows how long since I had stepped into church. Despite having always been brought up religious, the Lord and I had a falling out a few years previous and I still felt like I was shaky grounds with him. Yet here I was, kneeling down on the front pew with my father's jet black rosary beads twirled around my calloused fingers as I rub the bead I was on with my fingertip, desperately seeking for a forgiveness that I believed was necessary.

Realistically, I should be sat talking to Father Louis rather than myself but I couldn't bring myself to do it. Father Louis had always known me. He'd been the priest to baptise me eighteen years previous, his smiling face beaming with pride as I made my First Communion and he was there to guide me through my Holy Confirmation. He was close to my family, stating that we'd all been touched by the Lord's love and that we'd been put here on Earth to spread his message; we were truly the Lord's children. Something made me believe that if I was to step into that small confessional box and recite my sin to the Father Louis he'd most likely die of a heart attack and I didn't need the death of the Parish Priest on my conscious too. No thanks.

Someone who was raised like me; a good Catholic boy; didn't tell Father Louis the following sin. Oh no. The only kind of sin someone like me should commit is not listening to my mother or teasing my elder sister even though I've been told hundreds of times to leave her alone because of her illness or that I've stayed up too late at night watching horror movies because I so desperately wanted to know why my mother had banned me from watching them in the first place. Yes. Those kind of sins were alright to share with your Father but most definitely not the sin that I was carrying on my small shoulders.

"it has been six months since I last came to confession."

Yes. I really am the poster boy for a good Catholic boy, aren't I? Six whole months since I'd stepped foot into a confessional box. I'd avoided one-to-one conversations with Father Louis because I was afraid that he could see the hatred and the loss of faith that I was starting to feel and I was terrified that he'd want to talk to me about it, make me change my mind and understand that hating the Lord doesn't fix anyone's problems. I knew it was silly because I'd been a part of this church my entire life and the Sunday after my Holy Communion, I became an altar boy. I have always been a part of this church and yet I still feel myself bristling with contempt whenever I step through the doors, the urge to shout and demand to know why as I stare at the large statues of Jesus and God around the place. To many families, not going to confession in six months wasn't that bad but to my family, six months was a lifetime.

"Well you should talk to me rather than a phantom, son."

Jumping at the teasing voice, I turn to the side and see Father Louis standing over me. His warm, fatherly smile embraced his features as he moved to sit down on the pew next to me. Turning away from him, I focused on the rosary beads in my hand as an uncomfortable silent bridled with tension washed over us. I knew that I would have to be the one that spoke first. Father Louis would sit patiently and wait for me to be ready but I would most definitely have to make that first step; take a leap of faith in the elderly man sat beside me.

"I was afraid to talk to you, Father."

"And why, my son, would that be?" It was such a simple question but it was a shame that it couldn't be answered with something as simple.

Why was I afraid of talking to the Father about my predicament? Was I ashamed of how he'd react? Or was I afraid that I'd be able to visibly see the disgust on his face through the tiny slots in the dividers of the confessional box? No. I realised that it wasn't any of those things. Well, okay, I lie. I was worried a wee bit about how he'd react to my confession but at the same time I truly didn't care about his opinion. It was then that I realised what my real issue was. It wasn't because I was afraid of his reaction, it was because I wasn't sorry at all for what I'd done and the whole point of the confessional is to be sorry or you can't seek forgiveness. No. I definitely wasn't sorry. I'd enjoyed it. I wanted to do it again. But if that was true, why was I sat here desperate to talk to him about it?

"Father, I kissed someone…"

Despite his position of confidante, Father Louis chuckled. "Son, you're at the age now that true love starts to appear in someone's life…"

If only it was that simple. I couldn't help but smile at the Father's innocence as I turned to look at him once more, my hand closing around the small crucifix at the end of the rosary as I shook my head. The slight sting of the four sides digging into my hand reminding me that I was only human after all.

"Father, I didn't kiss…"

Closing my eyes, I took a deep breath. This was my big chance. I knew that I should ask Father to take this into the confessional. Anything I said out here, not under the oath of confession, could be used to incriminate me but something told me I could trust the elderly man standing across from me. He'd help me rationalise my actions, tell me that they were wrong and that it was just a phase that everyone my age went through. We were curious, desperate to learn every secret and trick about our body but we never thought straight.

"… a girl. I kissed a boy. And I liked it."