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One Night Sin – Maddy & Declan's Story (Chapter 12)
“Declan!” Father Patch says to me as he walks back into his office.
Yes, I just spent the last few minutes sitting here and reading over some of the notes he left with me. I don't know why I'm doing this. Seriously, what kind of priest goes on vacation to Aruba? If priests get to go to Aruba every year, I'm pretty sure more people would want to be a priest. I don't think this is a perk of the job or anything. I'm not saying that a man of the cloth can never go on vacation, but…
No, really, when do priests get to go on vacation? Fuck if I know. I guess they might call it a sabbatical, except that seems different. How should I know, though? I'm not a priest. Not yet, at least. Maybe they explain all of this stuff to you later. Yeah, like, uh… the end of my fourth year at seminary they'll go over the hidden perks of the job. They need to make sure you're serious before that.
I'm almost positive that's not actually how it goes, but I'm doing my best to rationalize this situation. I feel like I'm probably worrying about the wrong thing, though. I should focus less on Father Patch leaving and more on me running the church for a week.
I have no fucking clue how to run a church. Why the fuck am I in seminary school again? Don't even fucking ask. Seriously, please don't ask.
“Yes,” I say to Father Patch, because I should probably say something.
“Are you all set?” he asks me.
I think I'm supposed to say yes, so I do. “Yes,” I say.
“Good. Actually, I've got your first task all lined up. I need to head out, but I'm sure you can handle your first confession, right?”
“Uh, yeah?” I say. “Who am I confessing to if you're leaving, though?”
He laughs and shakes his head. “No, no. You'll be the one listening to the confession. I understand it might seem a little daunting at first, but I'm sure you can handle it.”
“Father, I…” I've got a lot of misgivings about this whole situation, so I'm not quite sure how to word this, but… “Don't you think I should wait until I'm officially ordained for that one? I don't want to cause any issues or anything, you know?”
“Issues with who?” he asks.
“God?” I offer.
“Why would God have issues with this?” he asks, completely misunderstanding me. “The entire point of confession is to confess our sins to God. Yes, that's generally done through an ordained priest, but the act of confessing to another person in and of itself is healing in many ways, Declan.”
“Yeah, but what if it doesn't work?” I ask. “What if God doesn't accept it?”
“How about we consider this a trial run?” Father Patch suggests. “If she wants to confess again next week when I'm back, that's perfectly fine, but for now I think it'll do you a lot of good to sit in as the confessor.”
As reluctant as I am to admit it, he makes a lot of sense. I also don't really put much more thought into his words than that, but in hindsight maybe I should have. Oh well. This is probably my own doing by agreeing to this.
“So, do we have a deal?” he asks me.
“Sure,” I say with a nod. “I think I can handle it.”
“Good! Those notes should have everything you need to know for the week, but just in case I left you a phone number you can reach me at on the last page. Feel free to call anytime, Declan. If I don't answer right away, just leave a message and I'll get back to you. I have faith in you. I know you can do this.”
And then he's rushing off to do whatever he has to do. Mainly, I'm pretty sure he's going home to grab his bags and then getting on a plane to Aruba. I kind of wish I'd had the foresight to decide to take a summer vacation myself. Maybe this is God's plan, though. If I wasn't here, who would watch after the church while Father Patch is gone?
I don't know. And maybe he wouldn't have left without someone to take his place temporarily. Or maybe he would have and this poor person wanting to confess their sins early this morning wouldn't be able to for an entire week. How terrible would that be? I don't actually know, because I have no idea what their sins are yet, but I'm about to find out.
I step confidently out of Father Patch's office. Heading down the short hallway to the church sanctuary, I stride onwards, past the pews, going straight for the confession booth. Habit makes me almost open the wrong side of the booth and enter in as if I'm the one about to confess. I catch myself, though. I go in the way Father Patch always goes in.
As soon as I sit down, the confession begins. And, oh yes, it's a beauty.
This is the confession I've been waiting for all my life. If, you know, I wasn't planning on becoming a priest. And, uh… I'm sure there's other reasons why this is bad. I know there are.
I don't know why I agreed to any of this. My first two minutes taking care of the church and I'm already in over my head. Fuck.
This week's chapter is setting things up for next week, and it's going to be kind of intense! If you've been keeping up with the story, I think it should be pretty obvious who's about to confess. Poor Declan… probably poor Maddy, too. Or not? We'll see how this turns out.
I kind of wanted to do something different as far as how they come together, so this is my attempt at that. There's going to be more happening along with this that's going to make everything even more complicated, which I'm really excited to share with you soon. Maddy and Declan's story is picking up, that's for sure!
I hope you're enjoying it so far. I'll see you next week!
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