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Fathers

Confession

Confession is good for the soul. At least, that's what I hear. But I'm not feeling it.

Sitting on a park bench, watching chubby legs propel a mop of shiny blond curls across the grass away from spider fingers wriggling in anticipation of a tickle fest. Laughter falls from the lips of father and daughter alike, burning my ears.

No, I’m definitely not feeling it.

Guilt washes over me, and my heart skips a beat when the little girl in front of my eyes pitches forward and nearly falls flat on her face – except for the strong arm that slides around her waist, lifts her up in the air, and starts twirling her around. Tears sting my eyes, and I have to look away. Full belly laughs assault my ears. I wish I could cut them off.

I don’t want to feel like what I did was wrong. And watching them stirs up an ache inside my heart… one which brings exactly that feeling. I don’t need that. Not today.

Still, wayward thoughts assault me as I wait.

You took that away from him. You never gave him a chance. What right did you have to make that decision on your own?

I rally my justifications quickly, but it takes all the strength I can muster when confronted with what is right before my eyes.

He wasn’t any more ready than I was. What right did I have to ask him to father a child conceived in the process of deception? We weren’t even really in love. Who even says he would have wanted it anyway?

I look back, just in time for the shame-clencher. His face transposed over this father’s, kissing a dark colored mass of waves on the forehead.

“Max…”

Gray, bloodshot eyes and hollowed cheeks meet my gaze. Lyle looks awful. I did that to him. And I’m about to do worse. Heaven help me, I’m about to do a lot worse.

Father, please forgive me for this…

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