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  • Alexandra Grese

Nothing to Punch

by Alexandra Grese

Bless me father, for I have sinned, it has been two years since my last confession.

I know that's a long time. Too long. Well, not too long - God has a plan and everything goes according to that plan - but, well. Okay.

I lied to others. About so many things. Most of the time the lies were the only things getting me through. Like that I was okay or everything was fine or no I hardly ever thought about it but thanks for asking. Keeping the lies straight, sculpting them into some semblance of truth, kept my mind busy or on other things. It made it easier to breathe.

I also lied to my parents. But I think they knew. Does that still count as a sin, if we all knew and just never said anything? Never mind. I know it does. Sorry.

I worshipped false gods. In between all the lies. Each lie I offered up like a prayer to I don’t know what, that it would all be different, that it would all change or just go away. But it never did. And that made me angry. So angry. That's a sin too, right? I was angry at God. At others. At myself. I wish I could explain it better. It was like having your fists clenched but nothing to punch.

I fought with others. My friends. Or, people who used to be my friends. David and Jared, mostly. They're not my friends anymore. They were different after it happened, and by different I mean that they were still the same. But how could they be the same when everything had changed, when the whole world had turned upside down and I had to fight to breathe? So I stole their bikes and I pushed them into the river. They made a splash, but not as big of one as you'd think.

I also lied to Robby. I told him that everything would be okay. Even though I knew it wouldn’t be, I said it anyway. And given the chance, I’d say it again. Just to watch him breathe easier one more time.

Robby was my little brother. He was eight when they diagnosed him with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. It means, when he died, he felt like he was drowning. For a year, I watched him waste away, watched as he slowly became something not my brother. But he was still my brother, is still my brother, even though he's not here anymore. And it must be okay that he's not here anymore because of that plan God has, but how can He not want him to be around when He knew Robby? How he was calm for an eight year old and sweet and loved to read. He read so many books that Dad was afraid he'd grow up to be a pansy, but that would have been okay because it would have meant that he was still Robby, healthy, not sick Robby. Sometimes I pretend he's still here, just in the other room reading another dumb book, because that makes it easier for me to breathe again, at least for a little while. But that’s a lie too, huh, father? I guess I just can't stop lying, and maybe I’ll never be able to stop because this fight to breathe never stops. And I’m trying to be okay with that, I’m trying to remember that all of this is somehow part of God’s will, but I think I still have a lot of sinning left to do before any of this seems okay.

For these and all the sins I cannot remember I am sorry.

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