It’s the night before you have to leave, and there’s one last person you need to go see.
Bless me Father, for I have sinned. It’s been… well, never. I’m not Catholic. Is that okay? I did go to Catholic school when I was a kid, if that helps. I got in trouble all the time because I was always doing stuff I wasn’t supposed to, like wearing socks with pink hearts on them instead of the plain white or navy blue ones I was supposed to wear, but I was 7 and who cares about socks? Other than nuns. Anyway, I just thought I’d bring that up in case you were worried that I wouldn’t know Hail Mary or Our Father, because I do know. We had to say one or the other every morning right after the Pledge of Allegiance. Or maybe before. God before country, right? Especially at Catholic school. Anyway, I know how it works, sorta, I mean, you tell me to pray a lot and then I do it and I’m okay again, right? I can say as many Hail Marys as I need to, because even though it’s been a long time since I was 7, some things you don’t forget, and it’s right there in my head with the other stuff I had to memorize, like the preamble to the Constitution and the Gettysburg Address. Hail Mary full of grace the lord is with thee? Yeah, see. I didn’t forget.
I don’t really know how this works. I’ve seen it in movies, though, when people get desperate, they wind up in a church late at night confessing their sins to whoever got stuck with the graveyard shift for priests. I know I’ve been talking nonstop since I got in here, and I don’t even know if you’re there, and that’s the thing. I don’t have anybody to talk to. I’m around people all the time, I mean, I have a job and I have relatives, but I don’t have anybody to talk to, and I have all of this in my head and I guess I just needed to say it before I go. See, Father, I’m leaving town. I’m not really sure where I’m going yet, and I don’t have any plans other than after I leave here I’m going to get in my car and drive until I can’t drive anymore and wherever I end up, that’s where I’m going to stay. I gotta start over because I’m going crazy here. There’s only so long you can go without anybody to talk to before you start losing it, you know? I thought I was doing okay but then yesterday this girl I work with gave me a piece of chocolate because she said I looked sad, and that’s when I knew. If someone else can tell, then it’s only a matter of time before everybody can tell, and then they’ll start treating me different because they’re so sorry I went crazy.
Maybe going crazy is penance enough, because I’ve got a lot of sins under my belt, but I’ll just skip to the latest one, because I’m sure you don’t have all night, and I’ve gotta get going anyway, but I had an affair with a married man and the only thing I’m sorry about is that it’s over. I really loved him, you know? And it’s not like that just goes away because his wife found out and he ended it. I know it was the right thing to do, ending it. I do. But it doesn’t help, because it still feels completely fucking — sorry — terrible and I know there’s nothing I can do about it other than to get over it, but that’s the thing. I’m not getting over it. I’m sure I will eventually, because I can’t possibly be miserable forever, right? Maybe. I’m pretty good at being miserable.
We were friends for a long time, and then the other part, the um, the adultery thing, it just happened. And then it kept happening, and I know it was wrong, but the problem I have is that it wasn’t wrong. It was like, I don’t know, I’ve never been good at relationships and I almost always prefer being alone, really, but then this one thing happened and it was so great that I finally got it, I finally understood what all the fuss was about with the whole love thing and for once it all made sense. And it was always going to end, because he belongs with his family and I know that. I respect it. I’m not completely deplorable. I just… I miss him? And everything around here reminds me, for one reason or another, so I’m leaving. I’m running away, I guess, and I’m going just as soon as I can bring myself to stop talking.
I didn’t have anybody else to tell, and that’s why I’m here, because I needed to tell somebody. I don’t guess you need to give me any praying to do, because I suppose it’s penance enough that I lost my best friend and I don’t have anybody to talk to. That’s what I get for being happy with someone else’s husband, and that’s fair, I guess. I’m not going to argue about it, anyway. It’s probably backwards for me to ask you for a favor, but I’m not Catholic and I don’t know all the rules, so maybe someday if you happen to think about it, you could pray for me? I know I can’t do it, and someone out there should.