"My son, when was your last confession?"
"It has been a while father... two years."
He swallowed hard at the lump in his throat. Deciding to come clean after all these years was difficult enough. His heart pounded, beads of sweat formed on his smooth forehead. He could no longer ignore the pain of his tortured soul and knew that he must seek absolution.
"What is the nature of your sin, my child?" the voice on the other end of the confessional was soothing, serene, peaceful. Jack Henderson cleared his throat as he struggled to utter the words he must speak. After what seemed like an eternity he finally croaked, "Father, I...I have sinned."
"For your sins, you seek absolution." the priest intoned. "In order to be truly at peace, you must confess it all and seek penance."
Jack nodded before he realized that the priest could not really see him do it. He sucked in his breath, "I have been carrying this burden of guilt with me for too long. I need to lay it down before it destroys me."
The priest's voice was full of reassurance, "My son, all sins that have been confessed will be forgiven. You need not carry this burden anymore."
Jack hesitated. He felt the sudden urge to flee the confessional; to run as far away as possible, like he always does when confronted with his past. He shook his head in a failed attempt to disconnect himself from the flood of unpleasant memories that assaulted him.
The priest's soothing voice broke the silence, "Do you still seek absolution, my son?"
Jack regained his composure. "Yes father, I am ready to confess everything."
He sensed rather than saw the priest shift in his seat on the other side of the booth. Clearing his parched throat, Jack began his confession.