She was so young that I’m sure she didn’t realize the full breadth and consequences of her actions – no one had taught her any better, after all.
Guilt subconsciously crept in and flooded her mind, making her repress the memory and stow away the evidence so as not to have to face the condemnation from her soul.
For twenty-eight years, the crime went unpunished and unacknowledged.
Until she accidentally came face to face with that well-hidden proof.
She did a double-take. She gasped in horror, as all of a sudden she remembered that she had indeed brought that travesty down upon my head.
So much made sense now – she finally understood why I would feel the way that I do – feelings that she had previously written off as overly dramatic and unfounded.
But she now knew that the burden of guilt lay solely on her shoulders. And, being the woman of integrity that she is, she knew that she must confess.
She waited until we were alone, so that I would have the freedom to process my emotions. She handed me the proof and looked into my eyes, imploring my forgiveness.
“I’m so sorry. I really didn’t realize that it ever got this bad.”
I shook my head and deeply sighed.
It hurt – most certainly.
I looked again – it was just as shocking the second time.
I closed my eyes and searched for the inner strength to do what I knew needed to be done – and, though the words clung to the roof of my mouth like chewing gum on the bottom of a food court table, I did it. I granted her my forgiveness.
My brother, however, may not feel quite as merciful.