The guilty feelings finally got to me and I told my mom everything that had happened the night before. I hate having big secrets between us.
Yup – you guessed right. She F.R.E.A.K.E.D out. Quietly. My mom’s not one of those mom’s who gets overly emotional and starts throwing a fit. But that doesn’t mean it’s any less scary!
Mom’s mouth went all tight and the look in her eye was a mix between disappointment, anger and what I’m sure was fear. We sat in strained silence for about half an hour. It felt like 900 years!!!! And then she told me to go to my room and think about how it made her feel to have had me lie to her.
So I did. And I felt like a horrible, dishonest human being. And all that ugly guilt turned my stomach into a tight knot of 100% rotten guilt.
After about an hour of sitting on my bed sweating it out, my mom came into my room. I didn’t imagine things could get worse. But they did. Of course.
She started to cry and told me to give some serious thought to how she would be feeling right now if something really bad had happened to me the night before. Then she said she was so upset that she needed to go out for a walk and some fresh air to clear her head. This time she wasn’t that quiet. She slammed the door so hard behind her that it felt like the whole block of flats wobbled from side to side.
Mom couldn’t have thought of a better punishment if she’d tried. My mom is so unbelievably cool and I’ve never, ever known her to be this upset with me. And leaving me sitting by myself knowing that I’d caused her so much pain felt horrendous. In fact I felt like I was in hell.
When mom got back from her walk she was much calmer. And when she gated me for a week I swear I was actually grateful to be properly punished so that this emotional agony could end. I’d been bad. And facing the consequences felt like the right thing to do.
I wasn’t allowed to see any of my friends for a whole week. I wasn’t even allowed to go and watch a movie by myself. I didn’t get any pocket money. Tough going. But on the bright side it did mean I had lots of time to sketch and paint, which was pretty cool. I really got into my own creative zone. And I got up early every morning to make tea for my mom to make amends. By the end of my week of punishment the vibe between us was good again.
Tonight is my last night of ‘detention’ and it feels like things are cool enough to ask my mom one of the questions I’ve been thinking about all week.
“Hey mom? You know you told me about that woman you’d met in the chemist and her daughter that got arrested in the raid? And then you gave me that long speech about you being the kind of mom I can talk to when things happen?”
My mom smiles. “Yes?”
“Did you tell me all of that because you knew I’d been at Nigiro the night before?”
“Then how come?” I ask.
“Instinct, I guess. I could tell you were hiding something from me because I know you so well. And when I fetched you from the party you and your friends were all so stressed out. I didn’t get the feeling that you were all having a simple, happy party at a friend’s house.”
“And you were totally right, mom.”
“I really didn’t know you’d been at Nigiro,” she continues, “but I did know that there were suddenly secrets between us, much like there were between the woman I met at the chemist and her daughter. You teenagers are very vulnerable when you feel you have to hide the truth about your lives from your parents. I told you that story so that I could tell you that I always want you to know that I’m on your side.”
I can tell that she really means what she’s saying.
“Thanks mom,” I say I give her a hug.
Then I sit back on the couch and look out the window of the flat down onto the docks a few kilometres away. I’m lost in thought. I’ve been so confused this last week and a bit. Thank heavens the world is starting to get back to normal and make sense again. But then I think of Simon and I can’t help myself frowning.
“What?” asks mom.
The woman doesn’t miss a thing. But it’s ok. Since she’s on my side I don’t mind spilling my guts.
“I had such a feeling about Simon, like there was instantly some connection between us. But Deevya said that I was ‘star struck’ and that my imagination was setting me up for a big fall.”
“And do you think she’s right?” ask my mom.
“I’m not sure mom. I feel like I need to spend more time with him before I really know.”
“Well that sounds like you’ve got your head screwed on right Hope! You’re a teenager. It’s perfectly natural to not always be sure of what you think – and luckily you’ve got time on your side and the world at your feet so you don’t need to rush into anything. Give yourself space to discover and think. And now that you’re not gated anymore you can have some fun while you’re at it!”
She gives me a big smile. I feel so much better.
Hmmm. ‘Fun!’ Oh yeah. I can do that. Just watch this space!
WHAT DO YOU THINK? Have you ever lied to your parents and then confessed and told them the truth? Tell us about it.