CONFESSION OF THE HEART

BY MACGYVERMAGIC

Disclaimer: I do not own any of the Shirley Holmes characters. They are the property of Credo and Forefront Entertainment. However, Father Joshua Trent is one of my own creations. Use of this character is only allowed with a written permission from myself. This is to keep track of my own creations. If my characters are used with extreme caution and not killed, tortured or involved in any illegal acts, this permission will be granted. Use of them in NC-17 stories is not allowed.

POSSIBLE SPOILERS: Episodes 001 "The Case of the Burning Buildings", 026 "The Case of the Patron Saint" and 052 "The Case of the Dragon's Breath".

Author's Note: I thought that since Bo would feel really bad about leaving Shirley, he might turn to the church for help, even though his Catholic faith wasn't very obvious during the show except during the second season finale. This story is set, just before the last episode of the show. I am not a religious person, so any help or suggestion regarding Catholic references in this story are welcome. Happy reading!

********

Father Joshua Trent sat in the confession booth of his church, reading the Bible. He liked contemplating God's words while he waited for people to come and confess their sins. The book had totally changed his life since he first started reading it and now he simply couldn't think of living without it. Every time something bad happened to him in his life, he had turned to the Bible to find peace of mind. Time and time again he found it. He came to accept the death of his parents and when he lost his best friend, the Bible made it possible for him to move on. He turned another page and landed in the book of proverbs when his concentration was broken. The hollow sound of the large wooden door opening and closing could be heard, followed by the sound of hurrying footsteps. The footsteps came nearer and slowed down. Someone entered the other side of the booth. Father Joshua took his eyes of the Bible and opened the sliding panel revealing the small holes in the wall between him and the visitor. Through the holes Father Joshua could see the person making a gesture. He moved his arm across his chest, first vertically then horizontally.

"Bless me father, for I have sinned," came the voice of the visitor. It was a boy, but Father Joshua had trouble remembering the voice. If this boy was a member of his congregation he would be surprised. It felt like he never met him.

"How long has it been since your last confession?" Joshua asked. There was a long silence. Joshua could feel the tension on the other side of the partition. The boy suddenly turned his face towards the wall separating him from Joshua and spoke.

"Sorry for lying to you, father. I didn't come to confess. I need some advice."

Joshua was surprised. Most of the time confession was a straightforward thing, people confessed their sins and left the booth with some punishment. A person entering the confession booth seeking help was a rare event for him.

"Isn't it better for you to turn to a friend?" Joshua suggested. The boy bowed his head and sighed.

"That's just it," the boy said softly, "I feel I have abandoned my best friend. She doesn't deserve that."

"Why do you feel that?" Joshua inquired.

"Way back, I was involved in a gang. My social worker got me out and I was sent to a school for rich people. At least, that's what I thought. Some guys in the gang didn't like me leaving and stitched me up for something I didn't do. Sh... My friend came around and helped me out. She helped me to prove my innocence and keep me on the straight path. We have been best friends ever since."

"She sounds like a nice girl, but -"

"No worries, father. I confessed the gang thing a long way back. I don't have anything to do with it anymore."

"Good to hear that. But I still don't know what your problem is."

"I am going to the Ukraine for my study. It is a good chance for me, but to do it, would mean leaving her." His voice quavered.

The boy felt hurt and Joshua couldn't help it to feel sorry for him for being in such a painful position. "You haven't told her yet, have you?"

"No."

"You can't please everyone in life, my son. Sometimes you have to make choices."

"And I seem to make all the wrong ones."

"There are no wrong choices, only bad ones. Friendships suffer every day and - believe it or not - most of them come out stronger. Tell her how you feel, before it is too late. If you leave without telling her you'll both keep wondering what went wrong in the end."

"What do I tell her? Do you know what I should say. does God know," he asked desperately.

"There are no set words for these things. Just follow your heart. If she's a true friend she'll understand you."

The boy thought about the answer. It all made sense to him. If he wasn't going to tell her, he would regret it for the rest of his life. "Thanks for your help, father," he said.

"Your welcome, my son. God bless you." Joshua spoke. The boy raised from his seat and left the confession booth. Again, Joshua heard the voice of running feet on the marble church floor. This time the sound of the heavy wooden door slamming shut came after that. He returned his thoughts to the book of proverbs. Again God had made a difference in someone's life.

********

That evening the phone rang in the Sawchuck residence. Bo was called to the phone by his mother and seconds later he came and took the receiver.

"Hello," came the cheerful voice of Shirley Holmes from the other end of the line.

"Hi," Bo answered, but his voice sounded different than usual, different from what he hoped for. Shirley - as observant as she was - knew it instantly.

"Is something wrong," she asked. Tact had never been her strong point. Shirley always liked to talk about things openly. The only subjects this didn't apply to where love and the disappearance of her mother. Even though she had found her mother again a while back, she still hadn't adjusted to the new situation at home very well.

"I'm sorry for not meeting you this afternoon. I feel like a total jerk. Will you forgive me?"

"Apology accepted," Shirley replied, "I still got the tape of one of those security cameras to solve some robberies at the North Side and I think the robbery of the Jewelry shop can be solved in the same way, but we can do that later. Those cameras won't run away or something." She paused for a moment before she continued.

"That's Shirley! Always busy with some kind of mystery." Bo thought to himself.

"I've got to admit it's weird they suddenly appeared all over town, but they do come in handy sometimes. See you in school on Monday."

"School," he thought. "All those people, that don't know I'm leaving."

"See you later." Bo replied. The line went dead as Shirley broke the connection.

For a moment he stood there in silence, both hands around the receiver like he couldn't let it go. "And how am I going to tell Heather? I was thinking so much about Shirley I forgot how she would react. Would she still want to be my girlfriend?" He had no answers to these questions, but he knew one thing. He was going to tell them - both of them. Not over the phone, but in a face to face conversation. Next Monday, at school. maybe Tuesday.

THE END