A/n: I don't own RENT, or the Catholic religion. In fact, I am not actually Catholic, but I did google 'Confession', so it's all good. ;) But anyways, please don't flame me, like, if i've gotten any of this wrong... It seems like whenever religion comes into something, people get so pissed off...Like when I accidentally told an Orthodox Jewish kid that I was dating a (not orthodox, obviously) Jewish girl, and I'm not Jewish [plus I'm a girl...] aah, he FLIPPED OUT and screamed at me.
But I mean, no offense to Jews. Not all of them flip out and scream.
Because I love you, Jews, with your matzo and your Long Island and your kvetching. I LOVE YOU.
The church was nearly empty now; and her parents were somewhere outside, chatting nonsense with some friends from the PTA.
Joanne Jefferson waited in the front pew, standing up as soon as a brunette woman exited the confessional. She walked over to the confessional and slid open the door, sitting down and shutting it behind her. As soon as Father Riordan heard her shut the door, he slid open the window in-between their separate booths. It allowed her to see his silhouette, but not enough to recognize him.
Which was good, if that was only what he could see of her. She certainly wanted to remain anonymous for this.
Joanne sighed. She'd been going to the confessional every month since she was at least eight. Now here she was, thirteen years old, and she was dreading this confession. If what she'd always thought to be true was true, if she was really supposed to confess every single one of her sins...It was embarrassing, to say the least. Besides, if she didn't confess everything, God would know. And he'd be angry.
Or at least that was what everyone said.
Joanne cleared her throat. "Bless me, father, for I have sinned. It has been two months since my last confession."
The man in the other booth spoke. "Very good, my child. Will you confess your sins now, and restore God's grace inside of you?"
Joanne nodded, and then realized that he could not see her. "Um. Yes."
There was a pause. It wasn't as if she hadn't done this before. But this time was much different. "Okay, well...I lied to my friend Sam last week. She asked if I liked anyone, and I made up this boy named "Tim" in my Science class. Just to get her off my back, she's so boy-crazy."
There was silence.
"And, um...I fought with my mother, twice. About things that were my fault. I also broke this statue, it's a really expensive original thing, my mom loves it. I accidentally knocked it down and blamed it on the dog."
"I swore in front of my friends, several times, actually. I am sorry for that. I wanted my math teacher, Mrs. Burns, to die when she gave me a 'B'...I planned it for a few minutes, but felt guilty about my thoughts, so I put it out of my head."
"Is that all?" He asked calmly, and Joanne coughed. "Um, no, Father. There is something else."
She was silent for a moment, and the priest spoke again. "Are you going to tell me?"
"Yes." It came out as a whisper.
"You see, Father, there's this new girl in school...She sits in front of me."
"And...I sometimes stare at the back of her head...She has these beautiful brown curls that fall down her back. Once, I even leaned forward all the way in my seat while no one was looking, just so I could smell them. They smell like...like strawberries, I think. Yeah. I've always liked strawberries."
"And is it jealousy you have for this girl, child?" The priest asked.
"No, not exactly, not really. You see, um..." Joanne spluttered, "She sometimes talks to me; she has a lovely voice. I went to see the school play this year just because I knew she was starring in it. She is such an amazing singer, Father...I've never heard anything like it before. And...And afterward, after the play had ended, I went up to her to say hello. And she...remembered me." Joanne's voice grew excited on the last few words, and the priest couldn't help but smile.
"But you see...I went up to congratulate her, on singing so well, and my heart was pounding a mile a minute, and...She smiled really big and hugged me." Joanne sighed. "It was a beautiful hug, really. I felt so warm and...I don't know."
"Is that all?" The priest asked with curiosity.
Joanne groaned. "No. You see, Father, she...Sometimes, well, all the time really, I just want to kiss her, so badly. I just want to grab her and kiss her forever. And...And I know it's wrong! Believe me, I know! The Bible says-"
The priest cleared his throat. "Child, Jesus preached to love others, which is exactly what you are doing."
"But...But...What about, what about, you know? Gay people." She said it in a whisper, almost like it was the name of a terminal illness.
"What about them?"
Joanne sighed heavily. "The bible says that a man shall not lie with another man, and so obviously, that also means-"
"The bible also says that no one should wear two types of fibers at the same time in their clothing, women should always wear dresses, and their hair long, and a divorced woman should be stoned to death," Father Riordan said patiently.
"Technically, if your shirt is made of both cotton and polyester, and especially if there's some lycra thrown in there, you're going against what the Bible says." He chuckled.
Joanne wrinkled an eyebrow. "Damn. I should be confessing more, then."
The priest laughed. "Joanne."
Joanne looked up from her lap and through the slot. "Yes, Father."
"Joanne, child, the Bible was written almost 2,000 years ago. It is made up of historical stories filled with symbolic lessons that we must learn in order to become better people. But you don't have to be so literal."
"Really?" Joanne asked timidly, feeling the guilt leave her.
"Really. You're experiencing young love, and every type of love is looked upon kindly by God. Now, what is the name of this special girl?"
Joanne smiled instinctively. "Maureen."
Joanne heard a chuckle, and then Father Riordan cleared his throat. "I absolve you of your sins in the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Three Hail Mary's and Four Our Fathers." With that, he slid the window shut, and Joanne smiled freely for the first time in two months.
Eh, just a little ficlet I've had written for...over a month. And I was bored, so I thought I'd post it, and maybe someone would read it...It'd be nice if you reviewed anyways..