My first confession

My woes began when my grandfather passed away and my grandmother moved in to live with us citing loneliness. I was nine years old, she was an old woman unsuited for city life. At times for dinner she insisted on boiled and mashed foods which I rarely touched.

My woes began when my grandfather passed away and my grandmother moved in to live with us citing loneliness. I was nine years old, she was an old woman unsuited for city life. At times for dinner she insisted on boiled and mashed foods which I rarely touched.

She was and still is a born again Christian, insisted on prayer especially before meal times which to me seemed like a time consuming ritual.

My sister and her were best of friends, she sucked up to the old lady probably for some share of my late grandfathers inheritance. This caused me to loathe both of them. One day when my mother and father were away, I refused to sit at the dinner table for a serving of the mashed and boiled foods. I hid under the coffee table. My sister came after me and I lashed at her with a pair of scissors. Of course I was spanked when mother got back, but it wasn’t because I lashed at my sister, it was because the old lady insisted that I get a thrashing.

Soon after, the old lady befriended the priest at the Catholic Church in the estate and how they reached an agreement that I should go for confession, I will never know. I faked illness countless times, dodged her and the priest but a nine year old can only get away for so long.

To prove to me how hot hell fire would be, she asked me to hold a coin over a candle flame for five minutes; if I did I wouldn’t go for confession. I dared, I didn’t last two minutes. She also talked of the possibility of turning into a ghost if I didn’t go for confession, I didn’t want to scare my mum in case I turned into a ghost.

Confession day was on a Saturday afternoon, my sister held my hand as we walked to the nearby church in our estate; she had a way of tormenting me. At some point she suggested my sins were too many, I would probably be sent to the bishop. Who scares a kid like that?

At the chapel I sat on the bench alongside others who were there to confess too and prayed for a miracle, which would save me from the confession. Something like the priest having an emergency and having to postpone the confessions. The miracle didn’t happen, my turn came and I walked into the confession booth disappointed.

The booth was dark and I couldn’t see a thing in there. I knelt facing one wall and said as I had been told to, “Bless me father for I have sinned, this is my first…..” I waited for a few seconds nothing happened, I tried another wall.

I noticed a shelf that was probably the same height as I was. It must have been where grownups placed their elbows when they knelt. I thought it would be ideal if I knelt on it for the priest to notice me. Boys my age have no problem climbing up things. I knelt on the shelf and held on to it, staying perched on the shelf was the hard part, but at least the priest heard me and slid back a shutter and some light came into the room.

I found it weird to confess but it wasn’t my place to criticise. Half way through my confession the priest asked a question in an angry voice. I wasn’t used to such an uncivil tone; I lost my grip and hit the floor noisily. The priest was nice enough to let me go home without finishing the confession. Thank God!

As told to Collins Mwai

Subscribe to The New Times E-Paper


You want to chat directly with us? Send us a message on WhatsApp at +250 788 310 999    

 

Follow The New Times on Google News