Friday, September 28, 2007

Fiction Friday # 22- Secrets

This week's challenge:

Give a virtuous character a sordid past.

I did not go that sordid, but I like what the challenge prompted me to write.


Every night I got up to go to the bathroom, and I always had trouble getting back to sleep, the secret pushing to come out after a year’s worth of silence. But how could I tell her? She would be so angry at me, so disappointed. I was terrified.

One day I asked her, would she love me no matter what I did? She said yes. I decided I had to tell her. The secret felt too big inside of me.

That night, as she tucked me in bed, I said I needed to tell her something. She lay down in bed next to me and said “go ahead, baby, I’m listening.” I started talking and then it just poured out.

Mom, last year there was a kid in the cafeteria sitting next to me who said the F word. When the cafeteria lady came to find out what was going on, I told on him: “Ma’am, Tommy was saying F%@*^!” She sent us both to the principal’s office. They sent me home with a letter for you to sign. But I was so scared that you would get mad at me that I hid in the bathroom and signed the letter in your name. Are you mad at me, mom? Am I in trouble?

Mom took a deep breath. She hugged me. She said what I did was not good and I should not do it again, but she was glad I had told her, and she loved me very much. Then she told me about the time when she was a kid in third grade and did not do her homework. The teacher put a note in mom’s workbook: “Ingrid did not do her homework. Why?” and a blank space for my mom’s mother to sign the page. Mom was so scared of her reaction (mom was always a goody two-shoes in school) that she forged abuela’s signature. I actually did not know what the word forgery meant until my mom told me this story.

I asked her if she told abuela about what she did, and she said that she kept it a secret for years, but that my uncle found out about it and used it to blackmail her, in jest. We had a good laugh over my mom’s memories of the taunting chants that mi tío Toño used to sing around her. “Libro, liiibrooo, liiibrooo.” For those of you who don’t speak Spanish, libro means book.

So imagine that. My mom and I did the same thing, at the same age. I feel a lot better now.


  1. that was so loving... so tender... i love it....

  2. that was a GREAT post. I have to get in on these fiction Fridays or three word Wednesdays sometime in the future.

  3. A heart-warming tale! I like how they both did the same thing!

  4. I think every parent can relate to the mother's situation here. She done good, raising a kid who is so torn up by guilt over that. When I was in third grade, I missed the school bus. Rather than walk to school (a mile uphill on a snowy day), I stayed home. When my dad got home that day, he asked how school was. I said fine in a little voice, and my answer lasted all of about ten minutes. Then I fessed up in a flood of tears. Well, I was only in third grade after all.

  5. I thought your story was great! Your right with the same _VOICE_as my dad only diffrent type of stories. Your story is cool and i think it wuld go good as a movie to teach kids a lesson not to do bad things and not _HIDE_it. You are very good at writing your writing is neat as my TEACHER says to kids who write good! I wonder how you could deal with you brother BLACK MAILing you!

  6. Moving story and one that is universal, I'm sure. Nicely told!

  7. My dad once told me what he used to get up to at school...

    Put my misdemeanours into the shade...

    A wonderfully touching scene there.

  8. I saw some real comparisons in your story to us in our adult lives, Ingrid. How often we tend to feel like we are the only one who has ever been in a bad or uncomfortable situation - until we confide in another or they confide in us... or we share it on our blogs! :-) I am always amazed at how universal such experiences are. I think most of us can recall the very first time we lied to our parents. Our sense of guilt was so much strong then than it is now!