I Didn’t (Writing Prompt 19)
The prompt was:
On this page, I write my last confession…
I have a confession to make. Many, many confessions, to be honest. The truth is, I didn’t do it—any of it.
When I was four years old, my mom asked if I wanted to do gymnastics. I didn’t say yes; I didn’t even know what gymnastics were.
When I was eight years old, the judge asked me which parent I wanted to live with. I didn’t choose…couldn’t choose.
When I was twelve years old, the first boy I ever really liked gave me his phone number. I didn’t call him until years later, and by then, it was too late.
When I was fourteen, people told me to stop scratching, or I’d have scars. I didn’t stop, not then; not for another twelve years, and even still not entirely.
When I was fifteen, people told me I was beautiful. I didn’t believe them…if that were true, surely I wouldn’t have been bullied so much.
When I was sixteen, he told me he loved me. I didn’t see the signs.
When I was sixteen and a half, he forced me to love him back; I still cry about it sometimes. I didn’t tell anyone, because I thought I was going to get in trouble.
When I went to school the next day, he told everyone I asked for it…begged for it. I didn’t stand up for myself, and I still didn’t tell anyone.
When I heard he had been in a car accident years later, losing his big toe, I didn’t stop myself from laughing…for two hours straight.
When I was in high school, I skipped class a lot, and stopped caring about my passions. I didn’t put a stop to the peer pressure and esteem issues, and I didn’t allow myself to show my love of science and math that I had hidden beneath the surface.
When I was seventeen, I finally told my best friend that I loved him more than anything in the world, but that he was too much like a brother to pursue it. I didn’t think before I spoke, and in the end it only hurt him more than it had to.
When I was eighteen, I joined the Navy, and everyone thought I was only doing it to get away from home. I didn’t want to admit that I was doing it to make them proud, after being such a failure in high school.
When I was eighteen and a half, I met my future husband. I didn’t wait; I exchanged my heart for his last name.
When I was officially married, I didn’t tell my family for almost a year. My parents had gotten married just as quickly, and I had been warned not to follow their footsteps. Oops.
When I was twenty, I allowed myself to give in to physical desire, and I betrayed my soulmate. I didn’t understand how the world worked, or how often temptation reared its beautiful head to the ugliness in our hearts.
When I thought my life was over, I didn’t give up fighting. I didn’t stop apologizing. I didn’t let him walk away. I didn’t let the past affect our future.
When I was twenty-one, I had my first child. I didn’t know what it meant to put someone else before yourself until the moment I looked into his eyes. I didn’t know my own eyes had been shut for so long.
When my son was one and a half, he got bit by a copperhead. I didn’t know how concise and flawless my actions could be until the adrenaline kicked in.
When my son was two, he ran away. I didn’t feel. Not for five hours, not until he was found safe, albeit covered in scratches from walking through briars. I didn’t know what it meant to be numb to overwhelming emotion. I didn’t understand what it meant to hurt so badly that you don’t feel.
When I was twenty-three, I had my second son. I didn’t know how much love one heart was capable of, until I had both of my children in my arms at the same time.
When I was twenty-five, I realized just how deeply my bipolar instabilities ran. I didn’t want to admit to them, and in my denial, I hurt a lot of people that I cared about.
When I was twenty-seven, I had my third and final child. I didn’t think having a daughter was any different from having a son until she smiled up at me.
When I was nearly twenty-eight, I was invited into a group for writers. I didn’t hold back. For the first time in my entire life, I didn’t care what anyone else said or thought, I didn’t let my self-consciousness or lack of self-love rule my actions, and I didn’t let my fears control me. I shared my imagination and my world with the group.
When I was asked, I said yes. I didn’t stop to think or work out how it would affect my life, I just said yes. Yes to the characters in my head, to the stories they wanted me to tell, to my dreams, to my hopes, to the keyboard and the screen. I said yes to the challenge, yes to the publisher, and yes to accepting the friendships that I had withdrawn from for so many years. I said yes to it all, and I didn’t stop. I won’t stop.
On this page, I write my last confession. I don’t regret a single thing. Every individual action and reaction has brought me to where I am today. And I wouldn’t change a word.
Got a poem, sentence, or short story that fits the prompt? Share it in the comments!