• February 28, 2024

If Only – A Inspirational Short Story by Lauren Halliday – Reedsy Prompts

Stuck in her head, Lila pulled the church’s door open, going over in her mind which prayers to say and when. Her first Confession was a little awkward – staring at Father Brown, unable to hear him over the blood in her ears, though Father Brown was helpful in the later ones; Lila now sat behind the curtains. Scuffing her boots on the soaked mat, Lila felt as though this winter was worse than last. Heading towards the back pews, Lila wondered if she’d see Heidi or Lee. Her palms began to sweat. Reaching into her pocket she felt for her keys and found her prayer beads.

A small woman with pearl white hair zipped across the gathering area. Behind her glasses she winked at Lila, Nancy must have been in a good mood today. She knew the deacon’s wife would be here since so many babies had been born and were in need of baptisms. The need for Confession was always available though. Lila gave a small wave and headed straight for the pews. Six eyes glanced her way, her jacket beginning to feel snug, and she gave a straight smile hoping to quietly sit down.

A teenager came out of the confessional with a red, plaid jacket, and matching boots. Lila wished she would have dressed that cool when she was younger. If only she could turn back time and have the confidence she has now. Lila would probably have made different friends, not gotten into trouble, and gotten hurt for all the wrong choices she had made. This thought made Lila’s heart sink so she gripped her prayer beads for strength. Strength to turn back time.

As the people moved down the pew, Lila’s coat got more snug around her. She had no choice but to unzip, making her feel exposed. A man leaning on his cane crossed her path and mumbled the Our Father. If only Lila was there more for her family, she wouldn’t feel like such an outcast. She thought about how she would spend time in her room unsure of everything going on inside and outside of herself. Her hand shook against a bead. SEE THE NEXT PART AFTER

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