33. coming clean.

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The most bothersome things inevitably surface in your consciousness at the most inopportune times

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The most bothersome things inevitably surface in your consciousness at the most inopportune times. All of those unpleasant thoughts, unsolved problems, and unanswered questions that you would rather continue to ignore— they sneak up on you and zap you like a taser.

And so, while I was trying to sleep one night, it occurred to me that I needed to tell my mother about Ethan.

I couldn't exactly let my estranged father meet my boyfriend when my mother didn't even know he existed.

I mean, she knew that Ethan existed in a vague, not-entirely-truthful roommate scenario that I had mostly tried to avoid discussing altogether. But she had no idea that 'Ethan, my boyfriend' existed.

And I was fairly certain she wasn't going to like it.

Dread flooded my body as my heart began to accelerate, forcing me fully awake. The possibility of falling asleep any time soon rapidly slipped through my fingers.

Sitting up in the dark, I took a deep breath and tried to reassure myself. I was an adult. I was financially independent. I wasn't, technically speaking, doing anything wrong.

Yet somehow, I felt like a little kid caught with her hand in the cookie jar.

Ethan rolled over and looked at me, brows knit together in concern.

"What's wrong?"

"Have you told your family about us?" I asked him.

He wasn't surprised by the apparent randomness of the question. By now, he was used to the way that my thoughts jumped around. I could go from bicycles to pancakes in five seconds flat.

"I told my mom right away. And she was happy about it. Haven't really mentioned it to my dad, but you know how that is. I'll tell him eventually. Why?"

"I need to tell my mom. And I don't think it will be well received."

He nodded sympathetically. "I can see why you might be worried. But you two are close, right? Honesty really is the best policy. It might take some time but I think she will come around eventually."

"It's that 'some time' part that worries me," I admit. "I feel like things are going to be so strained and awkward with her once I come clean."

"Worse than it is now? You're hiding something pretty big from her," he pointed out as he leaned over and switched on the bedside lamp in his room. Or was it our room now? I hadn't slept in mine in weeks. Alas, another question for another day.

"At least, I think our relationship is a pretty big deal," he added.

I sighed. "It is. You're right. Totally right. I guess it's just weird to me because it's basically admitting to my mom that I'm, well, having sex. It's uncomfortable to even think about."

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