birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

The Epistle Reading

I was supposed to read the Epistle this morning. Oh no. Mom is going to KILL me. She's going to be so mad. Dad's going to be upset too. I bet I ruined all of church. Forever, they will remember that my name was in the weekly bulletin to read the Epistle on March 7, 2004 and forever, they will remember that I didn't show up to read it because I forgot. Oh no. How am I going to tell, Mom? Maybe I can just play dumb and be like, 'What, no. I read it next weekend.' No. That won't work. I can't lie. Mom knows I can't lie. Maybe we can still make it to church in time. But Megan hasn't even taken a shower. And we are most definitely going to be late. We normally show up after the Epistle Reading anyway. Oh no. I'm going to have to go tell Mom that I screwed up. I definitely forgot. How could I forget? It's too late now but I forgot that I was supposed to read the Epistle Reading at church today. Ok, here goes nothing.


I opened the door to my bathroom and exhaled. I walked to the edge of the staircase and looked down where my mom sat next to my sister. I wish that was the worst thing that happened that day. I wish March 7, 2004 was what anyone or just me remembered as the day I forgot I had an Epistle reading. My mom and sister looked so stunned on the couch. They had to know that I forgot the Epistle reading. My stomach tangled into knots. They looked so disappointed and sad. I'm sorry. I thought in my head. I know this isn't the end of the world and please don't be mad because it was an honest mistake. I took the stairs slowly. One at a time. I was just going to be honest about this. Why did I have so much anxiety about accidentally forgetting? I feel awful. I got to the bottom stair and my mom said I needed to come sit next to my sister. 

Oh, no. She knows. Here it comes. I didn't think I'd be in this kind of trouble for forgetting. Please don't ground me, Mommy. I'm sorry.

I never told her I forgot that Epistle reading. I never volunteered to read it again either. Because some things are just too painful to go back to. Some things are best forgotten, like the day I sat next to my sister as my mom said, "Your father has gone to heaven."


Rising Waters