The early September breeze wafted through my hair, caressing my skin with its cold tendrils. I shivered. It reminded me of the summer slowly fading into non-existence, leaving me with a tinge of sadness. I looked up and the imposing building of St. Anthony Minor Seminary stood right in front of me. Its gothic inspired architecture was intimidating.
Alone and with my luggage in tow, I crossed the building’s threshold. My mother was supposed to be with me, but she had pressing matters to attend. She dropped me off and with a quick goodbye; she left for the airport in haste. Trudging along the dimly lit hallway while glancing at the stained glass windows with images of saints, I questioned myself.
Growing up in a strict Catholic household made me loathe religion. Imagined having Jesus with the cross and all shoved into your throat forcefully. It left a bad taste in my mouth. I endured because I had no choice. I was young and still am. I’m 13 years old and I can’t wait to grow older and set myself free. But before that I’ll have to deal with the question looming right in front of me. Deep down inside I already knew the answer.
My mother was elated when I told her that I’m going to be a seminarian just like her close friend’s son and my childhood friend, Randy. I did have this strange feeling that she’s happy with the prospect of me away from her with only once a month visit home from the seminary. Being a single mother, she somehow longed for the life of being a single woman in New York city again. I had no contact with my father and my mother hated him for leaving her alone with me. I’m a constant reminder of the man she used to love.
My train of thought was broken when the massive wooden doors swung opened and a nun approached me. She appeared older than my mother, but she had this kind smile that could brightened someone’s day. Somehow it gave me this sense of hope that all is not in vain. I smiled back.
“Are you Karl Westin?” she asked sweetly.
To be continued.
Disclaimer: The characters and events depicted in this novella are fictitious. Any similarity to any person living or dead is merely coincidental.