I’m 6 years old. It’s Sunday morning. For weeks now I’ve been feeling I’m not that keen on church – all the other children know each other because they all go to a Christian school. Dolphin School it’s called. I always wonder why. Doesn’t sound like a Christian school. I feel left out.
That morning I decide to try out something my friend Zara always does because she doesn’t like school. She says she doesn’t feel well. She says she has a headache. I can’t bring myself to lie so blatently as all that so I persuade myself that I really do have a headache and a sore throat and feel tired. For once my parents listen and my big sister stays at home with me.
So my parents and other sister head off in the car and we stay behind. My big sister says we can go outside. Shouldn’t I stay in if I’m ill? I ask. Why? she says. I’ll wrap you up in a rug. I’ll wrap you up so tight. I’ll make you snug as a bug in a rug. The joy of rhyming swings it. So we go outside and she wraps me up in a blanket like a big sausage roll on the grass. I take off my jumper and hang it over the climbing frame and we play for a while in the blanket. She rolls me over and over. I laugh and laugh. Snug as a bug in a rug! I chime, Snug as a bug in a rug.
Let’s go inside before the others get back so they don’t find out, I suggest. Still worried at the back of my mind. Niggling guilt. We go inside and remember the blanket but forget the jumper. It’s still outside swinging over the climbing frame right in front of the back door for everyone to see. Mum and Dad get back. You don’t seem too ill, they say. And you’ve been outside! says my middle sister. She’s jealous. She wishes she didn’t go to church too. Why were you outside if you were ill? More guilt. They know. They KNOW.
I lied. Guilt. Overpowering guilt. Not just any lie. A lie to my parents. A lie to get out of going to church. A lie so that I didn’t have to worship God.
They didn’t tell me off. A sigh from my mum was enough. I never did that again. Instead I went to church every week. Went to Sunday school with the children who all went to school together. Did the colouring in and listened to the stories and sang songs and did the actions.
After that I was a good girl.
No more lying.