an act of deceiving or misrepresenting : a person who is not what he or she pretends to be : one that is not what it seems or is represented to be

In this world of depravity, I have been one of the depraved. In this world of sinners and the unrepentant, I know that I have sinned. In this world of fraud and deception, I have been guilty of both. Am I being too hard on myself? No, I don't think so. Well, maybe a tad. But no, I don't think so.

I am far from perfect. I know that. But surely it is time to stop using that as an excuse for any wrongdoing on my part. My husband knows that I aspire to a higher good. That is my heart's desire. But I have fallen too many times to count, even if no one else knows about it but me. They say to pick ourselves up again after we fall. Yes, but why fall in the first place if it could be avoided at all.

I believe in my vows; I believe in the sacrament of marriage. And yet, there are still occasions when my mind chooses to drift to that faraway place of fantasy and tranquility. Another life with someone else, whoever he may be. But if I were honest with myself, truly honest, I would then see that I am part of the problem, that it would probably be no different with someone else because I would still be bringing myself and all of my emotional baggage with me. And then I remember that I would usually ruin telephone calls with the first young man that I dated, all the way back to when I was twenty-one years of age. I don't remember the details but the phone calls, which started out pleasantly enough as it was all part of the dating ritual, would end on a sour note. And again, if I were truly honest, it was my moods, my sullen behaviour -- for whatever reason -- that spoilt an otherwise lovely telephone conversation between a young man and a young woman. I was the inexperienced one; I was the shy one. But I also ruined things. That was a fact.

They see me as this quiet and sweet individual. But I ruin things. I ruin things, Father, and I am so good at that. No doubt it takes two hands to clap -- and all that sort of thing -- and the fault doesn't always lie with me, but sometimes my silence is more of a hindrance than a help. For sometimes it does help to speak out, rather than remain dumb. Why am I still so silent?

Over the years, others have remarked that I would make a wonderful mother. Yes, the maternal instinct struck as I grew older. It took me by surprise when I least expected it. But it welled up inside me and I saw that it was good. There were one or two others who didn't, or couldn't, see me in the role of a mother when I was a younger woman. It wasn't a crushing blow but it left me feeling a little deflated, admittedly. Perhaps, for some, they are born to it. And for others, they grow into that role in time. And I fit into the latter category. Perhaps.

But perhaps my husband was right. Perhaps he was right because now I wonder if I would make a good mother. My moods, the occasional outburst when all is not well, resisting the urge to fight fire with fire -- although sometimes I failed -- for it was something I never believed in. Even I am aware of them. Even before they happen. Maybe it's easy to come to this conclusion precisely because we have no children. And maybe God knew all along what it would be like, what sort of mother I would be. I would love my child, yes, I know I would. But I also acknowledge that there is a destructive streak in me. It is quiet. It is angry. So there should be no children.

But we never even tried.

Having children, even the loving act of creating a child, is a natural part of life which doesn't come naturally to me. I know he misses that act of love. But then, Father, so do I. For it was something that I'd dreamed about and longed for since I was a much younger woman. And it seems that the more forbidden it is makes it even more desirable. What is wrong with me?

In today's society, where the sexual act is tossed about and flaunted in one's face, I am a married woman who still feels like an innocent and who is still quite naive. Yet I am not so innocent. I am not so sweet and gentle and kind and generous. I am a fraud.

No doubt I am not called to be perfect and others don't expect me to be. But I am called to be a better person, a better wife, daughter, sister, aunt, friend. A better human being who still holds a secret, who still sometimes doubts herself and hides away, who sometimes cringes inwardly at who she is. For she knows.

"I have a secret," says the little girl to her friend.

"I have a secret too," says her friend.

And they both smile conspiratorily at each other. And nothing more is said.


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