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Psalm 32 in the Bible tells us, “Confession is good for the soul.” This may be true but what does it do to one’s confessor, especially if the mea culpa transgressions were committed against him?

Gabrielle was of the strong belief that confession to an injured party may cause more harm than good to the person who has been injured. She’d learned long ago that telling someone who loved and trusted her that she had sinned against him, that she had broken trust, would effectively shift some of her burden of conscience onto him, thus causing even greater harm. This transfer of guilt was neither fair nor just so she had lived with her sin for well over a year without displacing her burden to her husband, but the ever spiraling circle of lies and deceit had achieved such critical mass that she found herself in need of damping it down before it exploded and destroyed everything around her.

She found no comfort in the fact that her husband, flesh failing and life force ebbing, had explicitly told her that he did not expect her, his healthy young wife, to play the part of a nun. If anything, this had exacerbated the situation because she could in no way mention his long ago offered dispensation from her vows. As upset as she’d been she had clung to the number one rule of apology: Never soil an apology with an explanation. She had begged forgiveness, she had sworn to go and sin no more, but the burden of her actions lay forever on her shoulders.

Her time and place for confession had chosen itself well. She might have waited until morning, waited until her husband was awake and seated in his wheelchair and had access to his voice giving voder, but no, that was not how the passion play played out. Lies and deceit at crescendo she had come to him in their bed and transferred the burden of her sins onto Adriel’s shoulders and now she felt better, but certainly anything but good.

She held his body close to her and felt his ragged breathing. She would have offered herself to him but even that playing card was now missing from the deck. Sex is an incredibly binding force and orgasm a lovely palliative but under the circumstances a love life was becoming literally impossible and the oldest salve for a wounded male ego had been stripped from her. All she had left was to hold her dearest love to her, stroking his failing form as one would a child and wait for the release of sleep.