Narrator: Joshua Penningway
"See Mom - I'm not a sinner," Kieth said triumphantly. She didn't reply.
"Does that work for you?" The Reverend asked, as my mom stood there, eyes wide, lips pursed and her right hand clutching the other tightly.
"Yes, Reverend; thank you for coming here," My dad said politely before my mother could say anything of the opposite effect.
The Reverend smiled at him, and said it wasn't a problem. He looked rather relieved that he was finally free from having to convince my mom of Kieth's so-called "innocence". He seemed to have not gotten any sleep; eye bags underneath his eyes. Much like his son who wasn't getting any sleep either, I bet.
"Seeming that my job is done here, I think I'll make a move," The Reverend says as he got up.
"Thank you so much, Sir. You've really been a great help."
Kieth had never enjoyed church; wasn't bothered with sermons and hymns, and this I'm sure, the Reverend knew. But all the same, I could see the genuinely thankful smile on Kieth's face, and on Greg's as he shook hands with the man who saved their newfound "love". I expected Kieth would go with delight to church this Sunday, and possibly get into a deep conversation with the Reverend of more references of the like in the Bible.
"Anytime, glad to be of assistance. Good night, all," The Reverend said as my mother opened the door blankly, waving at him and quietly saying her thank yous.
We watched him walk to his parked car, and us Penningways (plus Greg) stared as we watched him drive away. With that green Toyota, went away my mother's unblemished faith in the Bible - well, that's a bit of an exaggeration...
Her unblemished faith has acquired a blemish, disguised as something huge, but in reality, only little. Tonight, when she gets under her burgundy sheets whilst my father brushes his teeth furiously, she will look at the book on her bedside differently. Unlike the usual reading of passages before dozing off, she will hesitate. She will observe it, and she will bite and lick her lips in fear of opening up to the wrong page.
Kieth walked over to my dad, making sure to be out of earshot from my mom. "So can Greg stay the night? It's really late anyway, so he might as well," He requested hopefully.
"I suppose so. I'll talk to your mother, but for the time being, just keep away from her, son," Dad advised, as he eyed his wife who was sitting stiffly on an antique chair.
"Great, thanks Dad." Kieth gave Greg a quick smile; mischief was written all over his face.
I did not want to know what their plans were for the night. Dad was an understanding person and all, but I wondered how he was so blind to the fact that Kieth and Greg were into more than just holding hands, and complimenting each other's outfits.
"Kieth," My mom began, still seated, but her head now turned in my brother's direction. "Greg is to leave - now." Her voice was stern, but not frantic as it was before.
"Dad!" Kieth exclaimed, his bright face dimming at her orders.
"Eleanor, it's too late for him to leave now. Just let him stay over - he can sleep in the basement if that'll make you feel better," Dad suggested, much to Kieth and Greg's dismay.
"Are you out of your mind, Sean?! CJ is down there!" In other words, my mother was saying do not give Greg the chance to commit gay rape - or worse - the Reverend's son might turn gay!
"So? Josh'll be there as well and they're just gonna sleep anyway. I'll get another mattress." Dad stomped upstairs in frustration of mom's stubbornness.
"You will not set foot in that basement tonight - am I clear?" My mom approached Kieth, holding her breath in fury.
"Crystal." Kieth had always been cheeky with Mom whenever he got pissed off. She expected nothing more of him, and took her seat again. She watched the Greg and Kieth like a hawk. Except hawks weren't as frightening.