American Fiction

The other day, my social studies teacher was asking around who was what religion. I thought. My parents had never told me what religion I was. I thought that there was a chance I could be Jewish, so when the teacher got around to me I answered, "Jewish I think." The teacher looked at me funny and moved on. But that really reminded me that I didn't know what my religion was. What really was my history on that was. Or why my parents never told me about what I was. Questions flooded my brain the entire day until we were sitting around the table at dinner.

"Mom, dad?" They look up from the pasta and look right at me. They looked a bit shocked as I'd been so quiet beforehand. My siblings were looking up at me now too. My parents nodded as for me to proceed. "Are we Jewish?" They were stunned to silence I suppose because We never talked about it. My brothers looked up and around at me, then my parents, then back again.

"Well, sweetheart...We are. But We didn't think you'd want to know that. We didn't think you'd want to know. What even made you ask us about it? You've just never questioned us about our religion before." My mother questioned politely. Glad I gave my teacher the right answer though. I wouldn't want to tell him I was wrong. He was ok with my answer, but he still looked a bit puzzled about my answer. He told me after class to find out, and ask my parents. He told me I should know by now.

My parents had told me everything. They swore to never hide anything from me or my brothers. They promised we could tell them anything and they would always help us and love us. But we were going to have to not lie. Now, I'm questioning that. Clearly, my life has been a lie. A total and utter lie.

"We were talking about religion and he was asking everyone about theirs. I told him I thought it was Jewdiasm, but I wanted to make sure with you guys. We never go to a synagogue, and we never talk about our religion, why?" They look calm, but also a bit nervous. My brothers are silent as if they are not in the room. Because when put together they are loud, I know I asked a forbidden question. One that I shouldn't have.

"We didn't think it was right to keep bringing you there. We didn't think you guys cared anyways. We aren't going back there if that's what you're implying. You don't care about that anyway, right?" My father asks. I guess he's trying to shut down this conversation. I nod and say yes. But deep down, I know my parents are trying to hide something about our religion. And later when I was coming down to say good night, I heard my parents talking.

"Good job covering for us. He doesn't even expect anything." My dad says. I listen. What am I not expecting? What could my parents be hiding? Why are they talking like this? Why are my parents not telling me something?

"How long are we going to hide this from him? His brothers are in on it. We told them at this age. Why not him? He definitely has proven his worth to us. He is worth it, I know. I just know we should tell him. Let him in." My mother sadly states with a sigh at the end of her sentence. I heard my father's footsteps making their way over to her. He sat in a chair next to her and a pause, a quick silence.

"I know sweetheart, but this is our last child. We have to keep this a secret from him as long as possible. I want him to grow up happily. Without having to worry about this." Child? That's what my dad thinks of me? I think about shouting, but I want to hear the rest of their conversation. "Come on, love. Let's get some sleep." I realize they're coming up the stairs and I run to my older brother's room. I can ask him.

"Joey, I can trust you, right? And you trust me, right?" I ask him. He shakes his head no. He tells me I'm not going to get anything out of him, and to go to Harold's room instead. I argue, but he won't budge. So, I went to Harold's room and asked him the same question. The same answer, but he told me to go to bed instead of going to Joey. I go to bed. Tomorrow, I was going to find out what they are hiding. For now, I needed some rest.

The next day I decided to sneak into my parent's room. I didn't go in there often, and when I did I didn't study the room. It was dark, and it reminded me of a cult room. Maybe that was what they were hiding! a cult and they were sworn to secrecy. I looked in my parent's closet and found that there were two cloaks with hoods. Cult clothes. And candles. Stick candles everywhere. No candelabra though, which was really odd.

So that night at dinner I asked my parents about their candles and cult clothes. My brothers at this point ran to their rooms, their faces ghost white. My parents argued, but then it snuck out. They were in a cult. I wanted in. I wanted to be part of it. They nodded and claimed I was ready.

Months later the police found us out. All of us were either arrested or put in juvenile detention facilities. I would tell you how and what we were doing, but I was sworn to secrecy. Like my parents. Let's just say, being in the cult has changed me and my veiws. When I was questioned they asked me if it was a religion. I said, "I'm Jewish, I think. That's what I was told, at least."

February 07, 2022 15:05

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