breaking the silence
I stole the family supply of bubble gum once, stuffed four packs in my mouth
and felt my body vibrate with the sugary glee of the rule-breaker.
Twenty-eight sticks in, my jaw like an engine, I stumbled to the living room
like a chipmunk drunk on a sudden windfall of seeds abandoned at the bird feeder.
Sometimes, I wish my parents hadn't come home, that the afternoon could have stretched
like that gum did around my teeth, that my little secret could have stayed intact and
undisturbed. And yet, even in the thick of my delirium, I knew my radical mutiny
was saccharine and brief, the flavor already receding from my tongue. When they arrived,
I barely protested. I knew I had taken something that wasn't entirely mine. No matter
how hard I might try to tell the story otherwise, the truth would always be stickier.