Anonymity

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Photo Credit: Gilles Lambert

The phone in his hand glowed with an incoming message.  Are you there?  He didn’t recognize the number of the sender, but the fact that the text was spelled out with proper punctuation and not in the shorthand of SMS let him know that the individual was most likely an adult.  His hands slid across the surface of the phone.  Who is this? Hopefully the reply would provide the answers he was looking for.  Minutes passed.  The bright glow of his screen soon faded to black, just as dark as the shadows that are draped across his body.  Soon it lit up again.  Please forgive me.  The man lowered to his seat quietly in confusion.  Forgive?  Forgive what?  He was prompted to send the questions in his mind right away, but stopped.  He still didn’t know who this person was.  Should he continue this conversation without knowing the identity of the person on the other end?  Maybe at least their name.  On the other hand, he had the sender’s number on his phone – he could find out what he needed to know.  Another message came through the phone.  I’m sorry.  I’ve done something very bad.  The man reading the messages let out a tired sigh.  This digital world he now lived in – it was so easy to make mistakes, so easy to confess, and so easy to gain absolution.  He laid the phone on the bench he sat on.  Closing his eyes, his lips murmured a prayer to God while he quietly meditated the choices laid before him.  Suddenly – a knock on the panel next to him brought him back … The man opened his eyes and slid the panel exposing a rectangular screen.  He let out the breath encased in his aging lungs and heard the warm words on the other side of the privacy screen.  “Bless me Father for I have sinned …”

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