It was taking a long time to get ready that morning. Hard to make sure you looked right when you couldn't look in the mirror. Not that he couldn't.
He finished brushing his teeth, and carefully wiped up the sink. Looked around to make sure there was no mess left. He stepped quickly from there to his bedroom, slipping on his shoes, making sure the bed was made up tidily. He studiously avoided the mirror above his dresser.
He took one last look at the bed before heading toward the kitchen. No one would even know he'd been there.
He heard familiar noises coming from the kitchen, and hesitated. Looking for any excuse, he stepped over to the table and sorted through his papers. Everything in order. He'd taken extra time with his work last night.
As if that would change anything.
He sighed heavily and made his way into the kitchen. He slid quietly into his place at the table, and silently nodded as the plate of hot pancakes was set in front of him.
"You want to tell me what's troubling you now?"
The question he'd hoped not to hear. He didn't want to answer, didn't want to add a lie to his transgressions.
'Every dishonesty leaves a little black mark on your heart.'
How many times had he heard that? That, and the one about the eyes being the windows to the soul? Which was why he wouldn't look in the mirror. He didn't want to see through to his soul, to his heart, see the growing blackness there...
"You'll feel better if you tell me. Nothing we can't get through together."
He sighed. Looked up into the big soft brown eyes, so understanding, so gentle. So his. Tears welled in his own eyes.
"I'm sorry, Mama. I broke your vase."