The Priest (Departures)

“His mother is beautiful, radiant, and she will not be dead for another fifteen years. She smiles and comes to meet him and he will remember her this way, always. He will wake in the night remembering how she is now, what he does to her. Because as she goes to put her arms around him, as she lifts her face to kiss him, he says to her, with a smile made icy by his self-control, “I’ll just kiss you on the cheek – don’t touch me – and I’ll shake hands with Dad, and then we’ll turn and walk out of here.” And he bends to kiss her on the cheek, but stops because she has pulled slightly away; she has gone white, and the look of panic on her face is not nearly so terrible as the look of drowning in her eyes.”

John L’Heureux – “Departures”