Tommy, a young man seeking atonement for his misdeeds, approached the church with a heavy heart. He started by saying, “Father, forgive me because I have sinned,” as he knelt in the confessional. My companion was a loose girl.

After carefully listening, the priest enquired, “Is that you, little Tommy O’Shaughnessy?”

Tommy responded with shock, “Yes, Father, it is.”

The priest leaned in with growing interest. “And which girl were you with?”

Tommy hesitated as the impulse to confess clashed with his sense of honor. “I’m afraid I can’t, Father. Not wanting to damage her reputation.

Despite his understanding, the priest proceeded, saying, “Well, Tommy, you might as well tell me her name now since I’m sure to find out sooner or later. Patricia Fitzgerald, was she?

Tommy’s response was, “I cannot say.”

“Was it Lisa O’Shanter?” the priest continued.

Tommy answered, “My lips are sealed.

The priest persisted, “Was it Cathy O’Dell?”

The girl’s identity was still being withheld by Tommy, who said, “Please, Father, I cannot tell you.”

The priest let out a frustrated sigh. You’re really reserved, and I respect that. But you need to make amends because you sinned.

He gave his judgment while crouching down. After four months, you can no longer be an altar boy. Go ahead and act appropriately now.

Tommy solemnly nodded as he accepted his punishment. Father, I agree.

Sean, who had been waiting, slid across and murmured, “What’d you get?” as he made his way back to his pew.

Tommy grinned mischievously without even trying. “Four months off and three promising leads!”