What should I do— tell her mother or don’t?

Dear Helpline,

I am not living with my mother or father; I live with an aunt with her 15 year old daughter and her boyfriend under some strict rules which include NO boyfriend. But since I’m 17, she allows me to have one, however, he is not allowed in her home. But her 15 year old daughter has one behind her back. On the 27th of March which was Easter Sunday, my aunt went out and made it clear that she would be home at 6 in the morning. When she left her daughter said to me that we have one in a million days opportunity and she asked me to bring my boyfriend over and I didn’t know the consequences. She took it upon herself to bring a boy to her mother’s house which is not even her boyfriend and locked the house leaving me and her 7 year old niece outside till 1 in the morning. What should I do— tell her mother or don’t? I feel if I do, she will hate me and the boy she brought will throw words at me on the street……HELP!!!!

Dear Anonymous,

This is a tough position to be in, I understand, and I can easily see why you would be tempted to take the easy way out. However, I urge you to do the right thing. Doing what is right, most times, is hard; however, it is something that must be done. Although your cousin may come to hate you, keep in mind that this is only for a time—she will get over it eventually. As for what the guy may say to you when he sees you? Be prepared to receive some harsh words but don’t allow this to get the best of you. It would be wise to ignore this individual; show him that you are not affected by his words, even if it’s pretense. Eventually, he’ll get tired of being ignored and will shrug it off. Avoid passing in the same areas as him if you can. Remind yourself that this is only for a time. You can even walk with a group of friends if it makes you feel better; do not provoke him however.

Also consider how your aunt will feel if she discovers what happened and that you kept this information from her; think of the consequences. Do you really want to get her angry? The darkest secrets have a way of coming to light even when we thought we hid them perfectly; don’t make that mistake. Are you willing to take the fall for your cousin? I’m sure you don’t want to do that.

You can give her the option of coming clean first; explain exactly why you will take action if she doesn’t— let her know that she is wrong. Also inform her that her mother is only trying to do what’s best for her; protecting her from the things she cannot see. Relationships can wait.

You can also let her know that if she comes clean, and provides a sincere apologize, her punishment just may be a little more bearable.

I trust that you will do the right thing.

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