You aren’t hard to read, no matter how many times you try to fool yourself. The not-so-subtle winces, the ever-present melancholy smile when you speak to me; you would be a fool to think that I wouldn’t be able to see through the translucent veil of untruths you’ve kept around me. Perhaps it is merely I, who is perceptive, or perhaps age hasn’t been kind; the years drawing your strength to keep you healthy, rather than happy. A veil of lies would have to be opaque, as the truth would be transparent.
Only a fool would believe that a translucent shroud would be enough.
The words leaving your lips are hardly worth my time, and barely worthy for me to hear them out, let alone actually listen to them. The blank, pathetically innocent countenance I have forced upon myself over the years is the only thing keeping me from openly sneering at the falsehoods you still speak, your voice like nectar and honey as they coat the lies that are carelessly thrown from your mouth.
Despite all your words, the truth has always managed to find me; from the hushes conversations at the table, to the pointed glances, and a step further to the thick sheaves of memories called ‘books’ that are hidden under thicker, duller, far less interesting volumes on the highest shelves where only the desperate would have dared to reach.
And no one knew how desperate I had become.
The first lie I discover hurts like nothing else; the pain is something inexpressible, tearing down every flimsy defence I built to protect myself and ripping a hole in the fabric that kept my sorry heart together. The second hurts less, I tell myself, seeing as that is the only way to keep you in the dark about my discoveries the way you kept me in the dark about myself. It is rather ironic, the fact that I lie to myself about the lies you’ve told me.
By the time the pain of the second lie fades, I am merely a shadow of who I was, which is debatable seeing as I wasn’t really who I was supposed to be. All the same, however; the pain fades, and the hole is sewn shut carefully, reinforced in ways I hadn’t thought of previously. The months I’d spent in the darkness had changed me; my skin chalky and eyes rimmed with shadows that had nothing to do with a lack of sleep. Once-light eyes were now heavy with ice, a scowl shaping my features and keeping everyone at a distance.
The discovery of the third lie sends me further into the darkness, but even as I swallow the bitter pill of acceptance, I feel a new tinge to the darkness around me. The blackness is tinged with crimson, and I can taste the fury on the tip of my tongue, like pepper and lime and herbs, as I accept that as well. For how long were you expecting me to act like a fool? How long were you expecting me to accept your words, never questioning you despite the burning curiosity that ate at me from the inside out, destroying me like the plague.
For how long did you expect me to be a child?
I challenged myself to discover the fourth lie, and to ensure that it would be the last. It was easy enough, hardly a challenge for someone as … talented … as myself. I laughed at the abject terror on your face once you’d realised that I’d found the truth for myself, that I’d ripped through and burnt the tattered veil of your lies so very long ago.
It was almost humorous, the way you continued spitting your lies at me, each one like a punch to the face. A normal person would have been broken and bleeding at the number of hits; unless the pain was something I welcomed, being the masochist I was. You would have been a brilliant sadist, had you applied your particular skill-set to others as well; or perhaps they would have destroyed your weak attempts, laughed at your less-than-meagre talents.
I, for one, see no need for blood to be spilt; crimson, dark and staining everything it touches, not when wounds of the flesh can be healed with time; can be forgotten when the scars have faded. What I do predominantly enjoy, though, is the injuring of the mind. Scars of the mind take an iron will to overcome, and more time than many can spare, to heal. Of course, variation comes with the depth of the wound, and the strength of the victims will.
Your lies have been no more than grazes on my mind, and coupled together with the streak of hidden masochism, a deeper wound would have most probably only strengthened me. Finally, when it becomes apparent to you that your lies have no effect on me, your wails announce the truth I have so longed to hear from your lips.
I can see the hope that flashes in your eyes when I lean towards you, and sneer at your petty faith in my humanity. Forgiveness was a luxury I could never afford, as was the case with satisfaction, which was never instilled in the very nature of my being. The demons in me swirled, drunk on the emotion I fed them, the emotion your very presence, let alone your words, instilled in me.
“Lie to me,”