The Last LieA Story by TJ
Be true to yourself. Faking it will only end up hurting you and everyone you're faking it for
The Last Lie
What have I done?
I’m sitting in this empty room - white walls, stucco ceiling, wood floors - full of boxes still needing unpacked. The only furniture, besides the stool I am sitting on, is the massive, drawer-less dresser sitting in the middle of the floor, her dresser. It looks skeletal sitting there stripped to its bare frame, like a shell of what it should be; perhaps that emptiness is what drew me to it. Perhaps, that’s why I’d been sitting here, staring into the mirror mounted on its back all morning. Empty, but still able to project the image it was given, as it was expected to; still able to keep appearances. I’ve always hated this dresser.
What have I done?
I sit on the stool, looking at him. Where did he come from? I mean... I understand where he is coming from now, but where did he come from in the first place? And how had he known to come?
I just stare at him.
It was just us, now.
He is supposed to be me. He is supposed to be nothing more than my own light, fed to the glass and silver and shown back to me. But how can that be? Look at him. He’s young, he’s handsome; sure he looks tired, but he does not look weary, does not look fatigued, does not look as though life itself is becoming a burden too heavy for him to bear. Look at him; nice teeth, glowing skin, cute hair. He looks like he’s ready to take on the world - perhaps first he’d take on a toothbrush and a cup of coffee, but then the world.
He is supposed to be me? This man, in his universe of silver and glass, was born of my light? How is that even possible when I have no more light to give? My light is dying, has been for years, it could not satiate the hunger of the mirror to produce such a pristine image. Yet, he is supposed to be me, or better yet, I am supposed to be him.
I’d like to blame him; his smiles, his joy, his energy. I’d like to say that those things are what had gotten me here, but he had only done what I’d asked him to do, what I’d done so long and couldn’t do anymore. I invited him in, instructed him, and watched idly as he fooled the people in my life as I once had.
All I wanted was to hide my pain from them. I wanted to spare them from having to know what I was going through, what I was feeling. I wanted to spare her especially. I still do. I’d dug myself into this happy hole. I could’ve avoided it early on with honesty, but instead started living this charade. So now what could I do? Tell them the truth after years of lies?
I’m sorry, but I don’t love you, I don’t know if I ever really did. I didn’t want to hurt you, I still don’t want to hurt you, but living this lie is eating me away inside. It’s killing me. I can’t do it anymore.
I couldn’t do that. Not now. It wouldn’t just hurt her, it would hurt them all. No, I put myself into this and now I just have to deal. But dealing was becoming all the more painful - the fake smiles, the fake cheer - it was all becoming too heavy, and I was cracking under the load.
Now, I had to let him do it.
He came in and began to give everyone the feigned smile I could no longer deliver. The lies, the look, the life; they all killed me inside, slowly sucked from my light, but everyone else was happy. I was sparing them all the pain of knowing the truth, or perhaps I was sparing myself from having to watch their pain. Either way, he played his role well.
“How excited are you, Hon? Our own place!” I remember hearing her say to him one day while sitting on his lap.
“It’s wonderful, Babe,” he lied. “I can’t wait to finally start our lives together.”
While I wept, he looked her in the eyes and smiled.
It was the most perfect smile I’d ever seen.
“OK, Hon! You love me?”
I was going to tell her the truth Right then, I was going to do it. I was going to apologize for all the years of lying and just come clean. I just hadn’t wanted to hurt you, but I can’t go through with this. I can’t give my whole life to you on this pretense of love that doesn’t exist and maybe never did!
That’s what I was going to say, but his resolve was stronger than mine. He did not stray from his assignment.
“Of course I do, Babe.”
He was good. That’s why I had needed him, that’s why he’d come. The happy face, and the lies that were becoming like load of lead to me, he could easily handle. He knew the cost of the truth; he knew that it would ease no pain, only transfer it, and if either she or I had to bear it, then it was I that deserved it. That it was why I now sat in this empty room, gazing at him through this barrier of glass, asking myself one question.
What have I done?
“You OK, Hon?”
I turned to the doorway where she stood, a concerned look on her face. I turned back to him for help, but I had temporarily trapped him in his prison of silver and glass. He could not help me now.
“Yeah, I’m fine,” I muttered to the floor.
“Why are you just sitting there in your underwear, staring at the mirror like a weirdo?”
“Uh, I don’t know, just tired I guess,” I said through a forced half-grin. “Just zoning out, or something.”
“Um, OK,” she said through a small giggle. “Well I’ll be downstairs unpacking, come down when you get a little more awake. Love you.”
I simply nodded and grinned. I didn’t have it in me to tell another lie; I had told my last.
I looked back toward him with envy. It was so easy for him to wear this guise of happiness, he didn’t have to feel the pain that came with it.
Why can’t I be stronger? I say I lie to spare them, to spare her, but have I spared anyone? Or have I just trapped us all in this downward spiral of an empty loveless life, full of resentment and self-loathing. Have I really spared anyone?
It doesn’t matter, I though as I used the razor to trace the big blue vein in my arm from wrist to shoulder.
Now we are all freed.
And as my head lie down on the dresser, watching the beautiful, crimson falls, flow away from my body, he reached down and began to softly stroking my face. Lovingly.
And for the first time that I can remember…
It was weightless
© 2011 TJ
Shelved in 14 LibrariesAdded on June 20, 2011
Last Updated on June 20, 2011
Virginia Beach, VA
AboutMy name is TJ and I'm still just your typical aspiring author :) Follow me on twitter @tj_coles And for some short stories in 140 characters or less follow @timmystales more..
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