|"Needing the Lie"
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Authors Note: This is the third and final installment in what I fondly call the “Lying series.” It carries through with the same events that happened in “Believing the Lie” and “Trying to Lie.” Both are recommended reading before you read this piece, but are not vital to understanding it. The first story was from Liz’s POV, the second from Maria’s, and this is from Alex’s. A sequel series, the "Truth" series, is currently in the works. It will deal with the other 3 characters and wrap up the whole storyline. As usual, this is not a perky fic and everything will not be perfect at the end. It’s meant to be different and difficult and make you think as well as entertain you. That said, please enjoy and send me feedback.
| She’s supposed to be just another lie he tells himself. Like his
dreams of being a rock star or actually having a conversation with
his father. Isabel is supposed to be an obvious lie. Something he
knows can never have, but he dreams about anyhow.
She scares him because he looks at her and wonders if maybe, this time, it’s not just a lie. He’s really not sure how to handle that. His world is full of lies. He deals well with them. Needs them, even. He has the perfect family. His life is normal. He likes his role as the goofy, dorky sidekick. Wrong. His parents fight every night. He hates being the sidekick. And, he’s in love with an alien. But the lies are more comfortable. Everybody likes them better. After all, who would really want to deal with those truths? No one. Except Isabel, that is. The way she’s looking at him right now it’s undeniable that she wants the truths. She wants the dork in love with an alien. How the hell is he supposed to handle that?
He remembers back to that day in high school when he realized his Izzy wanted to stop all the lies. Oh how history repeats itself. Same characters, same plot, different lies. His fiancée looks at him sadly and tell him that they’ve finally found something. He’s always told himself they never would. She says they’re leaving, soon, in two hours and she doesn’t know when they’ll be back. She actually leaves it unspoken that they may not be coming back. That kind of surprised him. Isabel had always been one for brutal honesty. But, it makes it easier to tell himself it’s probably just a weekend trip to some UFO convention and he’s grateful for that. She hesitates at his wordlessness before kissing him fiercely and swatting away some tears marring her supermodel-like visage. She tells him she really does love him as she hands him back his ring. She says she wouldn’t feel comfortable wearing it not knowing when she’d be back. It’s not really fair to tie him down that way. He nods, staring down at the diamond ring she’s thrust into his hand. The truth is it doesn’t really mean anything to him unless she’s the one wearing it. The lie is if she wears it, she’ll certainly come back to him. He slips it back on her finger and just says one word. Please. She nods. She knows him well enough to understand he needs this and she’d do almost anything to make this easier on him.
Liz’s little boy is beautiful. He’s perfect. Sweet and adorable and everything an infant should be. He looks like Liz and he looks like Max and Liz is so happy that it’s almost painful to watch. But, he does. He watches over the three friends, family-members, that he has left. Liz’s little boy is, after all, going to be his nephew. After Isabel comes back to him. After they all come back. It’s a shallow lie. One they all try to cling to. Liz actually seems to believe it. She keeps telling her son that he’s ‘Uncle Alex’ and that other person is ‘Aunt Maria.’ But, he and Maria, they just keep on trying to believe the obvious lie. The truth is really a nasty thing, after all. He looks over at Maria, who has unconsciously placed her hand on her abdomen as she stares at Liz rocking her infant to sleep. Yes, the truth is a very nasty thing, indeed.
Alex Whitman was the only one of their close little group of friends who ever got married. He recalls how it shocked the hell out of Liz whose very first question was ‘What about Isabel?’ Maria just smiled and said congratulations. She understood him. She always had. He loves Carrie. Oh, not the same way he loves Isabel. But, really, is it even possible to love two people the same way? Not really. That’s his current number-one lie. Number two is that one day he’ll love Carrie even more than he loves Isabel. She’s no supermodel, not that that bothers him. Though there is something vaguely reminiscent of Isabel in her when she smiles. Her eyes don’t really twinkle when he makes her laugh. But, she’s smart and she’s nice and they do have fun together. She asked him about Isabel once after finding a picture of her that fell out of his yearbook when they were packing to move in together. He just looked at her sadly and said it was another lifetime and that he’d loved her once. Lies number three and four. He’ll never stop loving her and he knows it, but the lie is far more convenient. She nodded, not believing him for a second and stuck the picture back in his old yearbook. It belonged there, stuffed in his past. That’s lie number five. He knows it. But he really hasn’t changed much over the years and he knows that if he wants to try to live a normal life he needs those lies.
His marriage is empty. He knows it and she knows it and he’s really not all that surprised. They do put on a good show, though. They act the part perfectly but there’s no fire, no passion. He doesn’t know her soul. They’re good friends and they’re good roommates and that’s all. He likes her a lot and she likes him, too, but they’ll never love each other. They’d tried to have kids in the hopes that it might make them stronger. It didn’t work. She couldn’t have children. She’d apologized to him, profusely, for that. He’d held her and told her it wasn’t her fault and that he wasn’t angry. That moment was the closest she ever came to loving him. She’ll never leave him and he’ll never leave her. They’re comfortable the way they are. It disturbs him some that they’ve turned into his parents, the perfect couple to everyone but themselves. He thinks, once, he might have wanted more than that, for himself, for a blonde alien who could melt his heart with a smile. Carrie is having an affair. She thinks he doesn’t know. The truth is he really doesn’t care. He, after all, has been having an affair with a memory since the moment they met. So, who is he to begrudge her the same thing?
Carrie died in a car crash on her way home from her lover’s apartment one Friday night in late October. Liz had sobbed and hugged him and told him she was sorry and that she knew how much he’d loved her. Maria had just smiled sadly and hugged him. Maria still understood him better. He knew his wife’s lover was at her funeral. He sat in the back looking broken and hollowed and Alex felt sorry for him. He remembered what it was like to lose the woman you love. He’d thought about taking his wife’s wedding ring off. For the man in the back corner, for her, for the truth. But, he’d known his wife quite well. She was just like him. She’d needed the lies, so he left it on. Liz’s son showed up to give his condolences. He was sixteen, the same age Alex had been when he’d met the love of his life. He had her skin and his eyes and for the first time since his wife’s death, Alex found himself crying. For the millionth time since Isabel had left him, since he’d found out he and Carrie couldn’t have kids, he wondered if somewhere, among the stars, the was a beautiful teenage girl with his scrawny build and Isabel’s loving eyes. He needed that, to know something of him and Isabel still existed. Some shred of everything they’d shared was still out there despite his hollow marriage, despite her quest for home. Somewhere, up in the heavens, Alex convinced himself that Isabel and his daughter were home and happy. And he knew it was the biggest lie of all.
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