|"Believing the Lie"|
Disclaimer: The characters are not mine, the plot is. Donít sue me.
Youíll get an eleven-year-old car with bad brakes and a broken
taillight along with college debts and thatís it!|
Authors Note: This is for Creedgirl whose help is invaluable, for SailorBuffy20 who has been there for me for longer than I care to remember. Itís also for the Dreamweavers Staff who is helping me create my dream and for Elizabeth, whose story Rearview Mirror reminded me why I started writing in the first place. Distribution Ė Always, just tell me where.
|She asks him if heíll stay with her, already knowing the answer. She
doesnít look him in the face, for fear sheíll see the truth there,
and she prays that heíll lie. Lie to her, to himself, to whoever he
has to in order to convince her the lie is true.|
He tells her that he will, of course, and asks her how she could think anything else, but he doesnít even sound convinced himself and she doesnít believe the lie.
She tries not to cry and stares at nothingness just over his right shoulder. She says she doesnít think that she can breathe without him near her anymore. Heís too much a part of her.
He says, choked-up, that itís good that heís staying then. He says he loves the sounds of her breath and he canít imagine sleeping ever again without that sound. She nods and tries to believe him.
She asks him if theyíll get married one day and he says of course they will and runs his fingers through her raven hair. He says it will be a beautiful wedding and theyíll have kids and a house in the suburbs somewhere.
She tells him that sounds nice and asks him where he learned to lie so very well.
His smell still lingers on her pillow, though he left two days ago.
Left her, left life, left earth, anything is possible and she knows it.
Her alarm went off a few minutes before, but she just lets it sing.
The bed is warm and it smells like him and she canít bear to open her eyes and face that heís not there.
Truth, she decides, is a silly notion and really has no place in her life. Delusions suit her so much better. She imagines she can hear him breathing softly. She can just hear it, the sound muffled by her alarm. He always was a sound sleeper.
She imagines heíll wake up in a few minutes and kiss her forehead softly, trying not to wake her, before heading off to the shower. She imagines heíll gently wake her before heading off to work and tell her he loves her. She imagines heíll always be there and they are completely safe. She imagines that she can lie in bed for five more minutes, wrapped in warm sheets and the smell of him, before sheíll have to get up and go to work. She imagines reality will smack her like the cold January morning without the comfort of him in her life.
She watches him play in his beloved sandbox. Heís been there for an hour. His innocence intoxicates her and scares her at the same time. Like a whispering of a forgotten dream, the memory of what it was like to be innocent brushes lightly against her mind, but disappears when she tries to grasp it. Itís been too long. Heís seven-years-old now, a virtual clone of his father. The ears are a dead giveaway.
He wants to be a policeman, like the ones on TV who always catch the crooks and never do wrong. She looks at him and she wonders what his biggest fears are, if they are of goblins and monsters or of something more real, like policemen. She wonders if he has any idea. Does he wonder why when he touches the sand it sometimes changes neon green? Does he wonder why he sometimes answers her before she asks a question? She wonders if maybe she owes him more of a truth and she wonders if what she knows is enough of what he deserves to know.
Mostly, though, she wonders if she should tell him that some bogeymen are real and that not all policemen are good.
He smiles, his two front teeth are missing, and he points to the castle he built in the sand. He tells her he built it for her. He tells her heís going to be the knight guarding the castle to keep her safe and the dragons wonít get her there. She smiles and tells him that she loves him. She canít look at his toothless grin and think of taking his innocence away and replacing it with hollow, terrible truths. Even if she owes him that much, she canít do it. Not today. Tomorrow, she tells herself, tomorrow sheíll tell him.
She points out constellations to her eager eleven-year-old son. Gemini, she says, is almost straight overhead. He asks her if thatís where his father is, if thatís where his fatherís family is from. She tells him she doesnít know and she means it. She looks straight up, hoping that if she moves her eyes around enough, the tears will spread out but not spill over. He asks her if anyone knows. If maybe his ďauntĒ has some idea. She too, after all, loved one of them. She tells him that she doubts it, but he can call and ask her if he wants to.
He takes her hand gently and says that itís ok. He says he already knows which star it is. He points to a star above, a cluster actually, and tells her thatís where his father is. She tells him itís the Pleadies and that itís seven stars. He says itís the one second from the left and that everything is just fine there.
She looks at him, staring overhead, knowing he doesnít believe a word of what heís saying. She remembers a time, not so long ago, when she lied to him because he couldnít handle the truths of his life. She wonders when it was that he started lying to her because she couldnít handle them.
The girl is pretty, she guesses, but not someone she would have guessed her little boy would date. The girlís a redhead with a daredevil spark in her eyes. She hates the girl immediately. She wonders why she never realized he was growing up until this moment. Heís sixteen and on his way to his sophomore homecoming dance.
He smiles at her before he heads over to his date and asks her if sheís all right. She says of course sheís fine and asks why she wouldnít be. Sheís lying again, but sheís lying to herself more than she is to him. She looks at her child in the doorway of her house in the suburbs and is suddenly thrown by how quickly everything has passed by her. She never did get married.
She remembers back to when she was sixteen and her life changed so much. She remembers the night he told her heíd never leave her and, looking at her son, she realizes that he never did.
Smiling weakly she tells him she wishes his father could see him, now. He smiles in sympathy and says itís enough for him that sheís there. She nods, not even realizing that heís lying.
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