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Confession

I’m not going to lie to you… I’m a liar. Probably not a pathological liar, though. Maybe.

Sometimes I say little white lies like I’m fine when I’m not or saying you’re not annoying me when you are. Sometimes they’re big lies like how I got that dent in my car.

Some lies I don’t even realize I’m saying one until it’s too late. Some lies I convince myself are truth.

I even lie to myself that I’m not a liar. Everyone lies, right?

Wrong… Not everyone feels inclined to lie about everything. But I do. Even when it doesn’t actually benefit me any more or less.

According to studies, this is a common issue for people who lived in a broken home. But wait! My home wasn’t broken. I had two parents, and there was never a threat of divorce looming over us. We never had a split, because it never would happen. We weren’t broken.

Only broken homes aren’t just about broken marriages, it includes dysfunctional and/or abusive families.

The greatest lie I told myself was that my home wasn’t broken. It took me years to accept it as truth. Dad never laid a hand on me. In fact, he avoided touching altogether. Instead he threw words like worthless or stupid at me when the drink took him. He never beat my mother, but he did throw dishes against the wall to get his point across. We weren’t broken, though. Only slightly scratched. Nothing a bit of calamine lotion wouldn’t help fix.

What I don’t understand are the lies that just fall out of my mouth. I don’t even have to think about them anymore. My lies have never hurt anyone but myself. Once told, though, I’ve already convinced myself of their validity. Or I convince myself why it was correct, enhancing the lie if it ever comes up again.

Most lies to be convincing have to have an ounce of truth in them. Like how I met Dimeback Darrell at my old job in Dallas. He frequented the restaurant I worked at. Only I worked in the cash and security office and I saw him through the security cameras. I went downstairs to see him closer, but I never approached him. I was too scared. But I met Dimeback Darrell less than a year before he died. Only he never met me…

Some lies are to protect me or prevent an awkward conversation from starting. I lied at my first job interview after I became an Australian permanent resident. The truth that I had met my partner over a video game may not have made me the best job applicant. It shows me as impulsive. Instead, I just told a fib that he was stationed in Dallas for a while and we met then. A significant lie, but not one that was unbelievable, either. In fact, the truth was far stranger than fiction.

 

So now that I have revealed something very personal about myself, I have another confession to make.

This was me five years ago. It took me years to fix this habit. I didn’t even realize it was a problem until I moved to Australia. Then when I started to pick up on it, I noted how the lie came about. Why did I really need to say it?

Some lies are still okay. You really do look nice in that dress. You aren’t annoying me. I am fine.

But my life isn’t ruled by a constant lie anymore. And that is so liberating.

 

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The Entourage – microstory

Her life was a series of gratuitous affirmations from her friends  – encouraged to indulge in the world’s worst vices.

Lost in the void of repressed emotions, she was consumed mind, body, and soul until she was broken and ceased to exist altogether.

 

 

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An ANZAC Story

Fiona watches the dawn break through the trees at Kings Park, her ascent along Fraser Avenue nearing completion. In the distance, she can see over two hundred people standing and listening to the final notes to “The Last Post” echoing from the bugle player.

A single tear falls down Fiona’s cheek as she finishes her contemplative stroll. “Gregory,” she whispers. Her hand unconsciously reaches for the chain around her neck, fingering the locket at the end of it. “If only you could see me now.”

Has it really been fifteen years? – she wonders.

* * * * *

The tall tree was as lush and vibrant as ever sitting between two park benches that look out onto the Swan River. Gregory sat with his hands on his lap while he looked out towards South Perth. His posture was rigid, and his uniform finely pressed.

Fiona was winded as she approached the bench. Her feet were sore from running. A telegraph message was in between her thumb and index finger. Only five words were on the face of it:

Meet me at King's Park.

She knew the spot. They always came here. With the ongoing threat of deployment hanging in the air, the message could only mean the day had come.

She was saddened to see his hair from behind. She loved running her fingers through it, but now it was too short to feel the loose locks.

Fiona joined him on the bench. Her nurse’s uniform was a stark contrast to his own. She reached for his hand, but he put his arm across her instead and stroked her hair. For a brief moment, she felt as if this was just a normal meeting. However, the restrained expression on his face reflected his duty.

Please don’t leave. – she thought.

Gregory spoke to her in hurried tones about eleventh battalions and other-worldly destinations. She hardly heard a word of it. Her mind focused on his appearance. His once jovial countenance was marred with the remorse of an unknown future.

Stay with me.

They kissed passionately and completely, both knowing it may be their last, and after a few minutes of raw emotion, he gave her a final gift – a gold heart-shaped locket at the end of a delicate chain.

We could start a family together!  

But the moment came and went. That sense of duty he felt compelled to follow mirrored the nation’s. All too eager to assist in the war.

Fiona watched in mute sadness as Gregory walked away from the park. Taximeter cabs whizzed past horse drawn carriages on the busy streets of Perth. He vanished among them, and she collapsed on the park grass.

*****

Fiona let a few more tears trickle down her cheeks. She is sitting on that same park bench now, looking out along Swan River and South Perth. The world has changed; she has changed.

“Your sacrifice had meaning,” she whispered.

*****

A letter arrived months later. Gregory’s parents had received communication that he was missing in action since that day in Gallipoli. He was presumed dead.

Fiona tore up the letter and stormed out of the house. Along the streets of her neighbourhood, posters and newspapers seemed to appear at every step on the pavement. Each reinforced the decision she had already made. She marched down to volunteer. If Gregory was still alive, she could be there to help him get back to full health. She would help save countless lives.

*****

Fiona sighs deeply, startled back to reality by the sound of a crutch hitting the sidewalk behind her. A man hobbles past to sit down beside her. His arm stretches to cup her shoulder.

I saved only one life, Gregory – she sent her thoughts to him. A persistent fellow, at that. I helped nurse him back to health. If I had not been there, waiting for your return, he possibly wouldn’t have survived, and we never would have been married.

She places her hand on his stump of a leg – a permanent reminder of his time on the battlefield. Where he saw a broken man, she saw a strong human being. She looks into his eyes and sees tears. Her warm smile encourages him to smile back as a trio of children file around the bench and sit in front of them.

They listen in silence at the final words of the service.

“Lest we forget.”

With heads bowed, they sit quietly together with gratitude in their hearts.

“For all who have served, we thank you,” Fiona whispered.

 

 

 

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Varying Views – a bop

We both share a common bond.
The colors of our skin do not discriminate.
It is universally important to us both,
Still, though, we differ. Your
Belief – faith – is in gradients of pink and red,
When I see yellow and gold.

Your God is my God, but he’s not the same.

The rage gives you power that it should not,
Encourages hate and oppression where
Tolerance and acceptance should be.
Your voice drowns the multitudes
Those that do not share your views
Are overshadowed by you.
They are incapable of disassociating with
Your large majority of racists and bigots.

Your God is my God, but he’s not the same.

There is no reprieve, no counter,
Still the human spirit fights on.
Their will to be heard, accepted as they are-
Gay, trans, Muslim, Buddhist, atheist, true Christian –
Your voice cannot be silenced,
But it can and will be ignored.

Your God is my God, but he’s not the same.

 

 

 

 

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A Barbed Life 

barbed2bwire2bprompt1

Photo Prompt: (c) Madison Woods

You saw me barbs and all.
The twisted wires and frayed edges of my life
Were evident on my countenance,
Yet you still took me in.

Then something amazing happened.
You helped me.
We rolled up the barbed wire together,
Bled together.

The wounds of my life became your own-
The thorny blemishes,
Those abrasions upon the psyche.
Slowly the scars healed.

Now the broken wires of my existence hang on a shelf.
A token reminder of life before you.
But no longer consuming the life
We have now built together.

This post was written for the weekly photo prompt challenge, Friday Fictioneers, via way of Rochelle, our amazing fairy blogmother! I thought for this week, I might try something completely different for myself, because the image just spoke to me differently than usual. It’s probably a bit formulaic and cheesy, but sometimes we need cheese. 😉 If you are interested in reading some other, probably much better, stories, click on that little blue frog. He grants magical powers of amazing linkage!