The problem with being lied to is that it is difficult to trust people.
And it started like this.
Once upon a time, there was a girl, and she kind of liked a boy and he kind of liked her (but… kind of didn’t). They were each other’s second choices, and that was okay. It wasn’t going to be forever.
And then, it was. He proposed and she said yes, because she thought if she said no, then it would all be over. And there were lots of romantic stories about people from churches falling in love instantly and getting married after a few months. She wanted to be one of them. It would make a pretty good book.
The problem with the boy was that he had a lot of problems, and he didn’t know how to deal with them. He liked to play pretend a lot, and sometimes he got confused about what was real and what was fantasy. Other times, he knew he was playing, but wanted the girl to believe him.
She didn’t believe many, if any, of the lies.
Soon the lies became too much. The boy would lie about little things, like what really happened to the block of chocolate she bought him last night. He would lie about big things — feigning illnesses, people saying nasty things about the girl, elaborate stories about fires, cancer, and armed robberies, just to name a few.
The problem with the girl was that even though she liked the boy, she didn’t like who he was a lot of the time. She sometimes didn’t know what to believe about things he said, or where he had been. It’s not that she thought the boy was cheating on her or anything, it’s just she didn’t know what was true anymore, and what was just an elaborate fantasy he had concocted in his mind.
And then the girl became really sad.
In the process, she lost some friends. Quite a few friends, actually, some of which were sick of her drama, and some who had new interests and friends and didn’t really connect with who she was anymore. She didn’t really know who she was anymore, either. The boy had somehow taken away the little things she loved, like acting, and reading, and church, and movies, and tainted them all with his sepia tone of boring brown.
They tried to make it work. He took her out for dinner and to watch movies, which he chose. She took him out for coffee and cake, which she chose. They sat together in class and walked home together from school, but it was only them now. No one supported their relationship, and they didn’t want to support each other.
When the boy and the girl finally parted ways, she was happy and relieved, but she also had to go through a lot, all by herself. After trying to work out why the boy had lied to her for so long, she would instantly discount stories and long winded tales from other people, as well as simple statements about mundane things like going to the supermarket or the price of apples.
And she was lonely.
She didn’t know who to reach out to. Who would believe her anyway?
It took the girl several long years to get over it. She had to fall in and out of love a few times, and to spend time with people who were too honest, and to experience her own world of pain, instead of being tarred with someone else’s brush of sadness. And although she and the boy eventually made amends, it wasn’t enough to allow her to look back on that time with any fondness.
There wasn’t a lesson to be learned. Other people had lied to the girl before, but those lies were silly ones which she had laughed at later on. She knew about lying, but she didn’t know about love, and how complicated it could be. It was only half a life time later that the girl realised that the best gift, the only gift, that came out of this whole mess was the power to choose.
She never chose anything.
Oh, well, she chose the clothes she wanted to wear, and the music she played on the way to work, and she chose her first car. It’s just that the girl always thought there was a silver lining. She never wanted to be the first one to break anything off, even a phone conversation. She didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.
As if her own didn’t matter.
But they did, of course they did, they always had. She just didn’t know that it was okay to let someone fall and fail. Except, the boy didn’t do any of these things. He flew without her. Well, so he said.