The Art of Lying – Eva Myers

PT.1:

Sometimes they called me a traitor, or a liar, or a thief. I denied nothing, because maybe I was.

“Did you clean up your room?” No. “Yes.”

“Are you in love with him?” Yes. Utterly. “No.”

Terrible, terrible liar. I comfort myself by saying that, at least, I am not a liar by choice.

I always had this dreadful habit of looking down nervously and twiddling my thumbs when I was lying to people. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I still do.

The first and last time I stole was when I was four years old, and it was three pieces of Lego from the local library in my hometown. I did lie to get out of it, but of course I returned them a few hours later, after my mother scolded me and made me stand in front of an old lady, apparently the librarian, and admit my crime.

This was the time I learned that telling the truth is hard and, to say the least, embarrassing. Let us not refer to the treason just yet.

 

PT.2:

I split myself into coins, into tiny, little pieces of gold. And I gave them away. For tongue on tongue. For a hand touching mine. For an arm around me. For a fantasy. My coins were scattered around, and I only had a few pennies left to give you, which were long forgotten in empty packs of cigarettes. You found a golden coin. But it wasn’t mine anymore. Because I gifted it to you. Sometimes I wonder what love feels like. It would feel like someone giving me back all those lost coins.

You were born with a pair of indigo darts, two windows to your restless soul that many people refer to merely as “eyes.”

Stole my heart, yet never charged for theft.

It must be how those eyes wrinkle when you smile, how your teeth perfectly align, and how you reach for my hand with yours. The way that the same hand brushes through my hair, and sometimes gets tangled in it. How you breathe in these tangles and how your breath warms up my neck. The way you hold me during the night, and how softly you blow your smoke. From the way you walk, to the way you talk, you are an incarnated miracle one of those the romantic poets wrote about, praised, and eventually, died for.

I crack open a new jar of instant coffee, count two and two spoonfuls, ten drops of cold water, stir and pour the boiling water from the kettle in the yellow mug. Three drops of milk, one for the past, one for the present, and one for the future. I like my coffee lukewarm, to contrast with you, who is burning with ambition.

However, I start to believe I need both of you in the same way.

If you dusted my heart for fingerprints, you would most certainly find yours.

Stepping out of my point of view, I see us as these couples that criticize artwork in galleries, like our talent can compare with the Great Masters, getting dizzy with cheap wine and being more to each other than solely a partner to spend our nights with.

It is something quite special that feeling, a mix of infatuation and comfort that ends up in transparent drops filling up my eyes every time the thought of you lingers in my mind. Tears of happiness, they say, considering they always start falling from the right eye.

Reading Liu’s writings, I can agree and verify myself that from the strands of hair I leave on your sheets and the cigarettes I leave in your ashtray, I am yours. From the worries you offer me and the smiles you hand out endlessly, I am yours. From the drunken nights and the sober mornings, I am yours. From the first day, to the last, I am yours.

You walked amongst the ruins of my heart and the flowers bloomed as if spring came earlier this year.

Dearest A.Z.,

I have pretended to go mad in order to tell you the things I want. I call it art. Because art is the word we give to the feelings we make public, and art doesn’t worry anyone. It is more than known that I have to tell you how I feel. Harnessing mutual love and interest is a wonderful side effect of courage, but it’s not the end goal. The end goal is me becoming someone who can meet my own gaze in the mirror each morning because I am unafraid to fight for my own happiness.

 

PT.3:

I want you, reader, to comprehend my struggle of disclosing feelings to the people they are targeted at. I ask for something I was never capable of. I beg and long for your empathy.

I seem to be surrounded by an uprising tide, and an ancient tragic play would not even come close to leaving a greater imprint on your soul than the script of my dreadful yet satyric life.

Continuing with the calamity of treason ­ which combines the art of lying, I learnt not long after my minor crime that left me in utter woe, it would be good to mention that it has only happened during moments of total insobriety.

Looking back to it, he was kind enough to ask, in his own subtle way, with a certain amount of affection, if I was in love with him.

As the seconds passed, I desperately tried to stop my heart that was beating erratically against my fragile cage of bones.

The hardship and embarrassment that comes with honesty grew into me. It was an agonising and slow, but at the same time, gradual process that I had the misfortune to spectate.

Reflecting upon it all, I came to the conclusion that veiling ones feelings in order to avoid possible consequences and reactions is a natural defense and not an act of lie, as many appear to assume.

I can only anticipate that he will repeat himself, clearly this time, in the near future. Dear reader, I would lie, but I am not a liar.

 
 
 
Eva Myers is a young, aspiring writer who lives in Melbourne, frequently uses a fake last name, and re-reads Vladimir Nabokov's novels way too often.
 
 

Categories: Fiction, Short Story