People always tell you that it's good to be honest and bad to lie. And then, hypocrites that they are, they turn around and teach you your very first lie. True it's not a bad lie, not even a big life-altering lie. But it's a lie just the same.
I remember the first time I told it. I must have been maybe five or six, hardly tall enough to see over the kitchen counter, but old enough to answer the phone. Which I did, automatically, when it rang.
"Hello?" I asked.
"If that's Aunt Kathy, I'm not here." my mother whispered to me.
"Hello my darling, is your mother there?" the voice on the other end trilled.
"May I ask who's speaking?" I countered with all the solemnity and professionalism of a child.
"It's Aunt Kathy, darling. Can you get your mother?" she asked.
"Um..." I oscillated, looking panicked at my mother who mouthed "no" and waved her arms in a negative gesture.
"I think she went to the store, Aunt Kathy." I lied, guilt hitting me in the stomach.
"Ok Darling, just tell her I called and need to talk to her when she has a moment." Aunt Kathy said and hung up.
I put the phone back onto its cradle slowly, sure I was going to be in a lot of trouble for telling a lie.
"Aunt Kathy wants you to call her back when you have a moment." I delivered the message dutifully.
"Ok, thank you." my mother said and went about her day.