The Truth, Please.

I glared at him, waiting for an answer. He gestured to my toothbrush, and I instinctively knew he wouldn’t say a word until I’d brushed my teeth. I’d taught him that habit.

When I was done, he took me by the hand and pulled me through the door to sit on the tiny sofa in the lounge. Still he wouldn’t speak. He held my hand in his, an index finger rested lightly on my wrist, feeling my pulse. My heart was thrumming faster than hummingbird’s wings with anger, and only when it slowed did he speak. But it wasn’t the explanation I was looking for.

‘Why do you call me John Smith?’ He raised an eyebrow speculatively. The question took me by surprise. That was his name wasn’t it? If not, why would he let me call him something so... normal? Why not deny it? Why live by someone else's identity?

‘Well, because, that’s... it’s your name. Isn’t it?’ Uncertainty clouded my voice and his expression softened slightly. He shook his head a tiny bit.

‘Do you remember the night you found me?’ He waited for an answer so I nodded.

‘You were lost and I took you in. The police didn’t recognise you and I offered to look after you. You were so distant.’ He nodded, thoughtful – like he had just begun to understand something that had been bugging him.

‘Wait here.’ He said before standing up and going back into the bathroom. He came back, something enclosed in the fingers of his right hand, before I starting trying to understand what he was doing.

John sat down next to me again, taking my right hand in his left, and opened his fist.

'This,' He gestured to the glittering glass in his hand,'is my way out.'

The anger came rushing back.

'What are you saying? You cut yourself to forget your troubles? No, that's not right - you have no scars or anything. What...who do you cut?' He was shaking his head again. Correcting? Or just reassuring?

'You've got it all wrong.' Placing the glass on the coffee table, he took my face in his cold hands. 'I don't cut anyone but me, but it doesn't hurt me. It makes me feel better. Jess, there are many things you don't know about me. Many things you don't want to know.'

The End

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