The Truth About Lies

After searching the internet for several hours he gave up, moving on to the local paper. Soon frustration got the best of him and he slammed the newspaper on his desk. He got up out of his chair with such force that it rolled back and crashed against the filing cabinet behind him. As he walked out the door the chair rolled back and crossed to the other side of the room.

In a moment of weakness, he walked to the floor's coffee machine. When he reached it, he sneered and violently palmed the button. The brown box shook to life and buzzed until a cup dropped and a steady stream of tar like fluid poured out. He took the cup back to his office, fished the chair from the corner and slumped into it.

The rest of the day was a blur as problems on the factory floor came and went. When the time arrived, he began his end of day ritual which included cleaning the garbage out of his office. After placing papers in the disposal and shredding those with personal information on them, he turned to leave but stopped himself at the door.

He spun around and glared at the small paper cup that had darkened at the bottom where the coffee had seeped through. He hadn’t drank the whole thing of course. Only the bravest of men could manage that, or perhaps those lacking sanity. It took a few long strides before his hand wrapped around the thin vessel and tossed it into the trash.

Once again however, his attempt to leave his office failed. Something burned at the back of his mind, a frozen image of where the cup had been sitting. Could it be? He moved back to his desk and cocked his head at the newspaper.

Encircled by a dark stain of coffee was a request for tenancy. “I’ll be damned.” There was no price listed. Instead the landlords offered for potential tenants to visit them at their home on Julian Hill for a short interview after which they‘d release more information. With a quick swipe he picked up the paper and marched out the doorway.

On the highway, that moment came once again. He had the choice to stay the course and go to Shane’s, deal with the hilarious prank he’d sprung or take the exit and meet up with Charlie for the third time. “Come on Wayne.” He said to himself. “Is there really a choice here?” A smile stretched across his face as he turned right and took the exit ramp up to the cape.

When he arrived at the carnival, some last minute patrons where just on their way to the parking lot. He got out, nodded to them in glee and continued into the fair grounds. It took him a moment to remember the path he’d taken the day before, but soon he found himself in the lot filled with trailers and tents. He first investigated the tent he had found her in the night before, but it was empty. His second best bet was to try her trailer where he’d spent the night.

Walking up to the trailer his pace slowed as he heard a heated conversation taking place within. He figured it would be best to just wait it out. He didn’t have to wait long however, as the doorway slammed open and a burly man stomped out, stopping in his tracks at the site of Wayne.

“Who’re you?” He asked, his voice coarse as it filtered through his thick grey beard.

“Hi, my name is Wayne.” He said, extending his hand.

The man looked down at his hand, then back up at Wayne with a burning anger lingering just behind his eyes. “What do you want?”

“I’m looking for Charlie. Charlie Harvey?”

His head cocked to the side and one eye squinted. “Do I know you?”

“No sir, I don’t believe you do.” His hand was still extended.

“Then why would you want to talk to me?”

Wayne felt the blood drain from his face. This gorilla of a man before him was none other than Charlie Harvey senior. His hand trembled, and slid down to his side.

“Best start talking boy, before I call security.”

“That won’t be a problem sir, I’ll be on my -”


They both turned toward the trailer door. There in the doorway she stood. Her hair was loose and hung like jet velvet resting softly on her shoulders. She wore a red skirt adorned with minimalist black floral embroidery and a white collared shirt. Her pale skin in contrast to her hair shone in the meagre sunlight of coming dusk which painted her exposed flesh with a golden hue.

Wayne’s jaw dropped.

Charlie Harvey senior’s eyes cranked to the peripheral and watched Wayne’s bewildered expression. “Uh.” He grunted. “You meant her.”

“Yes sir, I did.”

“Come here.” Said the man, his wide index finger curling like a cruel hook.

Wayne hesitantly took a few steps toward the giant.

“You listen to me well son. We’re leaving come Tuesday and … ” He pointed to his daughter. “ … she’s leaving with us. So I don’t know what your game is, but my daughter’s got enough problems. I am in the business of making people happy. It’s hard enough to keep her happy without rabble like you being thrown in the mix!”

“Daddy!” Charlie yelled from the doorway. “Stop it!”

He ignored her. “Now get out of my sight before I move on to my next course of action when dealing with hormonally charged young men trying to court my daughter.”

Wayne wasn’t interested in knowing what the second course of action would be, and so naturally he soon found himself sitting in his car, trying to make sense of what had just occurred. He hadn’t, however, left the parking lot.

A few moments passed before she opened the passenger door and let herself in. She found Wayne still staring ahead, not even acknowledging her obvious presence.

“Hey.” She put her hand on his, which was gripping the steering wheel. “I’m sorry you had to go through that.”

“It’s alright.”

“No, it’s not alright. I’m a grown woman, this is my life and he has no business telling me what to do. I may be his daughter and his employee, but that doesn’t change the fact that I’m my own person and I can do whatever I want to.”

Wayne loosened his death grip on the steering wheel and sat back in the drivers seat. “Maybe I shouldn’t have come.”

“No, please Wayne. I would have been so excited to see you if it hadn’t been tainted by my fathers incessant demands.” She smiled at him, trying to coax his mood toward the better. “Did you sleep well? You were gone when I woke up.”

“I slept like the dead.” He said, finally cracking a weak smile. “You were amazing last night.”

“I couldn’t have done it without you.” She said, laughing at her own joke. “What did you want to do today?”

“Actually.” Wayne pulled the news paper out of the center console. “I was wondering if you could help me with something.”

“Oh? What’s this?”

“Remember how I said I didn’t have a phone?”

“Yeah.” She said, elongating the word in a question like tone.

“Well, it’s because I don’t actually have my own place right now. I’ve been living with Shane for the past few weeks after -” He froze. He knew he couldn’t tell her about Shelly, at least not yet. She’d probably blow a gasket if she knew how soon he’d moved on. He didn’t want to let that can of worms out just yet. “A little white lie.” he thought, would do the trick. “After I got evicted.”

“Evicted? How’d that happen?”

Like all lies, this white lie was one strand in a growing web. “Well the landlord had to move and the buyer was turning the place back into a single family home so I had a deadline to get out.”

“Ah, that must have sucked.”

“It did.” So did the guilt bubbling up inside his chest. “So I was wondering if you wanted to come with me? The landlords want an interview and such. I figured I’d look a lot more appealing if they thought we were a couple.”

“We aren’t?” She asked.

Wayne was like a deer in headlights. The trap was sprung and now the only thing he could do was mitigate the consequences. “This could be a test” he thought to himself. What on earth was the right response?

Charlie watched him squirm for two agonizing minutes before she burst into laughter. “Wayne. Don’t worry about it.” She could see that even with those words, he was worrying about it.

She had put uncertainty into his world and now everything was tearing at the seams. “Wayne.” She said with seriousness. “Look at me.” He did, and she took his face into her hands. “Don’t worry about it. We are what we are. I’m not one for public approval or terms of endearment. We’re a couple, we’re two people enjoying each others company. I was just bugging you with the question.” Finally she saw him relax a little, but something else was there. She couldn’t tell what it was, but it was there, pacing inside him like a caged beast. “Come on, let’s go see this place.” She sat back, as if she was in a ride at the fair waiting for it to start. “Off we go!” She said, pointing ahead as if to their destination.

He looked at her and his heart sank. He had lied, and it would be there like ink staining their connection for as long as he held it in, and would likely never wash out. Worst of all, it would grow, spreading across the expanse as a vile taint. Every step along the way he would have to spin another web to conceal the first and soon it would be a heavy ball weighing down upon his chest until its weight collapsed his heart. He knew this, because he’d done it before. Now, sitting in the car, he lied again. This time he lied to himself as he smiled, a convincing but thin disguise, and thought “It‘s going to be alright.” He then turned the ignition and backed out of the parking space before setting off to their destination.

The End

58 comments about this story Feed