My Dearest Anushka,
I thought of you today. And whilst I assure you that you are always on my mind and in my heart, there was something less subconscious about your presence in my thoughts today. It's no coincidence I'm certain. That it was today rather than any other?
Today is the last day of the year and as ever, I'm reflecting, analysing, consolidating and commiserating. Not just of the last year, but of life in general. It is ironic that it is in these moments I both acknowledge and seemingly ignore the fact that I am far too self-pitying.
Tomorrow it will have been seven years since I last saw you. That’s a long time for one person to linger within another is it not?
I used to be confident, but lately I wonder if my reduced confidence has something to do with the fact that I now doubt my decisions. After all, I clearly made the wrong decision with you. At best, I lied to myself. Which brings me back to my story.
I’ve been trying to remember the first time I lied and why. Where has my pseudologia fantastica arisen from?
At school I was a loner. I make no secret of it. I’ve always been happy to entertain myself.
There was this one time that the school field had been ravaged by moles. Mole hills jutted from the lush green grass at haphazard intervals. I can’t say for sure what was going through my head back then; all I know is that I was an imaginative child, intent on adventure. So the obvious reaction was to dig up the mole hills. This soon landed me in the headmasters office. When interrogated about why I had been digging up the mole hills, I responded, truthfully, that I was going on an adventure.
This wasn’t a lie. This was the imagined truth. This was an innocent prevalence of imagination. A lie would have been to say that I hadn’t done it.
This got me in trouble.
I can’t remember the first time I told a lie. It was undoubtedly at school for one deed or another; my home life was relatively simple in the opening years of my life, my parents were the cause of any drama. I was content in my own little world – perhaps this explains a lot.
The point is, school taught me to lie. If you get in trouble for telling the truth, the next time you try and avoid the truth. I never did rate the education system.
Now, 20 years down the line, I have to teach myself not to lie, and the process is much harder in reverse. Some will continue to punish the truth, whilst dishonesty is frequently a less arduous route. But it is my own moral decision to set the future right, if I can.
I’m not lying when I say that I’ve been thinking of you. Amidst the rousing orchestral music of Phantom of the Opera booming in my mind and the uncomfortable feeling I get before embarking on something new, you’re there, like a phantom limb.
I know I can’t set things right Anushka. I know I did and said stupid, spiteful things. I know that you don’t believe people can change. But I’ve never been so introspective. So retrospective. Every wrong word, every wrong move is ink on my skin. I have no tattoos, but they’re there all the same.