What Happens When You Lie

by: Allie Burke ((Header art is a photograph by Guy Bourdin.))

What Happens When You Lie

“I hate her character.” He looks at me with those eyes that never define the words that come out of his mouth. “She’s so naggy.”

“I’m naggy?!” I reel back.

“Not you!” He laughs that childish laugh that no one but me gets to hear. “I’m just saying she’s naggy.”

He grabs me by the waist, knowing that’s my weakest spot, and kisses me only like a man kisses a woman he is about to lose. He sighs in my arms. I don’t know if it’s because something is wrong or something is not wrong, but knowing him it is probably both.

When the thing happens that you never believe would happen, you don’t believe it is happening. I don’t believe that life is real. I don’t believe that I can really touch him whenever I want, wherever I want, and I don’t believe that I am even alive anymore. Life has taught me that when something seems too good to be true, it usually is. So I’m probably asleep.

Though, I’ve never dreamt anything good before this moment, so that’s probably a lie.

Life is a hallucination, which should seem scary but is actually pretty normal.

I wake up to him poking me in the side, so I guess I am asleep, but I don’t really remember how that happened. I don’t remember how any of this happened.

“Wake up,” he says, and I lie and say I’m not even sleeping.

“Your eyes are closed.”

“Just because your eyes are closed doesn’t mean you are sleeping.”

“You’re such a smart ass. Don’t argue with me, woman.”

“When are we going to see Mars?”

“It’s not real. It was a hoax.”

“You lied?”

“It wasn’t my fault. I read it on Facebook.”

I crawl over to him, wriggling onto his lap. I dig my thumbs into his sides, just so I can hear that laugh again. “What happens when you lie?” I ask him.

He giggles. “It wasn’t my fault!”

“What happens when you lie?!”

He makes a noise that I can’t describe but will always remember, erupting into a fit of tickle-fueled giggles that remind me why I feel broken when he’s there and broken when he’s not.

I fall back asleep beside him, feeling guilty for my sleepiness, as I always do. We wake up at 3 AM, like we always do. He groans quietly beside me, pulling me closer, and I say “best” and he says “what did you say?” and I say again, “best” and I know he doesn’t know what that means because I don’t even know, other than the fact that some things are better than getting to see Mars in the sky.

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