Short Story: The Truth Teller

Hey y’all. Betty here. I hope your year hasn’t started looking like last year’s clothes already? Here’s a story I enjoyed writing, somewhat. Perhaps because it was inspired by my present favourite author, Lorrie Moore (check this woman out). I do hope you enjoy it and please let me know what your thoughts are afterward.…

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Hey y’all. Betty here. I hope your year hasn’t started looking like last year’s clothes already? Here’s a story I enjoyed writing, somewhat. Perhaps because it was inspired by my present favourite author, Lorrie Moore (check this woman out). I do hope you enjoy it and please let me know what your thoughts are afterward.

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The problem she had with Joshua was that he told the truth.

She met him through her cousin and when after their first date, he had pulled her close and kissed her and said he wanted her for himself; she had come gushing to me. “He’s not like the others, no fronting whatsoever.” I was only glad she’d stopped being so finicky about men. She grinned wide and laughed a lot; her eyes glinting with hope and liquid adoration.

When she strode into my house and plopped down on my couch, her forehead in furrows; I had immediately assumed it to be the familiar end to her short stories. But she began to speak of how he cradled both her hands in his and looked into her eyes- her soul, she corrected- and said vehemently how he could not and would not live without her. She had looked up from her storytelling and I saw tears glisten in her eyes; she seemed perplexed and when she described him as ‘desperately honest’, I had thought it was an odd combination. Desperately honest? But it was then a strange smile lit up her face. I have never seen her that happy; she practically beamed as though a light bulb had been switched on inside of her.

“Do you know what it’s like?” She asked me after she had relayed how he’d spent the previous night telling her all the brave and horrible things he had ever done.  “To find a man who tells you the truth… About everything?” He was candid and sincere she said; he made her want to uproot her puny morals and start again.

So when she came back to my green couch and curled into a ball, shivering with fears that stemmed from underneath her lacey blouse. I was more than slightly taken aback. Explain it to me, I pleaded. What went wrong?

“Nothing,” she said.

And quoting her words back to her, I reminded her of his honesty; how pure and rare he was; how happy he made her. But she only flinched with each word, as though I was punching her belly. She raised a palm to stop my flow of words.

And then she said- “That’s the problem. When the love dies, will he hesitate to tell me he feels no more for me?” I moved to speak but she stopped me. She had never said she knew his love was eternal, she had said his honesty was. And so, she was afraid. She was scared that he wouldn’t do her the favour of being quiet when he no longer loved her so passionately. She was scared he would tell her when she was no longer attractive and when he would sleep with his secretary. And when he would take a bribe and then share all of his fears and doubts and worries and that it would overwhelm her. That his honesty would crush her with its startling clarity and piercing starkness.

And looking in her eyes, there was no shaking this terror. So, I poured us red wine in huge mugs and snuggled in beside her and said nothing. She took a long sip and said to me, “Don’t we all need to be lied to? A little? I think so.”

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Please share your thoughts in the comment section.

Responses

  1. Georgia
    This is beautiful ….

    I think it’s scary ,when someone always tells the truth …maybe we need to be lied to a little, sometimes ..for things that arent life changing or ground shaking …but when it comes to the hard stuff ,I wanna know the truth … Always !!!

  2. Tiki
    Some people may agree that they want to be lied to…but if someone asks "Can I lie to you now" when you ask a question, would you say yes?

    Unless well-disguised bondage is your thing, living a life of deception is no life at all.

  3. Tiki
    On another note, why would you rather your partner lie, than tell you the don't want to be with you anymore? Doesn't the lie defeat the whole 'in a loving, healthy relationship' concept?
  4. larz
    Some people tell the truth to absolve dem of responsibilities, not becuz they r sorry but becuz they wanna transfer the burden of the truth to you so you can make the decisions they wouldn't dare make. We just need to realise that the truth can be used as a weapon to hurt and destroy.
  5. thetoolsman
    I recently saw that Khan indian movie again (My name is Khan) .. And this whole truth thing crossed my mind again. We live in a corrupt world where even toddlers can't be completely truthful about the most insignificant things. Yes, the truth id good, we should all demand it when it comes to the absolutely important things (relative, I know).. But even though biblically its a lie, things like false compliments etc or what ppl call white lies told to protect others or just to save one from hassles of having to explain yourself, maybe just maybe those can slide.. The challenge here is where to draw the line…
  6. babe
    Theres a saying that goes 'Truth in marriage that causes a temporary unrest is better than a false peace due to deception'.

    I believe in truth all the way. Probably because ive been caught in a lie once and honestly, after that incident, I realized lying wasnt worth it. Better to just tell the truth and carry on.

  7. enajyte
    There's something like not saying anything at all. But if something must be said then I'd rather have the truth.

    "I lied to protect you" or "I lied because I didn't want to hurt you," are two things no one wants to hear.

    Besides lies have a way of coming back to light your ass on fire.

  8. Cher Agege
    This is beautifully written . I can relate because I am going through the same thing now and the truth hurts . The closing sentence is brilliant . Well done !
  9. imperfectlyperfect92
    Not everyone can take the truth,some prefer little lies to protect them like the lady in the story, but methinks,protect me not, just tell me and let me decide my options for myself
  10. Funk
    "I want the truth every time". Easy to say, but y'all can't handle the truth every time. For instance, if you knew the truth about everyone around you, especially the people in your church, you wouldn't be able to handle it. You'd be fucked up. Really.
    1. Tori
      True. We really cannot handle the truth all the time. It is good to be honest most of the time, but some times half truths are necessary. Lovely post.
  11. Tori
    Worrying too much about what may happen in the future also fucks up a lot of relationships. She is happy now, why screw things up because you think his honesty may hurt you in the future?
  12. jazzyfactry
    There's no excuse. It's never right to lie. But sometimes it's a necessary evil. One we blindly crave. The question is where to draw the line.

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