The Lies We Tell
People lie to themselves all the time; they tell themselves they’ll be okay or that their life isn’t falling apart or that they’ll make it out of this alive. They lie while the truth, a nasty, hungry, drooling maw, smiles in their face.
Farah thought if she pushed harder on the gas pedal the world would move a little faster, she’d break the sound barrier and all time would cease to end. Tears streamed down her face faster than she could wipe them away, her sleeve wet with tears and snot. She could feel the pedal reach its limit, the lights on the street a blur of watercolor and neon. It wasn’t fair. This wasn’t supposed to happen. Life just doesn’t turn out this way.
Farah hasn’t prayed since she was a little girl, when everything was still aligned and she still knew what love was. She squeezed the wheel, the leather squeaking under her sweating palms, blood rushing to her fingertips and her eyes closed and whispered words were spoken to a god that wasn’t there. In this car, in the driver seat of this busted sedan sat a little girl praying, a lie that she would be a better person if things went back to the way they were, that she’ll be a loyal servant if God would just fix this broken life she had, the pieces lying in her lap, jagged edges piercing her tender flesh.
Farah left home at the age of 15, a tumultuous time for a girl. Her clothes were in rags and her legs were covered in a blanket of dried blood. She’d crossed three state lines, cut her hair and dyed it red. She learned how to con and scheme and steal and lie. She was the best liar that ever walked the Earth. She was never seen in the same place twice and most nights she fell asleep in the grass or on cold concrete. Even then Farah never dropped to her knees and asked for forgiveness, never turned back and wondered what could have been. She kept moving along, following the wind and keeping her head on the road ahead. Trouble had followed her a few times, sometimes she was lucky and made it out with only a few scrapes and bruises. Sometimes... Well... She only had a single eye that worked anymore and a chunk of her left ear was missing. Who would have thought that the young girl who was crowned homecoming queen two years in a row would end up being a grotesque monster with a dept she couldn’t pay off even after a million nights in hell. What changed? What was the magic switch that flipped for her that she decided to call out to her heavenly father and beg for his mercy? The loss of her innocence wasn’t enough? Her sight or a few of her other senses leaving her wasn’t enough?
The night she left her home she swore she would never come back, the bile that would creep and crawl and claw its way up her throat allowed her to keep that promise to herself. She didn’t need that life anymore, that life was gone; a shadow, a snuffed flame and a whiff of smoke in the wind. Of course it was a lie. The memory of the knife plunging into her father’s heart, piercing skin and shattering bone wasn’t enough. His cold dead eyes, a lifeless stare of glass eyes looking up at her wasn’t enough. So why was it that she drove to her childhood home, the naked trees on the front lawn, skeletal and deadly and the branches sway and threaten to fall off the trunk. Why was it that she watched through the front window as a family of three gathered at the dinner table, passing dishes from one hand to another, laughter spilling from their mouths and love warming their home? Why did she slip out of the car, walk to the window and peer into the bright room with the happy family and a hearty meal? Why was her father sitting at the head of the table, her mother sitting to his right and their eight year old daughter sitting to his left? writing here…