She’s beautiful. She’s sprawled across my bed right now, gently snoring and wrapped tightly in a grey blanket. She makes me happy, and hopefully, I make her happy too.
I’m single. It’s an easy lie to tell because I don’t actually have to say anything. I just let people assume what they already assume. It’s not something I struggle with on a daily basis. It’s not something that will have grave repercussions. It’s not even something that inconveniences me in any way. It just means that every now and then when people ask to hang out or do something, I tell a small harmless lie: I have homework to do; I’m off-campus with another friend; I have to do something for my parents.
She stirs. As she rolls over and pulls the blanket close, she murmurs something barely audible and barely English. I think she’s asking for me or is that just wishful thinking?
Why lie?That’s less easy to explain. People like to give their two cents. But if they do, I’ll have a bunch of change. And no one likes to carry change. See, not all relationships start with eye contact across a room, or bumping into each other in a hallway. Some start out messy, and this is a classic example of messiness. The details of said mess aren’t that important, they’re now just fading memories. The only thing that should matter is that she likes me, and I really like her. But unfortunately, they matter to others. They judge us on those fading details because it’s innate to us, as people, to judge, have opinions, and form thoughts. In this case, most of it won’t be congratulations or high fives, only concerns and expectations.
She wakes. She looks at her phone, the soft light illuminating her face in the dark room. 7:18AM. Her eyes are still heavy, still craving sleep, still fearing the light.
Fuck that. Our infant relationship doesn’t need to be burdened by other people. It needs people to just stay out of it, let our business be our business. So I suggested it; I suggested that we keep this a secret. It wasn’t a difficult conversation to have. I think it was only a few sentences. She understood me. There was no reason for either of us to go on Facebook and change the status from “single” to “in a relationship.” There was no reason for us to answer question about how we met or what we like about each other. There was no reason for us to do anything but hide it.
Good morning. Her eyes scan across the room and find me. She stares blankly and blinks once or twice before our eyes meet while the last light of the phone dies.
It’s romantic. During the day, she’s my friend from the bookstore who I have lunch with once a month. Sometimes I drop by and say hey. We chit chat, and have a superficial conversation. Usually she goes on a break and we take a stroll that ends with an empty staircase. I hold her up against the wall and we share a passionate kiss, one fueled by the possibility of being caught. At night, she’s mine. We lie to our friends about whereabouts, while smirking and holding hands. Secrets and lies, it’s seductive. We continue on with our passionate kiss.
We hug. Her arms squeeze my ribs tightly determining that she is no longer dreaming and finally in reality. She asks what I’ve been up to.
Now what? I’m not James Bond, secrets and guns are not my profession. Our meetings aren’t that discreet and the way I look at her is a dead give away. Eventually people will find out. Then they will ask their questions, voice their concerns, and share their thoughts. Except now there’s more: how long has it been; why didn’t you tell me; are you embarrassed of her? Ugh. This sounds like something Future Me can handle. Maybe Future Me will be in a stronger relationship that can carry these burdens, or maybe he’ll be single and none of this will even matter. Either way, he’ll take care of it. In the meantime, I’ll just quietly enjoy my lie.
Nothing much. Another easy lie.