by 🏝 MeDuf ♏
Writers Cramp challenge
|"Baby I'm a liar." It was out of my mouth before I could stop it. It was way past time that we should have had this conversation.
"What? What are you saying?" asked Tina with a hand on her hip. "What did you lie about?"
I shifted on my feet. I loved this woman and I feared this would be the end of us. I ran my hand over my scraggly beard and then through my wild hair. "It would be easier to list the things I didn't lie about," I mumbled.
Tina took a deep breath and returned to packing her suitcase in silence. She dug through her bag and pulled out her pistol and pointed it at me. I'd seen the pistol in her bag before, but it looked much more menacing from this angle.
"If you're a pedophile, I swear I'll kill you right here," she said without the slightest tremor in her voice or her hand.
"Baby, it's nothing like that," I said as I reached my hand out toward her and she leveled the gun at my chest. "Oh come on. Put the gun down, baby."
"Don't even try that baby crap on me until you come clean, you son of a bitch," said Tina as she sat down on the bed with the gun still trained on me. "I'm listening."
I sat down at the small table, picked up my wallet and sat it back down while thinking about where to begin unraveling the tall tale I had woven. "I decided to come to the Bahamas to get away from it all. To get away from my life. I just wanted a few weeks alone to regroup. I managed to slip away without the usual entourage and be able to be truly alone. And then you came in to my life.
"Actually I thought you saw through my charade right away, but it was just your genuine happiness that I saw in your eyes. Then I figured there was no reason to say anything, as like you, I was just a passing tourist. In a week, we'd each be a fleeting memory.
"Who am I really? Or better yet, who is Bud Lancaster? He's a guy I went to college with. He took off and went to Australia and was never heard from since. He had a few scrapes with the law, has a crappy credit score, not much money in the bank and no degree. A guy without much of a future. It was a perfect alternate persona for me. I've used it off and on for the last few years."
I chuckled. "Now that makes me sound like a pathological liar. I guess in some ways it's true and in others it's not." I shook my head in disgust.
"Stop with the riddles and get on with it," said Tina with the gun resting in her lap but certainly not put away.
I got up and walked to the window so I wouldn't have to continue to look at the disappointment on her face.
"So everything was a lie. Your parents aren't dead?"
"No, they live in Colorado in the summer and Arizona in the winter."
"And the stories about growing up in Maryland was all bullshit?"
"No, that was true."
"If you're not a self-employed artist eking out a meager existence in San Antonio, who are you?" asked Tina. I could hear the disappointment.
"Behind this awful and itchy beard is a man named is Alexander Holmes McIntyre. My net worth is estimated between 500 to 800 billion depending upon whom you ask and how the market did yesterday. The fact that I'm a nice looking guy gets me the most eligible bachelor notation in the gossip columns and attracts the craziest women on the planet. The paparazzi, TMZ, the National Enquirer, there is always a photographer close by. I've got a driver and three security guards because of my last girlfriend," I said. I turned around to see the look on her face.
"I see you don't believe a word I'm saying now. I can understand that. Being Bud allowed me a freedom I've never had..."
"I fell in love with Bud," interrupted Tina.
"But I am Bud," I implored.
"No, you're a rich guy pretending to be someone you're not," said Tina. She rose from the bed and put her weapon away. She zipped up the bag and pulled it off the bed with a thud on the floor.
"Alex has been married once and engaged twice more but not Bud. He's never had anyone even remotely interested in him until now. The internet serves up a past that deters everyone...well, except you."
"I don't believe everything I read and you're right, I don't believe, no, I can't believe a word you say, not after all the lies. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a plane to catch," said Tina as she dragged the suitcase to the door and watched me wearily.
"Please give me five more minutes, baby. That's all I ask," I said as I scratched at the damn beard.
Tina opened the door but did not walk out. I took that as my lead.
"Ten years ago, my ex girlfriend, Andrea, drugged me, enlisted some goons to kidnap and hold me for ransom. They thought they would get a big payday, but fortunately I was on to her. I had a small tracking device on me and my security team was on top of it. So you can see why I'm hesitant to be myself especially while unprotected.
"I know I should not leave my security detail, but I just needed some time alone...truly alone. Not just having them out of sight, but truly alone," I finished.
Tina stood in the doorway and I felt a punch to my chest. I looked down to see a tranquilizer dart. I looked up to see the slight grin on her face as she pushed the door closed and said, "Baby I'm a liar."