by Io Aesopp
Io is a normal teenage girl struggling to cope with a long life of pathological lying.
| " I really have amazing lips, don't I? I mean my cupid's bow is just so defined, and I have a plump bottom lip." I walked into my mother's room showing off my bright red lipstick where she was making the bed having washed the sheets.
"Oh my God, Io. You really need to get some self-confidence." Her voice was laced with sarcasm. " I mean last week it was your perfect hourglass figure and your toned legs."
I replied back with my own sarcastic remark " I'll try, mother, but do you know how hard it is to love someone so perfect?" She rolled her eyes and I turned on my heel and walked back out, so my father could change his clothes.
This was a normal conversation between us now. I would say something about my body and she would tell me to get some self-confidence in a joking way because I seemed so full of my self. She probably thinks I'm the most narcissistic person in the world. She doesn't know though. You think that after living with her for 16 years that she would be able to pick up on the subtle change in my eyes, or the skillful tongue of mine that made lies turn into truths like Midas's touch turned objects into gold. You think she'd realize that when I said these things, I was only acting, and that I was really picking apart the things I hate about myself. Then again, she always did say that I belonged on stage: center spotlight. After all, wasn't a world where you did nothing but lie the perfect place for a pathological liar like me? They only use a different word "act'' to make it sound okay. They put on an entire show of lies, and people praise them for it. Actors have perfected the art of making themselves cry, and have the ability to improvise to go along with the situation. They can pick up subtle hints from the other actors and roll with it. That's all actors really are. Liars. Some times I sit and think that I would be a good actress. I think that I could be on Broadway and my name would be spread across the world. Who knows? Maybe one day I'll be the next Indina Menzel. That would be a dream of mine. Being able to be famous for lying. No one could say anything either because that would be my profession. But that will never happen because I'm too lazy to get off my ass and do anything in the first place.
I can't remember the first time I told a lie. I don't even remember if I ever felt guilty about lying, or when that feeling of guilt left me. The earliest remembrance I have was when I was in the first grade or so. I was age six because my oldest sister, Neliel-or just Nel- was sixteen. She was watching my sister, Rennie and me when we wanted some pizza, but the place we had ordered from didn't deliver, so Nel had to take us with her to the pizza place.
She told us, "Don't tell mommy or daddy about this. It will be our little secret." And I never did. I never said a word about it.
My life has always been like that. I would lie for others. I thought I was doing them a favor. I became the person that my friends came to when they needed someone to lie for them. My friends are horrible liars after all. Skylar's ears turn red when she lies and her eyes change from green to blue. Sarai starts to stutter and isn't able to look the person in the eye. I could. I would look them directly in the eye and lie. No one ever caught onto my charade. By the time I was in seventh grade I had mastered forging my parents' signatures and several others. People at school would come to me to sign something for school for them. By the time I was in eighth grade I had signed several detentions for about twenty different people so their parents wouldn't find out. As far as I know, they never did. I had prided myself in being a liar.
The way I looked at it I saw it as a survival instinct. In the real world people lie. that's the cold, hard truth. They lie to get ahead, so I saw nothing wrong in letting one slip every now and then. That was my problem though. I lied so much that I wasn't just doing it every now and then,. I was doing it all the time. I lied about little things that wouldn't make any difference. I would receive a text from a friend,
"What color socks are you wearing to school today?"
I would reply with, "Gray." Even though I was wearing black. I knew I was lying, but it made no difference to me. I couldn't control it.
Then, I in the summer entering my ninth year of school, I posted something stupid on Facebook. It meant nothing, but the cops were called to my house. At 1 in the morning they were pounding their fists against my family's door, waking my father in the process. I heard him fall down the last bit of stairs and saw the blue and red lights flashing through the window. I was terrified and I quickly deleted my post.
"Does a Ive Aesop live here?" I can still vividly remember his voice booming up to my room.
"No, sir, she doesn't. No one in this house is named Ive." I breathed a sigh of relief. Thank God my dad had just woken up. I was saved
"Oh, wait a second. My daughter's nickname is Ive." I froze. Why did he have to tell him that? My mind was churning. I didn't know how I'd get out of this one.
I heard my father's loud feet trudge up the stairs and get me from my room where I was pretending to be asleep. His eyes were blood shot, furious, and curious all at the same time. His robe was thrown on sloppily.
"There's someone here to see you." His voice was stern. I followed him downstairs.
"Do you mind stepping outside to have a small chat with me?" I stared into that police officer's eyes with a look of obvious confusion hiding my all-knowing self from showing. I looked at my dad and back to the officer. My dad nodded.
"Sure." I was alone on the porch with him, I just had to string him along now.
"Do you know what this is about?" He asked me with suspicion in his calm voice. His eyes flicked over my body trying to find some crack in m facade.
"No, sir. I don't."
"Well, someone called in saying that you were going to commit suicide tonight and that you were hurting yourself, is that true?" His eyes never left mine
"No, sir. I have no idea why anyone would say that." My heart was pounding, and I thought that for a spilt second that he could hear it through my chest. He opened the door to go back in the house, and there we were faced with my mother sitting on the stairs and my father glaring at the door.
"Does your daughter have any history of mental disorders? Do any run in your family?" My parents looked appalled. Why was this man asking this? Why was a police officer here at one in the morning asking for their thirteen year old daughter?
"No, sir. Of course not. What's this all about?" My mother was the first to break the silence. I watched as he explained everything to my parents and then asked for a device to pull of my Facebook on. I grabbed my phone out of my pocket and let him go through my texts, messages, emails, and my feed.
"I don't see anything." I felt relief wash over my body. I had been smart enough to clear any evidence before hand. My father, however, was still serious and wanted to know why anyone would do this. He told them that it had been a prank being pulled now on the officers. Someone would call in saying that someone was hurting their family or themselves and the officers had to go and check it out. He left and I went up to bed. I couldn't sleep. I just layed there thinking about how close I had been.
I still look back on that night think about how stupid I had been. One slip up, and I would have been hauled off to the crazy house. But you weren't was all that played in my head. I was lucky. He could've easily pulled up my sleeves, seen the just dried cuts and known I was lying. I would've been dragged off the crazy house, and I would've been in big trouble for lying to a police officer. But you weren't I reminded myself again.
After that night, I shut down my facebook and vowed to never let anyone see the real me again. I would become a living lie. And that's how I lived. Lie-to lie. it was as if I was waiting for my next meal. I was always the predator, I was always in the lead I always had control of a situation. I would never be caught of guard again. Then something unexpected came into my life. they threatened to break my walls down, I never thought they'd be able to, but they did.
I first met her sitting alone. She had medium brown curly hair to her shoulders and she just looked out of place. A few friends and I decided o inviter her to eat with us at lunch. I remember talking about what we wanted to do when we graduated high school. There were the obvious ones such as doctor, or teacher, then Kostova spoke up.
"I want to work on dead people!" She exclaimed it with an enthusiasm that lit up in her eyes. I doubt anyone else noticed it, but I did. The table went silent with mock shock before we resumed our chatting. I think they realized that Kostova was a little different and that she didn't fit in with them, but there was something else about Katy that I just couldn't put my finger on.
She drifted from us, well rather I distanced myself from her. My first impression of her was to stay away. It wasn't anything that would have alerted anyone else. She was normal enough to not set off any alarms. In fact, once she found her people, she fit in right away. I was still apprehensive about getting to close to her though. She could break my walls. She could leave me defenseless. She could be the one to find that single hole in my facade and turn it into a broken dam, causing all of my lies to spill out. That was what scared me about her. It was like she knew there was something else to me that no one else had caught. She was like me. That's what I was afraid of. I had worked so hard to turn myself into someone else. I didn't want to go back. I had finally gotten better right? Wrong. I was worse than ever
I had spent years researching online on how to identify a liar. The usual subtle hints that picked a liar out of a crowd. There were the obvious ones such as saying did not instead of didn't, or not being able to look a person in the eye. Along with this list were the not so obvious twitch of the left thumb and eyes flicking up to the right. The list continues with: Inconsistencies, insincere emotions, fidgeting, micro expressions, contradictions, sense of unease, too much detail, and touching of the nose, mouth, neck, head, or ears.
I don't show any of these signs. I know how to weave my way in and out of a lie, I've never forgotten a lie, and I've kept them straight. Most people would be jealous. A lot of people can't lie to save their lives, but being a liar isn't all that it's cracked up to be. One day I was eating lunch and my friend thought I was joking about something. When I told them I was serious I asked them, " Can't you tell when I lie?"
"No. I can never tell the difference."
that phrase has never left my ears. It scared me. I suddenly realized that none of my friends knew the real me. I thought they'd be able to pick up on a glint in my eye, or notice something that I couldn't, but they just didn't have that ability. And that scared me. It scared me to the bone. I'll never forget that feeling. It made me feel like I couldn't trust anyone to be there for me. It made me fear myself. I was a living lie just like I had wanted, but was I truly happy? No. I had forgotten who I was. One time I was bored in school, so I decided to stop talking for a week. I let my voice sound sore and I kept making it worse until it was gone. I drank tea. I "tried" to speak. I sat out of class in choir. I carried around a white board with the words, "I have laryngitis: Can't Speak" Written on it. I took medicine from the nurse, and at home. I didn't even speak when I was home alone just in case someone came in. I lied for a week. I only ever told one person, and what scared me even more- they weren't surprised.
"I figured you'd pull something like this sooner or later. You had everyone fooled. Even I thought you really lost your voice. The coughing was a nice touch. The blanket, and tea worked too." He spoke as if I hadn't just done something horrible. He spoke as if I hadn't just done the insane.
"Why'd you do it anyway?" He asked me. it wasn't a question filled with concern. It wasn't even filled with curiosity. It was just a question.
"I was bored." That was that. I was just bored.
"You were just bored? I thought you did it as a project or something when you told me. You know to see how others would react." I guess that could've been the reason if I wasn't a liar. If I didn't have Mythomania.
I recall thinking at one point in time that I belonged in a mental hospital. Then I remembered that I would probably never get out of there. I'd make up excuse after excuse after excuse after excuse to stay-just to get attention for once. But they wouldn't see the real me. They never would.
So here I stand. Screaming for someone, for anyone to hear the real me. Yet somehow all I hear is my echo. This is my life. The misconceived life of a pathological liar like me.
I think I've discovered why I lie. At first I thought I was helping others. I thought I was protecting others from the harsh truth reality would bring them. I thought that I was protecting myself from the harsh realities of this world. I thought that I could change the fate that would be brought upon me. I thought I could manipulate and control everyone around me. I could crawl into their minds and pick at their darkest insecurities. It was low bow, but I couldn't stop myself.
I used to know a guy named Eddie. He was four years older than I was-well almost- he was turning eighteen soon. I was fourteen at the time-but I was turning fifteen that summer- when I met him. He wasn't anything special. He had longish, brown, curlyish hair, and hazel-green eyes. I discovered later that he kept his hair longer because he had lost it several times from chemotherapy due to brain cancer returning. He wasn't necessarily built nor thin, but he wasn't corpulent either. He was just right. Eddie loved English just as much as I do, and he brought a journal everywhere he went to write poetry on politics, reality, and love. They were all so beautifully written. He even wrote one just for me.
Eddie and I grew closer in the two weeks we knew each other. I, according to him, gave him a place to belong. One time I was lying in the middle of a field surrounded by trees with a friend of mine eating apples in the pouring rain. He came outside with us to be a lightning rod. I think he liked having a purpose. Don't we all in the end? Eddie was a protector to me. I could open up to him. We would tell each other about our secrets that haunted us. And he told me I was beautiful. It was the first time I was ever called beautiful by somebody. He didn't see me for my boobs like half of the other guys did, and he actually listened to me. In turn, I guess it was he who gave me somewhere to belong. Eddie was the first person I ever sang to. He could play the piano like Mozart or Beethoven, and he wrote his own music to boot. We would sneak off to a room with a piano and play it together while I sang. They are some of the more happy days in my short, sad life. And Eddie was the only guy- only person- I never told a lie to. I told him my dreams and ambitions. I told him my fears and about my dark past. He accepted me for them and encouraged me to reach for the stars. And I began to fall for him. He fell for me too, until one day when I made my biggest regret.
People started to ask me what was going on with Eddie and me. I would tell that nothing was going on and would never go on.
"Besides, he's like four years older than I am! He's getting the wrong impression" I mattered more of what other people thought of us than myself of him. I knew him for who he was. Yet I started to shun Eddie. I ignored him, and brushed him off. And I did the thing I regret the most. I turned him down by telling him I was lesbian. I never saw Eddie again, and it kills me everyday. I never got his number, so I could never contact him. I don't even know his last name; he never told me.
I'll never forget Eddie though. I'll never forget the fact that he wanted to become an English Professor. I'll never forget that he stood by me when others fell. I'll never forget his smile or his laugh or the way he talked with his hands sometimes. I'll never forget the look in his eye when he was talking about something he loved. I'll never forget his touch, or that he used to want to be a magician. I'll never forget that he failed horribly at magic. I'll never forget that he had high values and looked down on sex before marriage. I'll never forget his love of children or helping others, even when he had had it so hard before himself.. I'll never forget the time he asked if he could write a poem about me, and I'll never forget that I never got to see it.
"It'll be the most beautiful poem- Just like you!" I'm sure it was too. I have no doubt in my mind about that.
He was the only person I never lied to, and I ruined it with a lie. And I'll never see him again. And I still regret it too this day. It's still my biggest regret.
I think I discovered why I lie. It's not for protection. No, it's for acceptance. I never believed anyone would be able to like the real me until Eddie came along. I fear rejection. I fear myself. I'm scared of failure because I don't want to let people down. I'm scared of success because I don't want to have the pressure and responsibility to have to keep myself from falling down again. My life is a continuous crawl because I'm too afraid to sit and do nothing, and I'm to afraid to stand up and walk. I'm scared. That's all there is to it. I'm just so scared......