thatdarkBetty: Today, I beat the gong of non-absolutes.. Listen.
THE TRUTH TELLER
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 a familiar end to a short story. 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.”