Just another short story…
Jill explained to her friend, “I need a big favor from you…” Before Beth could respond favorably or in any other way, she continued by blurting out, ” If my husband asks?” Jill paused for that impeccable perfect timing tactic in magnifying curiosity, “We had lunch together yesterday around noon-O-clock…Ok?”
Beth held her silence thinking just how to answer her while waiting for the other shoe to drop. Any moment now the pregnant pause would be short-lived with Jill’s pleading. “Please!” Her mind was yelling obscenities, her thoughts seemed transfixed upon calling her a slutty tramp, for what appeared to be an attempt to cover-up something like an affair. Some people hoist their drama upon someone else as if by share it with you, it make their lives instantly better…easier. But really?
Aren’t drama filled lives just personal feelings manufactured on their own within ourselves, while avoiding listening to our own minds conclusion or rational thinking to what is an appropriate choice or situation? Often playing these kind of mind games, by asking yourself…It should have…It could have…or it would have been different if only…? Isn’t that our personal attempt to change outcomes without changing choice? Something we also know as “Drama”. We wished it would be different, after we have chosen it to be so. Unsatisfied with the results of our choices we employ others to come to our aid. Not to have learned from the situation and how it came to be, or how to avoid more of it? But to rework our life’s situation like an auto body man would repair a car after a wreck. Hiding the effects of reality.
Why are life emergency’s thought of so easily repaired instead of avoided in the first place? Why should any potential repair to that said emergency / negative drama also have to be covered with a lie? Beth thought that friendships should be more than useful alibis. Aren’t we all responsible for what drama we create on our own–so why would we ask for a second helping of any drama to be placed on top of our own?
Lies are always complicated, complicating things by doubling the drama. Beth’s knew that her stall had to be ended, so she asked, ” Can’t you tell me what is going on? After all I’m feeling…”
Jill’s impatience cut Beth to the quick faster than Dexter Morgan killing a criminal on the HBO hit show “Dexter”.
“I’ll have to call you later and tell you all about the “why”. Just stick to our story! I got to go! Thanks.” The line went dead and she was gone. Leaving Beth pondering and wondering what to do? She was totally conflicted. I didn’t agree to this, but we were good friends or so she thought? What was she up to…? And why would her husband have to be lied to?
Beth’s mind was running on overdrive, thinking of all the possible secrets Jill was keeping–from unconscious and thoughtless actions of lust and desire, to the less creditable and more believable. It’s hard to fathom an affair going on between Jill an unknown. None of the scenarios seemed agreeable in becoming a co-conspirator over. Beth couldn’t, no matter how hard she tried to, she just couldn’t think thoughts differently. She continued to thinking in terms of worst to best. How is it that I keep getting stuck on the worst possible end of this friendship?
shell-shocked a bit Beth continued to play mind games rationalizing her position in plotting her course of action. Perhaps I was too scared of losing a friend, but what kind of friend requires their friendship to be purchase with a supporting lie believable enough to win the Oscar? Beth didn’t want to choose between two close friends? For all intent and purposes these two friends of hers were Siamese twins. We did everything together besides shopping. And now Beth felt that she was being asked to separate them from each other with a samurai sword.
Beth’s day seemed to crawl by slowly. Every few minuets she glanced at her phone wondering when and if it was going to ring and who was going to on it?
She hoped to hear from Jill first. After all, she needed more info, not that it was necessary to know, but by knowing a bit more she hoped to talk herself out of having to lie about it.
What if I just allow the phone to run out of power, and explained at some point later that her phone went on the fritz? Or even needed to be replaced?
“This is hopeless!” Cried out Beth to herself. ” I can’t cover my reluctance to lie, with one of my own. What would that make of me, what kind of person would I then become?” She glanced again at her silent phone, while just as easily silently screaming obscenities at it.
Finely it was time to pick-up the kids from school, and take them to practice. Beth mindlessly gathered he things and sliding her phone into her pocket. Just then it hit her…I could conveniently forget it? Sliding it half ways out of her pocket again she thought. The suspense may just as easily kill me by heart attack if she left it behind. She opened the door leaving the phone alone and where it was and slipped out of the house.
No calls, no messages, not even a text, and here we are she thought, at the ball field. Beth was feeling safer and more secure feeling that nothing was going to happen until later. Maybe then she could ask her husband what to do, how to play it?
Relaxing in the sun this afternoon forgetting about her day just watching the boys play ball was therapeutic. It was calming. It was short-lived….
“Beth? Is that you?” a deep voice said behind her. Beth whipped around totally surprised leaving her heart pounding. Her first thoughts instantly asked before she saw who it was. Who knows me here, certainly not Jill and…. Beth’s mouth was motionless, yet it was speaking to her. “Dave! The one person she didn’t want to see or talk to without more info. “Beth, it is you. Fancy us running into each other.”
“Yea. Image that. What luck, small world.”
Dave swooped around and took up a seat close to Beth. “The boys playing?” Beth nodded, then pointed her finger towards the position they were playing in the out field. Following her lead Dave glanced out to the boys. “I always thought they were ball players.”
Damn it! Damn it! Beth thought, a conversation on the phone allows one to hide in plain sight, free from facial expressions that could be dead give always to someone lying. Now what? What can I say without emotion? It has to be obvious that something is up. It seemed to her that everyone knew, knew something was a foot. She was under Jill’s thumb even though she knew nothing and said less.
“Beth you know that Jill and I haven’t had too much time together of late? I thought I’d take her out to that place you and Jill had lunch together the other day. Jill told me to ask you if it was good food? Afterword’s…Well I haven’t figured that all out just yet. I just wanted to know was it good.. the food that is? I mean was it really the kind of place for a special…I mean the kind of place a guy would ask someone to get married in?” Dave sounded like a love-sick little boy, hoping to gain an advantage to turn the proposal in favor of an answer he wanted to hear.
Wiping a tear from her eyes Beth heart melted like a candy bar on the hood of a car on a sunny day. So just started to blurt it all out. “Dave you know that I value both of you guys as friends. I have always seen you as married already, and I would do nothing to change you or her. But she asked me to lie about lunch the other day. Go figure.” Tears ran down her face now. “I can’t! No! I wont lie for either of you…” Briefly stopping to wipe tears away again. “Well I have no poof…I mean I don’t really know….What I’m trying to say is–why would she want me to lie to you even if it is innocent in nature…or …well you can draw your own conclusions to the why’s. Sorry, I’m so sorry Dave.”
“WOW! doesn’t that just kick me in the nuts? She asked you to lie…? I know you don’t know. I’m just trying to get settled with how manipulative, or why one would need secrets to that extent? I thought I knew her as being quality people–not devious.”
“Dave just talk to her. She maybe just planning a surprise for you? Any way just honestly talk to her. Ok?” No sooner did Beth say that then her phone rang. The screen displayed Jill’s phone number. She reached over to Dave and grasped his shoulder. “It’s her. Jill is calling, it maybe time to talk to her and get to the bottom of this?” Dave grasped the phone but hesitated…” I know, phone calls suck because people can lie without seeing the reactions or the aftermath of it.” Dave nodded and slowly lifted the phone to his ear.
This scenario opens the question how people value friends and friendships, or what do we in society value more honesty and dishonesty?
What would you do if you were Beth, or Jill, or even Dave dealing with these complexities and possibilities of innocent secret planning, or deception?
Is there any time as a good time to ask someone to lie for you? And how far would you go to remain friends with lesser quality personalities?