There Will Be Lies: A Writing Competition


2. 2

An interesting fact: I could count on one the number of times I'd been out of the house, in my entire life. Possibly being able to count the times I'd stepped outside with a companion on a second hand.

I specifically remembered my Mother's protest-ant words as I proposed to go to the local shop I'd remembered that stood only a couple of streets away. Mom had been ill for 9 days by this time, flu like symptoms, she claimed she'd ached so much that she couldn't even roll out of bed and true to her word, most days I ended up mopping up mounds of vomit that she'd projectiled across the walls; just skimming the edge of her bed. It had been two days since either of us had eaten a decent meal. Before that, I'd whipped up anything I could, from meatless steak pie, to scathing the mouldy bits away from bread to make decent sandwiches. By the fifth day the kitchen cupboards were almost bare and the few chocolate bars I'd hidden from Mom's stash were non-existant. The day I'd proposed the visit, I was utterly sick of the mushroom soup I had been forcing down myself over the last seven meals.

Mom paused as though she was about to give in to my plea. A look of panic glazed within her eyes "It isn't safe" she whimpered with vulnerability. I clutched my growling stomach and gave her a look of sincerity, though she only reenforced her words, this time with some sort of anger "H- Shelby, it just isn't safe out there!"

I was sure I'd heard I stumble within her voice, had she been insinuating that the thing that wasn't safe was a person? A man? Of course it was a human being, but just one?

On a personal level, it seems that in a difficult situation it becomes far too easy to, a) show far too much emotion and retaliation to a problem or b) ignore the problematic situation and become introvert to sharing your concerns.

I'd rather communicated my emotions with my Mother, I'd more or less just accepted that this was life and life as I knew it. The only time I'd really understand that I wasn't living in a normal or regular situation was when I'd heard the neighbours next door playing in the garden one Summer's afternoon. Mom hadn't kept any hidden secrets of how others lived their lives and so I understood what the kids next door were talking about when they eagerly announced that it was the end of the school year. Whenever I questioned why I didn't lead a normal life, Mom's response had always been that life had chosen us, rather than us choosing life.

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