Sleeping with the Lies

by Richard M. Ankers

We bickered and bashed, picked and poked. There wasn’t a day when there was a maybe, only ever a no. When your natural reaction is to react, there’s no space for mistakes. Our life was so stuffed with mistakes that we couldn’t have reacted if we’d wanted.

There were moments, though. When the moon rose high, and we woke from sleeping, our eyes meeting in indistinct ways over indistinct thoughts, blurry, susceptible, when we almost loved again. Those fuzzy moments made the cold, hard edges of the day more bearable. But never for long. And never for real. 

We were like Christmas trees sharing the same room, each trying to outdo the other in their baubles, and tinsel, and trappings, and false bravado. Soon, like the trees in question, our needles would fall, and we’d be cast aside. And still, we fought over who’d go first instead of trying to make that short time happy. 

The night it happened, I woke to marshmallow mouthfuls and a weight upon my chest. Was I still dreaming? I was sure of it being night, almost certain, and yet my eyes saw nothing. A deep, cleansing breath only stifled.  So, this was how a lie tasted.

Looking down was not as looking up, neither was it the same as looking out. Everything gleamed. Everything looked its best. This gossamer gold permeated my everything. I smiled. It felt good to smile. 

Sleeping with the lies was better than not having slept at all, but nothing like waking to the truth. One day, she would, too. But not until the bed was cold from all those others.

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