The Benefits of Lying

I'm taking a writing skills development class (or what my school calls KIR), and our assignment this week was to write about a weird/unrealistic scenario. It was a struggle to find the right topic. When I found a nice one, "What if people never aged over seventeen?" it turned into this complex story line about forbidden love, a bit West Side Story-esque, and Romeo and Juliet inspired, but then I realized that I couldn't get it done in time and decided to shelve the story for better circumstances for now.

So that meant I had to come up with a back-up plan. I chose a topic that was my original first idea, which I'm sure if it were ever to come true would just set hell loose. "What if everyone never lied?" The story I ended typing out last-minute was a bit rushed, but the idea of course was solid. And when I was writing down the closing conversation, things really hit home. I won't post the whole story, but I'll quote the end bit.

“Why? Did anyone bully you? Say something mean?”
            “Yes… and no. I don’t know. When people speak their mind, bad things can come out of it. Just because you don’t like what they say, it doesn’t mean they’re wrong, does it?”
            “Even if they are right, you can’t let what anybody says bring you down, hun. What they say doesn’t matter.”
            “No, Mom, what they say does matter. And that’s kind of what sucks. You can have such a good attitude at whatever they throw at you, but that doesn’t change the way they treat you. And they tell people what they think and some people buy it. And they start treating you differently, too.”
            Her mother squeezed her as she said this, understanding her pain and not quite sure on how to respond. “But, I learned something from today. The truth can hurt. More often than not. And I took the truth today with a spoonful of sugar and am now stronger because of it. And it’ll be more than satisfying when I prove those people wrong.”
            Amelia lifted her head and looked at her mother’s face. “I also learned that when some people don’t tell the truth, it’s because they’re just looking out for you. They just care. It’s one of the benefits of lying, I guess. You can spare a person’s feeling, but still push them to be the best. You don’t say the complete truth, because you know it would destroy them. And that’s the last thing you want to do.”


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