Leaning into the Afternoons

All the Lies We’ll Never Tell

Share it now!

(Charlotte, 2010)

Walking slowly back to my place, we were just that drunk and no more. Or less. Listening to the sound of her heels on the textured sidewalk, I was holding her hand when suddenly she gripped it tighter and stopped. She gestured just in front of us with a nod.

“See that lamp post?’


“I want you to do something for me.”

As I moved my gaze from the post to her face I asked, “What’s that?” And as soon as I caught her eyes (Blue. Slate blue and bold…no flakes of lazy brown or bashful gold. Just a blue as seamless as time moving from one moment to the next.), just that soon…

“After we pass that post, for the rest of the night I want you to lie to me.”

Simple. Stunning. Audacious. The rare kind of phrase delivered so flawlessly that it catches the heart so flatly unprepared that it’s almost charmed to death.

That night? That was a night. Delivering things she didn’t know she asked for. Basking in moments with no cautious concern for anything else. The delicate beauty of being completely unguarded, the fierce passion of being completely unchained. She says she’ll never forget, and I know I made sure that she couldn’t. I know, too, exactly how she feels.

But what she doesn’t know, what she’ll never know, is that from the moment she made her request – with her eyes both pleading and asserting, at the same time, that she meant it with no reservations – I was incapable of being anything but absolutely true. Everything I said, everything I did, everything I offered and took, all of it was real to the absolute core of my soul.

And no, she’ll never know…though some nights, alone with my memories, I’m quite certain that she always has.