By Chris Miskiewicz
“So, is that it?” I ask the dark.
“Yes,” she answers.
I stare ahead for an unknown amount of time. True to form I begin thinking of a way out. A con. A barter. Anything. Because I always want more.
“It was faster than I thought it would be,” I say out loud.
There’s no answer and I think that I could stay like this. That I could pretend I was buying myself some time instead of spending it. I could pretend that she doesn’t see me. That I could hide from the inevitable until I found another way.
“What happens now?” I ask.
“We have a question for you.”
I blink my eyes feeling a familiar coldness go over me. It’s the same kind of cold that would come whenever I wasn’t prepared for an exam, or my work was late, or when I let someone down.
“What’s the question?” I ask the dark.
She is quiet.
“Why did you lie?”
Her voice is neither soothing nor dangerous, but I still feel a cold burn come from my insides that spreads into a thousand shivers. I take in a breath.
“When? To who?”
“To the ones you loved,” she says.
I blink my eyes as dozens of images of old lovers and friends flood past them.
“There were always different reasons,” I say.
“Is that your answer?”
She is silent. I squint trying to see a way out but there’s only endless black. Time passes. I cringe through each and every second waiting for the unknown to take me. Fearful of whatever could be beyond this point.
What if it’s nothing? What if it really is nothing? What if it’s like jumping into something so much bigger that when you do it you’re just gone like a grain of sand in comparison to the sea? The thought petrifies me.
“How long will I be here?” I whisper into the black.
She answers as though we had been talking intently without a single pause.
“Until you answer the question.”
“What do you mean? Am I sorry I lied? Yes. Did I have reasons to do so? Yes. Was I a selfish bastard who sometimes wanted too much? Yes. Is anything in life really black or white?”
“Promises are,” she said.
“What is this? Is this a do I deserve to go to Heaven because of my lies kind of thing? Is this what it is?
“If that’s how you need to define it.”
“I was always truthful about love. When I said it, I felt it. Whatever that means. However big or small of a thing it is.”
“And yet you often lied to those you loved. And so I ask again, why did you lie?”
Silence fills everything. I close my eyes.
“Who are you?” I asked the dark.
“Don’t you know? We’re you…”
So I blink my eyes.
I take a breath.
And then I answer…