When Secrets Become Lies

September 23, 2009
By Anonymous

The boy glances up and around at the students surrounding him. Do they know? Do they suspect? he wonders as he hurriedly looks back down at the book that he is suppose to be reading. But he can’t. He can’t read. The words are a foreign language to him. The letters appear to be an alien code. He screams mentally. Why? Why can’t I read like the others?

Shaking his head he tries to focus, tries to unlock the meaning behind the letters that keep shifting, moving never still. If the others knew they would mock him. They would ridicule him, casting his dignity on the floor for all to see. He didn’t want that. Even though he couldn’t read, books were special to him. They unlocked worlds within his imagination that let him soar high above his limitations when he heard them. The words let him be normal, like everyone else.

No one knew. No one could know. He had never told anyone other than his mother. She didn’t mock him. It was ever their secret, a secret that forced them in a pact of understanding. She knew, but she wouldn’t tell anyone. When he had to read books for school he took them home so she could read them aloud to him. He understood them then. He could remember everything, absorbing the words like a sponge.
“Jeremy,” the teacher’s voice broke through his frustrations. “Tell everyone about last night’s reading, please.”

“Yes, ma’am, the mouse, Rupert…” Jeremy goes on to explain how Rupert had been exiled by the Mouse Counsel because he was so different. Jeremy felt he had much in common with Rupert, but he was afraid that something would happen to him like what had happened to Rupert; rendering Jeremy an outcast.

As the day went on Jeremy sweated through more hours of schoolwork and pretending to read along like everyone else. When he arrived home he flopped down at the kitchen table, exhausted. His mother walked in.

“Hey, sweetie, how was school?” Jeremy’s mom asked.

“Horrible as always,” he mumbled into the countertop. “I hate pretending, but it would be so much worse if everyone found out and made fun of me. Just because I can’t read. It’s so unfair.” He sighed.
It was all a lie. His secret had become a lie because everyone believed the lie and no one knew the truth.
We all keep secrets, it’s a part of human nature, but when everyone begins to believe the lie and the truth is hidden so deep down that no one knows the truth, the secret. That is when the secret becomes a lie.
Though this is just a story, it shows how people withhold secrets within themselves until the secret becomes part of them. The reasoning behind this story is we all have secrets, including me, and I did not wish to share them so I wrote a short story to show how a secret can define a life and become a lie.

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