XXIX | Lie

Rowan open the door.
Aspen yelps.

His eyes are greyish again.

She enters the room.
‘Why are you here?’

Her face is expressionless as usual.

It’s 3pm already?

‘Yes,’ Aspen says,
rubbing where the door bumped his back.

‘I’ve been waiting for you,’
I say before Aspen says more.

She sits on the bed.

A sigh.

‘What’s the problem?’

Aspen’s eyes turn red again.

‘That’s not fair!’
I growl.

They turn back to grey.

He looks sheepish.
‘I like to see what Rowan’s thinking.’

‘You’re a creep, you know that?’

I ball up a fist,
leaning forward to punch him.

He’s a #*%& pervert!

Does her father know?

‘Shall i wait downstairs then?’
Rowan says in monotone.

I drop my fist.

‘No, I need to talk to you.’

Aspen glares at me.

I glare back.

He takes his parrot and leaves.

He looks at Rowan.

For what?

He’s the creepiest #*%& around.

Rowan stares at him blankly.
Reassuring him.


It’s all my imagination.
His eyes are still greyish.


The truth will always be revealed.

That’s another way of saying
I should come clean with Rowan.

Tell her what I want to do?

          Hook up with her.
          Play boyfriend/girlfriend for a while.
          Get her to have sex with me.
          Have fun while I can.

As if.

He’s acting all haughty
but I’m 100% sure he’s not honest either.

A creep like him.

You can tell
just by looking at the emotions on his face.

It’s all a front.

The best lie is a half truth.

Even I know that.

That’s why I refuse to join a religion.

It’s all half-truths,



—I don’t know when—

I’m in Rowan’s world.

Because I don’t
think about such pointless things.




Rowan sits on her bed,
staring out the window

while i wait for aspen’s footsteps
to disappear.

She doesn’t say anything

though her eyes flicker
to me
every few seconds

like she’s checking I’m really there.

when i’m satisfied that he’s really gone,

I stand in front of her,

so our faces almost touch.

The tips of her ears

turn angry red

and she jerks backwards.

‘No,’ she breathes.

One hand on her chest,
clutching her shirt
—no, fumbling for something

that’s supposed to be around her neck.

She doesn’t find it.

Because it’s around

I stand up.

‘You’re a strange girl, Rowan.
‘Let’s go out.’

She tilts her head

so hair obscures her face.

‘I already said, no.’

Her voice is barely audible.

I turn the desk chair around
and slide towards her.

I sit on it backwards,

leaning forward.

This is far apart already.


I want to laugh
at her expressionless face

but i keep myself


‘Why? Because you only date christians?’


Her voice is soft
but I hear it.

The fleeting emotion.

When you’re alert
waiting for an answer,

you’ll hear it,

even when it

tries to


‘You’re unexpectedly honest,’ I say to her.

‘I don’t need a parrot to read you.’

Rowan looks up at me.

Her cheeks
are slightly

‘No,’ she says again.

‘You like me,’ I say.

I pull the feather necklace
from inside my shirt,

twirl my finger around the leather cord.

I curl the feather
in my palm,

combing through
each strand,

coaxing it.

Rowan’s eyes watch my fingers move.

they return to my face.

‘What about you?’

Her voice is hesitant.

Full of emotion.

She’s nervous.

For some reason,
I feel I’ve won without even trying.

A rush of adrenaline.

And a bit of disappointment.

‘I don’t like you.’

Her eyelids flicker.

She looks away—
‘But i can’t stop thinking about you,’ I say.

—then back at me.

Someone’s heart is beating really fast.

I don’t think it’s

If it was,
          I would know.

‘Go out with me,’
I say this softly.

As if it’s a secret.


Her eyes burn into mine,

Her lips part
and I think this is too easy.




‘I’m sorry, Clyde,’
she whispers.

‘I can’t.

‘You’ve chosen this world.
‘You’re going to die.’

All I hear

is our breathing.

It’s not in sync.


Rowan’s eyes glow an albino’s red
and the parrot appears

on her shoulder
like it was there the whole time.

‘You lied, Clyde,’
Brient’s voice says.

‘Even though I told you
‘the truth will be revealed in the end.’

A frown.

Rage burns like a fire.

Who does she think she is
to condemn me to death?

‘I didn’t lie, #*%&ing Siscon.’

Rowan’s eyes become coal-black again.

That expressionless


‘You’re more like Aspen than you think,’
Rowan says.

‘You put up a front
‘and hide behind it.’

A bitter taste fills my mouth.

Who’s the one
putting up a front?

But I smile at her.

‘What did you expect?
‘I only know about this world.’

Rowan reaches out to me,
smooths out the ruffled feather.

‘So, learn.’

Her eyes meet mine,
looking into my soul,

digging through the crap

I thought

I buried



‘You’re can see it already.’




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