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Lie to Me

“Lie to me.”

Three words. Three innocent little words. Well, they seemed innocent enough on their own. Still, what was she to do? She’d already warned against it, but she also made a promise. It was a promise from long ago, and neither of them thought it was ever going to be invoked. But there it was. Three little words that filled her with that cold, churning dread.

“Sage advice always falls on deaf ears.” There had to be another way. “I warned you not to get involved with another curious straight girl.”

“There’s no need to rub it in, C.”

“I think I have a damn right to rub it in, after all this time!”

Pamela twitched. “I wonder why I stay friends with you.”

Carla offered an acerbic smirk. The surest way to snap Pamela Hansen out of a self-pitying tirade after a break-up was to get on her nerves. “Because you like borrowing my shoes.”

“You’re a size smaller than I am!”

Carla asked the waitress for another cup of coffee. No sugar, with a spoonful of cream; just the way Pammy liked it. Coffee was a tentative thing when it came to helping Pammy adjust to a break-up. There were times, Carla found, when it only made the self-loathing worse. Other times, it improved her mood. Carla opted to chalk it up to hormone levels or the phases of the moon.

It didn’t take a detective to note that the cup of coffee had served as a means of catching Pamela’s tears. Nor was it past Carla’s notice that her friend’s cup had long since gone colder than the grave. She sighed as she pondered whether another cup would be a good idea, seeing as how she wasn’t entirely sure the coffee could dilute the salt from the tears. She was fairly certain two and a half hour’s worth of tears going into a small cup of coffee would have been bad. But she’d already made the order, and she never liked cream in her coffee.

The words echoed in her head. Lie to me.

For a while, she let the idea of going through with it cross her mind. It certainly would not have been a problem, in her line of work. What was marketing and sales other than putting together convincing lies? And what Pammy wanted was a convincing lie. Just that what it took for the lie to be convincing was more physically involved than anything she’d ever done in the name of a paycheck. And it wouldn’t have been that different from the time she spent two years as her bastard half-brother Duncan’s beard.

Pammy was oddly quiet for five minutes. That was usually not a good sign. The last time that happened, Pammy decided to lash out by grabbing the first thing she could get her hands on and threatened to beat her ex to death with a teaspoon.

“Lie to me,” Pammy muttered. “Please, C. Lie to me.”

Carla sighed. “You don’t know what my doing that would do to us. To our friendship.”

“C?” Pammy asked as she reached out and took Carla’s hand. “Do you remember?”

She swallowed, didn’t need the context. She knew what Pammy referenced. “I remember.”

“I need you to lie to me.”

“You could get hurt if I go through with it,” she objected.

Pammy squeezed Carla’s hand. “Please.”

No other choice. The only way was through, as her father might have said.

A deep breath to get into character and a moment to compose her thoughts was all she needed. The character was set in her mind, a stock pawn in her mental closet of chess pieces. It would be an elaborate lie, a complicated little game that could ruin their closeness, their friendship. Carla didn’t like the idea, but there was little choice in the matter. So she took her purse and pulled out the fake glasses and took off her gloves, because her role, her lie demanded it. She let her hair loose, not in the ponytail she’d become accustomed to, and decided to bury any doubts deep, deep down. The final touch was that necklace she slipped on. Silver chain too tight around the throat, with a special wing-shaped pendant. She hated that necklace. But the character loved it, so it had to be there.

“You owe me big time for this, Pammy,” she said before she took another deep breath.

She didn’t notice Pammy shed a single tear. “I know, I know.”

“Hi there.” She put a bit more perk, a bit more giddy energy, into her voice. “I couldn’t help but notice a pretty girl like you sitting here alone. I hope you don’t mind if I sit with you?”

Pammy smiled. Carla fell in love with that smile once, before they both realized it’d never work out between them. “No, not at all. I’m Pamela. Pamela Hansen.”

It was time to let the character roll. “Ivy Morrison.”

“Hi Ivy.”

She leaned forward. “Say, Pam, do you like girls?” She smirked and reached for Pammy’s hand with hers. “Because I do.”

Carla and Pamela wouldn’t work. Carla was scared that Ivy and Pamela would.

Recommend0 Simily SnapsPublished in Contemporary Fiction, Drama, Fiction, LGBTQ+

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