55. My lies run away with me

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I had left the office finally, with goose bumps all over me.

Another method to persuade me... to persuade me to leave... I wondered what that might be. Whatever he was thinking of, I wasn't looking forward to it – not after he said it in that tone of voice.

Really? You little liar!

I told myself most firmly to shut the hell up! At the moment, I was just too tired to think much about it, or anything else for that matter. I only wanted a nice, soft bed after a long day at work. Still, I had to go through the cumbersome process of changing clothes before I could approach the front of the house. Sighing, I finally stepped through the front door, wishing I were already upstairs.

“Lilly!”

My head whipped around to see my aunt standing right beside me. She had to have been waiting there, behind the door, ready to pounce on me the moment I came in.

“Where were you?” she demanded, her eyes glittering dangerously. “You’ve been gone the whole day!”

Ah, so she had finally caught on to my frequent day-long absences, had she? Amazing what caring surrogate parent she was: it had only taken her a couple of weeks.

Lucky for me, I had a plan ready.

I winked. “You remember the gentleman from the ball the other day?”

Her frown lifted a bit. “You mean…”

“I won’t name names of course,” I said, course, hoping fervently she wouldn’t make me, because I didn’t have any. “But you know… I’ve been seeing a little more of him recently.”

“Oh.” Her eyes went wide. Oh, if that’s the case…”

She smiled. She actually smiled. “Good girl! Now, off to bed with you!”

Thanking God that I had gotten off so easy, I scampered up the stairs. Beautifully! That’s how it had worked, simply beautifully! I would have to come up with a new story soon, of course, as soon as she realized there were no flowers or presents arriving for me. But I’d cross that bridge when I came to it.

Up in our shared room, Ella was waiting for me. She sat on her bed and looked up at me with a timidly hopeful smile.

“Have you been out with your young man again?”

I didn't really see the point of saying no. I had been lying so frequently lately, it had almost become second nature to me. And anyway, this wasn't technically a lie. I had been with a young man. An incredibly rich, intimidating man whose head I wanted to rip off and feed to piranhas at the moment, but he was still a young man.

“Yes.”

Ella's cautious smile bloomed into full radiance.

“Really? Did it go well?”

Well, he worked me over pretty hard, I bled a little, and he gave me permission to use his toilet. Nice, isn’t he?

All true, but I didn't say that. Instead I plastered a smile on my face and told her: “Yes, very well indeed. I think we're getting to know each other better.”

“Come and sit down.” Ella reached out to me, pleadingly. “Tell me about him.”

Oh Dear God…

Was this a good idea?

Of course not, you idiot! Of course not! Lie your way out of this right away!

I opened my mouth – but Ella was sitting there, all sweet and innocent and eager. “Oh, Lilly, I know you can't mention his name or anything,” she assured me. “I just want to know what kind of man he is, how you two get along, how you feel about him. Please.”

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