10 // TRUTH

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When you've lived with liars all your life, it's easy to become something of an expert.

Whether they look you dead in the eye or try to avoid your gaze, whether they stay completely still or shift around as if bugs are crawling under their skin, whether their voice hitches up an octave or stays exactly the same. I knew liars. I'd seen liars bare-face fake it to authorities to cover up their dirty crimes. I'd had liars tell me they loved me, while opening the door to monsters. I'd had monsters tell me everything would be okay, as they pushed my face into the pillow.

And I stared at a liar every day in the mirror.

So yeah, I definitely knew liars, alright.

In fact, they only person in my life who never lied, was Davey. He was everything Claire said about him, and more, but the one thing he wasn't, was a liar. Davey told it to you straight. Davey was upfront about everything. If you pissed him off, he'd make sure you knew about it. If he wanted to shag someone else, he was blatantly confessional. There was no lie there, and yeah, maybe those were the things most people wanted someone to lie to them about, but not me. I wasn't interested in fake platitudes. I wasn't interested in people who smiled to your face then fucked you over behind your back. Davey was the only one who ever gave me the truth.

Even Addi lied to me. There'd been this one crazy, drug-fuelled night when Addi and I had both been partying hard, and we'd left the basement club where Davey was on the decks to sit outside and cool off, watching the sun come up as we went down. The buzz was starting to fade and sometimes when it does, when you feel it loosening its grip, there's this honesty, a truthfulness that just hits you straight in the heart, when you're almost ready to say what you never dared admit. Dark stuff. Deep shit you've kept locked way down inside where you think you've buried it just enough to keep it there, shoving mud and dirt into its mouth in the hope you can suffocate it into silence forever. And then you have this moment – a connection, I suppose – with that one person who is feeling the start of the comedown just as you are. I'd looked at Addi then, as he sat with his head back and eyes closed, the first light of the morning highlighting his dark skin and full lips that I often thought about kissing.

'We could leave, you know,' I'd whispered. 'Pack a couple of bags, take off... I don't know... anywhere.'

Anywhere had seemed good right then. Anywhere had seemed better than being where I was.

Beside me, Addi had chuckled warmly. 'Yeah, man,' he'd said with a long, drawn-out sigh, his eyes still closed. 'Ibiza, right? We need to go back there and party our arses off. You, me, Davey, it'll be like the old days, babe.'

From somewhere far off, a car horn had screamed into the night, tyres screeching against asphalt. The urge to do it, to go, to flee, was stronger than it had ever been.

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