chapter twenty-nine

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JENNIE


When we reach adulthood, we hide our anxiety, our loneliness, our fear, and our sadness that live inside us.

We hide because crying is seen as a sign of weakness. We hide so as not to worry those who care about us. We hide hoping we will find something that can ease our pain. We hide because we cannot count on others to comfort us.

There are so many reasons that can explain why as we grow up, we hide behind pretty lies.

"I'm fine."

"I am happy."

"It's not his fault."

My mother is the greatest liar among all.

She is afraid of my father but she's keeping it to herself. When I was a child, I saw her bruises but I didn't ask her where they came from. For all of my life, she told to me to stop worrying about her but her puffy eyes betrayed her. I saw her tears. I saw everything but I stayed silent because I know deep down that she will get mad at me if I told someone of what happened behind the perfect picture of our little family.

I never get why her life was so miserable.

She is a wonderful and beautiful woman with a decent family, but is she happy? She keeps telling me that her life is great, but I feel like she wants me to stay away from her problems.

Children can't hide their feelings, they don't have any intention to hide. That is why they cry for everything even the most trivial things. Lisa used to be like that. She was not afraid to tell her worries, and I admired her for her honesty.

In my house, we keep everything for ourselves. Loving gestures and sweet nicknames do not exist in my parents' vocabulary.

When Lisa hugged me when I gave her a present for her seventeen years, it was my first hug in my life. It was also the moment I realized that she was different. She wasn't like my conservative parents. She was like... a ball of sunshine full of affections and kindness.

I could always count on her to tell me the truth, but now... I feel like everything has changed in her.

Maybe she pretended to be sincere when in reality she was hiding secrets that were never to be revealed.

I don't know.

Maybe I thought I knew her.

If I look back at all the moments we shared together, I kind of understand her.

She is like the Moon, part of her is always hidden.

The last time I saw her, we had a nice diner with the girls. We had discussed about a lot of topics: from politics to Thai cuisine and her new girlfriend.

She looked radiant when she spoke to me about Somi as I nod at every sentence. The more I think about it, the more confused I become.

Did she tell what I expected to hear?

Was it all just a lie?

I don't know but I am certain that I will not like what will happen in the next minutes. We're getting dangerously close to Lisa's apartment. I can already see the park and my heart is starting to beat irregularly. I'm used to being under pressure, but this situation is making me feel anxious.

"You can stay in the car," Elijah said to me in a soft voice.

I shake my head and turn the handlebar to enter the parking lot. I didn't come here to wait like an obedient puppy. There's no way I'm staying here and do nothing. Lisa needs me and I am not going to leave her alone with Somi any longer. When Elijah told me earlier that the reason why Lisa called her is that Somi threatened her with a knife, madness was an understatement of what I felt after this revelation.

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