I was in the 3rd grade. Obviously, I was no stranger to harmless lies.
"Did you have your cookie yet?"
"Ok here you go."
|FUCK YEAH TWO COOKIES.|
But on this fateful day I felt like testing my boundaries. You see, for awhile, I had wanted to skip school. (Let's be honest if you're 8 and don't want to skip school you're probably a fuckin pussy and need to get your ass beat.) However, when I stayed home from school previously, it was always because I was legitimately sick, and where's the fun in staying home if you're just throwing up the whole time? So get this, I considered pretending I was sick. NO WAY RIGHT?! At the time I was confident that I was the first person on earth to ever try this. I was slightly nervous about lying to my dad’s face, but I felt I could be convincing and after a nervous few seconds it would be over.
"Time for school!"
"I don't feel well.."
"Really? What's wrong?"
"Probably pancreatitis...I mean, my stomach hurts"
*pause* "Ok, I'll call the school."
It worked! Now what to do with my freedom? I laid on the couch to watch some TV and play with dominoes. Little did my Dad know, I was also basking in the glory of my successful ruse. However, a slight while later I overheard my dad talking on the phone in the other room. He mentioned to someone I had stayed home because I was “not feeling too chipper.” I distinctly remember those words. He went on to mention that after the bus drove off I “started feeling a bit more chipper.” He then shared a chuckle with the mysterious other person.
FUCK he's on to me.
I guess playing with dominoes, along with not showing any visible signs of sickness whatsoever had clued him in to the subterfuge.
Thinking back, I suspect he was talking fairly loudly on the phone because he wanted me to hear him. It's possible there never even was a person on the other line, and it was just a roundabout way for my dad to tell me “I’ll let you get away with it this time, but don’t think I don't know what you're up to.” It seemed at this point he had no intention of seriously punishing me, but it wasn't about that anymore. It was about pride. He thought he'd seen through my act? Well I MUST NOT LET HIM WIN!
So my genius plan was to go to my room and lay in bed the rest of the day. I'd had my fun that morning, but now it was time to bite the bullet and maintain my integrity.
“I’ll lay here so long he’ll have to believe I’m really sick!” I thought.
I imagined him coming by hours later, seeing me STILL in bed, and thinking “Wow, I guess he really was sick.” Then he would feel terrible for not believing me, and maybe he'd bring me some toast. Oh man if I could score some toast out of this second scheme, JACKPOT. Because like sitcoms have taught us, nothing helps fix lies like piling on more lies.
Well that shit got old quick, and my toast fantasies quickly faded. If I'm gonna lie in bed all day pretending I'm sick, I might as well actually be sick and that defeats the purpose of my whole plan! So I went back downstairs and played the easier way out.
“I think I’m feeling better” I told my dad.
I don’t know where my conscience was during this whole charade, until *BOOM* "SORRY I'M LATE, MR. ROBERT P. CONSCIENCE HERE!"
And the guilt flooded in.
I had betrayed my Dad's trust. I knew he'd be forced to believe that I was really sick, even if he suspected otherwise. I felt terrible for taking advantage of that. I almost would have rather he'd called me out and sent me off to school at the beginning of the day. I would've felt ashamed briefly, but then I could have at least avoided the guilt.
Thinking back again, perhaps my Dad had decided to gamble. Maybe that morning, after I revealed my sickness, he'd immediately seen through it, and thought my eventual crushing guilt would be punishment enough, providing I didn't end up thinking "holy shit, faking sickness is easy!" and try staying home every other day. Or maybe after I revealed my sickness he thought "Bullshit...ah whatever." And let me stay. Well assuming it was the former, my Dad won his gamble. The sting of guilt forced me to quit the life of faking sickness for awhile. Lesson learned.
And god dammit, I actually got sick later that night.