A Perfect Lie
"I thought there was more to you!"
"You're the greatest liar I've ever met!"
"Go to hell, you fake!"
The messages added salt to her wounds, but still she needed to read them over and over again. Her mind was still struggeling to put the pieces together of everything that had happened last night. Turning 30 ... It was supposed to be the best birthday she had ever had, but instead it turned into a nightmare. Why did he have to show up on her doorstep on this special day?
He, that was her father, who had been an alcoholic for as long as she could remember. Growing up as an only child in a very poor and cold surrounding. Her father jobless, her mother struggeling with a severe clinical depression that made her try to commit suicide at least twice a year, but still no one had helped her. Nobody was supposed to know about them. She was too ashamed and didn't want to be stigmatized.
So she started to make up her own family just in case any of her friends would ask about them. Her father was an engineer working for a big company, her mother a doctor in a famous hospital, both very successful of course. She became popular quite fast, everybody liked her for her open and warm personality, her charm and her cheerfulness, so she kept up the facade.
Middle school, highschool, college ... everything passed by without anyone noticing her true family background. She became an expert about making up excuses why no one could visit her home or why her parents wouldn't pick her up from school or never showed up at any of her theatre performances. She would just say they had guests over at their place or they were too busy with their jobs. No one doubted her for a second. They didn't know she maintained three jobs at once to earn enough money to keep up with a wealthy teenager's lifestyle or that her bruises weren't caused by a bicycle accident, but by her father's hand.
Starting university, it was her chance to get out and as far away as possible from her family. Finally, she thought, she wouldn't have to make up stories and excuses anymore. But of course her new friends also asked about her family, so she went back to her old habits.
The years passed, she was part of a very wealthy, yet superficial, group of friends which was really stuck-up and would look down on anyone who was less successful than them. Glamorous parties, luxurious clothes, expensive cars, all this became the center of her lifestyle. She felt like she had finally found her place, that she belonged somewhere, that she was so much better than her parents. Who would have thought that a woman with her background could ever make it this far?
So for her big birthday she wanted to throw an extraordinary party, she deserved it after all. A famous DJ, a cool location, delicious food, everything was set up perfectly at its place. All her friends were around, dancing, drinking, having a lot of fun ...
Until the door opened and a small man with greyish hair and ragged clothes entered the room. He looked like a homeless, clearly drunk, observing the room like a maniac. And then he found her, holding her gaze with so much hatred in his eyes ... It was her father. "So this is what you have made of yourself? Fleeing home, abandoning your parents for a bunch of rich ass-kissers? You are a disgrace to our family! We have always been hard-working people and no snobby assholes! It's good that you left!", he shouted across the room. Then he stumbled, grabbed hold of a table and turned it upside down, the glasses clashing and breaking on the floor. Everything fell silent. All of her friends were watching the scene, some shocked, some puzzled. Then suddenly her father turned around and left the room as fast as he had entered it, leaving an unpleasant tension all over the place. She didn't know how he found her. All this time she had thought that she had hidden her traces very well.
"So this was your father? He didn't look like a doctor!", one of her friends laughed, but she couldn't answer, she was paralized, in shock. "I can't believe it! You have lied to us all those years? Screw you, I am out of here!". And one by one they left. She didn't even try to stop them, there was no way. She couldn't speak or move a muscle. The rest of the evening was kind of a blur, she couldn't remember much about it anymore. After a while she took a taxi to get back home and went straight to bed, just wanting to forget about everything that happened and she sank into an uneasy sleep.
When she woke up the next morning, she was still wearing her golden Prada dress, yet she felt like she didn't belong in it anymore. It felt like a piece from another life. Her true self had been exposed, her life was scattered like a house of cards.
After a while she managed to get up and looked into the mirror. There she was, a fragile mess with dark shadows under her eyes. Who was this stranger staring at her? She couldn't tell anymore.
Then she walked over to her warderobe full of clothes that still had their tags on. She had never worn them because deep down she didn't care about all this luxury. Everything that mattered to her was having a place where she belonged, something she had been looking for all her life. But she was afraid to attract people like her father, the only person in this world that she never wanted to see again, if she was being honest about her family background. She was aiming for a better life, not considering money, this was never important to her. Security, trust, understanding, honesty, those were the values she was truly looking for.
There she was with her empty suitcase full of memories, memories of the lie she had lived for so many years. Reconsidering everything that had happened yesterday, she didn't want to go back there. If her friends were giving up on her just because she didn't belong to a wealthy family, they probably never were true allies anyway. Maybe it was time for a new beginning, accepting her roots and being proud of who she had become. She was still an intelligent, determined and successful woman after all.
With a smile she opened her suitcase to release her old memories and create some space for her new ones ...