Irma’s was her first name.
My stepmother used to live in a very clean and peaceful detached house where I used to gl, every afternoon, to have some tea with her.
This lady used to live alone, having only the companion of her dog, an also clean and also peaceful cocker spaniel.
- But, to tell you the truth as usual , this cocker spaniel looks like a teddy bear as it is so fluffy.
- Like our first dog in our old house.
- That was not a dog. Was a cat .
- A cat? No I don’t think so.
- Yes it was. I am sure about it because that is exactly what my grandma told me that it was a cat, and I trusted her.
And she have never lied , I promise you, so that is why I never lie. I hate lying.
- So you think it was a cat.
- J do not think. It was a cat. Ig had whiskers and liked to drink milk, like all cats innthe world.
- I gave your dog some milk this morning.
- It drank, the whole bowl.
- Yes. That is why I am baffled with it.
- Are you telling me I am not telling you the truth?
- No, I am not saying g this.
I am just saying that the dog drank milk. Something really strange for a dog, as they normally never do it. That's all.
But it implied the idea that I was lying, didn’t it?
- Well, dear, I was just …
- Fine !, you do not trust me. So tough for you.
- No, that is not the case to argue….
- I am not arguing. I am just telling you the truth.
- Which truth ? That is what I know, what people talked about by that time..
- A bunch of lies!
- Now you are lying.
- I am not lying. I never lie.
- Never ?
- But I think that you are lying when talking about the dog that in reality was a cat.
- No, I am not. You can ask anyone about that.
- What for ?
- To prove yourself that I am right.
- The truth is not a question of being right. Is a question of concordance with the real happenings.
- And this is being right.
- I caught you.
- Not really.
- Why not ?
- Because you are lying.
- Yeap! That is not a definition, but some crazy ideas that you have and
- it in your speech, with all the certainty that your upbringing gave you. But it was so deficient and you were so easy to fool, that it became your reality.
- No. It is not a nonsense, because you got used to say that you always said the truth.
And right now I am proving to you that it is a lie, the ones that you hate.
- No, it is not ! – shouting with her eyes, nose and mouth. More than this, with her spirit, trying not to run away from her.
I was in a complete emotional schock, dazzled and confused.
I had to be in silence for a moment.
Irma twisted her old wrinkled hands, and shook her eyes .
She had never been denied in her convictions and beliefs.
The defiance of her step daughter was totally unacceptable .
She was thoroughly upset.
How could I be wrong?
So, I decided to change my approach .
- you see. Time is passing by. And I am sure you will judge me one day.
So, I think you should wait for just one minute, until I come back.
- Ok. Don’t be too late. I have to go.
- Don’t worry. It will take just five minutes. You can help yourself some tea and the biscuits are in the cupboard , on the left, in the meantime.
I knew she had to take her hospital shift, and it would happen soon.
And I knew she would take the cups, the tea and the biscuits from the cupboard.
So, it was just a matter of time.
Five minutes, to be more specific.
- What is this picture? - she asked,, I am sure that she asked it after taking the cups and tea.
Fine. She found what she was looking for .
- Picture ? – I asked, disengaged and making fool of myself, so she could never realize the lesson I was about to give her – show me dear I really don’t know what picture you are talking about.
- This one. What dog is this one?
- Dog? Did you say dog?
She showed me the picture.
- Oh ! It is the picture of the cat that you were talking about.
- The cat? But this is a dog.
- You see : this is the house that we used to live in. It had beautiful windows and a nice garden.
- So ?
- So your father brought this beautiful animal for the house.
And it lived fourteen years with us. You were in school by that time
The poor thing was diabetic, becoming blind , I mean, totally blind.
It died two months after we took this picture.
You never realized this fact, and never missed him as I did.
That is why I said it was not a cat.
She just looked at the picture In silence, with her head down , ashamed to look at me.
She knew she was wrong, but she still needed to ask for forgiveness.
I looked at her, waiting for that.
- Where is the date that this pi ture was taken?
- Backwards. You see? It says it was taken in 2007 when you were just fourteen
And now, you are twenty eight. I think you can see that I always say the truth that I can prove. I will consider this picture as my proof, if you don’t mind.
- No, not at all. As a matter of fact, I think I was wrong all the time. And it is my time to ask you to forgive me - she said, taking a deep breath.
- I will always forgive you, dear, because you are the child that I could never have. Like this dog, I put you here – pointing g to the left part of her chest, where hearts beat forever - and this is the only truth I keep with me.
And they hugged and kissed each other, with the truth that the tears hide in itselves.