Truth or Truth

Submitted into Contest #138 in response to: Write a story about an afternoon picnic gone wrong.... view prompt


Teens & Young Adult Drama Friendship

Tray in hands, I look around the cafeteria to find Caroline, even if the cafeteria, unfortunately, remains one of the last places I could find her.

Since she started dating Yami, I kind of have to run after her and try to guess the next and most unpredictable of somewheres where she will decide we will eat all together. I mean, the next one is where I will have to play gooseberry. Even if the young couple pretends to not mind my presence, hesitating between staring at my mashed potatoes to ignore them or watching them doing the best take-off of Romeo and Juliette. And with Caroline and her confiscated phone due to her failing grades, that doesn’t make it any easier. Despite the fact she accidentally ‘’forgot’’ to text me. I stopped counting when she lied for the 10th time.

I sigh with relief when I see Caroline’s arm flailing in the back of the cafeteria. I walk towards her when I notice we will again have lunch with her boyfriend. Caroline was sitting on Yami’s legs. I’m not a seer, but with regard to the situation, I already know what my lunch break will look like.

‘’Today is your lucky day pitch !’’ she exclaims when I sit across from her and Yami.

You said it!

I smile gently at Yami in greeting and sigh as I wait for the couple to finish kissing under my nose and exchange sweet words.

‘’So what’s up? I try to be at least included in today’s conversation.

— Pitch! You didn’t receive my text this morning ? asks my best friend, face more radiant than her flamboyant hair.

 — Your father gave you your phone back ?!’’

Caroline boasts as she wraps a lock of her hair around her index finger. It's not so bad, I could at least chat with her in the evening for 30 minutes before she hangs up on me for her boyfriend who made a surprise call.

‘’Caroline announce her the good news!’’

Let me guess… A cousin of Yami from the depths of Japan has just become a father? Oh even better! Does Caroline have a new phone case in a more nuanced blue than the old one? It must be admitted that with these two lovebirds, good news almost rhymes with “what do I have to do?”.

“There will be a picnic this afternoon…”

Yikes… I smile nervously, pretending to take this as good news. So that's it? Is this good news? At least get me involved next time!

“And Jeremy will be there.

 — What ?" I cry out.

I quickly come to my senses, noticing the prying eyes that were heading towards our table.

“Jeremy will be there?” I ask excited at the idea of spending an afternoon with Jeremy.

Jeremy is Yami's best friend. And it's also my crush.

“I hope you will appreciate Jeremy, he is… how to say, very complicated, tries to warn me Yami under the incendiary gaze of Caroline.

 — You're going to bring us bad luck Yami!”


Central Park, 03:48 PM

After roller-coaster rides and hours of trying to stick to my only resolution for this year, to keep my self-control in the face of Caroline's whims, here we are at last in Central Park. Being her best friend isn't easy. Between my attempts to stay calm when she can't decide between different shades of red for this afternoon, or her existential crises worrying if Yami would like or not her makeup, I lose my mind.

After a roller coaster ride, and hours of trying to stick to my one and only resolution for this year, to keep my self-control in the face of Caroline's whims, here we are at last in Central Park. Being her best friend isn't easy. Between my attempts to stay calm when she can't decide between different shades of red for this afternoon, or her existential crises worrying if Yami would like or not her makeup, I lose my mind.

I sometimes wanted to withdraw from this friendship that was taking a toxic turn, but I couldn't bring myself to abandon my best friend. She wasn't always like this, after her mother passed away three months ago she changed dramatically. She, who is talkative by nature, never wanted to talk about it: every time I tried to pull the worms out of her nose, she started laughing and continued to live in denial. Being the last hope of his father and his sisters stressed me a lot. And Yami isn't much help either. He was bringing her to all sorts of parties as long as there was alcohol and drugs. He was making her run away from me.

It almost made me forget that I was supposed to be positively anxious about this afternoon. This is my first “double date” with Jeremy. My concern for Caroline and her behavior almost makes me forget myself. My whole existence depends so much on her I can't resolve myself to let her go. Why wasn’t my heart racing? What about the famous thousand and one scenarios crossing my mind? Was I there because I just wanted to watch over Caroline or see Jeremy? 

He’ll maybe know how to awaken a hint of feeling in me when I see him.

"What are you thinking about? Follow me !"

I imagine that by skipping class to spend time with Yami she had to learn the map of Central Park by heart. She already knew where we were going to have this picnic. Yami shouldn't get lost when she texts him where to find us. Caroline chose the best spot for us, we will have this picnic right in front of The lake, under an orange-tinted sky.

It was so peaceful. The different shades of green of the plants, the reflection of the trees on the surface of the lake, the geese wading in the water, the smell of the hot dog stand in the distance, and the music of a saxophone. A few meters from us, families sharing a friendly moment, and further a couple walking with their dog. It was crazy to see that this park was parallel to New York City. How could such a calm and beautiful place manage to be the opposite of the city that never sleeps? This park and the beauty it reflected was like a canvas painted by a painter, a landscape described by a novelist, a true haven of peace.

My best friend peels her nose off her phone, snapping me out of my daydream. Her lips were split in a big smile. It's not like she ignored me for a good fifteen minutes to exchange messages with her toxic boyfriend.

"They’re coming!"

My eyes followed the direction Caroline was staring at to see Yami, picnic basket in hand, accompanied by Jeremy, arriving. I would have hoped to feel more seeing Jeremy, but the tingling in my chest I felt was enough for me. It allowed me to feel more alive and to be able to tell myself that Caroline's life will not have succeeded in filling mine.

But one thing makes me frown. Jeremy wears gloves…


My best friend just throws herself in the arms of her boyfriend, once he is at our level, while I am here impatient to make the introductions. Jeremy was everything that allowed me to get out of my tasteless life, he allowed me to be aware that I was living. Caroline greets Jeremy before pulling me by the hand.

"Let me introduce you to Jeremy, Yami's best friend!"

As if I hadn't stalked Jeremy in months to forget that detail.

How should a girl in love feel in normal times? I try to ignore his overly large nose, or his flyaway hair and focus on the sensation in my chest that I had felt. I wanted to be in love with him.

It will probably come with time.

"Jeremy, this is my best friend!"

A little intimidated by his character and the cold air he wore, I smiled shyly, waving my hand in greeting. How I must have looked like an idiot!

“Hmm, he just replies pretentiously, before joining Yami who was calling him to help him spread the mat.

 — Is it a good sign?

 — Trust me, you two will get to know each other. He's… how can I put it… a bit complicated,” Caroline jabbers, scratching the back of her neck, embarrassed.

When Caroline told me that Yami would take care of the food, I had a slight doubt but I was pleasantly surprised to see that Yami had done a wonderful job. This, until a small and silver gourd, comes out of its basket...

"You shouldn't have done so much honey!"

Caroline and Yami in front of Jeremy and me, the picnic from hell was finally about to begin. Jeremy wasn't very talkative, he hadn't said a single word for 10 minutes. Only Yami and Caroline were talking. Knowing that Yami's food satisfied my taste buds was comforting... as long as I could escape reality. This picnic was awkward and Jeremy reeked of hand sanitizer.

“Jeremy, any chips?” I offer him nicely to make conversation.

Caroline gives him a terrifying look and Yami's eyes are wide. What's the matter? I have a piece of broccoli between my teeth?

Jeremy groans, before giving me a hypocritical smile.

"No thanks."

The couple in front of us sighs with relief and starts talking again as if nothing had happened. This again, until Yami's phone vibrates.

"Shira and Jonathan are coming," Yami announces, glancing at his phone.

 — I thought it would only be the four of us, Yami, replied Caroline, visibly angry at the turn the situation was taking.

"Sorry, my mom wanted my triplets to join the party," Yami said with a shrug.

The situation will be much less boring. Jonathan was, if I believe correctly, the first boy to come out at age of 10 in our group and loves cosmetic surgery. His dream is to have lips as big as two superimposed sausages, and I sincerely hope that this 15-year-old teenager will be able to forget this dream. As for Shira… I don't know what to say. Let's say she's a very frank person...

Jonathan and Shira, who had decided to dye her hair pink this week, join us a few minutes later. Needless to say, Caroline only grumbled and groaned during this time.

"Let's see, we have Yami's germophobic and pretentious best friend with his hypocritical girlfriend and..."

Shira seemed to be searching for the exact word to define me, and after a few seconds of thinking about exchanging glances with John, she clicked her tongue before calling me a 'walking puppet'. I'd rather call her a walking voodoo doll with her thousand and one piercings on her face.

"Exact! chuckles John.

 — I imagine it must have been boring without us. How about we play a game!”

John, excitedly, claps his hands. Jeremy caresses her rebellious hair fixed with hairspray by throwing "as long as nobody touches me and ruins my $150 haircut, I'm in" and Yami manages to convince Caroline who was badly staring at Shira.

"You'll have a reason to stare at me like that later," Shira said, winking at her.

Caroline turns white as a sheet before swallowing her saliva with difficulty. What could Shira be talking about? To piss off my friend?

“The game is called Truth or Truth.”

Shira sits down with John before continuing.

“The concept is simple, you'll all have to take a sip from the flask before you tell something true about yourself.

 — Cool! Yami exclaims next to a worried Caroline.

 — I start, Shira takes a sip of the drink before continuing, it was I who stole mom's debit card on our anniversary.

 — My turn! shouts John, snatching the flask from Shira's hands. I'm the one who had Shira steal Mom's card so I could secretly give myself a lip injection! He confesses openly while batting his eyelashes accompanied by his horrible smile.

It was quite obvious John… 

-Jeremy your turn.”

John hands him the flask.

"I won’t drink from the same bottle as you, I won’t catch your dirty germs!

Oh Lord, tell me how I managed myself to like someone like Jeremy ? He's so superficial and… narcissistic.

"Might as well suffocate you with disinfectant, that'll give us a vacation," I whisper while ignoring Jeremy and his shocked look.

“The puppet has finally regained speech!” John points out, raising his perfectly shaped eyebrows.

I roll my eyes more than annoyed by the situation.

“Jeremy, you promised us you would make an effort today,” Yami reminds him.

Was that why Yami and Caroline dreaded this picnic? Because this 15-year-old thought he was above the rest and was afraid of germs? When are we going to tell him we have dust mites that eat the oil on our skin while we sleep and sneak into our pores at daybreak?

“For the trouble, I would drink my protein shake.”

Yami takes the trouble to grab a tissue before taking a bottle out of his basket and handing it to Jeremy.

"I pass my turn, my person does not support so much attention on her."

Excuse us, sir.

“Yami to you! John said, annoyed by Jeremy's behavior, handing him the flask.

 — Hum.. says Yami thinking. I don't know what to say.

"You could talk about what happened between you and the puppet three months ago," John suggests.

Oh no…

Caroline will misinterpret everything! Yami wanted to have a moment with me, locking himself in the bathroom with me. Having refused, I hastened out of the toilet. He must have told a completely different story to his triplets, being hurt in his self-esteem, I suppose.

"Sorry ?" Caroline laughs nervously.

My thanks to John and Shira, our school detectives. They believe to know everything about anyone.

"Trust me, it's going to spin your poor mother in her grave," adds John. Without wanting to offend you.

 — What !?"

Caroline was looking for Yami, who was staring wickedly at his triplets.

"Come on Yami, tell us what happened in the bathroom on the day of his poor mother's funeral! cheers up Shira hilariously.

 — Caroline it’s a big misunders…”

Without warning, Caroline's hand shoots up into the air before landing on my cheek. 

What is self-control again? 

Without thinking I returned the favor.

"I've had enough of your behavior Caroline! Nothing happened between me and your boyfriend!

"When your dog pees on the carpet, do you scold the dog or the carpet?" Shira said to Caroline trying to catch her breath.

Am I dreaming or is she trying to push me?

"And I thought you were my best friend," Caroline says with tears in her eyes.

I roll my eyes. We are not at the theater, good God! I'll try to talk to her later. This friendship means everything to me.

"Wait a minute, it's not like nothing happened between us last week," Jeremy interrupts.


Everyone stares at Yami who doesn't seem upset at all. On the contrary, one would almost have the impression… that he was holding back laughter?

"I wonder if the worst thing is that I allowed Jeremy to sleep with you and you didn't tell me, or that…you didn't tell me at all," Yami said with a laugh.

 — Hypocrite!” I write to myself, throwing a sandwich at Caroline.

If only God had blessed Caroline with as much melanin as he did with me, no one would have noticed that she was red as a peony.

"I...I admit, that...that between Jeremy and me...something is going on," Caroline says.

Needless to say, John and Shira were hilarious. My best friend who was about to cry all the tears in her body and insult me ​​had radically changed her behavior… She wanted to make herself very small. I can not believe it.

"Caroline, I'm gay, there's nothing between us, it was just a moment. Oh… I also forgot to mention my truth, said Jeremy taking a sip of his protein drink. I have heard Caroline criticize her best friend and I admit that I laughed.

I gasp in surprise as Yami laughs harder. Caroline no longer knew where to stand. Shira and John were trying to wipe away their tears of laughter.

Seconds felt like minutes, minutes felt like hours. I didn't know what else to do but stare at Caroline who was also staring at me. How dare she slap me for something I didn't do, when she dares to do worse?

This picnic, which was supposed to be a good afternoon among high school students, went wrong.

”It was quite funny, but can we move on otherwise? Jeremy says before turning his gaze to me. Could you pass me the plate of sandwiches please?” he asks me with his arrogant air.

Jeremy managed to warm me up more in one afternoon than Caroline did in three months. Who did he think he was? I still wonder how I ever had a shred of feelings for the hideous person that is Jeremy.

"Yami, could you pass me the flask please?" I ask at the end of my tether.

Yami hands me the flask, clutching her stomach, and I stand up, spilling its contents all over Jeremy.

"Bacterias! Jeremy groaned in shock.

 — Oh poor thing, I'm so sorry!"

Jeremy does not wait for more than a second to take his hydroalcoholic gel out of his pocket and slather it all over his face and arms. I imagine tomorrow the classroom will reek of the hospital room because of him.

The End

March 24, 2022 23:39

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Kadiatou Maiga
12:40 Mar 28, 2022

Omg, i was so in a rush I just read the story once before submitting it. I made so much mistakes. Needless to say I already know my destiny XD.


Graham Kinross
15:16 Apr 02, 2022

You get a while to edit mistakes if you see them afterwards. Also, you don’t need to write The End. Other than that this was a good first story. Keep it up.


Kadiatou Maiga
18:34 Apr 02, 2022

thank you <3


Graham Kinross
00:19 Apr 03, 2022

You’re welcome, I’m looking forward to reading more of your work. Let me know when you have more uploaded.


Kadiatou Maiga
19:10 Apr 03, 2022

I still hesitate between doing this week prompt or the next week one. But i'll let you know when it will be uploaded. Thank you so much, i really would like to know what you'll think of it !


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