....If you asked

Written in response to: Write a story about a pathological liar.... view prompt

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Black Contemporary Fiction

This story contains themes or mentions of mental health issues.

Well....if you asked Imani....well...she wouldn't know what she'd tell you. On a good day....she could only honestly tell you that she has absolutely no idea what will come out of her mouth. However...if she had to guess why she does the things that she does....well-- she'd say it was because she felt invisible.

Imani didn't have much of a life if you asked her.

She woke up, bathed, went to work, came home, slept, and did it all over again. She did the same thing everyday, all day, all the time....

and sometimes she didn't.

Sometimes she fell into a "funk" so intense that she would lay on the couch and not move for days, staring at the ceiling, ignoring her growly stomach, and ignoring the pervading smell of her body odor.

That is probably the root of the problem.... she didn't know why she fell into these funks.

But honestly....you can't tell people that you didn't go to work for three days because you simply couldn't move, your brain was spinning in circles, and you simply couldn't muster up the energy to fucking do anything with your life.

So she made shit up.

"Yeah...." Imani told her co-workers as she stacked boxes on an assembly line in a creamer factory, " My boyfriend cheated on me and I threw a brick threw his window. That's why I was gone for most of the week."

That sounded far more dramatic than saying she fell into a funk and didn't bathe for three days....right?

Also....people also made the craziest assumptions about her. She didn't talk much....but people apparently thought she was a baddass? She wonders if it's because she has resting bitch face....but people seem to think that she can and will"step on people's necks."

Imani shrugs...." Yeah...I've been in a shit-ton of fights my entire life. I will fuck that bitch up."

Yeah...she'd never been in a fight her whole life.

And that doesn't even count all the non-existent boyfriends and girlfriends that she has. All the amazing sexual exploits...

"Yeah...I rocked their world." She brags to her co-workers.( If you notice....she doesn't really have friends.) " What can I say.... I'm fucking AMAZING!"

She's a virgin. She's never dated. She's effectively a spinster. She's probably Asexual if she's being honest. It'll probably be more honest to say that she's curious about sex but not all the time....you got to catch her when she's in the mood. (She's rarely in the mood and doesn't understand what the hype is about.)

What can she say? She's a super imaginative person....who was a lonely bookworm as a kid, couldn't talk to people, and was conveniently ignored by her family.

She's gonna hold people's attention any way she can....however she can....

She doesn't know why she says the things that she says.

* * * * * *

Imani doesn't know why she says the things that she says. She could tell the truth....but the truth is often boring. There is nothing interesting about her truths.....her truth is she probably has some kind of mental illness but can't afford to get therapy.

So....she makes shit up.

"Where were you the last couple of days?" A co-worker asks her....and Imani pauses.

She's at the factory again.... and she's secretly jamming to her music because she's going to die of boredom. If anyone asks if she listening to music....she's obviously gonna say no.

Why would she snitch on herself?

She looks at her co-worker again....... what was she doing the last three days?

She was sleeping....and when she wasn't sleeping she was watching netflix....and when she wasn't watching netflix she was planning all the stuff that she was gonna do but never actually did.

So...of course she's not gonna say that.

That sounds pathetic......she's not gonna say she ditched work for three days just to do absolutely nothing.

"My grandma died...." she says a tad bit guiltily. She crosses her fingers behind her back and she's gonna go "knock on wood" later because she loves her grandma and she doesn't even want to think of her dead. She doesn't want this to become an "omen"....so she's gonna ask for forgiveness for this one later. " I had some things to take care of. I'm probably gonna need a couple more days off."

She receives the appropriate "oohs" and "aahs" and feels special and loved for a little bit.

Then she feels sick to her stomach and vows to call her grandma first thing to make sure she's alive.

If she can find the motivation.... that's actually kind of hard. She doesn't really like talking on the phone.....or interacting with people in general. The only time she interacts is to lie.....and she really can't help herself.

She's just really fucking boring.

* * * * * *

Is it really so bad to lie? It's not like she's really hurting anybody....it's just that sometimes she needs time to..... she doesn't know what. All she knows is that she wakes up to go to work some days and simply can't move....she looks at the shower and knows she should bathe....and just can't muster up the energy.

Sometimes.....she just needs time.....to pause....to stop.....to reboot herself......

She just can't help it.

Maybe she should write.

* * * *

Writing is actually very difficult. The words fit together in her head....almost as smooth as the lies that she tells....but when it comes to writing them....to typing them....the words don't flow as easy. It's easier to let this shit just flow out of her mouth.....to invoke awe, or pity....and to make herself bigger than she actually.

Better. Bolder. More Interesting.

Because that's the thing isn't it.....

She wants to be special.....and she's just fucking not.

She looks at her siblings and their lives and their nice things, and nice homes, and nice clothes..... and their vibrant social life.....and she immediately becomes wall paper when they're around.

Sometimes when she talks.....nobody listens to her.... it's like she's talking to herself....or talking to the air.

Her mother actually admitted once that she hears her speak sometimes....and chooses to simply ignore her.

Like she's a waste of space....

So...maybe if she makes herself more fantastical and interesting....maybe her family will listen to her. So far it's not working....

They're currently unpacking their brother's new apartment....and Imani is trying to get her siblings to focus. To not stop working and to get shit done....

but it's like they don't hear her.

So she falls silent....and does all the work herself....or most of it. The only thing she can do is keep moving and hope people notice what she's doing.

They don't.

They tell her to chill out and go smoke a cigarette.

Imani doesn't actually like smoking...it's more....she likes the idea of smoking. She imagines it makes her look cool and dashing.....mysterious maybe....mature....

The only thing it does is piss her mother off.

"Get your smoking butt inside and help everyone clean up." Her mother says, " Make yourself useful."

It's funny how when she was making herself useful nobody noticed...and when she stops....she's suddenly the center of attention. She just can't win....

She drags another puff of her cigarette in an effort to look cool.....

She's a badass....she doesn't let no one tell her shit.......

She exhales and gets up to make herself fucking useful.

July 29, 2022 15:59

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