Posts Tagged ‘town mayor’

The web of lies

Today I remembered something that happened when I was away on my gap year that was really awkward at the time and now just seems sooo stupid. It’s about the inability to say, ‘Ok, I’ve got stuff to do so I’ll just see you another day. Bye!’

I was on my gap year. I was 19. I was teaching in some of the local schools in the town where I lived. I was also running the town newspaper with a friend.
One day, I was working on an article for the newspaper deadline when the door bell went. It was one of my older students, I think she was about 14. I think her name was Jeanine. She wanted to come and just hang out. So I said, “Yeh, great. I’ve got to go out in about half an hour but stay until then.” I didn’t have anywhere to go but I thought that would just make her realise it was only a half hour visit.

The half an hour went by, we had a cup of tea, talked about whatever… and she didn’t leave. I looked at my watch and said brightly, “O, is that the time?! I’ve got to go out now,” implying that it was time for her to go.

Her response? “O ok, where do you need to go?”

“I’m meeting Lucy (the friend I ran the newspaper with), she’s back from a trip out of town so I’ve got to go and meet her to help her with her bags.” All lies. She wasn’t due back until the next day. And she only had one bag.

Her response? “O great, I like Lucy. I’ll come with you.”

Ok, so now I’ve got nothing. I’ve got no reason to say, no don’t come with me, cause all I’m doing is meeting a friend. Dammit, I should have said I had an important newspaper-related meeting with the town mayor or something.

I get my bag and we leave the house and we’re walking in the general direction of the drop off point I said I was going to. I’m walking really slowly. My brain is in overdrive. How can I get out of this? We’re going to arrive at said location and no-one’s going to be there.

“I just need to pop into the shop,” I say on the way, desperately trying to buy time. I pointlessly buy a bunch of bananas and then sure enough, we’re on our way again. Then suddenly, I come up with something.

“O wait! I’ve just remembered she said she was going to call me when she got in as she doesn’t definitely know what time she’ll be here. Save me waiting for ages for her. I guess I’ll go back home then.” We’re near Jeanine’s house and I’m hoping she’ll say ‘ok, I’ll go this way home, see you at school tomorrow!’ But no! Is this the most thick skinned child ever? She just says, “OK, we’ll go back to yours then.” I nod meekly and we turn around.

When we get back to the house I realise I’m back at square 1. Nothing has been achieved. So I try the next get-out-of-jail card in my pack. I make a fake phone call. That’s right. “I’ll just give her a quick call,” I say.

I go into the next room, pick up the phone and have a loud conversation which goes something like this – “Hi Lucy! Yeh, are you on your way back? O ok, you’re almost here? Great! And they’ve invited you for lunch, have they? And I’m invited? That sounds lovely. O yeh I know, the big house on the other side of town. Great, that’ll be nice, just a nice little quiet gathering. Lovely, see you in ten!”

So I grab my bag and tell Jeanine I’ve been invited for lunch so I quickly need to go out. She offers to walk with me. Dammit. Will this never end?! So we walk all the way there and thankfully, my fake lunch invite was at a house in a little compound so I just said a hurried goodbye outside the compound and ran to the house. I did actually knock on the door and invite myself in, explaining the situation and stayed for lunch anyway!

And almost missed that deadline I was trying to reach when she first turned up!