city lies.

Sometimes when she remembers those times, she knows she remembers them wrong. Certain people fall in and out of the frame that were never there and you say things in a hurtful tone, but no one really spoke like that in those days. You were all very civil and kind and growing up in awkward ways that forced everyone to push and pull in unpleasant spots and run everything through the mud. She remembers it because no one was telling the truth. She’d left for San Francisco to listen to music in the park and this was something you fought over, back when there were still things to fight over. And she drove the entire way there while everyone else slept and ate, thinking constantly of what she would say to you if anyone started telling the truth. And the way she remembers it is that it was bitterly cold and she wasn’t properly dressed because you weren’t around anymore to tell her to take a coat to the concert. But she went for a drink with your best friend that night, who over the years had also become a dear friend of hers. Because that’s what happens when you spend many years with someone, all the lines blur of who’s friends are who’s and which dishes were your grandmothers or hers. And she remembers that when she finally found the nerve to ask him what he thought about everything and especially about you, that he stopped looking her in the eye and everything sounded like lies. He spoke around the issue and assured her of her worth, but that wasn’t what she needed to hear. The only thing she needed was for someone to speak up and tell her the truth about who you were in those years. But that’s a lot to ask of people, and she remembers it was very cold, and that in the end, there was no one to blame but herself. And even then, there was no one to blame.


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