A Lesson on Lies (Flash Fiction)

The Sunday afternoon was a warm breeze that rolled by while Bob watched his father climb into his car. The car was red, at least in the places where paint still clung, and it revealed several oil stains on the concrete after backing out. Bob watched carefully through a curtain to make certain his father didn’t stop to come back in for something forgotten. The worn down sedan coughed down the road and Bob was left to his own devices.

He crossed the hall quickly, knowing the average time for cigarettes and beer was nine minutes, and began digging through his father’s portion of the closet. There was a fear that thrilled his veins while he carefully prodded through the denim jeans and t-shirts. He heard his father’s voice is his mind as he violated home privacy. You’re just like your mother. You’re such a nosey little fucker. The search was conducted with speed and care, and soon Bob found himself wondering if such a treasure truly existed. It wouldn’t be the first time stories on the playground yielded less than expected results.

But then, just as doubt and fear began to court each other into a union of retreat, his fingers slid from old denim to the glossy surface of a magazine. Bob’s heart hammered as he lifted his father’s work jeans and pulled out the Playboy magazine. The imagine before him immediately burnt into his young mind. It’s cover was scarlet and there was a pale skinned woman with raven black hair stretched across it. She was smoking a cigarette while carefully hidden beneath white bed sheets. Without knowing exactly what he was looking for, Bob opened the pages.

Soon, it was all very clear what such intense playground conversations were all about. That woman magically unfolded from the magazine and extended into his hands. Bob’s eyes traversed the her pale skin along the neck and shoulders, spent a moment of intense wonder on her breasts, and then continued down along her flat stomach to a final patch of short hair. Bob’s stare intensified as he saw all that wasn’t there.

“Whoa… weird,” he said quietly. He glanced at the clock and marked the time.

He spent a few more minutes ogling those amazing breasts, the first he had ever seen, and carefully replaced the book. He backed from the closet with slow investigation, making sure nothing was left stirred, and crossed the hall again. A few moments later, his father was shutting his car door with an open beer in one hand and a lit cigarette in the other.

“Dad, can I go to Brian’s?” Bob asked as his father came in. His voice was with rich with urgency, and he did his best to hide it.

“Hell yeah,” said his father as he plopped down in front of the TV. “Back before dark.”

Bob darted from the house and leapt onto his bike. He peddled with a fierceness he’d never felt before, like the first explorer to discover golden treasures in some lost and forgotten world. His cheeks bloomed red in the warm breeze and he began to laugh at the thought of telling his friends. He couldn’t wait to see the looks on their faces. It was then that he slammed on the brake and skidded to a halt.

“Oh no,” his whispered to himself.

It was a terrible realization, remembering what he had already told his friends days before on the playground. In fear of being the only one who had never seen pictures of boobies, he lied. He lied about seeing them. He lied and said he’d seen the pictures over a thousand times. He even said he’d seen a few movies with boobies in them. Real booby movies too, not the kind where the girl is just getting out of the shower or something. Boobies where the guy and girl are in bed and the guy is burying his face in those boobies. He’d seen ’em, alright. He wasn’t like those other saps on the playground. Sometimes his dad would even let him have a sip of beer while they watched the booby movie together, as long as mom was gone at least.

He vowed then to never again make such lofty lies.

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