The last lie you’ll believe

Somebody lied to you.

You may not know it yet. You might be seething with hate. You feel it pressing down on your chest. You want to breathe, but you can’t. You see those people on the street, in the stores, at the bus stops, and you see nothing but frauds, people who are living lies, pretending that the world isn’t falling apart around them. They smile, they hug, and they perpetuate a life you know can’t be real.

Because you know life sucks. You wake up to it everyday. People who don’t understand you. People who scream at you, hurt you, ignore you, and forget you. Life isn’t beautiful. Life is fake, dark, and hollow.

And you look at them. While your pain squeezes around your ribs and roils everything in your skull, they go about their lives with jobs, church, ball games, and school clubs. They don’t know you. They don’t know what happened to you. As far as you know, they can’t even see you.

They don’t know how it hurts to wake up and see the sun every day knowing it won’t be better at sunset. Every time you see their Facebook posts, read their tweets, or pass them in the store, you feel a pang in your intestines. It’s sharp and hot, and it makes you hurt in a way they can’t know. Because they are blind. They are deaf. They can’t know how much you hate your life, because as far as you can tell, they don’t know you exist.

They are idiots, and you know it. You’re smart. You’ve read and read. You’ve educated yourself like they refuse to do. You know what’s real, and you hate them for not recognizing what should be obvious. Everything isn’t wonderful. Under the veneer of the polished world everyone else sees, you know just how worthless, redundant, and hopeless reality is. You feel it so much that you know it’s true.

So, that’s why you listen when somebody lies about a way you can feel better. You see the liars online. You see them on TV. You see them on the street. There are people who have found a solution to the agony you suffer every day.

You test it at first. You find somebody online, some happy idiot know-nothing with a platitude about something they think is important. You pound out a response, a sharp reply meant to sting. You call him fat. You call her a name that would shock your mother. You talk about the color of his skin. You hope someone hurts her in a way she won’t ever forget.

For just a moment, you feel better, like the virtual punch you threw landed in soft flesh and went deep. You try it again and again, getting sharper and viler as you go, sucking on your hate like it was a drug that could cure your pain.

But it doesn’t. It’s a quick high, and it’s gone as soon as you’ve felt it. In your heart, you know that you’ve done nothing more than morph into an anonymous troll, one no one knew and no one will ever care to know.

Somehow, though, the lie persists, niggling at your brain like a final solution to all of your pain and hate. It festers there while you try to sleep, sweating in your sheets and imagining just how terrible you’ll have to be. By the time you get up, you’ve convinced yourself that only you know the truth. You know where you can get a gun, and you know where you can go with it to make people feel as awful as you do.


Ask yourself: do you really believe the lie? Are you smart enough to realize how your solution really ends?

You’re not going to be around to see the funerals. You are not going to see fathers weep as they clutch their children against their chest. You’re not going to be able to appreciate what you think you’ve proven to everyone.

If you’re lucky, you’ll be bleeding out in the middle of a parking lot as everyone forgets your name. If not, you’ll sit in your cell wondering how long it will be before someone corners you in a dark corner and punishes you again and again for being naïve enough to believe such a terrible lie. It will be the last lie you believe.

No matter how it turns out, you will get no satisfaction from this. You will prove nothing but the truth behind the lie you tried to perpetuate:

You cannot kill your way to peace. The world’s pain won’t be a salve for yours. Real life isn’t a comic book, and villains aren’t larger than life. They are faceless and ethereal, little more than dark clouds in an unnamed storm.

You don’t have to be forgotten.

There is a truth so much bigger than this terrible lie. You might not see it yet, but it is there. Your brain won’t let you believe it right now, and that’s not your fault. It’s hard to see in the dark, and no one will blame you for being afraid it will be like this forever.

But here’s the truth: if you just wait, there is something better. You will find people who can see you, people who will listen, and people who will care. They will turn the life you hate into one you love. It may not happen tomorrow, and it may not happen in the place you call home, but it will happen.

It will not be easy, but it will be real, and when you’ve done it, you will know just how brave you were to remain so strong. You owe it to yourself to wait until it happens. You owe it to yourself to wander until you find it. You owe it to yourself to want a life that feels as good as the pain hurts right now. You are worth enough to believe it can happen. No matter how alone you feel, search deep for the courage to ask someone for help. Those people are there. That’s a promise.

Don’t believe you will feel better when you hurt someone. Don’t believe that your pain will go away when you destroy the world around you. Don’t follow the path of the people who are so lost and alone that they evaporate in a bloody mist of their own hate. Don’t believe the people who have followed this lost road and tried to make you believe your hate will make you happy.

Don’t let them lie to you.

Brad Willis

Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

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2 Responses

  1. Merry says:

    Wow. Again, you have peeled away layers that cover the truth – or maybe, the lies. Either way, the layers need to be peeled away. Thanks.

  2. Lucie says:

    Brad, your writing continues to amaze me. Don’t ever stop writing. I wish I had half the insight into the world you have.