Photo by Andrew Shiau on Unsplash

The first lie I told

I was only in first grade and my mom had enrolled me in an after school English tutoring center.  You may have guessed it from reading my posts but English is not my first language.  My mom, eager to give me the best education possible, had inquired around and heard that this particular center was highly esteemed among parents.

The director of the center was a middle-aged woman who would always speak slowly and deliberately.  Never one to raise her voice, she always appeared calm and composed.  She would walk slowly too in her loose top and wide legged pants,  making meaning of each step, as if radiating the aura of a sage.  She was the recipient of the first memorable lie I ever told.

It is true that revisiting that time in my life is like finding my way through a foggy street but I vividly remember being asked to sit with the director, one on one, in her semi-dark room rather frequently.  Her curtains often drawn almost entirely,  she would ask me to sit across from her on a cushion.  She would be sitting with her legs crossed, in a meditation pose, her eyes closed.  She would ask me to sit cross legged, as well, and close my eyes.

The first time we sat together with our eyes closed, she had asked me if I saw anything.  Confused by the whole thing, I told her no, I didn’t.  In my mind, I had my eyes closed, what could I possibly see but black? She asked me to look deeper.  I was even more confused.  What was I expected to do?  After a few more minutes, she told me to leave the room and rejoin my class.

The next few times we sat together, she would ask me the same question.  She would ask me if I saw rays of colors.  I had become rather perplexed and I could feel from the tone of her voice that she was starting to feel disappointed in me.  I remember opening my eyes ever so slightly to look at her.  Where a little sliver of light touched her face, I saw her eyebrows knitted in impatience.  Despite the calmness in her voice, her mouth was taut in agitation. I shut my eyes quickly and weaved my first fantastical story.

I told her that I had seen a little butterfly, pink and purple (my favorite colors then and now), shiny and sparkly.  I told her the butterfly was fluttering about quickly and happily.  She was quiet for a few minutes before prodding me to tell her more.  Did I see rays of colors around the butterfly?  I continued to lie and said yes.  I told her that I saw this multi-color rays of light surrounding the butterfly.   I opened my eyes to find her smiling contentedly to herself.  After leaving her room though, I felt ripples of guilt undulating inside me.  I shouldn’t have lied like that.  I should have just told her I didn’t see anything.  I was going to turn back and tell her that I lied but I was too afraid.  I ran and rejoined my class.

After that day, I was fearful to return to the center and coincidentally, my mom had decided that she had found a better place for me to learn English.  Fortunately for me, my mom had noticed I wasn’t learning anything from that center.  I was deeply relieved because I was afraid to face the director again.  In my young mind, she was kind but she was also scary in an unsettling way.  Until today, I still can’t understand what the director was trying to accomplish.  Was she a cult leader who tried to brainwash me?  Was she mentally unstable? Did she make other kids do the same?  I also wonder why I never mentioned anything to my mom.

Telling lies is never right and I would never encourage it but I think that pink and purple butterfly lie might very well have saved me from whatever unpleasantness she was waiting to unleash on me.

Do you remember the first lie you ever told?

 

*Featured image by Andrew Shiau on Unsplash

 

 

 

23 thoughts on “The first lie I told

    • Thank you for the kind words and for visiting my blog. I hope you know that I am a huge fan of yours and your writing. Yes, trying is what matters most at the end. The constant strive to do better…what can be more worthwhile? i hope you are doing well and have a wonderful Sunday.

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  1. I would never be able to guess that English is your second language! You learned very well. What an odd thing for a director or teacher or whatever to take you in a dark room like that all the time? I have never heard of schooling like that before. I should like to think that you were not lying and instead, you just had a vivid imagination like some kids do!

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    • Hahaha….I tell myself that I was just being imaginative too. I have lived in the US for so long now that English has become my primary language for more than half of my life. And I am still in the process of learning, always.

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    • Hahaha…you are so sweet to say that. I have had very good teachers who tried their hardest to teach me. But I am still learning along the way. Thanks for dropping by and for kind words. 🙂

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  2. Oh, nothing worse than a child feeling they must tell a lie in order to please someone else…what a strange woman; I am very glad you didn’t stay there. Because I struggle with being a people-pleaser, I recognize the ‘type’. They will bully you into ‘seeing’ the world the way they do even if you have to lie (or worse, keep quiet) to appease them.I am only JUST, at the ripe old age of 56 – learning to say ‘”No, so sorry, but I simply do not see the world the way that you want me to.” And yes, your English is EXCELLENT: I thought you were a native speaker. Kudos!!! I lived in French for 35 years and never mastered the language enough to write without making mistakes.

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    • Thank you for stopping by and for sharing your thoughts with me, as always. You completely got me there. Yes, I am still a people pleaser and I have to constantly tell myself to learn to stand up for myself, to say no and to express myself honestly even if it may displease some folks. It gets even crazier when I am stuck between two people who are arguing and who asks me to mediate. I usually just say they are both right. 😛 Thank you for the sweet comment on my writing. It’s a lot more apparent if you talk to me because of my accent. I am still learning everyday and will be doing so till the end. 🙂

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      • Are you a Pieces, by any chance? 😂😂😂 And good for you: learning to speak up when it doesn’t come naturally is as hard for some of us as scaling Mount Everest. So, pat yourself on the back every time you manage to do it 😊 Oh, and accents are just a lovely addition to a language…you’ve earned it; wear it proudly…😊

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      • I am not a Pieces but a Gemini. The constant contradiction….outwardly so social but inwardly always struggling. Hahaha…..Or maybe it’s just me. Thanks for your encouragement always. 🙂

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