why you shouldn't lie

The thought of lying has been paired with the overall feeling of fear and guilt. Originally this sensation was planted in me during my very young years by my parents. But it wasn’t until the fifth grade that it all really set in firmly.

My mother told me that if you lied you’d get bumps on your tongue. I didn’t believe her at first. But one morning I woke up with a little white bump on my tongue. I traced backwards in my mind what could have caused the arrival of this new little, painful addition to my mouth. Was it too much orange juice? Perhaps an allergy to something? Did I bite my tongue in my sleep? Or was it the little white lie I told my mother the day prior? I did tell her I finished my lunch that she packed me, when I clearly threw out half of my sandwich and traded my applesauce for Jane Witzer’s extra package of fruit snacks. That was enough evidence for me. I stopped lying about my lunch from then on. After a day the bump went away and the sore spot on my tongue disappeared. A few weeks later, I got another one when my teacher asked where my math homework was, and I told her I forgot it at home. It was definately sitting unfinished in my book bag. Again a tiny, sore, bump fashioned itself to my tongue. I even had my friend Cori look at it, and showed some other girls during recess.

The next day during spelling, Kevin Karch sat behind Cori, followed by me, and Patrick Swanson was on Cori’s right. We were taking our spelling quiz when Patrick leaned backwards with his arms stretched back in an overacted yawn, dropping a wadded up note in Kevin’s direction. The note sat untouched in the middle of the aisle. Kevin had his head buried in his spelling test and didn’t notice it’s delivery. Patrick began shifting unsteadily in his chair, moving his test and tapping his pencil on his desk. Mrs. Windemere looked up from her desk, “Patrick, is there a problem?”
“No, I’m fine Mrs. Windemere.”
“Well then I trust you’ll be able to sit still while your other classmates finish,” she said sternly.
She looked back to the stack of papers on her desk. Patrick tried sticking his leg out to the aisle to push the tiny crumpled paper towards Kevin but it was too far from him. Cori saw him struggling with one leg outstretched awkwardly and looked down at his target. She reached down towards the ball of paper but just came up short. Now Kevin finally noticed the silent battle happening and quickly slouched in his chair to kick the note from Cori’s grasp. The ball of paper launched into the air, soaring over their heads and rolled right next to Mrs. Windemere.
She looked down at the crumpled paper and then up at the still class staring intensely at their spelling tests. She uncrumpled the page and smoothed the edges on her desk reading the message inside. Her eyes looked up from the paper searching for a guilty party to accuse. Patrick squirmed uncomfortably in his seat.
“Patrick, you wouldn’t happen to know who wrote this note would you?”
“N-n-no, Mrs. Windmere. I don’t know who wrote that note.”
“Pshh, yea right,” Cori said crossing her arms over her chest.
“Excuse, me Cori, do you have something to add?” Asked Mrs. Windmere.
“Yes I do, It was Patrick’s note,” she said unfolding her arms and putting them on her hips.
“No it wasn’t!” Yelled Kevin.
“Mrs. Windmere, it was Cori!” he said pointing an accusatory finger at her.
“You liar, it was not, I saw Patrick pass the note to you!” Cori said turning around in her desk.
“You’re all staying after class!” Mrs Windemere yelled.
After the bell rang and the rest of us filed out of the room, the three of them sat there motionless.
The next day Cori, told me how Kevin lied and tried to blame the whole thing on her, and they all had to write sentences for disrupting class. During lunch that day we sat at the opposite end of the table from Kevin and Patrick. Cori and Stacey took turns glaring at him, and when the lunch monitor turned her back we all stuck our tongues out at him. I think it made him mad, because he left lunch early. Didn’t even finish his pizza.
Kevin didn’t talk the rest of the day, which was quite strange for him, considering he always has something to say.
The next day Kevin came in late to class. He walked into the room and walked over to Mrs. Windemere’s desk with a folded piece of paper in his hand. He set it on her desk and stared at her silently.
“Get started on your long division problems class,” she said opening the note. When she was finished she told Kevin to go sit down and keep paper out on his desk if he needed to ask questions.
When he sat down in front of me he didn’t even say anything. Didn’t call Cori any names, didn’t say hi to Patrick. It was so strange. He just sat down and bent his head over his desk staring at his math worksheet. I leaned forward and poked his back with my pencil. He didn’t even respond. Just kept looking forward. I poked him again. He scooted forward and wrote something on the piece of paper next to his math problems. Then he turned around and showed me the message.
“Leave me alone” it read. His face was pale and his lips were dry and flaky.
At lunch we all watched him sit by himself, not eating, just sipping water from a water bottle. Every time he took a sip he’d wince.
“I bet he’s got a bump on his tongue from lying,” I said taking a bite of my sandwich. “And the pain is so bad, he can’t even speak.”
“He deserves it,” said Cori peeling off the crust from her bread.
“I wonder if you get bigger bumps from bigger lies?” I asked.
“I bet that kid’s got an entire mouth full of bumps from all the stuff he blabs about,” Cori said.
After lunch Kevin wasn’t in class. We heard he went home sick. And he didn’t show up for the rest of the week. Three days later Patrick told us he went over to his house to drop off his homework and he ran out of there screaming after what he saw.
“When I walked in, Kevin looked normal. I asked him if he was gonna come back to school. He just frowned and shook his head. He wouldn’t talk. And his lips were so dry looking.”
“What’s he got?” asked Cori.
“I ain’t sure what it’s called, but I can tell ya, it’s weird. I’ve never seen anything like it.” Patrick said staring off into the space behind our shoulders.
“Well what does it look like?” Cori snapped.
“His tongue is covered in bumps,” he said.
“I knew it!” I yelled.
“No, it looks like weird. His tongue looks like the backside of a toad. It’s all green and bumpy. Like a warty toad attached itself to his mouth.”
“Ewww, you lie!” squealed Cori.
“No, I swear! That’s why he won’t talk, cause of the bumps, he doesn’t want anyone to see ’em. He’s got a toad tongue!”
“It’s from the lie. Or maybe he lied about other things too. That’s why it got so bad,” I said.
From that day on I knew I’d never tell a lie again. Kevin was out of school for almost 2 whole weeks. When he came back he was like a different person. He was quiet, and didn’t talk in class or at recess. Well he talked, but just one word responses to answer questions. When kids asked him about his tongue, he’d stick out his tongue and show a smooth pink tongue, but way in the back on the left side there was a dark spot no bigger than a pea. We decided this was the scar left by one of the lie warts. He’d never explain anything, he’d just open his mouth and stretch his tongue out. We all knew what really happened though. After what Patrick told us. We all decided the only way to avoid Kevin’s fate was to tell the truth.

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Published in: on December 16, 2009 at 3:38 am  Leave a Comment  

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