The Way We Lied


Oh God! What did you do, Simon?
I feel cold. I’m shivering. Simon, what happened? If you’d killed someone, I’d have known, surely.
Think, try to think. Why did he leave Helen? When did he leave and where did he go? Was a woman murdered all those years ago? I don’t know. I was too young. I might not have been told. A murder. No one would have wanted us to know. We were children. We’d have been frightened. It sounds local to the village. We’d have been so scared. The boys might have found it exciting at first, but they sometimes found our old house spooky too. It creaked at night when the heating went off and the house cooled down. Sam often had bad dreams and called out in his sleep. I’m glad we didn’t know.
But did Simon really kill anyone? Wouldn’t I have known about that when I was older? As far as I know, they just got divorced. Maybe he was charged and convicted and we were never told. I suppose that’s possible. He could have got a long sentence. Maybe he’s still in prison.
Yet, much as I disliked Simon, I can’t see him killing anyone. He was grumpy, but I can’t imagine him having a temper. When we went to his house after school, we hardly saw him. He shut himself in his study. He wasn’t friendly, but he wasn’t bad tempered.
Read it again. Come on, Lisa, concentrate. What did he really say? Here we go….I never meant to hit her….it wouldn’t have happened if she hadn’t laughed… sounds as if she riled him and he snapped. He could have lashed out, just once and it could have had awful consequences. If that is what happened, then he may have paid a huge price for a moment’s madness. And if he didn’t kill her, then he was certainly punished by not knowing.
And Helen and your children have been happy without you, Simon. Whatever you did was done out your own weakness, not for their sakes. You foolish man.


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