…tell me the lie

It’s not the truth that she wants to hear – no. It is the lie.

The lie that he loves her; that she is the one he wants to be with; that the other woman was just “a mistake”.

Yes, the lie will do. It will cushion her in the long lonely nights, offer her comfort as she curls up on her side of the bed and help her ignore the empty space besides her.

It is the lie that will see her through one more day, helping her to soldier on amid the misgivings and doubts.

All she needs is that lie. And she will clutch on to it for dear life; defend it against all evidence that contradicts it.

She will defend the lie even as she chokes on the musky fumes of the other woman’s perfume, the cloying sweet stench clinging to his shirt.

It is the lie she needs. She needs it to validate herself, to be able to face her reflection in the mirror and dare her eyes to betray the pain she feels.

The lie is all she needs to plug her ears so she can pretend to not hear the whispered conversations made with the mystery midnight caller.

In the yawning silence stretching between them, she makes the silent plea in her heart, “tell me the lie. Tell me because I will believe it, because I want to believe it”.

Perhaps it’s a rare moment of telepathy or just the instinct of a player, he reads the desperation in her tear-filled eyes, can feel the hope barely suppressed within her and… he tells the lie.

“I love you,” he says, “You know I love you,” he insists.

And the hope, a little flame that bursts into conflagration, the hope threatens to choke her as the tears scald her face – oh, she wants to believe him.

She wants to believe because, because it’s not the truth she wants to hear – no. It is the lie.

Yes, the lie will do just fine. She will tell it to her friends, garnishing the facts with fiction as she goes along and tell of a romantic candlelit dinner and even how he said it with a tear running down his cheek.

The lie is better; it will cover the nudity of the truth, spare her the pain of rejection and assuage her wounded pride. The lie is good because it will come in handy when she tells her friends, “He said it, oh, I just know he meant it”.

It is the lie she needs, to ignore the reality staring her in the face – long and frequent business trips and late night meetings too. Oh, but she must understand he’s doing all this for her, so he can build a future for them.

In another place in another time… the same voice and the same face holds another woman tight and whispers her fears away, “oh, I’m leaving her you know I am. It’s you I want.”

And she sags against him, the sheer relief seeping the strength out of her knees, all she needed was to hear him say it again.

Another dosage of that lie, it’s been close to five years now and their second one is on the way but she’s been holding on to him because he told her and she believed him.

Told her the lie.

That he married the “wrong” woman; that she was the one for him and he could not possibly live without her.

Oh, but she had called his bluff once, yes she had. Packed her things and dared to leave but her heart wouldn’t let her get far… the lie pulled her back again.

In the storm of a quarrel, she had shouted while he begged, screamed while he pleaded and slapped him while he reasoned, “you can’t leave me. I need you.” There he had said it.

The beautiful sound of it, sapping her anger away and replacing it with a surge of triumphant pride, he had said it – the beautiful lie.

He needed her, yes he did. Couldn’t live without her, yes indeed!

It was the lie she needed, to fortify herself from the accusation of her mirrored reflection – resolutely ignoring the age in her eyes – a youth wasted away by a lie.

And as he glances at the clock once again, he grabs his clothes to leave – to go back to that other one, the one he promised to leave; but she won’t let him go, can’t give him up and won’t let him go.

She will cry, let him see what he’s doing to her, “I can’t take this anymore,” she tells him.

Hoping that he knows his cue, that he remembers the lines for this script – the same storyline repeated every time they part.

She holds her breathe and hopes he’ll say it because she can’t face the night alone without those words to comfort her.

Perhaps he is psychic but more likely it is his predatory instincts that make him sense the acuteness of her need.

And as he turns to leave, he looks her in the eye and tells the lie.

“I wish I didn’t have to go. Because it’s you I need you,” he says.

And like a rainbow exploding with blinding splashes of color, the happiness envelops her and she allows the lie to echo in her mind and shield her against the lonely space where his body lay.

It’s not the truth that she wants to hear – no. It is the lie.

The lie that he will come back a ‘free’ man; that they will build a future together and that she will very soon become the new “Mrs”.


31 thoughts on “…tell me the lie

  1. Geraldine says:

    Beautiful Delta, sometimes it’s having the strength to come out of the lie and perhaps find the truth

  2. dzulani ndou says:

    this is brillent gal, am loving it.

  3. Nomsa says:

    gees love your questions! m not of the answer though….well i dont know where that desperation comes from…especially when you know our lives revolve on people getting in n exiting at times…

  4. Mlevu says:

    Powerful piece. I hate to say may be I am one of those who would have been comfortable with lies, not even aware that ‘m comfortable with lies or that it is a lie at all. Love can blindfold a human being. Enlightening, thanks gal. Ths is wonderful a piece of article.

  5. Busie says:

    A moving piece Delta

  6. sharon says:

    You write honestly Delta. This is raw and deep. A realisation of our weaknesses that are also perceived as our strengths – the complexity that is a woman. As usual, captivating, thought provoking and beautiful to read.

    I like the ‘white’ lies or the ‘tender’ lies here and there myself. I prefer them to the harsh truth which I fear I will not be able to handle – but the harsh truth is known to me nevertheless. Ah to be a woman…and men complain that THEY cant get us – we dont even get ourselves half the time. lol

  7. Fred Matsheza says:

    brilliant piece, unfortunately you decided to look at it from the viewpoint of women…a lot of women are just as good at lying just as their opposite counterparts. I understand though, you are a woman, therefore you understand those circumstances better. But, at the same time, you decided to look at a man who lies to a woman that he will marry her when reality shows that it will never be. However, I would squarely put the blame on the woman who continues to chase a man whom she knows is married. You can not blame anyone if you try to break another woman’s marriage. Basically, the problem is between this ‘small house’ who is jealous of the legally married woman. It basically waters itself down to women being contributarily the co-authors of their pain and problems. I am not absolving men of anything, but what I am saying is that some of these problems are equally created by both sexes in most circumstances. Its just unfortunate, that in most circumstances the women usually suffer because they are quick to believe, the way some women cling to a men whom everyone knows is a jerk baffles me. I am beginning to believe that women use more of emotional feeling rather than rationality when it comes to love. Women make one of the most baffling decisions when it comes to love, rejecting all appeal to sense and forward-thinkingness. All they think is, ‘I will change him’ or ‘He loves me better than her’ where all available evidence points to the contrary. Can you blame the man for taking advantage of an immature woman who believes her delusions? Partly, yes. But in Law, the law does not protect stupid people. A reasonable woman weighs ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ and can actually foresee that this is actually a pipe dream. A reasonable is a balanced individual. A reasonable woman is mature. A reasonable woman can objectively listen to the advice of well-meaning friends and colleaugues. There are few of these now, and its sad!

  8. Liberty Bhebhe says:

    this is a brilliant piece. makes Interesting reading. quite emotional you could mistake it for being personal. It tells a story in a manner in which it makes it real before the eyes of the reader. though there could be two interpretations to the story. the first being the realisation that one can not continue to live a lie. but it also gives the picture of a woman who lacks the determination to fight which is characteristic of the modern day woman. the story gives a picture of a woman who has given in to her condition and prefers to hear the lies. that to me would be tragic

  9. Sharese says:

    Delta- you have done it again. Captivated me with your words. This post is powerful my friend. Where did this come from? I have been that woman clinging to the lie that he will leave her and be mine. I know, intimately, the half-life of a man- doing all you can to pretend it is the real full deal. Thank you for this post.

    In Sisterhood,


  10. Raisedon says:

    I will not say beautiful because you have heard this everytime you write. You have a way with words. But this is one of my best pieces.

    It reminded me of a song. I am not sure who sand it but had similar lines.

    “Lie, lie, lie to me. I would rather have you lie to me.
    I would have you tell me you love me.”

  11. T Mdzura says:

    Delta – I totally agree with the above, women are told what they want to hear. Every rational being should be able to tell whether a relationship is on the rocks or not. In the same vein one should be able to discern when a lie is told no matter how adroit the teller is at the art. Most women do but they mollify themselves by entertaining lies they believe are pacifying, though transiently. Men conveniently tell them what they what to hear. In fact these are not necessarily lies but convenient ways out. Keep telling it as it is Delta maybe women may desist from living in the world of make believe. Tell them continually that living a lie is shortsighted and short-lived. They should hear what a person has to say not what is melodious to their ears. The melody does not last, it is transitory.

  12. robin says:

    De, this is a tight piece. yes,we love to hear the lies and find amazing comfort when we hear them. its funny how we want to be told what we want to hear. but i guess its love that blinds us. this nonsense that we hear,”I love you but i was forced to marry this one”,”im planning on divorcing her and have u as my wife”. i feel sorry for us,we like the silliest of excuses. we have to wake up from this illusion that we are living in.

  13. Vickie Phiri says:

    Absolutely true…in fact i’ve never been so moved before by an article..maybe the modern woman is not as modern as we think??? omama bethu had the fighting spirit…yes we want to be told the lie…it sounds so much better than the truth doesn’t it? It makes the night bearable and the ego isn’t as bruised if you have something to say to everyone around you to hide your humuliation at being so stupid (for lack of a better word), and somehow like someone suffering from some sort of psychological disorder, defy the reality and believe that he really does love you and need more than the other one….Yeah right… It’s funny how words bring self-conflicting thoughts in one’s mind to life…

  14. paballo says:

    delta some woman are lazy to work hard and therefore assume this setup a better option(small house ) when they are told im married from the onset they seem to agree and make special arrangements for the relationship ,as time goes on this starts to change as they start to expect ,want ,need and demand attention and more of it. so now being told the truth hurts and it surely unplugs them from their comfort zone which they cant seem to leave. its quite unfortunate ,sad we have friends and relatives who do such or rather find themselves in such situations bt cant help bt watch and learn from their mistakes …

  15. dinizulumacaphulana@yahoo.com says:

    the truth is not so important, it is the sound of it or the appearance of it, a well believed lie is better than the truth
    it is not morality that matters but just a reputation for having it eve if it is not there is more important, the world is too dangerous a place for those who tell the truth, society itself is built in lies and pretences to the truth.

  16. tsitsi makwande masuka says:

    wonderful!captivating read!!

  17. Mainja says:

    Well, I adore your efforts at conscientizing women and making them wary to the perfidious nature of the men. However, i think a lot of men suffer emotionally as well a result of lies women tell. It is our desire to be men that engender stoic unemotional responses but deep down we feel the pain.

    I hate lies period! Be they from men or women! Lies do enervate our strength at loving and caring.

    Fredrick is right in some way

  18. Gugu says:

    i know i love the lie…i know it’s a lie, it just gives me enough time to get my s.it together and face the truth when i’m good and ready…good one x

  19. roberta says:

    well i cannot agree with you more, the lie is the only comfort some women get even if they know the truth. its easier to ignore reality and cushion oneself against the ugly truth with a lie. tis sad but well… its the lie. very thought provoking delta

  20. Sihle says:

    I have read your previous works but this piece , takes the number one prize. very well written. I hope there comes a time when someone does not seek validation from another party and realises that they are sufficient in themselves.I would endign to say that human emotions are very complicated and hence would ask’Is it always a lie’ or someone might really made a mistake but they cant correct it and simply want to keep having their cake and eating it?

  21. Sister sister. You have outdone yourself. This is superb! You capture it so well and conjure up scenes from one of my current favourite books – The Uncertainty of Hope by Valerie Tagwira.

    Enough respect. This is writing at its best. You have captured a situation and really made it your own.

  22. itsdelta says:

    Thanks guys…
    I think “tell me a lie” is a story about longing – about how we are most vulnerable when we love; about how it is so tempting to hold on to the illusion and how we beat ourselves up for wanting to believe in a dream we know will never come true.
    It’s just a story about how our hearts make us remain captives in a dead-end relationship and how our emotions keep us chained down to an untenable situation.
    “Tell me a lie” is not about being stupid, or foolish, or pathetic or misguided or even desperate – it’s just about being so deeply and helplessly and hopelessly in love.
    And we have all at some point loved someone in such a way — and dare I say; we have all at some point been loved in this way…
    In a way, I guess I’m saying it’s okay to love and get hurt….it’s okay because sometimes you can’t love without getting hurt.
    And I guess, the pain is always worth the love – it has to be.
    So “tell me the lie” because it’s all I want to keep alive the delusion of you and me…. because one day, inevitably – I will wake up ready and strong enough to let go.
    But for now, for this moment, for this season…while I gather my strength, while I gather my defenses, while I plan my next move… for now – tell me the lie because I don’t have the strength – yet – to stomach the truth.

  23. shoe says:

    The lie is kinder than the truth ignorance is bliss one too many women are living the lie but then again love is a fun creature-thought provoking as always

  24. T says:

    i wish all women could read this and know that it is ok. it is ok to know the truth even though it is hidden in a lie. it is ok, as long as you know its a lie. it is ok, as long as you plan your next move and don’t live the lie forever..

  25. Amie says:

    Lets share with other women because this will greatly help…

    My eeee woman eh blogger u’ve done it again… well captivated!

  26. mercy says:

    same script different cast

    the story of every woman

    like Delta says we have all loved loved someone in such a way

    smone said one man’s kitchen is another man’s toilet.

    sad but true

  27. Mukoma says:

    Its not as much about the lie Delta, as it is about poverty. I believe if girls were financially independent, including married women, they would tell men off and leave them. But because they are financially dependent on the man, both and the wife and the small house continue in this lie.

    But not all men lie. Years ago I attempted an affair out of curiosity and peer pressure. I told the young lady I was married and had no intention of leaving the Mrs. She was OK with it and even helped me lie to the Mrs so i could spend time with her. My verdict was she just wanted to have some fun with someone that could afford spoiling her. It Went on for a while but it never made me happy. I felt so guilty and could not live with my consience that i ended the affair. I have been a faithful husband for 5 years at least.

  28. Khanyile Joseph Mlotshwa says:

    This is a result of inferiority complex where a woman believes that once she is in a relationship with a man, then that is an achievement. Once some girl or some other woman comes along, they are seen as a threat to their achievement and investment. I believe the generality of women have to be empowered, both in material and psychological terms, so that they understand that they can live without men, they don’t need men if they will be cheating on them, worse with school girls…You will be surprised Delta to learn that this also affects educated women as well as the illiterate…I always feel that this is feminism’s greatest challenge, to reach out at the generality of women and make them understand that going into relationships with men must be on equality basis and if one party betrays the arrangement (relationship) so be it…They don’t need to feel as if the world has ended…

  29. There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think you made some good points in Features also.
    Keep working ,great job!

  30. judi says:

    this is brilliant De and I can’t help but wonder if its a little too personal. Either way its quite interesting to read as it reflects everyday life situations people find themselves in. Maybe its time you come up with a short story

  31. emmie manala says:

    quite a piece….

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