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LK Hunsaker

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The Truth Is
By LK Hunsaker
Tuesday, September 19, 2006

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Flash fiction

“What you read in the paper was a lie.”

Letting the old newspaper, yellowed with age and frayed at its edges, fall to my lap, I stayed silent, watching mother’s face. There was extra moisture making her sad eyes sparkle in a betraying way.

Looking beyond me, maybe to somewhere she could still see my father, Mother sighed, a heavy sigh full of lonliness. Father left us when I was still only a child, and I adored him. The old paper I found in his belongings suggested I shouldn’t.

“I suppose no one cared about the truth of things back then. Maybe they still don’t care about the truth of things. Truth doesn’t sell unless it’s a horrendous truth.” Mother continued to look into her past while speaking in a near whisper.

“The truth is that your father was more devoted to me than he had a right to be. He was overly devoted, if there is such a thing. He flirted, yes. It was part of his job. They liked to talk about it in the papers. They liked to make it more than it was.” A single tear streamed down Mother’s cheek.

“The truth is that your father was more devoted to you than most of those men condemning him likely are to their own children. Maybe it made them see guilt in themselves. Maybe it was their way of getting even. It’s all such a horrible thing to do to the memory of such a good man. And no one on earth, other than those of us who knew him, seem to care.”

I stood, going to Mother to wrap my trembling arms around her. “I care. And I will make others care. I will write the truth.”

My autobiography found its first words that evening.

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