30th August, 2016 Writers

We're all liars. Yes, we are. Don't be too quick to prove how truthful you are just yet. You'll have all the time in the world to do so later.

How are you? That's the question that follows after we exchange greetings and throw in a couple of clich├ęd compliments. The reply is usually the same; 'I'm fine and you?' and suddenly a sweet smile appears on faces conversing while another lie is birthed; 'I'm equally fine'. 

We talk about everything happening around us but never about what happens on the inside. We would rather bury the emptiness we feel on the inside than share with anyone. We strangle ourselves with sorrowful thoughts, cry funeral tears at night while burying our heads in what seems to be a pillow but in reality, its a grave. The fear of what someone would think of us if we eventually opened up has imprisoned us without an option of bail. Lies have become a norm to adhere to; a trend to follow so when he says 'how are you?',she replies with an assuring 'I'm fine', life goes on but are you really fine? Is the smile on your face real or just the mask you wear before you leave the mirror. Do you mean your reply or just act out of courtesy?

Its never easy to open up yourself like a book for people to read; not everyone would understand what happens in every chapter. There's a possibility of you being judged, misinterpreted or even blackmailed but the truth is this; from the moment you were born, you began to write the story of your life and just like every story ever written, there's always more than one character. People are brought into your life for several reasons at different times. Some come as friends that stick closer than a brother, some come as teachers to teach you how to deal with life, others come as acquaintances. There is always someone brought into your life to hold your hands when you're weak, dry your eyes when you cry, sit beside you when you have your thinking cap on, jump on the bed with you when you're feeling crazy, sing lazy songs with you, go through your year book with you and constantly ask that one question that throws you off balance; not for fun but for real.

Hiding under the guise of being a 'I've got it all in control' super human does more harm than good cause in reality we stack up files of hurts and pains, sow seeds of depression, lose track of who we are and finally opt for sedatives to help us sleep over them. The earlier we put away the mask of 'I'm fine' when willing ears, helping hearts and caring hearts pop the question, the better for us, at least that will drastically reduce the number of suicides recorded on a daily basis.

So,next time someone cares enough to ask how you are, skip the cover ups, look the mask in the face and scream 'no more lies!'. Offer that person a sit, keep a towel beside you;you'll need it. Look right into his eyes, look beyond the surprise on his face, take a deep breathe, tell him to repeat himself again, take another deep breathe, let the tears roll if they want to, stammer if you need to, tell him you're not fine, let it all out, take a glass of water, dry your eyes and have a good sleep. Tell the truth for the first time in your life.

Abuja, Nigeria
  • Everyone hides behind a mask at some point in life. What if you chose to be different?

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