This is a #TBT. Originally Published October of 2010.

Writers and Other Liars

By Deb Carpenter-Nolting

pencilsI was five, and I knew how to write.

I stood in the living room, fondling two new red pencils.

“There should be one pencil for everyone. Did you take an extra pencil?” my mother called from the kitchen.

“No, I just have one,” I answered, as I quickly hid the other one behind my back.

When she entered the living room, I extended the one pencil for her inspection, while keeping the other behind my back.

“Are you lying to me?”

“No, Mommy.”

“I know you are lying,” she said in a hurt voice, taking the culprit hand from its hiding. The evidence was right there, a second red pencil clutched in my naughty writer’s hand. Her voice sounded different. I caught the disappointment in it.

The pencil wasn’t an expensive item. It wasn’t so important that I had taken an extra one. The issue was I had knowingly lied. I felt so guilty that I disappointed my mom, the truest and best person I’d ever known.

I’ve tried very hard to never lie again, and for the most part I’ve succeeded, but there’s just something about a shiny new red pencil that still beckons me to lick the lead and be wicked.