Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Origami Lie - A Shame Story

“Look I made origami,” my friend says gesturing to the crappily formed crane sitting on her desk formed from a useless worksheet. “Yea cool,” my sixth grade self says. But the word “origami” sets off something in my head and stomach. I can feel the uneasiness start to churn my stomach and a wave of embarrassment crash over me. I am sickened by the memory of what transpired five years ago and am left thinking of myself as a six year old girl caught in a lie with white hot tears streaming down her face.

After dinner my brother and I sat down on the living room floor and opened up the origami for kids set our parents’ guests had brought over as a gift. It had vibrant red and orange papers all cut the right size and a book with instructions tucked inside the newly opened box.  My parents and my dad’s old friend and his son still sat at the dining room table talking about grown up topics and sipping their wine. My small hands grabbed the model crane sitting perfectly in the box and my tiny eyes began to inspect it. When my big brother looked up from reading the instruction book he saw the perfectly formed crane sitting in my hands. “Woah did you just do that?” he said. “O yep, I just did it,” I said trying to be cool and sarcastic. I guess I did not have the art of sarcasm down yet because he actually believed me for a moment. And in that small moment of incredulous belief that he had, I decided to keep my story going. “What? You did? There’s no way you could have done that!” “Yea I just did it right now you didn’t see me?” I asked, a smirk forming under my cool veneer. “No you didn’t!” he exclaimed. “Yes I did!” I shouted back. The more my brother pushed the harder I pushed back. He ran to the dining room table and told everyone what I had said I had made. My mother scooped me up as the boys went down to the basement to watch the football game. “Now, did you really make that?” my mom asked me. I answered her with a quiver in my voice and said, “yes I did.” My mother’s reply was a knowing look that caused me to burst into tears. “No I didn’t! I’m sorry mommy!” I exclaimed. Snot and tears flowed from my face as I cried into her sleeve. “I knew it!” my brother said excitedly, running down stairs to tell the guys. I jumped off my mom’s lap and ran after my brother. “Don’t tell them!” I pleaded with him but he bolted down the stairs and shouted proudly that he was right and that I had lied. The overwhelming feeling of embarrassment and shame that I felt in that moment was the most I would ever feel in my life. I cried some more as my mom comforted me and softly warned me to not lie again. 

Plagued by the origami lie memory, my sixth grade self can do nothing but sit there and act like the guilt is not still haunting her.

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