Think What I Want (The Power of Lying)

“What happened Cynthia?”

“Tommy broke the swing. He jumped up and down, round and round, up and down, round and round, till it broke.”

Mummy’s green eyes went black. She’s looking through me again.

“Cynthia, are you lying to me?”  Mummy’s voice was in my head.

Think nothing, say nothing, Mummy can’t hear me anyways. What about Tommy? I thought.

Then Tommy jumped on her. Squealing, clawing and grabbing. Mummy picked him up. See, that’s why he cries.

“Tommy does jump up and down on the swing so.” Mummy’s lips weren’t moving.

If Mummy can think at me, I can think back at her. “’Tommy broke the swing. Before.’” I thought. “Tommy broke the swing.”

“Daddy can put the seat back on. Or put the spare one on. Or it’s really broken now. Daddy will know,” Mummy spoke.

Who cares anyways about the swing anymore? Mummy can do whatever I want. Mummy and Tommy went into the house. I had the swing to myself.

That night, I was too busy beating Josie at touch the table, to remember anything. And I grabbed the tablecloth without her seeing me.

Luckily I got back to the big rug in time.

Daddy nearly fell out of his chair. All his papers fell onto the floor too! They got so wet that when Daddy picked them up, he got splashed. So funny!
Till Daddy yelled. I stopped laughing then.
Daddy ran. He tipped the chair over. The kitchen door banged. He yelled at Mummy. Then the door shut.
I can’t say what he said. It’s not allowed.

“I’ll take care of it,” he said. I didn’t hear anything after that.

Josie and I kept playing with our dolls. Daddy came out. He picked up the broken glass. He put towels down. He had one on his hand.

The kitchen door banged again. His hand really hurt. He was worried. He said something about “Tet ness.” I don’t know what that is. But it sure thought scary.

“I’ll take care of it, Carolyn,” I heard him say, “I’ll find out who did it.” I couldn’t hear anything after that. 

Then above me stood Daddy. He was so tall. Staring at me. Staring at Josie. He had the good tea towel too. Wrapped around his hand. Red, wet and dripping.

Think nothing, I thought. Daddy can’t hear me.

I kept playing with my dolls.

“Did you knock the glass off the table?”

“No Daddy. I’ve been playing with my dolls. See this is my special one. Isn’t she beautiful?” Josie held up her yukkiest doll.

“Maybe Josie is lying,” Daddy spoke in my head. I thought at him, “Josie is lying.”

“For the last time, Josie. Did you knock the glass off the table?”

I thought at Josie. “Say yes, say yes, say yes.”

“No Daddy.”

“Cynthia. Were you playing chasings, too?”

“Yes Daddy,” I said.

“Did you break the glass off the table?”

“No Daddy,” I said. Anyways, the glass broke on the floor. Not the table.

Daddy thought, “I have to get back to work.”

I can’t tell you what he thought. Too many long words.

“Before the glass fell, I heard footsteps. ” Daddy thought,. “But whose?”

I thought the sound of Josie’s footsteps at him.

“Josie! You, you, you, knocked the glass off the table, didn’t you?”

I thought even harder at Josie, “Say yes, say yes, say yes.”

“I didn’t see the glass.”

“Josie. You need to be more careful. Cynthia too. Both of you.”

Daddy shrugged. He wound the towel around his hand. He went into the lounge room. I heard the TV.

“Cynthia, you heard Daddy, no more running in the house,” Josie said. I thought at Josie, “Stop being so bossy.” Josie made a face.

Josie said, “You cheated at touch the table. You broke the glass. You lied to Daddy. I’m not playing with you. Ever.“ Her lips weren’t moving.

I looked up. I’m on the other side of the big rug. With my dolls. Away from Josie.

I got mad. I thought, I’ll think back at you. I tried so hard. I only got madder. Josie still played with her doll. That nice pretty doll.  I wasn’t mad at Josie anymore.

Mummy came out of the kitchen. She looked at me. She looked at Josie.  The TV got louder. Mummy shut the door.

I  heard them thinking about what’s on the TV. I can’t say what they saw. It’s not allowed.

“Cynthia ran past you.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Alex. You can’t keep an eye on them for even a second can you?”

“Carolyn, Josie broke the glass. She said so.”

“Cynthia broke the glass. And you know what Josie’s like, she always takes the blame.”

“Carolyn, what are you talking about? I heard Josie’s footsteps.”

“Didn’t you see Cynthia trip? She nearly fell. Till she grabbed the tablecloth!”

“Carolyn. You weren’t there. You didn’t see what happened,”

Mummy was in the kitchen. With the door shut.

“You knew.”

“Of course I knew.”

“You didn’t see what Cynthia did to Tommy on the swing, did you?” Daddy thought. I drew close to the door.

“Don’t you, don’t you start that.”

“What?”

“Change the subject on me.”

“Don’t get mad at me. I know what I saw.” Daddy was so loud.

“She said Tommy broke the swing.”

“Carolyn. Cynthia broke the swing. She twisted the seat up and down. Unhooked it. Dumped Tommy off.”  Tommy was asleep now.

“Why didn’t you tell me?” My head ached.

“Carolyn. I am telling you. Now. Here. Right Now. Okay.”

“She said Tommy broke the swing.” I ran back to the big rug.

“Cynthia said it? Or did she think it?”

“Cynthia said it. I thought she did. It shouldn’t happen until she’s much older.” Mummy thought.

Then my head went silent. I can’t think what I want anymore.

 

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