Archived: Merely Lies by Loren McAllister

“I barely even know the woman! How would I know where she is?”

I never thought in a million years I would be sitting in an interrogation room. Surprisingly, it looked exactly like those rooms you see on Criminal Minds. It was musky and dark with grey walls, one long white table, and an extremely bright, ever so annoying, yellow florescent light. I feel like they would get people to talk more if they decorated. Hell, even a fake plant might help.  If it wasn’t bad enough that two uniformed officers showed up at my home at six this morning demanding to talk to me, now I’m sitting in this freezing cold dungeon being asked the same questions over and over.

“Ben has already told us your history with Miranda, Shyla.” The older lady with the tight brown bun that went with her uptight personality smirked. I knew Miranda was missing, and frankly I didn’t care.

I’ve never liked Miranda, but I also catch spiders in my house and take them back outside to roam free. That doesn’t exactly fit the stereotype of vicious serial killer in my opinion. “Look, she was obsessed with my husband. They used to work together and went out one night for drinks with the whole company; afterwards she wouldn’t leave him alone. Maybe she finally got the hint and left town to go pursue someone else’s husband.” I sneered.

“Or maybe you wanted to get rid of her because she was a threat to your marriage.”

This woman was taking things way too far. I squinted at her nametag. “Rebecca, is it? First off, she wasn’t a threat to my marriage, and second, I’m not answering any more of your questions without a lawyer present,” I replied.

The man looked a bit more relaxed as he spoke. “Shyla, we aren’t accusing you of anything. We just want to know the last time you saw her and if you know anything about the relationship between her and Ben when they worked together.”  My chest tightened as they stared at me waiting for an explanation. My focus reverted to the plain grey wall behind them.

Can anyone honestly say they are completely, one-hundred percent happy in their marriage?

Can anyone honestly say they are completely, one-hundred percent happy in their marriage?  In the beginning, it’s all roses, kisses, and compliments. They don’t call it the “honeymoon stage” for no reason. You put on an act for each other in fear that if you let a piece of the real you slip out, they’ll pack their bags and run for the hills. You act like that perfect housewife that cooks and cleans because you love to please your husband, and in the beginning, you don’t mind because you love seeing the grin on his perfectly chiseled face when he walks through the door. He wraps you in his arms and asks how he got so lucky to find a woman as perfect and as beautiful as you. It’s true though; he believes he’s found the perfect wife to complement his perfect 9 to 5 job. The best part of marriage you ask? Well, that would have to be the inside jokes, those moments when you are out at a fancy dinner and all it takes is one image, or one word, and the two of you glance at each other and start laughing that deep belly laugh that makes your stomach hurt, but in a good way.  I know all about it because I have been married to my husband Ben for three years. It’s been three whole years of commitment, and three years of sacrifice.

We’re told that in movies and books that once you find the perfect man you get married, have a family, and live happily ever after. What they don’t explain to you is how hard marriage is. They don’t tell you how much sacrifice and how many forced smiles go into being the perfect wife.

August 20th, 2012

“Hurry up Shyla!” Addie whined. In the whole 17 years that I’ve known Addie, patience has never been her specialty. I met Addie at the car and noticed immediately how my dirty blonde hair and grey eyes were dull compared to her bright blue eyes and golden locks. She was tall with the perfect body, and my body was somewhere in between try harder and why bother. It was my 24th birthday and Addie had insisted we go downtown and drink until we fall over. I’m not one that likes going out, but once Addie gets excited about something there’s no stopping her.

I tried my best to look good tonight. I must admit my makeup looked perfect and the sky-blue halter top that Addie bought me complimented my figure.  

“You look amazing!” Addie squealed as I approached her white jeep. “Are you ready for a night that’s going to go down in history?”

I put on my best smile and may have stretched the truth as I rambled on about how much fun we were going to have. What seemed like 5 minutes later we were parked directly in front of a neon sign that read “Moose Bar”.  It was a Friday night so there were quite a bit of people already crowding by the entrance. I hadn’t even taken a sip of alcohol and I already felt like I was going to be sick. I had no problem with bars, but they are not a safe haven for introverts. If MTV gave out an award for most socially awkward, the award would surely go to me.  

“Relax Shyla. It’s going to be fun.”

We pushed past a large group of people smoking cigarettes trying not to bump into anyone causing them to spill their drink. We reached the bar stools and as always, Addie was her calm and social self.

“I’ll take whiskey and coke and give my friend here something extra strong. Tonight’s her birthday!”

“Did I hear it was someone’s birthday?” I abruptly turned around at the sound of the unfamiliar voice and came face to face with the most handsome man I had ever seen. He was tall and fair with deep set eyes that were as blue as the ocean. In a confident voice, he looked directly in my eyes.

“I’m Ben, and who might you be?” He reached out to take my hand. I sensed there was something off by the look in his eye, but I was mesmerized.

“Shyla Merely,” I smiled and put my hand in his.






This was the first piece I presented the class with during work shopping for Fall semester. It is a part of a novel that I am currently working on.