It’s set vaguely in 2014, around February but you really don’t need to know much more than the general history of Elizabeth to get it.
This is a weird little ficlet I wrote in response to prompt from a writing book. You had to write one section beginning with this line: This is what she wants most in the world. and then the second beginning with: She is lying. This is what she wants most in the world. So it just seemed like the thing to do when I came home from vacation.
This is what she wants most in the world. She dreams of a second chance to tell the truth. Not one truth in particular, but any truth. All the times when she believed a lie was easier, all the times she tried to protect the people around her with false words…she knows now that the truth will always out.
She lied to protect herself when Lucky chose to go to the dance with her sister, to show she didn’t mind that she was always a consolation prize. She lied every time people asked her if she was doing okay when Lucky died, because they always looked so concerned and even if they knew she was dying inside, what could they do? They couldn’t bring him back, they couldn’t take it away. The lie was easier. Except she very nearly drowned in her lies. She lied without words every time Lucky kissed her and she wished for even the briefest of moments that he was someone else. She lied when she slept with Zander, lied to herself, to him, to Jason. She lied to herself that it meant something, because it had to mean something. She didn’t sleep around, that wasn’t who she was. She lied to Zander, led him to think there was something there that just never was. She lied to Jason, because she didn’t really care what he did to Zander, not really. Not in the scheme of things, not if it meant he would always look through her that way, without looking at her.
It’s almost pathological, a natural instinct to open her mouth and let lies fall from her lips. She lied every time she said she believed Ric, every time she said she trusted him and loved him. Because if she didn’t, she’d be alone, and she was terrified of being alone. She lied to Lucky every time she promised him she loved him best when they both knew they were both just settling. Neither had been happy in love since those halycon days before he died. That boy, her first love, had never returned, so neither had their love and they both knew it. They pretended otherwise, because it was easier to lie to each other and be together, than tell the truth and be alone.
She lied when she told Jason it could only be for one night. She wanted him to argue it, to pursue her, she always wanted him to fight for her, but no one ever did. Only Ric, and that wasn’t helpful. She didn’t want Ric to pursue her, but he was the only one who ever seemed to understand it’s not enough to say words, but follow through. Too bad his love almost killed her.
She lied every time she looked at Lucky told herself she would stick by him until the very end because she loved him, instead of the truth: She’d stick by him because there was nowhere else to go and he’d never abandoned that bleeding broken girl who’d crawled out from the snow. She lied when she turned down Jason’s marriage proposals and wished she’d accepted one of the first two because the third answer had been her honest one, and see there was the reward for telling the truth—nothing. Better to lie.
She lied when she promised she had finally accepted that they could never be together, that his life was too dangerous for a family, but that’s okay because Jason lied, too. He never loved her, she knows this now, because if he’d loved her and meant those words, he never would have had a family with the woman who had tried so very hard to destroy Elizabeth’s. She lied when she told Lucky they had a clean slate, because clean slates were imaginary. The hurt and anger would always be between them.
She lied every time she laid with Nikolas, because it was just another way to lie to herself, to maybe even destroy herself. She lied when she said she didn’t want Lucky to know, because wasn’t that the whole reason she did it? To finally shatter the permanent lock, to do something to drive him so far away from her, he’d never come back?
She lied to herself that she could get on with her life after the death of her little boy, but that was one lie she thought everyone could understand. She still woke in the mornings, took care of her other children, but the light was gone and nothing she could do would ever get it back. She lied when she chose between AJ and Nikolas because the truth was that she had tried very hard to care about them both, but her capacity for love was gone, and all that was left was the pretense.
She lied when she told Robin that she loved Nikolas because it seemed like the thing to say, and she thought Nikolas would leave Britt, to get away from her and her lies because she knew how poisonous a liar could be, just look at her life. All she’d ever done was lie, and all she had to show for it was three kids from three fathers, one of them had died because she couldn’t pay attention, none of the fathers were around, they couldn’t wait to run from her. She was a poisonous liar that didn’t deserve to be happy, which is why she could see it in Britt. Liars always recognize their own.
She lied because the lie was easier in the moment, but the truth would have been better in the long term and that’s the one inheritance from Lizzie Webber, the bitch she’d been before her world was shattered that night in the park, because Lizzie never thought in long-term, never thought about the future. The future couldn’t choke you the way today could. Better get through today, and let tomorrow take care of itself. Because some days it was all she could do get through today.
This is what she wants most in the world. To tell the truth.
She is lying. Again. This is what she wants most in the world. For someone to love her anyway, to understand that she might lie, but it’s instinct because telling the truth has never rewarded her. She’d been honest in her love for Lucky once, and he’d been torn from her. She’d been honest in her friendship with Jason, and he’d left her. She’d been honest with Jason that night in the penthouse, that she wanted to be with him, and he’d disappeared. She had been honest in wanting a life with him and family, but then he’d married another woman. What did honesty get you? No place better than the lie.
So this is what she really wants most in the world. For someone to love her for who she is. Lies and all.