When I told her everything, so did she, and it turns out she'd been lying. Not about everything, but about just enough. She couldn't be trusted anymore. And she knew everything. I couldn't stay. So I left. I sold everything I didn't need, I packed my bags, and I bought a bus ticket to Chicago under a false name.

And I decided that nothing that I said or did would be honest from that point on.

I kept my emotions to myself, only displaying those that fit the situation. Anyone that I cared for would never know about it, but anyone that was useful to me was certain that my devotion to them was real, and that I was genuinely happy when they were around. The girl I've been dating thinks that we are in love. She has no reason to suspect otherwise, of course. We've exchanged secrets--though none of mine were even remotely real.

I laugh at her jokes. I smile when she is present. I tell her that I will always be there. And when we argue she uses the secrets she thinks she knows against me, and I pretend that I am mortally offended.

Except lately I think I've actually started feeling what I pretend to feel. When she uses my imagined past against me I find myself offended that she should think to use these dark secrets as weapons against me. Does my imagined self deserve no privacy?

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