Layers of Lies
The events with Big Liar lasted intermittently over the course of about two years. Alcohol had to be the only reason I fell into his trap, because now that I’m sober, I couldn’t tolerate it for a single second.
Anyone that met Big Liar, especially women, agreed he’s charming and young at heart. He towers over most women with his height, staring down at them with his big blue eyes, and melting hearts with his smile. Also, because of his alcoholism, he’s slightly aged and a little rough – a trait that, oddly, some women prefer (not me).
I don’t remember what Big Liar did that prompted his ex, but I received a Facebook message asking if we were both dealing with the same habitual liar. I told her everything I knew, some of which confirmed her suspicions. Lies on top of other lies – layers and layers of lies! He told her one thing, told me another. He told her she’s the only woman in his life, and he wanted his family back together, but a week prior he was at my house saying it wasn’t working out. Told her I was his lesbian friend down the street. She found my bra at his house; he said he dug the bra out of the river when he was fishing. Laughable! Speaking to his ex made everything fall into place. This time, my own suspicions were validated. It was her car at his house when he told me it was his mother’s. Once, he gave me a story about another neighbor knocking on his door at night, attempting to seduce him, but all of his stories involved women seducing him. When I relayed the story to his ex, we laughed together, because there were things he made up about her as well. Every story was Big Liar’s fantasy, but in his wet brain, it was real.
How anyone in real life could entangle themselves in so many lies, ones that hurt other people for his own selfish reasons, was unbelievable. This would be the last of having anything more than a neighborly friendship with Big Liar. There would be no more hanging out or making out. Now that his ex and I were friends, it was all over for him.
The thing is – I knew better, because he did this to me before – and that made me a dumbass. This time, I really was over him; I had been, but had a weak moment the last time. Even after cutting him off, Big Liar showed up at my house, drunk on his bicycle. He could barely stand up, the alcohol on his breath could start a fire. I told him I had to teach in the morning and sent him on his way. There was no room in my life for Big Liar’s drama, because I dealt with it all day at work.
Big Liar’s ex knew a lot more about his alcohol problem than me. I told her what I knew about his hiding bottles and stashing cans in various places around the house. About him telling me that when he can’t sleep, he gets up in the middle of the night to drink a beer. We both knew about him crashing things, his general carelessness that alcoholics commonly display, and, of course, his three DUIs. She told me how he’s peed the bed. Once, he showed up at my house with cuts on his face; he ran his boat into a mile marker one night, flying through the windshield. Another time, he showed up with a black eye from passing out at the courthouse. Sometimes he was so drunk, he couldn’t even ride his bicycle.
Several months later, a hurricane hit our area, knocking out power for days. Since Big Liar evacuated, he contacted me about damage in our neighborhood. Later that week, he was arrested for breaking into his ex’s home and threatening her male friend. I contacted her as soon as I saw Big Liar’s mugshot, because I knew her story would be what actually happened, and his would be another pile of bullshit.
Her version: Big Liar went to her home drunk and uninvited, walked straight into her house while her friend was fixing something, accused them of fucking, causing a scene. Before he left, he threatened to come back with a rifle.
His version: Everything is everyone else’s fault, he did nothing wrong; it was a misunderstanding. Now his legal issues tripled, and he has to straighten it out. He’s sure his ex will drop the charges.
About two weeks later, Big Liar called me around eight o’clock on a Sunday evening. He sounded different.
“Are you okay? What’s going on?” I asked.
“I’m okay. I just wanted to tell you I love you.”
“Huh?” I chuckled. This wasn’t his usual drunk talk. He was never emotional or expressed feelings, and he definitely wouldn’t say I love you to me.
“How much have you had to drink? Are you sure you dialed the right number?”
“I’m not drunk,” another lie. “Yes, I really do love you, Susanna. I just wanted to tell you that. I need to tell you that.”
“Okay?” I didn’t know what to say. He sounded different, but he sounded sincere. It was strange, but I chalked it down to his drinking. We chatted briefly before hanging up.
The following day, I texted Big Liar with information; he replied with short messages. This was business related, so I needed his confirmation. I texted again and heard nothing. That was not unusual at all; he often let his phone die or ignored his messages unless he wanted something. Sometimes, if he went AWOL, I walked to his house to check on him (as long as no other vehicles were in the driveway). But that day, I could barely walk from an intense workout I did the day prior (it was bad). I texted Big Liar again the next day, a Tuesday. I was annoyed, because this was business-related, and I needed him to get back to me. Still nothing.
The last text I sent said: Did you fall off the planet? Still nothing. Whatever!
My phone rang on Thursday while I was cooking lunch. It was my friend since elementary school, asking if I heard the news.
“About Big Liar.”
My heart sank. Oh my god, I thought, did he hurt his ex and the baby? Oh, my god! What did he do??!!
“No! What! What’s going on?!!”
“What!!!” My phone almost hit the pan, thoughts going back to Sunday night’s phone call. A story of him doing something to his ex ran through my mind. Another narrative of him drinking and driving and killing others along with himself. And the worst – the possibility he took his own life.
“He’s dead. His friend didn’t hear from him. They found him Tuesday afternoon.”
“Oh, my god! I can’t believe this! No wonder he hasn’t returned my calls or texts!” I relayed to her the story of Big Liar’s phone call Sunday night. “Do they know anything? He didn’t kill himself, did he?” I hoped she said no.
“Susanna, they think he killed himself by the way they found him.”
My heart sank deeper.
How did I not know about this? I live 500 feet away! Was I one of the last people he talked to? How was he found? What friend found him? What did he do?
Immediately, I contacted Big Liar’s ex.
“Is it true?” I asked.
“Yes, I’m afraid it is.”
We both had so many questions, but she had better answers than the ones my friend received from the rumor mill. They didn’t know the cause of death. They didn’t know if he overdosed or died of natural causes, and they wouldn’t know until after the autopsy.
It took six months for the real answers.