#15. Because We Are So Much Better (Than Whatever This Is)

Was it the truth? I don’t know anymore.

When someone whispered a lie into your ears constantly, day and night, you would grow to believe in it. Does believing in the lie automatically turn it into some truths? I don’t know anymore. To me, at best, Nha’s lie sort of looked like a distorted truth from a far-enough distance. Kind of like appreciating Picasso’s paintings: Looking from afar, they are arts, ain’t they?

That was what Nha cooed into my ears every night since the day of the bomb. Each time I jerked awake in the night, writhing and floundering in the stoned-cold darkness, drowning myself in a lake of the death full of landmine, he would cooed sweetly into my ears. And in a blink of an eye, I would blindly believe him like a child tempted by the shiny lights decorating the department stores in the main district when Tet came.

But like those beautiful lights that people quickly discard after the tenth day of the Lunar New Year, Nha’s truthful lie went off when the night came. It always did.

“Because you are so much better than all of this. We are so much better than all of this. Whatever it is, we are so much better.”

“And will we be cruising over it?” I asked him, not believing in him. Not believing in anything. Not believing in life itself.

“Yes. Yes. Yes. We will be over it. Be it riding a motorbike or walking on these calloused feet, we will be cruising over it.”

And I thought to myself, How strange. Why am I so willingly and blindingly believe in him? I thought of the moment the light went out on the tenth day of Lunar New Year and unconsciously, I grasped onto Nha’s muscular arm the way a drowning person grasped onto thin air: Hopeless and desperate.

Perhaps this time, instead of hanging myself onto a loose rope, I had decided to hang myself on something frailer. Something like love. Because we were so much better than all of this mess, whatever it is.


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