Truth Over Cookies, then Choose Friends

Yngrid - huntsville, Alabama
Entered on November 4, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: integrity

My mother always told me it was always good to say the truth even if you felt ashamed of saying it in front of others. She said, “Life is all about truth and therefore trust, even if you lie, the truth will always come out.” She is right, every time I have lied for any reason sooner or later the truth would always come out even if it was one of those really serious lies that are difficult to get rid of, or the white lies that are always around. But, what happens when you are in those difficult situations when you cannot say the truth because otherwise you would hurt somebody’s feelings, or you would disappoint somebody. It is in that moment when you freak out and think of saying anything else but the truth and uncontrollably you start telling a lie.

One of these uncomfortable situations happened to me. It was a Wednesday afternoon, 3:45 to be exact. I had just finished with all my classes and went back to the dorms. I hadn’t eaten lunch that day and I was so hungry that I would have eaten anything but when I got home, I looked in the fridge and there was only meat and salad, the same old stuff from everyday so I took a look at my roommate’s cupboard; I found something sweet and tasty, cookies. I was so tempted that I thought she wasn’t going to realize one of the cookies would be missing so I took it and ate it. While I was eating it I started thinking about the possibility of her finding out and becoming upset but I just didn’t do anything, I had already eaten it. After 30 minutes somebody knocked on my door, it was her. In that moment the cookie came to my head, and I was 99% sure she knew it was missing so I just opened the door and without saying hi or anything she asked me the question I didn’t wanted to hear, “Did you eat one of my cookies,” and I, without hesitating was prepared to lie so I said, “no I didn’t” but the way I said it surprised me. I was so secure and confident about my lie that I believed it. In that moment I couldn’t have said “ups … you know I just remembered I did, sorry.” I wish I could have done that. It was pretty obvious that I had been the only suspect who could have eaten that cookie since our other roommate wasn’t there all day. That was the most difficult situation I have ever been in so far in my life; in that moment I knew she knew I was lying and I also felt her disappointment. I had never lied to her, which was the reason we became friends and decided to be roommates. Later that evening she left to go to her boyfriend’s house and I stayed alone in the room. I couldn’t sleep that night. I couldn’t stop thinking about how silly I was. I was trying to think how to make it up when suddenly an image of my mother came to my head. I remembered all the things she told me about the truth so I called her and told her everything.

She encouraged me to face my roommate and say sorry, explain to her what had happened, and the reason why I had lied in that way.

After that phone call I was even more petrified, I didn’t have the guts to confront her, to look into her in the eyes and say: “yes I lied, I was the one who ate that cookie and I am so sorry.”

After that day, she wouldn’t speak to me or look at me. She was totally avoiding me. As the days past, contemplating how I was going to say sorry were the worst because it was so uncomfortable to live with someone that doesn’t want you around. I felt lonely and as if I had no friends.

I couldn’t take it anymore, so the next day I went to her room and apologized, explaining to her what happened, and the reasons why I had lied. At that moment I felt so relieved; I felt as if I had taken all the lies off my back. She laughed and said, “It’s fine, it is just food” but It wasn’t fine because what upset her was the fact that I had lied. In the end she forgave me.

I believe that the only way to obtain a person’s trust is by saying the truth. Being honest will always take you in the right path. This is what I have learned so far and I am sure that I won’t get hit with the same stone again.