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Monday, April 04, 2011
About a week later, I was walking in to my social studies class when my bestfriend, Tracy, whispered to me that she had heard a rumour that I had slept with M (by then, my new boyfriend) during the party. Everyone was talking about it, and apparently it was thanks to M that the rumour had started.
This was ridiculous for a couple of reasons: a) the party was held in a small, probably two bedroom house, with every room completely jam-packed with people. (Where exactly was this supposed to have taken place?); and b) I just wasn't that kind of girl, thank-you-very-much.
I was livid. There is nothing worse than when people spread outright lies about you. So I did what any self-respecting girl should do in the same situation: I decided to confront him in the school yard and out him for his untruths in front of everyone so all and sundry would know the rumour wasn't true.
By this stage, the word had spread through the whole Year 10 class, and everyone knew that I was not-happy-Jan, and on my way to give M a piece of my mind. By the time I located M just metres from the school hall, I had quite a number of my peers following me, with many of the girls encouraging me to, "Let it rip," on M. In fact, many of the boys were doing the same.
I stood in front of M, hands on hips - my newly acquired entourage behind me - and M looked just like a deer caught in headlights. I asked him, loudly - so everyone could hear - why he had told people that I had slept with him? He denied saying it at all. I didn't believe him, and becoming even more irritated by the second at his blatant dishonesty (after all - how could so many people be wrong?), I instinctively lifted my hand and swung it clear across his cheek with a SLAP!
Everyone behind me, rather vocal up to that point, suddenly went quiet - apart from the collective GASP that escaped their lips simultaneously as my hand met M's cheek.
I turned, stormed off, declaring it, "OVER!" and took myself off to the bathroom to regroup. I didn't cry. I was too angry to do that.
Later that day, M would call me at home to plead his innocence. I, once again, refused to believe him, and promptly hung up on him.
About 7 to 8 years later, I was out one night with some friends and I ran in to M. After exchanging awkward pleasantries, M asked if I recalled the time I had slapped his face because I thought he had spread a rumour about me?
"Of course I do," I replied, curious as to what he was about to say.
He said, "You know, I really, honestly, never did spread that rumour about sleeping with you. Truly." I looked him in the eye, and his gaze met mine. That's when I saw it - the look of truth. I believed him.
Liars often can't look you directly in the eye. (The bad ones, anyway.) This, I know.
Who knows how the rumour first started about M and I at the party? Perhaps it was someone's idea of a really bad joke. Perhaps someone was jealous of our union. Perhaps someone said something that someone else misinterpreted and - just like in a game of Chinese Whispers - it all came out wrong and mixed up. Who knows? But M paid a price for being the victim of either an outright lie, or at the very least - an exaggeration/misinterpretation of a situation.
Best to go to the source and listen to the full story, huh?
Have you ever been the victim of a rumour? Not believed someone's story and then found out later they were speaking the truth?
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