Play Pretend

So, I was in a taxi from my flat in Preston to the train station to visit my sister in Carlisle. ‘Where are you going to?’ He asked.

‘Carlisle,’ I replied.

‘Going on a trip?’

‘No, I live there. I’m visiting home.’

Now, I have a confession to make. I do not live in Carlisle. I live in Somerset, about 6 hours away.

‘So are you a student?’


‘What do you study?’


I don’t study History. I do Scriptwriting. But for some reason, I decided to lie. For no apparent reason, I came up with a new life-one I hadn’t lived. For the entire trip after that, I was thinking about how easily I did that. But it’s because conversations with strangers make me so awkward that I say weird things. And strangers always want to have conversations with me. I hate them. Maybe I just have one of those faces.

When I was on the train to Carlisle, I sat down next to a South African man. When I say sat, I mean I tried to cling on to my seat whilst he took up one and a half of them. At first I didn’t hear him, I had earphones in. That’s normally a sign that I don’t want to talk to you. Soon, he started tapping my shoulder and asking me questions. But then he started asking me about my life. I was fine with that until he started talking about which university each one of his family members go to. I tried to act interested, but there’s only so much of the man’s personal life I can take.

I’m not an antisocial person (I think). I’m British. When we go into a shop, we comment on the weather. When someone drops something, we applaud.  But I like talking to people when I have an opportunity to leave. Most of the time I’m cornered in a small place, like a taxi. Especially when they ask a question where there’s a long answer. So I lie. Lying is easier. I’m a writer. Coming up with a story is fun.

There isn’t much of a moral here. People say that the truth comes out. But that’s not entirely correct. Everyone lies, whether to protect someone or themselves. It can kill, but it can also save lives.

I just wanted to mention a few of the things I go through on a regular basis. University is a jumble of strange experiences.



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