“No one must know about the cure, do you understand? No one.” She said it with so much conviction that I didn’t dare to go against her will, which is stupid looking back. I created the formula, I did all the trials and errors day in and day out until it became what she dubbed as The Cure. But, hindsight is always 20/20.
We walk calmly, as if we, no, as if I didn’t just discovered The Cure. Well, to be completely honest, she was walking calmly, I was trying to walk calmly. How do you go about your day as if you didn’t just discover the ultimate truth? There is no way we can ever go back to the way it was supposed to be.
“I don’t think calling it The Cure is right. I think it’s more like the destruction of everything as we know it,” she argued while messily chewing her mashed potato.
“Of course it is a cure. It is why we are hired for,” I argued back.
“Do you honestly think the world would be a better place if this thing goes out for public consumption?”
“Of course this wouldn’t be an off the counter medication. You’ll need prescription,” I answered her, although even I can tell I’m not convinced by my own answer.
“And do you think people can’t forge doctors’ signature and prescriptions?”
I can feel her challenging eyes, asking if I dare to defy her. The problem is not that I am afraid in defying her argument, the problem is that I knew she was right. This thing, whatever it should be called, should never be known. It will, without a shadow of doubt,bring humanity to its end.
Years ago, I don’t know how many years ago, people killed each other. Only a number of people left unscathed. My grandmother said, these people who have survived the killing of mankind were saved because they are lonely. They were a bunch of very intellectual people who spent their waking hours in a lab, oblivious to what was happening outside the confine of their lab.
What happened then was a bit vague, because the people that were alive afterwards were the people that were not present when the massacre happened. Grandmother used to simplify the story by saying that people killed each other because people lied to each other. Partners cheating on their partners, presidents lie to its people, head of states back away from their commitments for peace, you name it. It all started with a lie, and ended up in death.
These intellectuals who were left alive convene and decides to revive humanity. They work day and night trying to tweak humans’ genes, to eliminate the lying gene. I once told Grandmother that I don’t believe it’s possible, and Grandmother asked me, “Have you ever told something but mean the other thing?” I said, “no.”
“Then tell me again how you think what these intellectuals of the past are trying to do is impossible?”
I couldn’t answer her, not because I was afraid of her, but because I genuinely don’t know the answer to that. As far as I can remember, I have never lied. Not to anyone. It hasn’t been easy, but knowing that we cannot lie made us more sincere and open. We never commit any crime. We don’t steal. We don’t hurt people.
So, I don’t know why now a lot of powerful people are paying people like me and Lily to stay in the lab and to try to break what the intellectuals of the past had managed to do. These people want us to figure out how to make it possible for people to lie again. Why? So people can hurt others without the others knowing? So some people can have an advantage over others?
“How do you suppose we keep this hidden from everyone? Sooner or later, the higher ups are going to summon us and asked for updates. We can’t lie. We are going to tell them the truth, that we manage to create a bottle of formula that we think can help people lie. Not permanently, but still a breakthrough nonetheless. The only reason we could get away this far is because no one had asked us anything about it, we don’t have a reason to tell people, we don’t have to lie, but sooner we would have to, and we can’t lie. Not, because we are not allowed to, but because we can’t, it is genetically impossible for us to lie.”
I was livid. It has been two weeks since Lily told me that no one must know about our discovery. But, time is running out. And yet, Lily is just smirking, like it did not concern her at all that I am practically going berserk.
“We’ll take the potion if we were summoned. We will lie to their face that we haven’t been able to have any progress whatsoever. We will lie point blank and convince them that there is no way we can undo the genetic modification that the intellectuals of the past have done years ago. We are the leading researchers in this field. They will have to believe us when we said that. We won’t speak to each other until the effect of the potion wear off. I will not lie to you. Therefore we will meet again when everything is over. Keep the formula, we’ll keep making at least one bottle that we will take every time we are summoned for progress. We will do the exact same thing until this research is given up on. We will take this secret to our grave.”
This time, she no longer smirks. Her eyes were glinting with such strong conviction that I had to trust her. I believed her. There was no reason for her to lie. She hadn’t took the potion.
As predicted, we were summoned to give progress. As planned, we took the potion. We lied to their faces, both Lily and I. We convinced them that it was an impossible task. We can see the fear in their faces plainly. They can’t lie. They’re not like us, we were lying. We were pretending we were as disappointed and as scared as they were.
As agreed, we went our separate ways after the summons. We can tell that the potions are still having its effect on us. We were a team, we were not going to lie to each other. We will meet up again when the effect is gone. Every day for the next two days, I challenge myself to lie every time anybody asked me anything, and it was so easy to lie. When I realised I could no longer lie, I knew the effect had worn of, and that I have to meet up with Lily again. We are making another batch for when we were summoned again. That was the plan.
I thought I was smarter than Lily. I created the first formula. I made The Cure. But, Lily has always been one step ahead of me, if not smarter. She copied my formula and made another batch, the batch that we took before the summon. She took my first batch. She used it when she convinced of our plan to protect the potion.
The second batch that she made was tweak. I don’t know what she did, but after taking that potion, I no longer remember the formula. The formula to The Cure. She took the formula with her. She took it where no one could ever found it. She took it with her to her grave, just like what she said before. She died in a car accident, but I was friends with Lily for too long to know it was not an accident. She left me a note saying she had to do it. She staged her suicide as an accident, keeping me out of the loop because she knew I wasn’t going to be able to lie or to keep the charade long enough before I break and tell the higher ups of what I’ve found, of what I’ve managed to create.
Collins, let me tell you something. Lying is fun. There’s an adrenaline rush to it that I have never felt before. But it’s not worth it, isn’t it? Knowing that you know something that others don’t and you can’t share it with them? This world is not perfect, it will never be, but this is the closest thing we’ll ever going to get to perfect. I can’t guarantee that the world will stay like this forever, but when it does end, I don’t want it to be on my watch, or yours for that matter. You’re a smart fella, Collins. And I am sorry I took one of your most precious invention from you, but I will not make you a contributor to the world’s ending. Let someone else ruin the peace that we have now. Collins, believe me, I wrote this after the effect of the potion had wear off. There is not a single lie to this.
This #FictionFriday is inspired by this prompt.