-I was raped. -I killed someone with a crowbar at the age of 13. -I was in a gang. -I came to school high on PCP. -I shot heroin at 14 years old. -One of my closest friends killed himself because of me. (No such friend existed.)
These were all such tall tales that I didn’t deny any of them at first simply because I thought they were too ridiculous and that it would never catch up to me. In middle school I was a nerd, got accepted to a top competitive science high school in my city and sought to re-invent myself there. When the rumors started popping up (mostly on facebook and in the locker room) I was THRILLED. Sad to say but the whole mixup gained me a lot of popularity and I became a character everyone wanted at their track parties. Problem was, in order for me to keep up appearances, I had to make some of these rumors true. Soon I went from being a star student to actually becoming the character made up by these masses of strangers. No I didn’t get raped or end up killing anybody, but by age 17 I had done almost all of the drugs I’d been rumored to have taken…just for show.
The most shameful part of all this…and this is why I am confessing…is the last rumor that was started. A few months before I turned 18 I shaved my head, like completely bald, and a rumor arose that I had cancer. I was in a tight spot with some of my friends, as I had started exhibiting antisocial behavior due to the dishonest nature of my social life. And by antisocial I mean psychopathic/sociopathic. I was being an asshole, basically, and blaming it on the drugs- cocaine specifically, which I had convinced people I was addicted to, though in reality I only ever snorted it in front of others for the sake of supporting the lie. I saw the cancer rumor as the escape route I had prayed for, the perfect excuse for me to get off facebook, cut off contact with people, “clean up” my image, and try to find out who I really was- because by age 17, I had no clue, and only one true friend who at least knew what kind of person I really was. He was duped by the lies as well, however. And he never lived to hear the truth.
My best friend died of a drug overdose about a month after the cancer rumor began. I got close to his mom after that, and she revealed to me that he had told her that I had cancer, even asked her for help on how to possibly support me and be a good friend for me at this trying time. My best friend’s death was the true escape for me- it destroyed my ego, made me cease doing drugs entirely, and made me seek out a more honest life. I’ve since cut off all contact with people I used to do drugs with, I dropped out of the college I went to with a lot of people from high school, and essentially started over.
But my best friend died not knowing the truth behind the biggest myth attached to me, one that really hurt him and had him worried and scared, and I fucking hate myself for that. Even worse, his mother and his entire family still believes I had cancer- I was able to make up some story about how it went into remission after efficient treatment. She’s the only person from my “old life” who I still care to keep contact with, and I know she would be destroyed if I told her it was all a lie, one that her son died believing.