SUMMARY: Ryan lies.



If he counts them he will be lost in the numbers forever. So he breaks it down to five lies he has told since he came home from the hospital.

The first lie is to her sister Kaitlin when Ryan tells her that Marissa instantly died in the crash. That she was never conscious, that she hit her head in the accident and never woke up. He does not tell her about the way her sister's hand bunched the soft material of his t-shirt. How she begged him to stay with her, that she was frightened to be alone. The distant look in her eyes and the fearful hitch in her voice. He does not tell her about the way her sister's body felt when she died. Heavy and awkward in his grasp. Limp fingers and snow white cheeks. He sighs and lies and tells Kaitlin that her sister died instantly. She cries and he can't bring himself to hold her.

The second lie is to Kirsten when Ryan tells her that he'll be all right. That all he needs is rest. That a good nights sleep will help ease the tired burden from his heart. He doesn't tell her that each time his eyelids drop he sees Marissa's face. Blood, red and sticky crawling down her hairline. He doesn't tell her that he can still hear Marissa's screams as they crash and flip relentlessly down the cliff side. He doesn't tell her that he can't get the smell of gasoline and smoke out of his nose. That his palms still feel gritty and dirty no matter how many times he scalds them, washing out the imaginary grime with hot water. He ducks his head and tells Kirsten that he will be all right. And when she watches him from the couch in the pool room, he pretends to sleep. Tries to control his breathing, until she goes away and he can stare at the ceiling, eyes wide open.

The third lie is to Julie when Ryan tells her that there was nothing he could have done to prevent the death of her child. He does not tell her that he had the chance to end Volchok and did not. Does not tell her that Marissa screamed for Ryan to pull the car over, as they headed towards the bend and he did not. Does not tell her that he opened the door that let a killer into their lives. Does not tell her that Marissa went to bed with her murderer. Instead he stands, hands by his sides as Julie slaps him across the face. Does not put up a fight as Julie wails on him, lashing out time and time again. Stands and takes the pain until Dr. Roberts pulls her away. He does not go to the funeral. He's said his goodbye. It was said in silence on a hard road, with a dead body in his arms.

The fourth lie is to Seth when Ryan makes empty promises about letting the cops deal with Volchok. He doesn't tell Seth that he already knows that Volchok was heading to Mexico. That Ryan intends to go down there after him. That this time, when his fists burn from hitting against skin and bone, time and again, he won't stop. Ryan doesn't tell Seth that even the threat of imprisonment won't stop him from taking revenge. Instead he tells Seth that the cops and he have no idea where Volchok is. That Ryan wants to see him be a punk in jail for the rest of his life. Seth expresses his pride in how far Ryan has come, since the Chino days. And Ryan can't look him in the eye.

He cannot lie to Sandy. It is Sandy that picks him off the floor of a bar in the middle of the day. It's Sandy that rubs his back when he throws up, as a memory of that night easily counters his depleted defences. It is Sandy that pulls him off a bus to Vegas. Sandy that sits with him at night when he can't sleep. Sandy that lies with him and keeps his secrets.

Sandy lies too. He never tells Ryan, that when he found out that his Son was alive and Marissa was dead, he felt like he'd won a lottery. That he'd been given a great gift. That he feels the guilt now because of that elation.

They tell themselves that one day the lies will stop. That the pain settled like a weight on Ryan's chest will pass. That moments in time will pass when he does not think of Marissa .That life will move back to the relative ease of before. And that is the biggest lie of all.