"The key to good storytelling is keeping your lies interesting but somehow believable. Beck, you're up first: two truths and a lie."
Beck rolled his tongue across the inside of his cheek, trying to determine which direction to take the assignment. He could go the predictable route and talk about breakfast or pets or something equally random but irrelevant. But that would not make for a good story... Suddenly he knew exactly what he needed to say.
"Truth number one: when I met Jade, she was blond and a freshman in public school."
Beck watched as a few of his classmates raised their eyebrows.
"Number two: Jade's mom was forcing her to enter the Miss Teen Hollywood Pageant."
There were outright snickers and guffaws now, all of them having a difficult time picturing the most hardcore girl in school sporting blond tresses and sequined high heels. But that was the point. There was a lot these people didn't know about his girlfriend.
"And finally, truth number three: I knew I needed to date her when I saw her purple combat boots above me, climbing out of a third story window."
The class clamored with noise. And after a couple of student's failed attempts to guess which was the lie, Andre finally got it. "Number one, right? Jade was never a blonde."
Beck smiled and shook his head. "You're right and wrong. Number one was the lie, but not for that reason. Jade was a blonde when we first met, but not a freshman. We were both sophomores."
"Does that mean the other two things—the pageant and combat boots—were true?"
At lunch Tori and Andre cornered him, demanding more information. "You can't leave us hanging, man. That is the best back-story I've heard in a long time."
"Plus," Tori added, "I can't stop picturing Jade dressed like a Barbie doll and doing the princess wave. You've got to fill in the gaps so my brain can resume normal functioning! How am I supposed to memorize lines if all I can visualize is your girl friend with Vaseline smeared on her teeth?"
Beck just laughed. "Sorry guys. I think I've said enough."
"Are you afraid Jade's going to hurt you when she comes back to school tomorrow? That she won't appreciate you messing with her tough-girl reputation?"
Alright, that's exactly what he was afraid of. In Sychowitz's class it had made perfect sense to open their eyes to Jade's complexity. Now, not so much. But Beck couldn't very well admit that.
"I'm not afraid of anything," he said finally, ruffling up the collar on his jacket.
Tori crossed her arms. "Then spill."
Andre smiled, "We won't say a word, promise."