The Unreliable Narrator Apologizes by Chris Haven

I never meant to mislead you. I know you are suspicious of surprise endings, and I have done my best to represent all the facts as I knew them.

If I told you the sun kissed my face on the day I was born, does it matter if in fact it was cloudy? If you trust me to walk down this path, are you not moving with your own feet? If at the end you no longer believe me, have I not given you something? Something which you did not have previously?

It’s fair to say that people are fascinated with me. Love to study me. This would not be so had I given you merely ordinary knowledge. So dull. Shouldn’t everything be a clue? That glance, this gesture.

Here, in this mystery that we’re in together, shall I be the detective? No, you be the detective. Let’s take turns, see what we can find. How will you know the one who loves you? Your true calling? The safety, and the danger?

The sun is setting, and it’s getting harder to see here in the dark. What is this that we hold in our hands? If I tell you that I hold my own heart in my hands, will you believe me? Would you believe the one you love? If I tell you that I hold your heart in my hands, will you let me carry it? If I tell you that you hold my heart in your hands, what will you do with it?

Come, let’s look for some more clues.

Soon it will be so dark we won’t be able to see each other. It’s too late now to turn back. We don’t really know each other that well, it’s true. But the darker it gets, the more we have to hold to our trust. Please don’t suspect me. There’s only a little ways more to go. I know it’s late, and you’re getting hungry. So am I, but I will share what I have with you.

I didn’t want you to know this earlier, but I’ve foreseen this problem. I have taken care of you. What we have in our hands, they are really apples.

It’s okay. Go ahead.

 

Chris Haven has short prose in or forthcoming in Cincinnati Review miCRo, FRiGG, Atticus Review, Jellyfish Review, Electric Literature, and Kenyon Review. He teaches writing at Grand Valley State in Michigan. Find him on Twitter @ChrisLHaven.

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