When I was a young lad, I obtained a photograph for my wallet. It was the first picture I placed within. It was taken at the end of my eighth grade year (the last year of junior high in that particular school system) at a pool party held by the school for the rising Freshmen-to-be. In the center of the picture was a girl with whom I was vastly infatuated at the time, Nicole.
I had pictures of most of the people in my class from that party. The one of Nicole, however, I kept aside and placed in my wallet. I had only spoken to her a few times -- she knew my name but probably wouldn't have remembered it by the next school year.
That Summer, I attended an adventure camp for youth interested in rock climbing. We traveled all around Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland hitting walls and honing our skills. The session that I attended had a low turn out; there were only two other kids in my group, Rod and Michelle. Since there were three adult leaders, this proved to be particularly convenient. Everyone had a personal climbing instructor and the entire group could fit into a single one of the camp's full-size vans -- with room for tons of equipment.
One night, as the adults planned out the next day's outing, Rod, Michelle and I sat around the campfire and discussed our lives at home. Each of them had a significant other waiting for them. Not wanting to be outdone, I reached into my pocket and withdrew my wallet. "I have a girlfriend, too," I said, "Here's her picture." The photograph was passed and compliments were given. I prayed that neither of them knew her, but by then we had been past the "Do you know Jane Doe? She goes to your school!" line of conversations by several days -- I figured I was safe.
No one knew her, so I kept up the ruse. I didn't explain much more about our fabled relationship, but the next day while traveling to Great Falls, VA, the topic of the photograph was raised. Now the leaders were curious to see the picture in my wallet, so I shared it with them as well. So my lie had expanded to the entire group. I laid low for the rest of the trip with any information about my social life and tried to deflect any further lines of inquiry.
The complications, however, were yet to arise. On the last day of camp, when parents returned to retrieve their tired and homesick children, my mom made a typical mom quip, "Well, now that you've done all this mountain climbing, you'll be able to get lots of girlfriends back home!" Unfortunately for me, she said this rather loudly.
"Looks like he's doing pretty well in that arena," replied one of the instructors. As my face flushed and my pulse quickened, my mom turned to me with a look which any child can instantly understand as, "That's interesting, I can't wait to hear more about this later."
Conveniently, the interrogation never came. As soon as I got home, I tore the picture out of my wallet, burnt it with a lighter and flushed the ashes down the toilet.
That Fall, when classes began in high school, I trudged down a hallway one day for my locker. I encountered Nicole, who approached me with a smile. "Hey, Chris, how was your Summer?"
"Oh, the usual. You?" I stammered, trying not to faint.
"Great. Well, I'll be seeing you." She replied and continued on her way.
We never talked again that year, and conveniently my family moved to another state before I ran into her again. To this day I have never been able to place a picture in my wallet thanks to that Summer's lie.
Names may or may not have been changed... you be the judge.