Of all the half truths and outright lies people tell, none are worse than the lies they tell themselves. When you are dishonest with another person, you know in your heart that you’re lying. But when you lie to yourself, you’re in on the deception. Unless someone tells you the truth, you may never even find out.
Justin’s moment of truth came when he caught his own reflection in his computer monitor.
“Did you get that subroutine finished?” asked Julie. She was the head of development, and like Justin, she was dead.
He shoved his chair back from his computer, gasping for air. He had to tell them. He had to let them know. “Julie,” he began, but she cut him off.
She put her hand on his back and said softly, “Did you take your pills?”
But he didn't take pills – he didn't need pills. He needed to get out. He needed to let them know. “We’re dead!” he screamed, running down the hall. “We’re all dead!”
Doug rolled his eyes. “Why doesn't Marty fire that guy? It’s the third time this week he’s had a freakout.”
“Marty’s on vacation,” said Julie. “I bet he will when he gets back.”
“Geez! How many vacation days does that guy get anyway? Must be nice to be the boss.”
“Yeah, must be. Doug, can you finish writing that subroutine?”
Doug grunted and turned back to bang out a few more lines of code on his computer. If it weren't for him, they’d never finish anything on time. In the desk next to his, Liz was slumped over on her elbow. Drunk at work. Again. The place was a total disaster without Marty. When he got back, he was going to have to fire a lot of people.
At last, Justin stumbled back to his seat and got to work. He seemed calm again.
Julie asked him, “Did you get that subroutine finished?”