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When she walked into the forging room that morning to begin the day’s work, the man she worked most closely with asked her how she came to have these bruises on her face and wrists. And so she lied and told him she’d broken up a brawl at the local bar and inadvertently caught a few blows. He believed her.

When she walked into the bakery that afternoon to buy another week’s worth of soup and bread, the only food she was able to hold down nowadays, the shopkeeper inquired about the scars that riddled her exposed arms. And so she lied and told the woman that as a child, she was a reckless tree climber, and she now bares the scars of bark scratches as fond memories. She believed her.

When she walked into her home that night to realize she’d not washed the dishes or the laundry, not swept the floors, not even cleaned up from the past night’s meal, she wiped her face with her dirty hands and collapsed face first into the welcoming arms of her bed. And so she lied, “I’ll do it tomorrow.” But she didn’t believe herself.