“Strikingly beautiful,” he mumbled, while setting the crystal back on the heavy wooden desk. “And you’re sure it’s magical?”
I have to chuckle, distractedly, still staring at the emerald-and-gold-shimmering rock, that might as well be a huge, beautiful piece of beach glass.
“Yes, it definitely is magical,” I say, still notably distracted.
“Well… what does it do? Does it like… give you superpowers? Can it freeze time? Can you kill people with it??” he looks so excited, almost spilling his boiling hot coffee he is holding in his scarred hands all over the floor. The image of this huge, burly guy almost hyperventilating because of a little shiny crystal is straight up ridiculous, and I can’t help but laugh.
“It can tell lies from the truth,” I say, quietly, but he hears me. “It’s magical. I know it.”
He hardly looks hyper now, his face turns back to its suspicious nature that I adore so much, and I can tell that he doesn’t quite believe me.
“And how do you know that? I mean… what even… what?
“It had a note with it. In the box I found it in. And it said ‘I will illuminate any lie with the color of lies, lie to me twice and you will die.'”
“Okay. Now wait a second, you want me to believe you that this… chunk… a beautiful chunk, don’t get me wrong. But you’re saying it has magical powers?”
“And that it can tell lies from the truth?”
“And that it can kill people???”
He stares at me for a second, and all his fascination has now left his face completely.
“What the hell Jamie? Are you okay? Did you fall on your head or something? I swear to God…”
“No, Mason, I swear, it works. Just look.”
I pick up the crystal from the desk and put it in my hands, holding it in front of me like a raw egg.
“Okay, I am going to tell it a truth now, and it will recognize it. Just watch.”
I clear my throat, and raise my left eyebrow, like I always do when I am serious about something.
“Crystal. Listen. I’m going to tell you a truth now. Trump is a horrible president.”
The crystal, making no sound, starts glowing brightly and warm, like you would imagine the truth to look like. Mason is staring at it, in disbelief I think, then turns to me, looking a little more fascinated again.
“Okay, now, this is pretty impressive. And good choice on the truth, I gotta agree with the crystal here. But that doesn’t prove anything. Maybe there are batteries in here. I mean, how would this even work? Tell a lie. Show me that it actually works.”
“Well I haven’t tried lying to it yet. I don’t wanna die, you know?”
“You are not gonna die, Jamie. First of all, this is a rock.”
“Whatever. What I mean is that it won’t kill you. Besides, you don’t have to lie to it twice, you’ll be fine. Come on.”
“Why don’t you do it then?”
“Okay fine.” He takes the crystal out of my hands, carefully, as if he actually knew how precious it.
“Okay, crystal.” He looks around, making sure no one is watching him. “A lie. A lie. What is a lie?”
“Just say ‘I love Jamie’ or something.”
He looks down to his feet, a little too nervously. “No. Uh, something else.”
“Come on just say it if you can’t think of anything else. ”
He looks at me, a little unsure, then sighs. “Okay. Whatever. Crystal, I love Jamie.”
The crystal lights up again, green and warm. I stare at it, not knowing what to think. I is green. It is warm. It is true? “You love me.” I say, still staring at the brightly glowing crystal. “You love me.”
“No, no I don’t. It doesn’t work. It’s broken. That’s it. It’s broken.” He looks nervous. Of course. He loves me, I had no idea. “You love me.” What do I do? I need to tell him. I need to tell him now. I grab the crystal out of his hands, holding it tight. He is just staring at me, probably just as overwhelmed as me.
“Crystal,” I say, with trembling voice, “Crystal, I don’t love Mason.”
The crystal begins to glow again, but differently than before. It is red, dark, and cold blue inside. It’s a lie. It works. It knows. I love him. I always have. I had no idea he loved me too.
Before he can say anything, I grab his head and kiss him, the crystal pressed against our chests.
Everything feels green and golden and warm. It feels like truth, it feels like love.