"This damn kid won't study." She blinked, and stared up at the scientist, whose voice she heard without seeing his mouth move.
"What's wrong, Anya? You have to study for world peace."
"Dam?" She repeated, trying out the new word. What did it mean about her?
She thought it was a good thing, that they were excited, but then they made her study more, so repeating other people's thoughts was not good.
She learned that when people said things differently from their thoughts, that meant they were liars. (Pa and Ma were cool liars, though.) Sometimes, though, she didn't understand all the lies.
"Cr-, umb." She and Ma peeked over at Pa, who hit a bruise from a mission. "I just stubbed my toe on the corner, no need to worry."
"Sh-! …ugar," Ma flailed around—Ma only did that when anyone was close to finding her stash of poison or weapons for her hitman job, but Ma was cooking right now. And Ma wasn't going to poison them (…not on purpose, at least). "I just spilled the sugar everywhere," Ma explained when she wandered over to investigate. So Ma couldn’t tell the difference between sugar and flour… Perhaps she was better off eating leftovers today.
Uncle Scruffy was usually honest with her (brutally honest!), so she decided to ask him for tips for her mission. He could help her get along with Sy-on boy, right?
Instead, they ended up gossiping and complaining, her telling him all the mission details she was too scared to tell Pa.
Uncle Scruffy gasped dramatically, "No way, that little aaa-nthole said what to you?" That was one of the few times she'd heard him lie, and he seemed very embearest about it since he wasn't as good a liar as Pa. It was hard to be a better liar than Pa, so she'd let it slide this time.
"Thanks for agreeing to help Anya study again, Yuri! I'll get you two some snacks!"
"So what are you learning this time, chihuahua girl?" Uncle Yuri brought a large bag of books with him today.
"Pa said foreign language isn't part of my studies," she said when she spotted some such books peeking out of the stack.
"Fu- dge! Yor, is that fudge I smell?" He whirled around nervously, Ma's hands tightening on the tray. Was Uncle Yuri allowed to have dessert before dinner? She asked as much, and Ma and Uncle Yuri seemed somehow relieved at the sudden question.
They were weird and liars, just like usual, so maybe nothing was wrong after all.
"Students, today we will have a pop quiz about this weekend's assigned reading." Professor Henderson announced, already passing out quiz sheets to the front row.
"Crap." She said as she stared down the unfamiliar enemy in front of her—then realized as a hush drew over the classroom, all eyes on her, that she had repeated what she heard out loud again. And that was no bueno.
So being a liar would keep you out of trouble. Why didn't anyone tell her that earlier?