White lies, tall-tales, stretching-the-truth, fibbing, bluffing. All words and phrases to describe one concept:  Lying. A concept that for young Katarina Galloway seemed all too attractive.

As children, we are all taught to not lie. Whether it is your pastor or a member of your family, somewhere along the line we are taught lying is a big “no-no.” Galloway was no exception to this rule, but she was enamored with this concept of lying, seeing it more as storytelling or acting.

As one may expect, this hobby of seeing how far she could spin her tale was going to come to an abrupt end, and that day, a day that will always be infamous in her family, was the Lord’s day. A Sunday. What made her so inclined to lie on a Sunday? To her Sunday school teacher nonetheless?  This is a question that Galloway herself cannot answer to this day.

She was around 7 years old, and so was her cousin, Alex Kokolis, who had just stayed over the night before. Something about that crisp fall morning was making her feel extra devious. She walked into the Sunday school classroom and her teacher looked over, “Good morning Katarina and Alex, did you have a sleepover last night?” the teacher said. Galloway saw this as a chance to really give this lady a lie she would never forget. “Yeah,” Galloway said, “Alex might be staying with us for a while now.” As Galloway sets the lie Kokolis agrees and goes along with what she is saying, not knowing that what is coming next will shake both of their lives for years to come.

“Why is that,” said the teacher. “Alex’s parents got in a really bad car wreck last night,” Galloway said. “Oh no,” the teacher said, “Alex I’m so sorry.” Kokolis who is always the meek and mild sidekick in these operations, looks at the teacher and nods her head. Galloway doesn’t stop there. “Yeah, they had to be sent to a special hospital in Africa,” Galloway said. Yes. You read that right. Africa. However, Galloway is so young that the teacher just believes she has the name of a big city mixed up.

Once Sunday school is over the teacher runs up to Galloway’s mom, Crystal, with tears welling up in her eyes. “I’m so sorry to hear about your sister,” the teacher said. “What?” Crystal said. “Katarina and Alex told me about the crash,” said the teacher. One can imagine the rest of that conversation.

This is when Galloway dies. Not literally, but her love of lying sure does. Coming from a deeply Middle Eastern family, Galloway knows that upon arrival to Kokolis’s house they’re both getting beat. Which is exactly what happens. Why stop with the moms though? The room starts to fill up with fathers, aunts and even their grandmother all waiting their turn. “The Lord’s day!?” they all said.

Once the beating stops Galloway and Kokolis spend the rest of the night praying for forgiveness. Galloway stops, looks at her cousin and says, “Let’s never lie again, O.K.?”