Natasha Friday September 29, 2006, 0 comments

It is a common fallacy that light is the fastest thing in the universe. The one thing faster than light is a rumor.

The stories raced down the street even as the car was pulling away. Through the rear passenger window, the diminutive blonde girl could easily be seen. Her eyes looked puffy, as if she’d been crying for a long time, and she stared straight ahead, oblivious or impervious to the stares of those watching the car leave. In the front was a stone-faced man – the girls father. He also stared straight ahead as he accelerated around the corner and off the street.

News had already brought everyone to their front doors. Nobody was going to miss this. The Gunderson had lived on the street since the beginning, when the lawns were still mud and the only trees in the neighborhood were still on the back of a flatbed trailer awaiting planting. Like many of us, the Gunderson girls had practically grown up on the street.

I hopped off my bike beside Jen, who was standing in front of her house watching. The car turned the second corner and vanished from sight. I looked at Jen, and she looked at me. She and Natasha had been friends since kindergarten, and were both about a year younger than I was. The look on her face told me everything I needed to know. Natasha was leaving and not ever coming back.

I looked down the street toward my house. There were clusters of people on the sidewalk, talking in low murmurs. Others hung from their front doors, watching the scene. The rumor had completed its circuit around the street.

Later, after the excitement had faded and Jen had run into her house crying, I returned home, where my mother and my sister were still talking. I caught a few words, here and there as I poured myself a glass of apple juice.

Shameful. Unknown father. So young. Scandal.

I jogged down the stairs to the basement to watch television, and I heard my mother express her relief that I had never associated with the girl. I paused there, on the darkened stairs for a moment. Then I continued on.


Comments

Commenting has ended for this post, but I'd still love to hear from you.

The website of Adrian Lebar

A Rain of Frogs is written, designed and built by Adrian Lebar, a twenty(!) year veteran of web design and development. He is currently managing web and mobile development teams at Canada’s largest and most beloved classifieds site, Kijiji!

He is a father, sailor, snowboarder, skier, cyclist, writer, artist, graphic designer, classically trained musician and afraid of heights.

Adrian is not currently available for freelance and contract work. Learn more.

There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.”
- Peter Drucker

Twitter

  • Emojis are not innovation. I don’t think this is what he meant when he said make a dent in the universe. Friday August 4, 2017
  • It's kinda surreal when the power is out in one's office. Thursday August 3, 2017
  • “This Is How Your Fear and Outrage Are Being Sold for Profit” by @TobiasRose t.co/USlBc2bup8 Tuesday July 25, 2017
  • t.co/kFOlRCeusb isn't about the subject, but the photographers relationship to the subject. t.co/1ixyhdniux via @YouTube Tuesday July 25, 2017
  • Thriller, Dragon's Lair, Ghostbusters, Vincent Price.Peak 80s or just a flashback to my childhood? t.co/1AgPFOb8Xc via @YouTube Monday July 24, 2017
  • “…entrepreneurship seems like a sport. And the score depends on scale. How big can you get? How fast?” — @jasonfried t.co/hgcUyO87yL Monday July 24, 2017
  • “…20-somethings on the Upper West Side in enormous apartments who almost never seem to actually work?”  — @AmyAndSir t.co/nYjnsLvCkz Monday July 24, 2017
  • I didn't know they were making a movie. Great book. Looking forward to seeing how it translates. t.co/uzysPeR1PW via @YouTube Monday July 17, 2017
  • An F-18 just flew over our house. Sunday July 16, 2017
  • From a wookie's perspective, Chewbacca is the handsome rogue and Han is the dumb sidekick communicating in animal noises. Friday July 14, 2017