Most girls learn the art of little, white lies when they become adults, but I have never been like most girls. At the young and clever age of nine, I discovered how to weave a lie into a fantastic story that ultimately ended up in embarrassing rejection.
His name was Greg Watkins, and if ever there were a perfectly handsome third-grader, Greg embodied him. (This was my first taste of simple NBs without the J, and I have to say, maybe I was born into the wrong tribe…) I can still remember his chiseled cheekbones as he whistled “Swing Low” in our Alabama history class play. Clearly, I was hair bow over Keds for him.
With such strong feelings for him, I did what no other nine-year-old girl would have done: I told my best friend, Bethany Thompson, that Greg and I were boyfriend-girlfriend. I made sure she knew my intense and loving relationship with him was on the down low and warned her not to tell anyone. I should have known she would run and blab to Theodore Hawkins, Greg’s best friend, who would no doubt spill the lie to Greg.
When Bethany reported back to me that Greg knew of no such relationship with me, I did what any other sinking adult female would have done. I covered my first lie up with two more lies. After explaining to Bethany that Greg was trying to keep mine and his love secret by denying it, I did damage control with my handsome beau by defying parental rules of no calling boys and dialed him up.
As I told him that Bethany and Theodore were spreading rumors about us, he sighed and said that the ordeal would pass. Hearing his voice on the phone only increased my adoration for him. Never, in my nine years of life, had I felt that way about a boy.
At school the next day, as I sat in timeout for some other mischievous activities I had chosen to lead, I could see Bethany and Theodore speaking to each other and pointing at me. Apparently my call to Greg was the talk of Mrs. Fowler’s class, and my lie was something everyone found humorous.
Once more I tried to recover by calling Greg after school. This time his kindness was minimal, and I can still hear the words ringing in my ears. “Laurie, my mom doesn’t want me to talk to girls on the phone. Please, stop calling.”
I guess I take the prize for youngest girl to deal with rejection, and my search for my NJB continued.