thirty truths: 6


Truth #6: Okay, it was me. I broke Mrs. Thingy-Next-Door’s perfume.

The expensive, exquisite bottle from France, or Spain or Norway. Somewhere far and fragrant was the point—or so my friend D explained as she whispered me into her parents’ bedroom to see the stuff for myself.

But you can’t smell it, she said, it’s too precious. It’ll evaporate if you open it, you can’t even touch the bottle, she said, then went to the kitchen to get us some Captain Crunch.

I touched it the moment she left. I turned it over in my hand, admired its tiny perfectness, such a contrast to Mrs. Thingy herself, whose hands, she’d once told us, had regularly wrung the necks of chickens on her grandfather’s farm. D had explained how one drop would do you for a whole night of dancing; so powerful was it you couldn’t sweat it off. I turned the miniature top to the right in exactly the way you might open a tube of toothpaste, except instead of a screw cap there was a little glass stopper and what I’d done was snap the neck right off.

Oh fudge. Or nine year old words to that effect.

I balanced the broken halves on the dresser as well as I could, then flew past D in the kitchen and out the back door, yelling something about forgotten homework. I calmed myself with logic, figured by the time Mrs. Thingy went anyplace special enough to use the perfume no one would even remember I’d been in the room. She’d think she broke it dusting.

Events after D and her mother arrived at our house  with those chicken killing hands are a bit of a blur. I remember D crying, her mother blaming her, D saying no, no, it was her, it was her, pointing at me. I have no memory of confessing or denying the crime. I can’t remember if D was punished or if I was or if we did hard time together. All memory will allow is that it was a very long, drawn out, noisy and unpleasant ‘situation’.

But for the record, yeah, it was me.

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