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Sooner Or Later -in progress-
By Darchangel



What a simple yet powerful word. The type of word that can turn peoples' lives around and make them
think and do what they never did before.
The name's Shawna. Shawna Elise Tifton to be exact. The type of fluffy name one expects to see on a
CD or magazine cover.
I suppose my looks fit the part as well. Skin brown enough to look like a tan, deep coffee-colored
eyes, soft brown hair-
Well, not brown anymore. It's been teased and candy-pink for the last couple of years. The finishing
touch is a Celtic cross tattoo on my right arm.
I don't look anything like my dad. Many people find it hard to believe I'm his daughter. My dad is
Every dark gene in me comes from my mother. We don't talk about her much. I barely even remember
her, since she ran off when I was three. I almost want to hate her for that, but I don't know what
to feel.
I wondered for a long time if my dad hated me. I mean, aren't I the spitting image of her? Same
nose, same smile?
Every so often Dad allays my fears, however. I doubt I'll ever feel too old for one of his hugs,
where he sweeps me up and says, "I couldn't do without you, Princess. You understand?"
I still worry sometimes- but I know he loves me.
Lately I've wanted the love a father can't give. I just keep my faith in what I love to do, and I
know *he's* out there.
I'll find him.
Sooner or later.

Chapter 1

I love summer vacation. Summer in Vancouver is beautiful, and I don't think any summer'll be more
perfect than this one. The summer of my sixteenth year.
I won't be seventeen until November twenty-eighth, which makes me a Sagittarius.
That doesn't really do anything for me, except give me something else to read in the paper. Today
I'm concentrating on avoiding conflicts with co-workers. So far, so good.
I dream of having co-workers, however- very colorful ones. The underground hip-hop scene in Vancity
is fascinating, and I want to be a part of that. I've been writing rhymes since fourteen, so come
the day I'm old enough to be in a battle-club, I know I'll be ready.
It's not the rhymes that fascinate me the most, though- it's the melodies. Every scratch, every
sample, every technique the DJs work behind those turntables is like magic. I've been dying to learn
those secrets.
Dad knows how much I love the business, yet he encourages me to keep my academics up as "something
to fall back on."
You don't see many historians named Shawna Elise Tifton, do you?
Kimmy Watson (never Kim, always Kimmy), Gwen Carter, and Jennifer Lowery are my best friends in the
world, even if we're worlds apart: Jen's as black as I am, and yet the most restrained and casual in
the group, while Kimmy and Gwen are whiter than white and look like they just came from
Lollapalooza. Gwen even changes her hair color every other month or so, when the roots get too much
to bear.
Today her hair's pure platinum. Today we're strolling just a few blocks from Chinatown, checking out
every sign on every wall, mailbox, and telephone pole to see what's happening. It's how most
underground acts advertise for shows, not just hip-hop- there are several rock posters plastered on
one building.
High Pressure, The Perennials, Visionary Assassins, Choke Collar, Out Of Sight- names straight out
of Hollywood, it seems. I've always wanted to call a band Lost Minds or Cre8ve. I wonder if they're
taken yet.
Looking for shows to go to hasn't been the only thing on our agenda, there's lots of talk about
college. It's been a tossup for me between music and media design. Jen, sweet, kind, loving Jen,
wants to do social work. Kimmy and Gwen have one word for their goals: fashion.
"I've got my application for UVic ready, but I still don't know," Jen says as she tosses her soda
can into a trash bin tagged with a logo for Mary Marriott, whatever that is.
"Jen, you gotta stop being hard on yourself," I say. "You're the only one of us who makes straight
A's, y'know."
"That's not what's worrying me." She sighs. "It's the distance."
I understand right away. She's referring to her boyfriend, uberjock-hunk Joey Baker.
"Cryin out loud, Jen, it's not that big a distance.'Sides, you can stand to be less close." Kimmy
goes into one of her inquisitive (re: snoopy) modes. "Just how close *are* you two, anyway?"
"Uh..." Jen's blush under her chocolate skin almost matches Kimmy's hair. Sex is a topic that rarely
comes up between us; we (except Kimmy, I guess) prefer to believe that's private.
Besides, any mention of sex just reminds us of the Zanuck girls. Two of the three Zanuck daughters
became pregnant barely within a few months of each other when we were back in Grade 9. Parents still
use that story to warn their children.
Dad never gave me the big lecture, but I still think sex is scary. How am I supposed to know if I'm
ready? I'm not even legal age yet!
I guess I'll know eventually.
I can tell Gwen wants to change the topic. "Found one!" She rips a poster off a telephone pole and
hands it to me. It's a photocopied sheet, black except for the logo and text. In the center is a
crudely-textured skull with a Viking's hat, and the crossbones are two axes. Goth hip-hop, I
Kimmy gives an immature giggle at the group's name. "Swollen Members? There's a new one."
"Guys with a twisted sense of humor, I betcha," Gwen says, scanning the info. "Says they'll be at
the Revere firehouse Saturday night."
"Forget it," I counter, "we're too young for the firehouse."
"Au contraire, mademoiselle," Kimmy taps the text. "Teen-plus show, no alcohol."
"Ain't that convenient," I muse.
"Not that you'd have trouble gettin in, Shawna," Kimmy continues as she twirls maroon hair around
her finger. "You can easily pass for nineteen with your height an that. You can do whatever you
Kimmy rarely says anything that isn't a double entendre. I feel furious. "You think I wanna end up
like the Zanucks just to prove what I can get away with?!" So much for my horoscope.
Kimmy senses my tension and backs away. "Yeesh."
"Guys, this is my idea for Saturday night fun, not an argument," says Gwen.
"I know, I know." Kimmy grabs a Choke Collar poster, tears it in three, writes the info on the back,
and gives a piece to Gwen and Jen. "Clear it up with your folks 'fore Friday, howzat?"
"Don't I get a paper?" I ask.
"You can keep the poster," Gwen says.
I look back down into the Viking's hollow eyes.
It's all coming up. Life is just ahead- sooner or later.

Chapter 2

It's about another two hours before I take the bus back home. Normally I drive, but it's hard to
look closely at posters in a car, donchathink?
By the time I'm home, Dad won't be in for about fifteen minutes. He has one of the coolest jobs,
co-owning a catering business downtown. You think the both of us would be 200 pounds because of
that, but on the contrary, we've stayed trim. He is a great cook, though. It's tempting not to eat
Up in my room, I stick the Swollen Members poster next to a picture of Nirvana that's been there
since Hannibal crossed the Alps. I'll listen to most anything, as long as it's sincere.
What I don't find sincere all the teen pop acts that have been coming out of Europe and the States
recently. I shudder to think what'll happen if it becomes a phenomenom.
I flop onto my bed and lie there until I hear the front door open. "Yay, Dad," I whisper.
Dinner is fantastic tonight, like one of those cold salad bars at an all-you-can-eat place. It's
about ten minutes before I run the show idea by him.
"The Revere firehouse? I thought they closed it," he raises an eyebrow. Dad has a very fair
complexion, which makes people think that we're not related.
'Closed it down'? Oh dear, something must've happened to make him suspicious. "No Dad, it's still
open. Here." I rush to my room to get the poster and bring it to him, making sure to keep my finger
on the "all-ages no alcohol" part so he can see it.
He muses over it for a minute. I guess the skull doesn't faze him, he's gotten used to my
"Tell you what," he says eventually. "I have a shipment of cake decorations coming in Thursday. You
help us unload those, and that'll foot half the cover price."
"Oh, thanks, Dad!" I can't help hugging him when I say that. He gives the same gentle laugh he does
when he says he can't do without me, and pats my shoulder.
"You're really looking forward to this, huh, Pumpkin?"
"I've got a good feeling about it."
I don't know why I say that.

Chapter 3

I count the minutes until Thursday, Friday, Saturday. Kimmy, Gwen, and Jen can come to the show too.
In the meantime, I've been trying to look up more information about these Swollen Members guys.
Pictures and vitals give me squat, but I find a listing of LP singles and a couple articles about
the buzz they're generating. They're looking for a major label. I hope they get one.
Thursday arrives and with it the decoration shipment. Dad's business partner takes care of planning
a garden party with some woman while Dad and I handle the dirty work. It's hard- sometimes candy
decorations crumble or the color rubs off, my fingertips are as blue as my favorite eye shadow by
lunchtime. By three, Dad figures I've broken enough of a sweat.
"You're not a lazy worker, that's for sure," he says. "You get that from my side."
Did I get anything good from Mom's side? I don't ask.
Friday rolls around, and I'm in Jen's room in her family's apartment with the others. We discuss how
to get to the show, what we'll wear. Kimmy has the car free that night, so she'll pick us up at our
houses. Sure sounds like a plan.
"Let's wear really bright colors," Gwen says. "It might be a dark show, so we need to bring some
light and energy into the place." Just like Gwen, letting colors determine everyone's mood. I've
figured out my outfit- tartan plaid mini, white top, boots, and pile on the makeup. I am *such* a
wild child, but I figure that's from growing up in this area.
Why I feel so enthusiastic about the show is still beyond me, however. I don't ask the others how
they feel- because I don't know what they'd say.
"Saturday night's all right for fightin'," I giggle and sing to myself in front of the mirror as I
finish prepping up. I put down the eye shadow, look back at the poster, and reach for my pinkest
lipstick- not that it shows on my dark mouth, anyway.
*Honk! Honk!* I hear the horn from outside. "Party! Party! Party!" I give my usual pre-show chant
and fly down the stairs, making sure to grab the poster on the way. (I just might be lucky and get
an autograph. Who knows?) Dad's in the living room as I head out the door.
"Have a good time, princess! Be careful!" He says that every single time.
"I know, Dad. See you later!" Out the door and into the car, where I see the girls are just as
wildly dressed as me, if not more. Gwen is clad in silvery-blue to match her hair, Kimmy has a
bright pink mini, and Jen, like me, has a funky skirt paired with a white top. No makeup, though.
We sing along with the radio during our trip to the firehouse, giggle and gossip like we always do.
Kimmy, as usual, is boy-crazy. "There better be some hotties over there tonight. I don't care if I
have to kidnap the band, I'm desperate!" She can be funny that way.
We make it to the firehouse and inside the building without incident. There's quite the crowd, an
even mixture of girls and guys, and some girls are as brightly dressed as us. Gwen mutters
"Copycats" and we head to the bar to find something legal to drink.
The firehouse looks much like any bar I've seen on TV. About fifteen feet from us is the cleared-off
stage for the band. 'The turntable's already set up, how cute!' I think.
Eventually Jen leans her head to one side and tightens her grip on her ice tea. "Oh my goodness,"
she whispers.
"I think that's them over there," she points to one side. Craning our necks gives us a glimpse of
four guys huddled around something off in the distance. I can barely see their faces from here.
"How do you know?" Gwen whispers as well. "We don't even know what they look like."
"I saw a box of records and some mikes," Jen says like she's reciting gospel.
Kimmy squints and breaks into a smile. "They're cute *an* look like normal guys. Jackpot!" She
giggles and turns to me. "Hey Shawna, which one do you want?"
"Huh?" I blush. "You can't be serious."
Another giggle. "Hey, there's four of us an four of them. It's just for fun. Pick one!"
I start giggling as well, either our ice tea's been laced, or Kimmy's idea's not bad. 'For fun.
I'm starting to get a better look at them as they mingle about whatever they're doing- prepping up,
I suppose. Jen's already salivating over the lone black guy in the group. Squinting a bit gives me
the impression he could be Joey Baker in dreadlocks (and glasses! I'm impressed, for some reason).
The next one my eyes travel to-
Is *him*!

Chapter 4

He's flipping through the records in the box- most likely the DJ, Rob the Viking if I remembered
from the web search. I didn't see him right off because he's not quite as tall as the others. He's
not as super-skinny either, I see, but it's not in a gross way. 'Almost as if I could wrap my arms
around him.'
Why do I think that? I blush furiously.
I compose myself and take another look. His hair is hidden under his hat, so I can't see the color
from this distance. The eye color eludes me as well, but I don't need that at this moment, the
expression is everything.
His eyes are half closed as if in the deepest thought, and there's the faintest hint of a smile on
his full lips. He's not in conversation with the others, in fact, seems separated from them, but I
can tell he's taking in *everything.* He's intense.
'I am not in love,' I tell myself. 'I am merely star struck. It happens to the best of us. It's the
same feeling everyone gets when they realize they're in the same room with a celebrity. That's all.'
I. Am not. In love.
I. Do not. Believe myself.
He lifts his head. He opens his eyes. He's looking. At me!
My knees turn to jellyfish. I'm fortunate I'm sitting at the bar, or else I'd be nothing more than a
puddle on the floor.
Now he gives a smile. Not a faint hint, but a real honest-to-goodness smile.
At me!
A total quivering jellyfish!
Do the other girls not notice this? No, I think they've gone back to their drinks. And- and wasn't
Kimmy asking me something a fraction of a second ago? It had to be longer than *that*.
"Which one?"
Kimmy's question snaps me out of my daze. He's looking back at the records. Amen.
"Him," I whisper and point quickly. "The one with the records."
She raises and eyebrow and crinkles her face. "Him? Ewww. He's too fat. You can do better than
My heart falls out of my chest and breaks on the floor. How can she say that? "Kimmy, that's
*mean!*" my whisper becomes harsh. Don't cry, whatever you do...
"Bah, who cares? Dibs on the hottie in the red dreads!"
There's something almost sleazy in how her choice looks, but I decide not to stoop her level and
stay quiet.
Eventually the four gather their stuff and head out site- backstage, I guess.
And Rob flashes another smile. At me. There's no two ways about it. This is not being merely star
struck. I am in love.
My heart beats loudly as it realizes this.
The lights in the firehouse dim and excited whispers burst from everyone. As if on cue, the girls
and I scoot a little closer to the stage. Just a little closer, mind you. Wouldn't wanna look like a
Static kicks in. A heavy instrumental begins playing. A voice seems to come from all round us.
"Hey Revere, we need y'all to do us a favor."
Who's saying that?
"Take your right hand, put it in the air."
More of that heavy beat. Is Rob the one playing it?
"Now I want y'all to repeat after me. I-"
The Viking-
The Viking.
Once more with that heavy beat, and then the lights come on. All four of them are there. I scream
just as loud as the rest of the audience.
And soon we're all swept in.

Chapter 5

It's impossible not to dance. We can't even decide whether to or not, the music decides for us. The
guys as are dancing as well while they sing. Bounding, prancing, spinning, up, down, now close up,
now far away. Everyone is taken in by the words as well; they're so different from anything I've
heard before. Most hip-hop artists are self-centered in their lyrics, but not these guys. They're
more *mysterious.*
We lean through the words who they are. The lone black guy, the one who told us to put our hands up-
he's Prevail. His lyrics flow amazingly, peppered with several internal rhymes and references to
movies and literature. A shorter white guy who keeps his long hair under a hat and his eyes beneath
sunglasses- he's MadChild. An apt name, since he spits his words with a venom unmatched as far as
I'm aware of. The "hottie in the red dreads" Kimmy is lusting over has the unusual name of Moka
Only. His verses are more boastful and confident than the others; it's hard not to deny the charisma
he has.
And behind the turntables, of course, is DJ Rob the Viking. He's making sure every beat is where
it's supposed to be, and I'd say he's doing a fantastic job. I've been keeping one eye on him the
whole time. He *is* intense, both onstage and off.
My friends and I may not be great judges of talent, but we know what we love. And we love these
guys. Everyone else here seems to as well.
After about fifty minutes, Prevail grabs a mike and says, "All right, y'all, we're gonna take
fifteen, so stick around!"
The cheers and applause from the audience break the spell. Gwen grabs my shoulder and I see the
biggest grin on her face. "Wasn't that great?" She's only said that every ten minutes.
Jen pats her hair down, which has gone wild from dancing. "I'll say. You really know how to pick
"Hang on, I'll be right back," I say and head for the ladies room. My insides are just jumping.
After I'm finished, I tidy my hair in the mirror, get water from the sink, and head back out to the
girls. I'm just out of the hallway when I hear-
Amazing how one little word can make my feet freeze in their spot, my throat dry, my stomach
tighten, and my mind dizzy.
It can't be...
Slowly I turn my head to see Rob smiling as widely as before, but now close up.
His eyes are a full brown, just a bit lighter than mine, and I can see fringes of brown hair
sticking out from under his hat. There's two silver hoops pierced in his right eyebrow. 'That had to
hurt,' I think, and unconsciously bring a hand to my tattoo, remembering how much that stung.
"I noticed you out in the crowd while we were setting up," he extends a hand. "Robin Hooper."
I clench my palms to see if they're sweaty (they're not) and reach for the handshake. My tongue
loosens, "Shawna. Hi." 'Oh, real smooth, dummy!'
"Shawn-a," he stretches the second syllable, "that's real pretty. You've ever seen one of our shows
"No," I find my tongue loosening more, "but it's really great so far. I haven't seen anything like
He smiles, shrugs a little, "Thanks. We've been at it for a couple years, doing the underground
shows while we're lookin for a label. MadChild's hopin somebody'll sign Battle Axe to it."
"Battle Axe?..."
"The label he created."
I look down at the poster clenched in my hand, at the skull with the cross bone axes, and I can't
help but giggle. "Oh, I get it. Cool!"
That's not the only thing that's cool. I suddenly don't feel so nervous anymore. I know I'm still
blushing, but does he still notice?
"What do you do?"
My brain shuts down at this point and I find myself telling the biggest whopper ever. "I'm just
taking a year off before college while I help my dad with his shop."

Chapter 6

'All right, Shawna Elise Tifton, you've told some pretty dumb lies in your time. Doctoring that
report card in grade seven, that one time you tried pot last year. But if you think he'll believe
you're old enough to be a college girl-'
'You can easily pass for nineteen with your height an that. You can do *anything.*'
Oh, shut up, Kimmy.
"Really? What're you goin into?"
He believed me. I can't believe it.
I decide to tell the truth- a bit. "Media or music. I'm really leaning towards the music, though.
I'd love to learn how every rhythm comes together."
I feel as if a lightning bolt will hit the firehouse any minute, and then it'll *really* be a
"Maybe I can show you some of that."
Un. Be. Lievable.
He smiles and shrugs again- it's so cute! "I consider myself a bit of a teacher, too. It wouldn't be
a big deal."
'You have no idea how big a deal it is to me.'
He reaches for his back pocket. There's a pen there. "Maybe we can set somethin up?" He's looking at
my poster. I can tell what he means. I hand it to him; he flips it over and starts writing.
Somebody pops out from behind him. Oh lordy, lordy, it's Moka! Wouldn't Kimmy be screaming now?
"Hey Rob, we gotta be back on in five minutes." He looks toward me. "Well, hi there."
"Hi." And I'm blushing all over again.
"Hang on, man." Rob caps the pen and hands the poster back. "Moke, this is Shawna."
"Hi," I say again. "Thanks," I quickly say to Rob.
Moka tips an imaginary hat. "Havin a good time?"
"Great!" I smile and turn away just as Rob turns to follow Moka backstage again. Dimly I hear Moka
say, "So *she's* the little cutie that caught your eye..."
I stop in my tracks again. Because of what Moka says. Because of what Rob has written.
In the middle of the page is his flourished signature with the message "For Shaw" above. Near the
bottom are several digits- a number?
Just below those digits is "Call me."
I carefully fold the poster in half so as not to ruin the writing, and tuck it into my waistband.
Then I head back out to my friends.

Chapter 7

By the time I get back to my friends, the lights in the firehouse are dim again. "What took you so
long, girl?" Kimmy asks.
"Nothing," I say and adjust my waistband so the poster won't show.
Over a new heavy instrumental, we hear MadChild's voice taunting, "Guess who's ba-ack?" The lights
come on again and yep, they're all back.
For some reason my scream doesn't have as much energy this time.
Oh, I *know* the reason.
'I noticed you out in the crowd.'
'That's real pretty.'
'What do you do?'
'I consider myself a bit of a teacher.'
'Maybe we could set somethin up?'
'So *she's* the little cutie that caught your eye...'
'Call me.'
My dancing stops for a moment.
Have I gotten myself into something here? I mean, he thinks I'm old enough to be in college!
'Hold up, girl. Maybe you're reading too much into this. Maybe Rob was just being nice with his
compliments. Maybe he just noticed you because of your pink hair. Maybe he's just offering lessons.
Maybe he knows you're only sixteen.'
He looks at from the turntable at a spare moment and smiles in my direction.
'Right, and I'm the Queen of Sheba.'
The guys put as much effort and energy into this part of the show as the last part. 'How do they do
that? I'd be passed out by now!'
After another fifty minutes everything winds down, and Moka grabs a mike to say goodnight to the
audience. "Thank you, Revere, y'all been terrific, we'll see ya around!" With that the lights dim
one last time and the crowd cheers. It's over.
Jen grabs the shoulder of my top. "Let's get out before this crowd goes nuts." I have no time to
answer as we all rush to Kimmy's car, but I look back at the stage one last time and...sigh.
I'm the only quiet one during the ride home; the other girls are just as energetic as before, Kimmy
and Gwen singing off-key versions of the song instrumentals. In the backseat, Jen asks me, "You
thought he was great, huh?"
"Who?" I know who she means, but I'm not giving anything away.
"That DJ." She's teasing me, I know it.
"Yeah," I say nonchalantly.
"Heck, they were all great," she continues. "They're gonna be really famous, I know it." She
My house is last on the way, so Gwen and Jen have been dropped off when I leave the car. I turn the
key quietly in the door so as not to wake Dad, and then tiptoe in.
I'm about to take the poster from my waistband when I hear feet on the stairs. So much for not
waking Dad up. He's in pajamas.
"Hey, pumpkin. Have a good time?"
"Yep!" I bound upstairs to my bathroom.
"Didn't get into any trouble?" he smiles.
I smile back. It's an old joke between us. "No, Dad." I stretch and yawn. "I'll just take a quick
shower and go to bed."
"Ok." Dad kisses my cheek like when I was little. "'Night, Shawna."
In my bathroom I carefully slip the poster out and open it to the writing on the back. 'Call me.'
Goodnight, Rob.

Chapter 8

We're not a religious family, but Dad and I have been to church every Sunday as long as I can
remember. I'll wear a nice old-fashioned hat so as not to shock older churchgoers with my hair- the
first Sunday after I started dying my hair I had no hat, and the reverend's wide-eyes surprise gave
me a good idea what he was thinking.
Grandma Tifton- Dad's mom- comes with us, too. Just as I don't look anything like Dad, he doesn't
look anything like his mother. Grandma has deep chestnut curls and bright hazel eyes.
It's good to hear Grandma talk of her childhood in Wales, how she handled farming responsibilities
with her brother and sister, moving to Saskatchewan and falling in love with the blue-eyed,
flaxen-haired James Tifton. They relocated to Vancouver in the late fifties.
I can imagine Grandma then, young, beautiful, first catching Grandpa's eye on a country road. I can
imagine what she felt- because I know what she felt.
The sermon today is happy, peaceful, giving thanks for another beautiful Sunday and how thankful we
are to be in a land of endless opportunity. I like that.
Grandma has a lovely singing voice, and she gives it her all during the hymns. She was in the
operetta when she came to Saskatchewan. My voice is passable, I suppose, but nowhere near as
wonderful as hers. Rhyming is more similar to speaking, anyway, so I shouldn't worry *there*.
After we're home, I assure Grandma I'll be at her house after dinner to help clean like I do every
Sunday, then change into street clothes. The poster is down on my dresser so the number's facing
Should I call now? I mean, I don't wanna look too eager- or desperate.
On the other hand, he seemed pretty insistent.
'It's just a lesson, Shaw.'
Shaw. Great. Now I'm calling myself what he called me. I reach for my Princess phone- I've been
saving up for a cell phone- and shakily dial.
One digit...two digits...three...four...fingers still! I did it!
It's ringing. Once...twice...three times...I cough...four times...
His voice! It sounds a little fuzzy through the phone...well, what was I to expect?
"Hello, is Rob there?" Duh. Of course it was him. But it was a force of habit.
"This is. Who's this?"
Is he not recognizing me? Well, I do sound shaky.
"It's Shawna- Shawna Tifton?" Even though I didn't tell him my last name before.
There's a blank second, then he says, "Shaw, hi! Where are you?"
"I'm home. My dad and I just got back from church." 'Keep at it, girl, tell bits of the truth until
the whole ugly thing just spills out...' "Anyway, I was wondering about those lessons?..."
"Are you free this afternoon?"
I glance at my clock. If I ever go out on Sundays, I have to be back by five. Nowhere near that
"Yeah!" Oops, did I sound a little too enthusiastic there?
He tells me he has his turntable at his place and gives his address. My fingers start shaking again
as I write it down.
'Stop shaking, girl! It's just a lesson! You're reading too much into this!'
My brain isn't helping me calm down. I tell Rob thanks, see him in a bit, bye, and hang up before he
can say anything else. With shaky legs I head downstairs and grab my keys from the counter.
"Where are you going, Shawna?" Dad asks from the kitchen. He's reading the Sunday paper.
"I just thought I'd buy lunch downtown and hang around for a bit," I say, looking him in the eye.
This lying comes so easy to me, I scare myself.
"Be back before five." That's all he says.
"I know. Bye, Dad."
When I get into the car, the first thing I notice in the mirror is how plain my face looks. I don't
wear makeup to church, so now I look younger. I look sixteen. That should tip him off.
Ready or not, Rob. Here I come.

(tbc eventually...^-^)


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