A row of poplars stood like soldiers at the edge of her family’s yard and guarded the green manicured acre. In the center of the yard, the little girl kneeled down to pick the first dandelion of spring. “Ooh,” she said. “I found one.”
The head of it wasn’t golden anymore. It was opposite to her silky jet black hair, white and fluffy cotton on a stick. She pursed her pink lips, closed her eyes and blew a hundred parachute seeds into the wind.
A girl walked home along the dirt road and remembered…
She remembered when she had a friend, a friend who told her a secret and made her swear not to tell a soul. So Lindsy swore to Samantha, and did keep the secret for a day, but a kiss was big news in seventh grade. A kiss was bigger news if it was with another girl’s first boyfriend. When Jenna, the prettiest, most popular girl in class, asked Lindsy if she’d play tennis with her after school, she couldn’t resist sharing this information. “Guess what I heard?” She asked Jenna, whose eyes lit up like stars with curiosity. “Samantha kissed Matt last weekend…on the lips!”
Maybe Jenna would want to hang out with her more now. “And you know Matt is Kim’s boyfriend? Samantha knew, but it didn’t stop her from kissing him.” They giggled together. Then Mary joined them.
Jenna whispered in her ear. “Guess what I heard?” She looked at Lindsy. “Tell her, Lindsy, what you told me.”
“Samantha told me…” While telling Mary the news, Lindsy remembered she had sworn secrecy, but she couldn’t stop now.
Later, in class, Lindsy noticed Jenna whispering to Colleen. Mary whispered to Michael and Kathy. Colleen handed a folded note to Hannah who passed it to Jake who passed it to Brian. By the end of the day, Lindsy held the note. “Samantha kissed Matt.” Hearts, XO’s and comments (Samantha is a pig) were added to the original in different handwriting and different colored ink. Lindsy felt a sharp pain in her stomach as she crumpled the note and stuck it in her pocket.
The next time the little girl went out to her yard, she called her sister. “Look Lindsy. Look at all the pretty yellow flowers.”
Dandelions covered the lawn as if sprinkled there overnight. “Those are weeds. They shouldn’t be there.”
“Well, I like them. I’m gonna pick some for mom to put in the vase.”
By the next day, Kim handed Samantha a note. When Lindsy sat at the lunch table next to her friend, Samantha threw the note at her face. “I don’t want a friend who gossips behind my back.”
Kim sat with Jenna and Mary and stuck her tongue out as Lindsy passed by their table. Who knew what they were saying behind her back, so she sat alone. The sea of faces that made up her classmates became a room of strangers. When she closed her eyes, she prayed silently, asking God to somehow turn back time, before the gossip spread, before she ever opened her mouth and shared Samantha’s secret.
At home, a paper cup filled with a clump of wilting dandelions and some water was set in the middle of the table. Lindsy’s sister slumped over the table pouting.
“What’s wrong?” She looked like Lindsy felt.
“Mom doesn’t like the dandelions either; she’s killing them with fertilizer.”
Lindsy took out a blank piece of paper and pen and began to write…I’m sorry.
She ripped the note from class, and sprinkled it like confetti in the garbage can. The wind could take it away; then she prayed for forgiveness.
“Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip a quarrel dies down.” Proverbs 26:20
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