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“You guys sure I shouldn’t call her?” I continued, “maybe go see her?”
Henry and Kurt gave each other what I felt was a suspicious look. Henry elected to respond. “Yeah man, just let it go.”
The time was nearing 5:00 p.m. and I still had to walk my dog, so I decided to head home from basketball and clear my head in the process. I was approaching the end of the laneway about 50 feet from my house when one of my neighbours waived at me from his porch. This neighbour, Russell, was one of the kindest and most down to earth individuals I had the pleasure of knowing.
“Hi Mike!” Russell had a thick Bajan accent accompanied by a soft laugh he used in between his sentences.
“Hey Russell. How’s everything?”
“Good, Mike, good! There were some, uh, girls here looking for you.”
Girls? Naturally my first thought reverted to Natasha. She didn’t live too far.
“What did they look like? Did you talk to them?”
Russell did his little chuckle before he answered. “No man. I just saw them come up the street and go up to your house.”
I crossed over two more driveways before I reached my house. I did not know what was going on, but the first day back at school was going to be interesting.
I remember when that day came. I walked from class to class scoping my surroundings like a shoplifter getting ready to commit a petty theft. There was no sign of Natasha. Half of the day had passed and lunch just finished.
Kurt was walking with me down one of the central halls in our maze of a school. We were both in the same hall for the last period, but in different classes.
I heard her before I could see her, maybe 15 feet behind me. Her voice cut through the din of sounds from the crowd of students filling the hall.
“Kurt, that’s her. Should I talk to her?”
Kurt pushed my right elbow forward as if he intended to move me ahead.
“No man. Just leave it, keep walking.” I glanced behind my right shoulder and she saw me. When I turned to face forward again, that’s when it happened. My throat instantly became constricted and I could not believe when I heard the words that projected from her mouth.
“Why the hell does this kid keep telling everyone I asked him out? What a son of a bitch!” she told one of her friends in complete distaste, making no effort to lower her voice.
I looked at Kurt in disbelief and shock, I asked him to confirm what I thought I had just heard. He told me we’d meet later, after classes.
An hour had passed when I received a text message from Kurt to meet him in the washroom. I wasted no time in leaving my classroom since I could not focus on anything the teacher was saying. Walking down the empty hall, I made my way into the boy’s washroom that smelled of really strong cleaning chemicals. I saw Kurt standing by a sink folding his phone shut.
“Hey Mike. Listen, I need to tell you something man.”
“What’s going on Kurt? What was Natasha saying in the hall?”
“Look, Mike, I am so sorry. Henry and I created a fake account and pretended to be Natasha. I am so sorry man, it was such a stupid thing to do.” He continued to apologize and tell me how important of a friend I was to him. I did not hear a thing. All I could envision was grabbing his head and smacking it against the mirror above the sink until all of the fragments made their way to the ground. Without any comment, I turned and walked out of the room.
I left class early and got a head start on my walk home. I did not want to see or speak to either of them. When I reached home, I instantly signed on to MSN and deleted “Natasha’s” account from my Friends List. Kurt appeared online not long after. I set my status to “Away” to avoid an obligation to respond to any messages he intended to send. I was prepared to block him along with Henry. Of course it would not have been permanent, just a heat of the moment fix. Kurt sent me a genuine message of how sorry he was and to this day, I know he and Henry truly felt bad.
A few days passed and the three of us did reconcile. Natasha faded back into nonexistence and nothing worse materialized from the situation. You might wonder why this story is called “The Girl with the Pink Font.” The pink font that “Natasha” used was crucial because it was the use of that font that deceived me the most. I felt that the colour and style was something the real Natasha would have chosen. Not to mention my friends did a very convincing job in mimicking her choice of words. The first red flag I had completely missed was the absence of a personalized display picture. In addition, the fact that we never spoke or saw each other in person should have rung a few bells. One thing to this day still seems strange to me: that day when I came home and my neighbour Russell said there were a few girls looking for me. He later admitted that no girls came by and he was just joking. I never understood why he would have made that up. Russell never knew my friends Henry and Kurt, but the timing of his “joke” fit perfectly with their prank.
Fast forward the clock almost 15 years, where are Kurt and Henry now? These guys are two of my closest friends and I was honoured to have them attend my wedding in July of 2017. The Natasha experience has become one of so many that we look back on and laugh about when we find time to get together.