I don't know why, but yesterday I was struck with a random memory. I found it so random, and yet, interesting....I wanted to share it with you.
I don't remember the name of the girl I was with...so, she will be called Jane in this story. But, maybe I'm also protecting the innocent? Who knows.
Imagine this: 11 year old Leah and her 11 year old friend, Jane. They are wandering around BYU campus. Leah's dad is going to pick them up outside the art gallery. So, the girls get to the pick up point about 30 minutes early and have some time to kill.
This is what happens:
We were on the second floor looking out over the people wandering around the first floor. A girl with tons of red hair sat directly underneath us. I was admiring her hair.
"She has really pretty hair," I said. "I wish I had red hair."
"No you don't."
"Yes I do."
"You like brown hair," Jane said. She sighed. "What are we going to do until your dad gets here?"
"I don't know." I started playing with the gum in my mouth. I stretched it, twisted it and turned it. "I need to throw away my gum."
Jane looked around for a garbage can, but the one she found was downstairs. "There's one downstairs."
"K. Let's go. I want to see what her hair looks like from up close."
"No you don't. Let's find a garbage can up here."
"Jane, I can like red hair. Hey! Do you want to see if I can make it into the garbage can from here?"
"Okay. Are you sure?"
"I bet you can't make it."
"But, what if I can?" I took the gum out of my mouth and walked a few feet to position myself over the trash can.
"You can't. So, don't do it. Let's go find one up here." Jane stood up and came over to me. She grabbed my arm just as I let go of the gum.
And we watched it fall slightly sideways......into the beautiful head of hair. The beautiful head of hair turned to look up at us. Jane ran away. I followed.
The woman with red hair was fast. My mind was racing. It was an accident. A stupid accident! I didn't want to get into trouble. I was determined not to get into trouble.
So, I stopped. I thought a sad thought and started to cry. I took a deep breath....and turned to face the woman with the red hair.
"I'm so sorry Sara did that to you!"
The woman stopped. She was holding a wad of her hair. Cut. Stuck to the gum. She shoved it into my face. "Look what you did!" (I remember wondering how she found scissors so fast)
"Sara did it! She did it and she ran away. I can't believe she would do such a thing. Jane and I were trying to find her."
The woman faltered a bit. But, shoved the wad of hair into my face again. "Why did you run away if you didn't do anything?"
"We were trying to find Sara."
Jane walked up behind me. She looked so confused. I hoped she wouldn't say anything to ruin it.
So....the woman came with us. For twenty minutes we looked for 'Sara' and couldn't find her. I finally told the woman with beautiful hair that my dad was going to be picking us up soon.
So, she sat down and wrote a letter to Sara's parents. Chiding them for raising a child that would do such a horrible thing and then run away.
She walked us to my dad's car and told me to give the letter to Sara's parents. She opened the door and asked my dad to make sure I give the letter to Sara's parents.
He looked confused too.
I don't remember how I convinced my dad that I could give them the letter myself.
I do remember Jane calling me a horrible liar and a few other names.
But, here is why it is such an interesting memory to me- I remember that I didn't feel like a liar. I was acting. In my head, I was acting. I had taken on a character and created a story in the time that it took the woman to catch up with us.......and I dove into the "play."
I find that fascinating! I knew the difference between right and wrong! But, I guess my "training" as an actor had messed with my young mind a bit. Because I had lied. It was an accident! Why did I feel the need to lie about it????
I do wonder why that memory came upon me yesterday. Maybe I needed to be reminded about not blurring the lines between right and wrong. Maybe I still want red hair. I'm not sure where it came from....but, there is a lesson in there. I hope I hear it....