I Started The Rumor About Shelby

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
Been to any good block parties lately?

Submitted: June 28, 2017

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Submitted: June 28, 2017




I Started The Rumors About Shelby

Robert Kasch


It’s true , I started all the rumors concerning our “new neighbor”, Shelby. Just to get away from my long winded next door buddy. He was going on and on about the vacant house across the street and why in the world it was still vacant. He was concerned about property values, his wife was concerned and on and on.


Foolishly I said, “ Carl, it’s not vacant. Shelby lives there. I’m surprised you haven’t seen her. A real knockout. I’ve dated her twice. Nice lady too.” I turned as Carl’s jaw dropped. He was back on his game in no time but I was in the front door. Safe from boredom...for now. I figured Carl would figure I was kidding as the house was never lit and the grass was seldom cut. I think the real estate company trying to sell the house had that done on a hit and miss basis. I didn’t mind. There was an unusual number of grasshoppers but so what?  


The morning after starting the rumor, Lacey Jagger, ran to my car as I was headed to work. She was out of breath but smiling. “ John, sorry to catch you on the run but could I get Lacey’s number? For the block party. I’m hostess this month.”


“ Oh. Yeah. I have it in my phone, can I swing by tonight with it? I’m really running late.”


“ Sure. No prob. I’ll get it tonight. You have to fill me in on you and Lacey you rascal.”


Damn. Now I’m a rascal. I drove on thinking about a way out of my lie. I could just laugh and say I was kidding. It is true after all. I mean it’s true I was kidding. Brother. Block parties. I never even went to one of the Beef and Gossip affairs and know I need a number for a girl that does not exist.


I was sitting in my cube fretting when Dale Asher, my boss, walked in and patted me on the back.


“ That’s my boy. John it’s all over the office. Who is the mystery lady? Word is she’s a real looker. Redhead I heard? Gale stood there waiting for a response. It was my imaginary girlfriend. How dare someone say she was a redhead when I, myself did not know. Not that I don’t like redheads I just prefer to be the first to know.


“ Actually she’s a blond with red highlights. Cut short and sassy. A real curvy lightweight. I can lift her over my head with little effort.”  I couldn’t believe I was digging my own grave with such abandon.


“ You devil John. I knew you had it in you.” Dale walked away, smiling as he went from cube to cube spreading the word. Now I was a devil and a rascal. Kind of cool but it could never end well. The rest of the day was completely unproductive. I had two panic attacks and had to breath into a paper bag to balance my oxygen intake. I should say I’m prone to panic attacks and it has been a drag on me socially. Small confession.


It wasn’t until I reached my house that an answer came to me. My sister in law Lisa was an exact match for the non existent Shelby. Subconsciously I must have been thinking of her, Lisa,  when I described Shelby to Dale. I always liked Lisa and knew she would bail me out. She was quite the actress and very playful. She would love posing as Shelby for one evening. I felt the weight of the world lifting from my very soul.


I was on the phone with Lisa for over an hour discussing the plan. She was giggling and talking a mile a minute about wardrobe and her ‘Shelby’ attitude and how we would ‘break up’ at the end of the block party.


“ John,” Shelby started, “ How about this, I dress kind of like a flirt , complete with a short skirt and some naughty high heels? Then there will be someone, some guy, who will no doubt flirt with me. Too much for you to bear, so to speak. You get angry and grab my elbow. Gently please and I throw my drink in your face and scream out we’re through and I can throw in I’m moving. Maybe I would say I don’t want to live across from you? This will be so fun John. Love it.”


“ Great ideas,” I said, “That should solve all of our problems. What about Ron? Will he be cool with this?” I wanted to make sure I didn’t ruffle Ron’s feathers. He was never much of a jokester


“ I know he’s your brother John but I don’t give a damn. He is rarely home and always has a weak excuse for coming home late or not at all. In other words the dog is cheating.”


I was shocked. Lisa is someone most men would never consider cheating on. Sure, she was fun loving and i think very loyal but I could see her as being very vengeful..


“ I hope you’re wrong Lisa. That would be horrid. I can’t imagine it.”


“ It’s all true John. I’m sure. I plan on filing before he can. That’s between us. Okay?”


“ Of course.” My head was reeling again and a panic attack was walking my way. “ I hope there is an explanation and if not I’ll back you all the way Lisa. I don’t like cheaters. Not even if it’s my brother.”


“ Thanks John. I think you and I are cut from the same cloth. I’ve always liked you. Really. Not just an In Law like in most families. You’re a right on man.”


“Thanks Lisa. Same here.” we talked another minute about our plan and I had a few beers to calm me down. A mini brewer had just put out a new beer, Little Rascals and I thought , that’s me. A little rascal.


The night came for the block party. The first and last I would attend. I waited for Lisa while downing Blue Ribbon with Buddy Font, an old friend who had flown into town to meet Shelby. It’s crazy that my offhand remark had caused such a stir. I only hoped No one showed up that knew Lisa. Oh, my head and stomach were killing me. The stress. Just an hour and I would be free of this.


The end of my misery seemed close. The partiers began to clap and seemed to chant. That was just my pounding head. I heard an almost simultaneous shout of “ There she is, Shelby.”


Fantastic I thought. Not fantastic. ‘Shelby’ was with my brother. Arm in arm. She was wearing grungy jeans and an old sweatshirt. What the hell? Lisa met my eyes and shrugged and looked toward my brother who was walking toward me. He leaned in to whisper something to me.


“ Listen little brother, don’t involve Lisa in any of your crap again.Besides I think the two of you have always been a little too close.” He punched me and I fell. He grabbed Lisa’s arm and they were off. Lisa shouted over her shoulder to me as I was getting up.


“ Sorry John. We made up. Bye.”


Corey Corey from my old high school walked up to me. We were always enemies.. I think I stole his girl once. Yeah, that was it.


“ How’s it feel John?. You rat.” He shook his head and walked off. Big talk from a guy named Corey Corey.


It was then a short haired blond in a tight mini skirt and tank top ran to me. Her makeup was thick and her lips a deep red. Red like the streaks in her hair. She had at least three piercings and a tatoo on her shoulder.She was actually very attractive. She wrapped her arms around me.


“ Baby, who was that goon? Come on , let’s go to my place. The furniture was delivered today. I hate block parties anyway.”


It was divine intervention. The girlfriend I made up was real and living across the street from me. We went into the living room and sat on the leather love seat. Shelby reached under the cushion and pulled out a bottle of Jack.


“ Want a slug bub?” I said nothing and Shelby took a long drink. “ Ahhh, nothing like a night with me and my old friend Jack Daniels.”


“ Shelby?”


“ Shows over dude. Your sister in law said an hour. Two hundred bucks, I dance down at Feathers. Lisa hired me to help you out when her old man went ape over her helping you with this Shelby scam. Can’t say I see the angle but it’s your gig. You making money with it?”


I was in shock I guess. I could barely understand what the dancer from Feathers was saying. “ No, no money, Just a misunderstanding.”


“ Whatever, Lisa said you’d pay me.” The ‘Shelby’ actress stood up and held out her hand. I wasn’t going to argue. I handed her the two bills and watched as she walked out. The sound of a Porsche roared out of the drive. I closed my eyes and almost at once fell asleep.


I was right in the middle of my third nightmare when someone pushed against my shoulder. I opened my eyes and there were two big guys hovering over me.


“ Times up pal. We’re here to pick up the furniture. Rented for just one night. Nights over so off.”


I stood up and pictured my can of Folgers waiting for me. Several of the neighbor guys were out working on their lawns. They were smiling and giving me the thumbs up. Maybe they would take me out for drinks when I tell them Shelby dumped me.


© Copyright 2017 Bob W. Kasch. All rights reserved.

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