Every block has one – a fast girl, and the one on my block was named Nina Williams. Nina was the subject of wet dreams and wagging tongues. Oh, how they talked about her! Whispered rumors blew hot and fast (no pun intended) over well-manicured lawns and hedges as soon as Nina stepped out of her house. It didn’t help matters that she preferred walking down the middle of the block, strutting on her own private runway. And the walk…grown folks stopped in their tracks, mid-whisper, to watch that walk. Even with her hair in an “onion”, a pinched ponytail – just enough hair to snatch back, and her generic dirty sneakers, Nina’s walk said that she was grown and ready for whatever.
Every time I saw her, I wondered in amazement. I mean, she wasn’t that pretty. In fact, she was kinda plain - light brown with cinnamon freckles sprinkled across her nose and onto her cheeks, average height, slim, almost flat-chested, average size butt that sat up high, and a smile that reminded me of the Grinch. Every time someone called to her when she walked by, Nina would poke out her lips at them in a silent hello. Like, “I’m too cool and too grown to offer you kids words!” What made her so cool? What did she do so bad that the adults talked about her? Where was she always going? I had no idea but I was intrigued.