Mom hopes truth with surface after incident

June 15, 2012|Lisa Prejean

What causes a person to lie?

Is it fear of what will happen if the truth is told? Is it indifference?

Is the truth measured and sifted into divisions of importance and unimportance?

If so, does that mean unimportant items don't mandate an honest response?

I was contemplating these questions last weekend when we were at a local park for a sports tournament.

Most of the teenagers we encounter at these tournaments are model kids. They volunteer in their communities, earn good grades in school, excel in athletics.

They are our future, tomorrow's movers and shakers.

That is why I was surprised by an encounter we had in the parking lot.

We were driving through the rows of cars looking for our son. A car passed us going the opposite way.

A teenage girl sitting in the passenger seat of the passing car arched her arm up, out of the window and tossed something over the roof of their car. The item landed on our windshield and bounced off.

It happened so fast, I wasn't sure what had occurred. 

However, I knew something had been thrown.

My husband stopped our van just as the other car had stopped and was backing up.

Assuming that they were stopping to apologize, I walked back to the car to ask what had been thrown.

The teens in the car denied that anything had been thrown.

"We were just looking for Michael," one of them said.

"Yeah, we stopped to look for Michael," another agreed.

I looked at them, and the gravel under my feet seemed rather jagged, as if I could feel the points of the rocks coming through my shoes.

The reality hit me. The teens were lying.

"I saw you throw something. It landed on my windshield and bounced off."

The teens all denied the pitch I saw.

"Ma'am, we didn't throw anything," the thrower said.

I looked at her one more time, hoping for honesty.

She looked at me again, willing me to walk away.

So I did. I walked back to the van, and my husband pointed to an item in the gravel.

"That's what was thrown," he said.

A brightly wrapped piece of bubble gum sat nestled in the rocks.

Did it hurt our windshield? No, of course not.

However, the impact of the lie was quite damaging.

How could any of her friends trust her from this point on?

That is one truth she will eventually, and painfully, find out on her own.

Lisa Tedrick Prejean writes a weekly column for The Herald-Mail's Family page. Send email to her at

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