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That lady named Diana who lived down the road from me picked up a new companion some day when I wasn’t paying attention. I should probably explain something first: Diana was at least forty-something, single, unhindered by Life. Which is to say, she was still beautiful at her age. In other words, she’s good at turning heads. In some ways, that’s how I came to know her.

Of course, a gorgeous woman living alone in middle age creates rumours simply by existing. Some are true: that she goes to the hairdresser’s to have her hair dyed dark brown to hide the grey strands, that she lives comfortably from her job as an office manager somewhere, likely somewhat rich. Some are,…well. I won’t go into them, although I can say they are probably mostly well founded, now that I had witnessed the new thing that seemed to have entered her life. As I began saying, she recently started bringing a beautiful young boy with her around town. There are no other words to describe him. This person, he’s young – even younger than my daughter, I’m sure – and agonizingly beautiful, like a doll. He is tall, slim, with skin so delicate, almost porcelain white, coloured by a faint blush of candy pink that exists only in those who are young. His hair is blond, let long, and curls over a fine boned face with delicately shaped lips. I have not seen him up close, but I can only imagine that his eyes are blue. It makes a woman like me jealous, both seeing such beauty on a man, and seeing that boy pleasantly shopping next to some other woman. Just between you and me, I changed my daily walking path around the neighbourhood so I could pass by Diana’s house, just in case – you know?

Sometime last week, that boy suddenly disappeared. Word spreads quickly around neighbours mowing the lawn and walking the dog together, and I quickly found out what had happened. Sure enough, that news was confirmed yesterday when my daughter reported seeing him in the Pulseline nightclub on East Haver Street. After spending the poor woman’s money and kindness, the boy used Diana’s house as a weekend retreat while she was away on a business trip. On the Friday night, he had entered the house with some pretty young girl. Both were very drunk, according to some sources. Neither were observed exiting the building until Monday afternoon when Diana came home and, with a great amount of shouting, threw them both out. I’m sure you’d be as shocked as I was when I found out – and don’t you feel sorry for that poor Diana? It seems that the boy with the doll’s face is not such a doll after all.

Even so, could you ever put blame on such a pretty face? Such a shame,…