Chapter 6

Her cousins had appeared several times in her childhood and each time they invaded every single facet of her life.  Beatrice went to bed feeling oddly disconnected to all the things that should have been an extreme nuisance to her routine.  The clutter, the smell, even the dog, were sent to the background, and memories of her cousins crashed through her mind. 

She knew they were tornadoes unable to be stopped, incapable of redirection, unaffected by persuasion.  They would show up, and like weeds, grow into every nook and cranny of her life, choking out any semblance of normal, and suffocating all that had been good.

As a child, she and her mother had tried to outsmart them, to avoid them, to ignore them, but to no avail.  Once, they left everything and moved when they discovered her cousins were back, but the cousins followed.  Another instance, she and her mother planned to ignore them, refusing to be affected by their appearance.  This worked briefly, but her cousins managed to sabotage Beatrice’s perfect grades, and get her mother fired.  How could she and her mother combat them now?

They were going to ruin everything Beatrice had worked so hard to create in her beautifully boring life.  In two short days, the wonderfully stable times she had with him crashed down around her.  Although she was furious her routine was gone and would probably not return, she was not dwelling on it the way she had last night.  She found herself caught up thinking about him and how to prevent him from finding out, or getting involved in the chaos rapidly taking over.  They were scheduled to have dinner at 7 PM on Wednesday.  Perhaps she could cancel – but they never cancel.  She could introduce him to the lesser of two evils… “This is my mother, with her exotic ways and a dog; sometimes I wonder where I came from, too, don’t worry.”  That would be disastrous.  Her mother would never go to J.G.’s Restaurant and Grill and she would most certainly tell him horrifically adventurous stories, and worse probe into his life more than Beatrice had in their three years of standing dates.

She wondered what he might say or think, and how he might react. Perhaps he would react they way he did when they saw action films together, by saying “Wow, what a life; I am much more content with my peaceful routine.”  But if he realized her routine was a fragile and precious cover for all the terrible chaos surrounding her life, he would surely end their standing dates and find a new way to fill Wednesday evenings and Saturday afternoons.  

While contemplating what new means of torture her cousins had devised for her and her mother, Beatrice found herself thinking of him in parallel.  And for the first time ever, she wondered what he was doing at that very moment and jealously imagined him living his stable routine.

-M.R. Gavin

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