“Try to be I more like Virginia and Liza,” Aunt Toni would say. “You have no sense of style. Are you really going to wear that dress? Green is all wrong for you. Slow down your eating, Miss Piggy.” Then she and her two horrid daughters would turn and laugh.
Most of the time, I shrugged it off. I only saw Aunt Tini once or twice a year. She lived in California, and we lived in Connecticut. She was twice divorced and preoccupied with men. my parents we happily married and ran a successful computer software manufacturing company.
Life was great until the plane crash that killed them.Then Aunt Toni swooped in like the Wicked Witch. She’d take over because she was sure that was what her late sister would want. What she really wanted was to get her hands on my trust fund, but, of course she couldn’t come out and demand the money. So figured she’d just make make me miserable. She sold her home and came east.
Did you ever have a bad dream only to wake up and realize you weren’t dreaming? That’s what’s life with Aunt Toni. I think they call it benign neglect, except there was nothing benign about Aunt Toni. my clothes allowance went to her girls.i got the hand-me-downs. If she could have pulled me out of my school, she would have, but that was iron clad in my parents’ will. Somehow, Aunt Toni got money for her girls to go to school with me so I had no refuge. Even when college rolled around, she told me that the price of college had gotten too much for my puny trust fund.
“Sacrifices will have to be made,” she said.
Then two weird things happened, and by weird, I mean amazing. First, Jack Ogelthorpe took over for his father managing my trust. He showed up at the house on a Saturday when Toni and her spawn weren’t home, and said he had concerns about the way the trust was being administrated. We had a long talk, and he promised to look into Toni’s questionable handling of my parents’ estate.
Second, I was assigned to work on a science fair project with Dave Carns who under his Clark Kent glasses had big blue eyes and a sweet disposition.When we won first place for our study of brain function under stress, it was one of the happiest days of my life. One of Dave’s too, because he asked me out.
Four years later, we’re living together about to dedicate ourselves to studying brains. Toni has been invited to leave and go back to California with her girls, and I barely give them a thought. Except I heard Virginia got a tattoo and gained thirty pounds while Liza took off with some guy who said he’d make her into an actress.She kind of is, i guess. Her latest film was called Lizard Tongue, and I hear it was a big seller.