Chapter 3: An Uncomfortable Conversation

“Crap, crap and more crap!” Myrt said, shoving a stack of old quilts into a cardboard box.

“Were you expecting buried treasure?” I asked as I taped a box full of old shoes shut. My cell phone buzzed inside my pocket. I pulled it out. Frowning, I silenced the phone and shoved it back into my pocket.

“That’s the third time that phone has rung in an hour,” Mart said as she rifled through the dresser next to the bed. “What’s his name?”

“What makes you think it’s a guy calling?” My love life was a constant source of gossip/disappointment for the aunts. All of my 25 cousins were either married or working on their third divorce.

“No reason.” Mart smirked.

“It’s interesting isn’t it, Sissy,” Myrt said as she packed up another box.

“What’s that?” Mart asked.

“I didn’t hear her deny that it was a fellow calling.” Myrt winked at me.

As much as I wanted Myrt and Mart to be wrong, they weren’t. And until this room was cleaned out with my belongings in place, the Old Bitties weren’t going anywhere. That meant I was either going to spend the next couple of hours avoiding their questions or I’d have to admit defeat and cave.

“His name is Stuart.” I caved. Stuart worked for one of the funeral homes that frequented my office. He was tall and thin with dark eyes. Not unattractive, per se, but he had long, alien-like fingers that gave me the chills. The thought of his fingers anywhere on my body was as pleasant as the thought of having a tarantula crawl all over me.

“Well. What’s wrong with him?” Mart asked.

“Nothing. I’m just not interested in him.” This fact made my encounters with Stuart awkward at best. I learned fast that subtlety was not something he picked up on. That left only one option: the “direct” option. I was forced down this road last week when he sent a message to my cell phone. The message was an animated heart-shaped emoji that blew kisses. Our uncomfortable conversation continued with me asking him a very direct question.

Even after this conversation he still continued pursuing me.

“Well if it’s not him,” Myrt said, “Then it must be you. What’s wrong with you? You’re not one of them…” Her voice trailed off as she fought to find the right word. “One of them….Mart?” she called to her sister. “What’s the word I’m looking for?”

“Fruit Pie,” Mart replied.

“No. That’s not it.”

“Fruit fly?” Mart tried again.

“No. That’s not it either. What is the word I’m looking for.” Myrt thought about it for another second. Her eyes lit up. “Sweet potato!” She said, snapping her fingers. “You’re not one of those sweet potatoes, are you?”

“Sweet potato?” I thought, stifling laughter. “How in the heck did she come up with that?” I turned toward Myrt. “I think the word you’re looking for is ‘lesbian,’ and….”

Mart slapped me on the back of my head. “Louisa Jane! You watch your language when you’re in this house.”

“That’s not a curse word,” I said, rubbing my injury. “And I’m also not a lesbian. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But in this case, I’m just not interested in Stuart.”

“Well you better get interested in someone quick,” Myrt began, “before all of your lady parts shrivel up like a prune.”

“And on that note,” I said, taping the last box shot. “It seems we’ve packed everything up.” I stood up and stretched my legs out. “I’ll start moving these boxes up to the attic.”

“That’s fine,” Mart said. “We’ll just start unpacking your belongings. You don’t have any unmentionables you don’t want us to see, do you?”

“You mean besides my collection of Ben Wa balls and bullet vibrators?” I chuckled. 

The Old Bitties stared at me, burning a disapproving mark into my forehead.

I wasn’t sure what was more disturbing: the look they wore or the fact that they understood what I was talking about. Could it be the Old Bitties were actually wild and free back in their day?

“I don’t have anything that would require either of you to double up on your heart medication.” I grabbed a box and exited the room. As I rounded the corner, I heard the Old Bitties talking.

“She’ll never get a man with that sense of humor,” Mart said.

“Ain’t that the truth.”

To be continued……

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