“Everybody is talking about you.”  Kevin greeted her with the announcement.

“All good, I hope.”  She said, absentmindedly checking her e-mails.

“Teresa’s at it again.”

Putting down her phone, she gave him her full attention.  That explained the nasty looks she was getting around town.  “Now I know how a celebrity must feel in the middle of a scandal.”

Whenever anyone asked her about their falling out, she’d say ‘Teresa felt betrayed and disappointed by some of my life choices.’  She didn’t want to air the family laundry.  Too bad Teresa didn’t feel the same way.

“I shouldn’t have talked you into moving back here.”

“You couldn’t turn down that job.”   It was ten years since her father died, leaving her to her great-aunt’s care, and five since they parted ways.

“She marched up to me on Main Street to announce, in detail, how horrible you are – she’s worse than you described.”  He hugged her.  “I’m sorry.  I can’t imagine living with someone like her.”

Teresa was a spiteful woman, who hid her true self from strangers.  She was manipulative and knew how to play the role of the victim.

Teresa had constantly bullied her about her weight, her looks, and her friends.  She refused to let Lily date and controlled every aspect of her life.  When Lily graduated, she and Teresa had a huge row.  The older woman said some horrible things, including calling her a whore.  She disowned and disinherited her – in case there was any confusion – then kicked her out of the house.

Lily shrugged.  She’d long ago forgiven the woman, even reached out over the years to no avail.  She finally gave up.

Kevin shook his head.  “She’s no family, no friends.  We could’ve been her family.”

“There’s a reason some people are alone.”

 

 

 

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