A Secret Grave 70: Fascinator Chat

 

Much later that day, after several more conversations with Alicia and combing the news and the internet for anything I could find on Charlie Diaz, I checked my email (for the hundredth time) and saw a message from Janet K. Johnson.

Hey Nicole: You didn’t know Betsy had a sister because she kicked us to the curb. Abandoned us, me and my little brother, Donny. That was many years ago but it was very traumatic and I’m lucky I’m still here on the planet and have been able to make a decent life for myself. (The same cannot be said for Donny.) I looked at your website, artprofiler.com, and was amazed to see stories and pictures of Betsy. She is beautiful and successful but not who she says she is, I can promise you that. Her husband looks old – I’ll bet she married for money. I could tell you lots of stuff, lots of stories, real life stories that would make your hair curl. You could put them on your blog.  Please tell Betsy to be in touch with me and that I’m thinking of her.

-Janet K. Johnson

Wow. I thought of Betsy at the party the other night, how she had blown me off the moment I mentioned the possibility of a sister. That dismissive two-fingered, why-don’t-you-go-piss-off peace wave.

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Now that I think of it, she scrupulously avoided me for the rest of the party, her laugh across the room too loud, her voice strident above all the other murmuring voices. Also, she left before midnight and this was a new year’s eve party.

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So I couldn’t imagine approaching Betsy with the news that her sister Janet, whose existence she vehemently denied, was thinking of her and hoping she’d be in touch. Better to build a nice little correspondence with Janet and maybe get her to tell me some of those real life stories she’d mentioned that would make my hair curl.

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Here’s what I wrote back:

Dear Janet,

It was so good to hear from you! I would love to learn more about your life, where you grew up, what your childhood was like, where you live now. I haven’t seen Betsy in a while, but will give her your message when I do. In the meantime, best wishes for a happy new year and hope to hear from you soon. Nicole

I pressed the send button and crossed my fingers in the hope that I would, indeed, hear back from her soon.

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To be continued…

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Cover photo ~ https://www.pinterest.com/pin/254875660133957852/

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