A.N. This piece works best as spoken word.

 

So, at holiday gatherings and Christmas parties, everyone always asks that same annoying question, “so how is a beautiful girl like you still single?”

Everyone, that is, except my Auntie Lula. Auntie Lula is cooooonvinced that I have some secret boyfriend — or five — stashed away from the rest of the family. And she thinks of clever ways to trick me. Like counting all the rings in my jewellry drawer and asking me what self-respecting girl buys so many for herself. Or counting the number of times I check my phone and dividing that by three, since three is the maximum number of times one boyfriend should contact you during a family dinner.

So, finally I’d had it with Auntie Lula, and decided to give her a run for her money. The next time Auntie Lula began harping on about boyfriends, I raised my hands in mock surrender.

“Okay, okay, Auntie Lula,” I said. “You caught me.”

“Ah ha!” screeched Auntie Lula, in that ridiculously high-pitched voice. “I knew it! I knew it, knew it, knew it! What’s his name?”

“…Liam,” I said.

“Liam what?”

“Liam…Payne.”

“Payne?” Auntie Lula scrunched her nose, and, for a moment, I feared she actually knew the members of One Direction “What’s that? French? British?”

“Bit of both,” I said.

“How often do you see him?” she asked.

“Not often,” I said. “But I hear from him a lot.”

“What does he sound like?”

“…musical.”

“Is that so? Is he a singer?”

“Ye-e-e-es, but he also does a lot of other things, like playing the guitar and song-writing.”

Auntie Lula clicked her tongue against her teeth. “That’s not honest work. Especially in a man.”

“He does make good money,” I said, in spite of myself.

“Does he, now?” Auntie Lula said, regaining interest. “How much?”

Right then, my phone beeped, relieving me of the need to determine how much Liam Payne was making. “Oh, it’s just my friend.”

“Another one!” Auntie Lula said, properly scandalised. “Another young gentleman friend, perhaps?”

I was already this far in. “Yes. It’s Joe.”

“Joe…?”

“Joe Jonas.”

Auntie Lula squealed. “Oh, you shady girl! Dorothy,” she called to her daughter. “Dorothy, come and hear all about Tessie’s boyfriends. Liam Payne and Joey Jonas!”

From the look on Dorothy’s face, she knew exactly who Liam Payne and ‘Joey Jonas’ were. And she wasn’t the type to keep a secret.

“Hmm, do you smell burning?” I said. “Oh, no! Must be the fruitcake! See ya later, Auntie Lula!” 

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