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 Chapter 09: Running From Her Problems
Posted: Nov 24 2007, 02:58 PM

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Hal moved out, taking his wife and son with him. "I'm ashamed to call you my sister," he told Ariel. "I hope one day you learn your lesson."

"It's all a pack of lies," Ariel said. "I can't believe you're choosing your wife's family over your own."

"I'm not," he said. "I'm just choosing them over you."

Hal's wife Rain Summerdream and Ariel had never really been friends, but they'd been cordial roommates, sharing a house like they did. Now Rain looked right through her, her expression stony. And Ariel began to think that maybe, just maybe, she'd made a mistake.

Not that she'd admit it. It was time to go shopping. Buying pretty things always made her feel better. She saw Calvin, shopping for CDs.

"Hey," she said. They'd been on one date, and she thought they were at least friendly, but he glared at her. "What's up with you?"

"What's up with me," he said, "Is how you treated Wren Summerdream and her family."

"What's it to you?"

"What it is to me," he said coldly, "is that I'm engaged to marry her sister."

Ariel stared at him as he walked away.

"It seems pissing off la famiglia Summerdream wasn't the smartest thing you could have done," said a familiar voice behind her.

"Oh, shut up, Fiona," Ariel said.

Ariel arrived home at the same time as the school bus. At least her daughters would be happy to see her.

Olivia tripped getting off the bus and skinned her knee, and Ophelia fell over her and landed on her hands. Both girls burst into tears.

"Oh, my poor babies," Ariel said, hurrying over.

"Miranda!!!" Olivia yelled, hobbling into the house, her twin at her heels.

Ariel stood there, watching them go. "Want to play fetch?" she asked her Akita, Chiquita.

Chiquita went into the house instead, ignoring the proffered stick.

"Mommmy!!!" Ariel yelled, and ran into the house looking for Goneril.

"What is it, Ariel?" Goneril yelled, sitting up in her darkened bedroom. "I have the most dreadful headache."

"No one likes me," Ariel whined.

"Well, maybe you brought it on yourself," Goneril said. "Now, go away. I've got to get rid of this migraine."

Ariel walked slowly to her own room and sat down on her bed. Maybe it was time to get out of town for a while.

She started to pack her bags.

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