The Gypsy Whistles
I’m not a shy person by nature, I’m more introverted than Bette, but I was adventurous as a child. My exploring and my best childhood experiences were outside in the woods, not scholastic, or on the field in soccer or sports. I was an avid tree climber. I captured all kinds of bugs. I kept lizards as pets. I was a very pretty tomboy, my father used to say.
Lucy, on the other hand, was a wild child they called her back then in the 80s. She was pretty, and I really wanted to be just like my older, gorgeous cousin. And then she died, and that scared the living shit out of me. Slowly, I’d come back from the shock. I hit reset as a college freshman, and hoped it would all disappear.
But the afternoon at the state fair is what Bette wants to know about, and even though I’ve almost told her before tonight, she’s looking at me very carefully, and tenderly, and handing me her glass of wine to share. I know this evening – after a horrible day filled with all kinds of lows surrounding Dana – must be the hour and the time. So, I begin.
“Bette, I want you to know, I wasn’t raped by this creep, Allsweld, but he killed my cousin, and I was there.” I watch to make sure this sinks in. “Really, after awhile I was okay.”
“So you say, and I’m relieved, and I believe you.” She lets go of my hand. “How did you meet this man?”
“Lucy was just the kind of girl that was born for taunting packs of boys at a fair midway, Bette.” I laugh at the memory of her as a Carnival Barker’s best friend. “Lots of tobacco crop money was spent trying to shoot the disks, or the bulls eye and win her a prize. I was younger by four years, maybe three, but compared to her – I was unseen by the boys that flocked around her.