Unfortunately, as she snuck out of the building, Brigid’s cellphone began vibrating stridently in her bag, which just told her she had a lot more hell to get through before the day was over. Pulling out the phone, she barked into it, “I’m not gonna say four hours until you give me details!”
“Well that’s fine,” said Isadora’s voice on the other end. “I don’t want you to say four hours anyway! Why should I? It’s no skin off my nose.”
“Ugh, sorry Mom,” said Brigid. “I thought you were someone else.”
“Well I’m not,” said Isadora. “What’s more, I don’t intend to ever be.”
“What’s up?” said Brigid, hauling her bag up onto the bus and waving her pass in front of the sensor.
“I’m calling to issue yet another invitation,” said Isadora as Brigid collapsed into a seat. “Your Aunt Edna is hosting a family reunion two weeks hence.”
“Oh, hell no,” said Brigid. “No thanks.”
“What do you mean, ‘no thanks’?”
“I mean Aunt Edna can go hump a pool toy. A team of Navy Seals couldn’t get me to go to that.” A woman sitting across from Brigid turned her head and blinked; Brigid just hunkered down into her seat.
“Brigid!” said Isadora.
“No way,” said Brigid.
“She doesn’t have many years left in her, you know,” said Isadora.
“You say that like it’s a bad thing,” said Brigid.
“Don’t be cruel-hearted!” said Isadora.
“Sorry, sorry,” said Brigid. “I’m just… Mom, I can’t take family right now.”
“You’re supposed to take comfort and joy from your family!” said Isadora. “That’s what they’re for!”
“Then I should have a comforting, joyful family for that,” said Brigid. “Not Disdain McJudgealot and the Fifteen Sneerers.”
“I don’t even know what that means,” said Isadora. “In any case it doesn’t matter. We all have obligations, Brigid, and family is one of them. I understand that you don’t necessarily like them, and that can’t be helped. But you’ll be glad to have them later in life, take it from me!”
Brigid just squeezed her eyes shut. Then, quickly pulling a bit of paper out of her bag, she rapidly crumpled it up in front of the microphone. “Sorry, what’s that mom?” she said. “You’re breaking up. What? WHAT?”
“Don’t you try that crumpled paper trick on me you little–” was as far as Isadora got before Brigid had hung up on her.