The Perils of Louella:

Chapter 174: Louella Evicts Her Nephew

by A.C. Cherbonnier
     LOUELLA had new respect for landlords as she watched her nephew Mason and his girlfriend Angie move their things out of the house she had rented to them. They were only a day away from a visit from the constable to put them out.
     “I can’t believe you’d do this to your own flesh and blood,” hissed her sister Candy, Mason’s mother, as she rocked her granddaughter back and forth in an elaborate new stroller. “Them with a new baby and all.”
     “Look, we’ve been over this ground a hundred times,” said Louella, pointed chin jutting stubbornly, arms crossed tightly across her flat chest. “They didn’t try to make good for what they owed me at all. Not even $100 on the $1200 they’re behind. They could have gotten that much from you, couldn’t they? And I don’t see you rushing to the rescue.”
     Candy cracked her gum sullenly. “They never asked me.”
     “So you didn’t think to offer? I would have taken your money. It’s as green as anybody else’s. And for that matter, how come you didn’t say something to Mason about his lies about rats? I mean, he’s been a real jerk in all this.”
     “Well, I guess he just thinks you’re better off than they are so why shouldn’t you help them through a rough spot?”
     “Still have trouble dealing with good old simple morality, don’t you?” said Louella, instantly regretting it. Damn! This will open up the old can of worms!
     “Just what do you mean by that, Miss Princess?”
     “Nothing! Nothing at all!” Louella backtracked.
     “I think you meant something and you’d better spit it out!”
     “Look, let it go, all right? I’m upset too. This isn’t easy for me, either. I mean, he’s the only one in the next generation of our family, and he can hardly read, let alone make a living for three people.”
     “Well, you’d better stop blaming him and start blaming somebody else. He’s not really a bad kid. It was the lousy schools and bad friends that got him off on the wrong foot.”
     And his sleep-around barmaid mother with a telephone sex business in our parents’ basement, fumed Louella, glad she no longer had to answer those calls to make ends meet, as she had while unemployed despite her UofB MBA. Her part-time job as a cashier at Giant and her secret $32,500 after-tax Lottery income had changed all that.
     Candy seemed to read her thoughts. “Where are you getting all your money, anyway? I mean, ya got the condo, ya got the car, ya have this house--”
     “The stock market’s been good to me.” Louella had been preparing this lie for months. It feels neat to say that,she thought. Makes me sound like I know what I’m doing, but I don’t.
     “So you’re all set, but you’re doing this to Mason? That’s really cold. But I guess it’s what I’d expect from you, sorry to say. You think you’re better than we are.”
     “No I don’t. I just expect my own family to treat me with respect, for crying out loud.”
     A police cruiser came down the block, lights flashing and siren blaring. It stopped in front of Louella’s house.

- TO BE CONTINUED -

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This story was published on July 1, 1998.