I made my way up the beach, the other woman coming into perfect view. She was an older woman, and she wore a hot pink rhinestone-encrusted string bikini with the fabric stretching in vain to cover her enormous round breast implants. They sat like a hard shelf over her soft potbelly and short, stubby legs. Her skin was dark, tanned to the color and texture of an old shoe. Her mouse brown and frizzy hair stood out like a corona around her head, and her lips were overfilled with collagen, giving her the appearance of a quacking duck.
“Becky, there you are,” Sally said with relief as I walked up beside her. She grabbed my arm and shot me a meaningful sideways glance. I looked over at my mother’s new companion. “This is my daughter, Becky,” Sally told the stranger.
Like a cawing crow, the woman rasped, “Oh, aren’t you fit!” A thick New Jersey accent shaped her words. “Tammy! Tammy, look at her!” she shouted, pointing at me with one long, garish fingernail. “Tammy, doesn’t she look like a yoga instructor in her trendy little one piece?”
Oh God. I hated feeling like I was being put on display. This is just too awkward. Maybe I can hide under Sally’s pile of crap.
Tammy walked over, eyeing me up and down. She mirrored the first woman, perhaps younger. “Oh, yeah!” Tammy squawked. “She looks like Rainbow, the one who teaches yoga downtown.”
I glanced over at my mom after making sure the two crows couldn’t hear me. “Why did you do this to me?” I hissed under my breath.
“Becky, don’t leave me,” my mother whispered. My arm hurt where she gripped it like a lifeline, tethering me at her side.
“I’m Agatha,” the short, round woman informed me. “Agatha Broccoli, but you can call me Aggie.”
I shook my head, bewildered. “Your name is Aggie Broccoli?” I asked. “Like the vegetable?”
“Yes, sweetheart, it is,” she grinned proudly. “Aggie Broccoli from New Jersey, and this is my sister, Tammy Broccoli. We’re the Broccoli sisters. She’s from Jersey as well.”
Tammy was a carbon copy of her sister Aggie, from her thick accent to her potbelly. Though her rhinestone bikini was turquoise. There must have been a sale. I eyed the two of them. If I were to sum up New Jersey in one word, it would be Aggie Broccoli. I squinted into Aggie’s face. Aggie had the longest eyelashes I’d ever seen—so long that every time she blinked, she struggled to reopen her eyes.
“Oh gawd, I can’t see a thing,” Aggie complained. “I got implants.”
I nodded. Her boobs nearly reached her chin, and I seriously doubted she could see her feet over them.
She pointed instead to her eyes. “They took my hair from my head and implanted them as eyelashes.” Aggie fluttered her eyes, trying to untangle her lashes that had curled together.
“Wait, your eyelashes are made from hair on your head?” I asked in disbelief.
“Of course,” she squawked as she struggled to blink, her thick Jersey accent rounding the words.
My jaw was on the ground. Human hair eyelash implants. That was a new one. “What? Why?” I asked. “Why use your hair for eyelashes?”
Aggie flicked sand off her long, red fingernails and gingerly pried her lashes apart, blinking widely to adjust. Sally and I watched in abject horror.
“So they would look natural,” Aggie boasted. “I wanted my eyelash color to match my hair color.”
I stepped back in amazement. ‘Natural’ was not the first word that came to mind when I looked at Aggie Broccoli.
by Rebecca Henry
Genre: Romantic Comedy
In 1989, at the age of twenty-two, Deb was in a life or death situation. As the engines started, accompanied by the fasten seat belt sign, Deb felt her skin crawl with immobilizing fear. She had two choices, either get off the plane or die in her brand-new Gucci stilettos. Deb couldn’t get on a plane for love that day, but she could do it twenty years later for money. Money was worth dying for.
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Rebecca Henry is an American author living in the UK. Her books range from vegan cookbooks to fantasy to sci-fi to Rebecca’s latest release with Urban Edge Publishing, Louisiana Latte: A Chick Lit Comedy About Sisters, Stilletos, Coffee, and One Fabulous Diva! You can find all Rebecca’s books on Amazon.
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