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After Sister Help.
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As much as it galled Beryl to admit it, Chalcedony was right.
Getting out - going to the mall, first, with Chalce and Stone and Jake, and then to miniature golf a few days later, and then to the park for a Moose Lodge picnic the next weekend - made her feel better than she'd felt since Aunt Asta had died.
Getting out with her brother and sister was pretty cool; Chalce wasn't a bad sort, for a big sister, and Stone was pretty awesome, especially for a guy in their family. But getting out with Jake felt better than anything, which was just about like being in Heaven. Getting out with Jake was awesome in ways Beryl had never before felt.
And, just for good measure, hanging out and acting like herself again ticked off her cat and her necklace.
Radar spent most evenings glaring at her. Joseph - well, she felt bad leaving him in the drawer all the time, so she'd started wearing him on Mondays. The first time she'd put him back on, he'd spent a full thirty minutes berating her.
She'd gone into the bathroom and carefully explained to him that if he did not shut up, she was going to flush him down the toilet and let the alligators have him.
After that, he kept his complaining to a sort of dull roar, which, in turn meant that Beryl could listen to Jake and her friends.
And the other boys - now that was a revelation. The more she talked to Jake, the more other boys started to talk to her. Beryl wasn't sure what to do with that.
Until Radar grumbled to her one evening: "I hope a cute set of eyes, or whatever this latest one has, is worth giving up your legacy."
Then Beryl knew exactly what to do.
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