September and Other Stories (Chapter 4, page 1 of 112)

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Chapter 4

September 2, 1925

"I could well understand if you girls were homely or poor," began Mother. "But there is no reason I must suffer the humiliation of having three beautiful, affluent unmarried daughters."

I didn't need to look at Natalie to know she rolled her eyes. She always rolled her eyes when mother brought up the subject.

"Don't roll your eyes at me, my soon-to-be spinster daughter," said Mother. "What on earth did we spend all that money on Harvard for if you girls had no intention of finding suitable husbands?"

"The idea that we prefer to be self-reliant and educated must be too novel an idea for you," said Nicolette, not looking up from her book.

Tabitha clenched my hand. I felt her quiver. I patted her hand gently.

"It will be fine," I thought to her. "Mother just needs a few more drinks and she'll calm down."

As if on cue, Mother sipped her iced tea. She always insisted it was tea. The fact that it smelled of bourbon was irrelevant.

"I blame that dreadful Mrs. Woolf," she said as she thoughtfully watched her hand lower her drink onto the coaster.

Nicolette looked up from her book, To The Lighthouse, and squinted at Mother as if a blinding light was radiating from her.

"You can't possibly be serious," she said. "Surely, you don't blame Mrs. Woolf for my lack of desire to find a husband?"

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