In this excerpt, Sonnet Jayne, one of two heirs to her eccentric neighbor's beach house and an engineer at NASA, discusses the house and her co-heir with her work friend, Karen.
"Oh my god, I forgot to tell you. There's a co-heir." I watch Karen's pale blue eyes widen.
"Co-heir? What do you mean?"
"Penny left the house to me and basically her last living relative, who just happened to be my arch nemesis in high school."
"I can't believe you ever had an arch nemesis," Karen gasps, stifling a laugh with her hand against her mouth. "It sounds like you're a superhero or something!"
I giggle at the thought of a satin cape flying dramatically behind me. "We were both nerds and battled each other for the valedictorian spot. Of course, I won that battle,” I wink.
She nods. "Super Nerds battling it out, yeah I can just see that,” she laughs. I'm so glad I've been able to provide her with such an amusing visual.
"So we're meeting there this weekend to figure out a game plan," I interrupt her lunchtime entertainment. "I want to hire a contractor right away and get this thing listed before the weather turns cold. I don’t know what he’s going to want to do, but I think he’s just as eager to sell it as I am.”
"He?” Now her eyebrows are flying up again. "You didn't mention that part!"
"The part where he has a penis? I don't see how it's relevant to the situation." Now her eyes are big as saucers.
"Sonnet!" she gasps, her eyes shifting around to see if anyone else in the lounge overheard me. I guess the word “penis” is a little too much for her puritanical mind to handle. Then she gets this funny look on her face like maybe—oh no, I have to put the kibosh on that ASAP.
"He's a total goofball, Karen! Not someone I'd ever be interested in," I shake my head emphatically.
"Well...you never know... People change. I didn't like my husband when I first met him in college, but then a couple of semesters later..."
I shake my head at her again. She is dying to see me married off. She's worse than my mother! There have been a few guys here at Wallop's she's tried to set me up with, and each attempt has been an unmitigated disaster. She knows she's banned for life from trying to set me up with anyone.
"The best part is what I'm planning to do with the money," I say, changing the subject. Money is a way better subject than my love life, or lack thereof.
“And what’s that?”
“Three letters,” I say, my eyes dancing with joy, “P. H. D.” I enunciate.
“PhD?” she repeats, her eyes searching mine wistfully. “You’re going to leave me?”
“I can’t be stuck on this little island making rockets forever, Karen. I need to blow this joint and get to the city. You know I want to be a professor.”
She nods her head sadly. “I know. I just thought since you were going to be up for a promotion soon that maybe you’d decided–”
I pat her hand with mine and smile at her gently. “You’re the only person here I’ll even remotely miss. You can come visit me though! Boston is nice in the Fall I hear…”
“Boston?” she scrunches up her nose.
“MIT,” I sigh. “My dream job.”
“Most people would say NASA is their dream job,” she fires back, a gleam in her eyes.
I laugh, “Yeah, until they work here!”
I'll be announcing a release date soon!