When Mom stuck me with my little sister at the Planetside Web Cafe, I was pretty upset. Yes, it was pouring rain, so we couldnt go outside anyway. I understood that Mom needed me to watch Amy while she worked a Saturday afternoon to fix some crisis. Sure, we both liked the web café. But with Amy there, I could hardly try to get a guy to pick me up. So I was stuck fooling around online while we had lunch.
Amys kind of a goody-goody kid. I knew she was using her laptop to do research for some silly fourth grade report. She was totally absorbed in it, not looking at me at all, so I decided to take a chance and check for some action on MySpace.
I do have a MySpace page, but Mom is just totally paranoid about me getting killed or something by some weirdo who looks for teenage girls on MySpace. So its forbidden, so I cant get to it often.
I logged on and then stuck my display name in the Search box. Its just my way of getting to my page fast. Im the only one out there with the name Taffy Ann, so its easy to find. But this time, someone elses name was listed before mine another Taffy Ann!
Now let me explain about the name. Some guy in my grandfathers generation started it. He called his sister and all his female cousins Taffy Ann, like a sort of affectionate thing. The other male cousins started using it, too, and when they grew up, they called their daughters Taffy Ann, and so on, down to my generation. When I first signed on to MySpace, I had to come up with a name in a hurry, so I used that.
Anyway, I was looking at this other Taffy Ann. She had to be family. She wasnt any of my cousins, but I felt like I almost recognized her. Pale hair, a fragile face with a pointed chin and huge brown eyes. A few years older than me.
Suddenly I got it. I flashed on memories of some old photos hidden in Moms scrapbook from when she was a teen. Thered been one of a round-faced baby with blond curls and those same big brown eyes, held lovingly in the arms of her father. Hed been a smiling man, long smile lines showing in every one of the pictures Mom had. My uncle Bobby. Hed been in a photo with the little girl when she was about seven and all elfin looking. Thered been a last picture of her a couple of years later. In that one she looked so sad, and we knew it was because her smiling daddy had died.
The other Taffy Ann, Cheryl Ann, was as forbidden as MySpace. I breathed in and out carefully, wanting to read everything on her page without Amy noticing. We werent to talk about Cheryl Ann or bring her up, though Id spent endless hours thinking about the little girl in the pictures.
Moms brother had been disowned for marrying Cheryl Anns mother. She wasnt our kind, is how Mom had explained it. She was a beautiful, wonderful person, but the family wouldnt accept her. Bobby was thrown out of the family and no one was to have any contact with him.
Id always thought it so romantic, how Mom had secretly stayed in touch with him and even smuggled some money and food to the struggling young couple from Moms mother. When Cheryl Ann was born, the family wouldnt have anything to do with the baby. I mean, how can anyone hate a baby?
I so wanted to email her, to add her as a friend, to know her. I so wanted to tell Mom about her, but shed kill me for using MySpace at all. I shut the browser quickly to wipe the evidence. Now to think what to do