The Rule Of Three

I do love the truth. It has the power to clear the air like no other conversation. And the rule of three. I like the rule of three. Feels like one of life’s magic moments. 

On the morning I was digesting Lulu’s unexpected news, my aunt Ela came over to my mum’s house from her house next door.

‘I’ve had a bit of a drama today,’ she said.

I looked up, bleary-eyed from my coffee cup. ‘What happened?’

‘I got a text from what I thought was the HMRC – HM Revenue and Customs. Asking me to put my bank details into their system.’

‘You didn’t, did you?’

‘I did.’

I winced. By 8am, Ela was on the phone to her bank having all her bank details changed. She’d realised almost straight away afterwards. 

Now that I think of it, I’ve noticed both my mum and aunt seem to be preyed on by scammers. Phone calls, texts. At least eight times a day my mum’s phone must ring. Nobody answers when you pick up. It’s so commonplace now, we make no mention of it albeit for putting the phone back down. That would be one conditioned stalker. 

Can you imagine if all these prospective thieves and/or stalkers were knocking on their actual front doors all day? It would be both socially unacceptable and downright scary. But somehow through the medium of phones and texts, it just carries on like a routine. ‘No thank you,’ or ‘Good night, stalker,’ and back to it. 

Luckily, my aunt and her money were still okay by 9am. I wish I could’ve said the same thing about me. I was wishing things were exactly as I had been imagining them to be. The funny thing is that on this side of it now – the flipside of Friday – everything is largely okay again. Lulu is okay. Our conversation has been opened and there’s no going back now, but at least we are going forwards together. Always together now.

At that moment, I decided not to tell my aunt what was going on for me. I love her dearly and in many ways I think she’s the smarter twin. Sorry, Ma – sucks to be an identical twin sometimes. Being an identical twin is two people being made up into one whole – traits and characteristics segmented by everyone else around them like it’s ok to do so. And I can segment all day long.

I didn’t want to bother Ela. She had enough on her plate. If you catch her at the right time she can process finer than any NASA algorithm. Her logic is sharp and her vision is wide. But if you get her in an off-moment, you just can’t reap the benefits of the Ela brain. So I slipped my coffee and listened.

My mum came downstairs next. My mum – maybe not the brainiac twin, but by default the kinder one. 

‘Typical,’ she was muttering, ‘right in a place where I can’t reach it.’

Both of us stared at her. ‘What? What can’t you reach?’

‘Molly’s just puked up a hairball. And this time she’s puked it up right under the middle of my bed.  How on Earth I’m going to reach it, I have no idea.’ My mum shook her head in desolation.

So, before 9am, we’d had the aftermath of dramatic news at Casa Ormerod, the almost successful scamming of a retired and normally very sharp lady and a hairball puked up in an inaccessible location. Nothing like the rule of three. We were done for now. 

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