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Summer's Crucible- Chapter Six: When the Fool and Her Money Parted

Doctor Hall retired subtly. The office unceremoniously closed its doors at the end of the day in May, having referred out all of the lingering patients. It was never to open again due to every attempt at selling the practice having fallen through in the few years Summer worked there. As for Summer, assisting with her advancing degenerative disc disease was no picnic, and she was glad to move on. Her anti-inflammatory medications helped with the aching pain of her condition, or at least stabilized it, however, there were days her foot did drag and she needed her ankle brace, or the soles of her feet burned and she found herself often having to physically readjust her back when she was walking due to her poor posture making her look and feel much more on in her years than she truly was. She'd miss the shaky doctor she worked for in a way, but Summer wasn't exactly going to lose sleep over the cranky old man anytime soon.

Seeing the end of the practice coming a long way out, Summer lined up another job through Rusty, with its duties that she had slowly been taking more of over time. It seemed she could never recapture the higher-paying careers she had once enjoyed when she was with Landon. Rusty's buddy, Pat, was a good boss who owned the siding and screen door installation company Summer pushed on to. The only complaint that Summer had was that work hours were too few and far between. Occasionally Summer networked with Cecilia who was booked as a psychic for hire at events, but Cecilia's honesty would often prove her undoing. No one wanted to hear from their mystic that they were probably being had or that she was guessing.

Cecilia was moreover much better company than Mimsy who as Summer continued her stay pushed more bills and responsibilities onto her former ward. At times Mimsy's behavior was difficult to distinguish from Summer's once workplace supervisor, Willia. Summer would often look to move out when Mimsy was being particularly unreasonable, but she had a way of guilting Summer into staying each time. Summer felt like Mimsy needed the companionship more than she let on. Heather said it was more probable that Mimsy didn't want to lose her longstanding emotional support punching bag.

It was such a nice day when Summer found herself in a golf cart searching for DDS Hall on the golf course. He was urgently sought after to sign the last of his paperwork to send over to the bank, thus forever being rid of his practice and all the real estate tied to it, including the parking lot and adjacent lot, which was to become a Trader Joe's. Summer had been at home remotely filing Pat's payroll for the month when a frantic escrow employee rang her cell to get DDS Hall over to correct an error. Summer calmly got into her car knowing DDS Hall never answered his phone when he was on the green. She would have to get the man herself, which she did.

Unsurprisingly DDS Hall was playing through near the seventh hole, as Summer suspected he would be given the time of the day. Dr. Hall scoffed at Summer's interruption but still vacated his position to go handle the sign-over at the escrow office. Summer was on her way out as well when a handsome man struck up a conversation with her in the parking lot. He said his name was Bailey Sutton, he owned a property management business. Summer liked his forward attitude and muscled physique, which was why she accepted when he invited her out on a date to go to a country music festival the following weekend. They exchanged information before going their separate ways that day. Summer felt a welcome pinch of vanity at still being attractive enough to get the attention of a seeming catch like Mr. Sutton.

At the house, it was difficult for Summer to get back into the groove of working again. Summer made the mistake of telling Mimsy about her date. The jealous Mimsy instead of being happy for Summer, complained that she was once "much more beautiful" before going into detail about her failed efforts to turn her Red Hat Society chapter into swingers. Mimsy then settled into going on and on about wanting plastic surgery. Summer in an attempt to quell the restless Mimsy decided to give her adoptive mother's fantasy a healthy dose of reality.

Summer calling Mimsy's bluff reached out to the most expensive, surgeon that Eliza used to insult when she was making fun of her peers who "went to get a hack job" This surgeon was known to overwork his every patient into looking like a plastic doll that had spent too long in a wind tunnel. Summer expected Mimsy to hear his prices, along with seeing his before and after gallery as a means to forever dissuade Mimsy from seeking cosmetic surgery again. Just as luck would have it on the phone, the surgeon's office had an opening that Thursday morning. Summer's hope that Mimsy would lose interest was dashed, as Mimsy spent the whole of the evening in her closet trying on different outfits and later researching on her desktop computer what she wanted to be done. Going as far as to print out the procedures she specifically favored to show the doctor during the exam. Summer found it insufferable when Mimsy would talk of her upcoming appointment, labeling Dr. Wentz as "Doctor" as if that was his name was a noun and verb.

On the day Mimsy had Summer drive her in her oversized Chevy to the clinic. As Summer expected Dr. Wentz recommended every procedure possible to Mimsy, who was extremely receptive to his suggestions. "We would want to space these 'tweaks out,' but by the end of next year, everyone will think you are the daughter and her the mother." Dr. Wentz joked as Mimsy gasped in awe thinking he was serious. Summer's frown must have been noticeable because the doctor had Summer wait in the waiting room until they were done. An hour later a smiling Mimsy came out of the back. "So glad we could get you scheduled today," the receptionist said as she handed Mimsy more paperwork to take home. Mimsy was elated as she said goodbye.

In the car, on the way to the house, Mimsy chided Summer after she realized that her silent treatment wasn't upsetting Summer, "You know I'm very embarrassed by how you acted in front of Doctor" Summer answered, "Why? I didn't say a word." Mimsy went on, "It's obvious that you feel threatened by my being able to get these procedures done and that you are insecure because of your back thing. It's been so long that you've been sucking up all the attention that you are bitter when I get a moment in the spotlight." Summer who was focusing on the road took a quick look at the smug Mimsy, before she responded, "Oh wow. I didn't think we were in a competition. I wish you could hear yourself. That guy is going to take you for all that you are worth and in return, you are about to look ridiculous, Mimsy."

This seemed to set off something deeply troubled within Mimsy. Summer hadn't expected Mimsy to react as violently as she did, but Mimsy pulled the steering wheel hard to the left, digging her nails into Summer's hands as she screamed, "Get out of my car! Get out of my house! And get out of my life! You ungrateful brat!" Mimsy had cornered Summer into the car door by hitting her with her removed high heel as she fully gave into her hysterics. Summer put the car in park and got out before Mimsy could start pulling her hair too. Instead, Mimsy got into the driver's seat and sped off leaving Summer on the side of the highway with nothing but her phone in her pocket and the purse Mimsy tossed out of the Chevy window. Summer was too dumbfounded by what had escalated so quickly to react for a minute or so. After she collected herself, she called a cab to take her to Mimsy's so that she could get her things. Mimsy unlike Landon, her mother was so volatile of an individual that she was equally likely to wear Summer's things as she was to destroy it.

At the house Summer's instincts were correct. Her cab driver pulled up as Mimsy was throwing Summer's clothing in the driveway next to an already-lit garbage can. The cabbie began to call the police. Summer having learned her lesson from dealing with Landon had already put her more sacred effects into storage. Summer not wanting to have to make a police report told the cabbie to head to Heather's. Summer tried to call ahead to tell Heather of the events that had transpired. However, the call went straight to Heather's voicemail, which stated that she and Morgana were in Jamaica the next week. Summer was surprised that she had forgotten that Heather was already gone because it was all that she had talked about for months leading up to it. Summer then instructed the cabbie to take her to a Hotel in the city instead.

The cabbie made a police report in the hotel lobby. The cabbie kept asking Summer if this was "normal behavior" for Mimsy, Summer affirmed that this was not unusual for Mimsy to react in this manner and that she was getting worse with her self-control as the years passed. "I don't know how you are so calm. The woman was lighting shit on fire and screaming!" The cabbie exclaimed. The police officer asked if Summer would like to press charges, but Summer declined. The officer shook his head saying, "Then you can't file an insurance claim." Summer shrugged, she had just lost money too because she had paid Mimsy's property taxes the month prior. In the end, it seemed most appropriate to cut ties with Mimsy than to try to fix her. The cabbie pleading with Summer once more, "She's only going to get worse." Summer indifferently answered, "Which is why I have to let go."


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