Experiment Breakdown

Darla was dreading the bachelorette party of her younger sister Dede. Several years apart, the sisters couldn’t be further from each other in every way. Darla was an introverted scientist who based her life like a series of chess moves, all based in science, probability and fact.

Dede was the extreme opposite as she moved through life without forethought, immediately acting on every whim and desire floating through life without a care in search of instant gratification.  Dede fell deeply and unapologetically in love with every man she encountered. The trysts lasted days or weeks and satisfied Dede’s sense of adventure and amorous view of every aspect of life.  Darla once saw Dede grab a man off the street and passionately kiss him, just because she felt like it.  This is why she was equally surprised at the shotgun pace of Dede’s wedding to Ricky after ten weeks of dating, yet predicted her lifelong talent to get exactly what she wanted without delay.

As ying to her yang, Darla was very shy and too focused on her studies to even consider dating until after grad school.  After several years of friendship, she carefully waded into the dating field with a work colleague who shared similar empirical interests. Following a few more years of dating, Darla’s boyfriend Ralph asked her to marry him, but she countered his proposal with an offer of cohabitation as a relationship experiment to methodically ascertain if all the variables were considered to achieve success before entering into such a binding contract.   

Darla didn’t understand her sister or her sister’s friends, who she named Twaddle Troupe, and couldn’t condone their nonsensical way of drifting through existence sustained by shopping, boys, and parties, which made her dread each and every one of the giddy activities of the bridal and prenuptial events. 

As forecasted, the bachelorette party was a series of excruciating nonsensical tasks for Darla to endure.  Darla decided to make an experiment of the day to support her hypothesis about her sister’s way of life. An artist’s studio began the day when donning white hooded jumpers, glasses and gloves, the aim was to create works of art by randomly chasing each other and throwing paint balls. Check one for frivolity.

From there, the girls visited a bar where a mixologist tutored them on proper drink-mixing techniques to create their own personal signature drink.  Learning was integral to Darla’s DNA, but when the event deteriorated into indiscriminate shot drinking and giggling, she just shook her head and prayed for a swift end. Check two for instant gratification.

The final stop of the night was a psychic.  For Darla, this was the most ridiculous and lowest blow. As a women of science, she found the idea of metaphysical presence and prophecy to be a mix of mere theatre and grift by practitioners who prey on weak minds. This woman by looks was no exception. Her dark exotic good looks and gypsy costume with the backdrop of the tented red and gold brocade fabric walls and incense-laded room ticked every box to create the phony atmosphere. For an hour, she sat in the back of the room crossarmed rolling her eyes while the Twaddle Troupe ooed and aahed over every word from the charlatan’s mouth.

Darla’s turn came at the group’s insistence and despite her half-hearted cooperation, the madam gasped when she looked at Darla’s palm.

“The pyramid of your life is about to crumble because of a betrayal,” The madam mysteriously said and offered to cleanse her ora amid an orchestra of shocked ooos from the twaddles.

Check three for nonsense, Darla thought. Since she didn’t believe in oras, the con for additional services proved her theory that her sister and crew would constantly succumb to impulse and could not have a meaningful existence due to lack of foundation.

As they piled into the pink stretch limousine SUV with loud music and dancing lights, Darla was counting the minutes until the day ended and she could regain her calm logical life.  When the girls decided to go to a club, she faked a headache and walked the few blocks home. She felt instant gratitude for the peaceful quiet as the party bus left her behind.

She walked through the door of her townhome and saw a red and gold brocade fabric shawl draped across the couch. She picked it up and winced wondering how Ralph could buy her such a tacky present.  Since she only wore solid earth colors, she appreciated the idea, but was confused as his most inappropriate mistake.

“He should have known better,” she said shaking her head.

To return the favor, she decided to take his favorite tea up to the bedroom for a nightcap and discuss his kind error.  As she walked up the stairs, she began to smell a strange, but familiar aroma. She smelled the tea and then her clothes and concluded the steam from the tea kettle activated the incense on her clothes from the psychic.

When she opened the bedroom door, she found Ralph entwined with another woman. Startled she dropped the tea set which crashed on the floor. They looked up and she recognized the woman as the psychic with the same gasp she heard earlier.

Without hesitation, Darla went into the closet safe, took out Ralph’s handgun and shot them both dead. She carefully wiped off the fingerprints, put the gun in the woman’s hand and walked back to the club, telling the girls she changed her mind.

The police deemed the crime as a murder/suicide for an affair gone wrong.  The Twaddle Troupe was Darla’s alibi as in their ultra-inebriated state, they said she was with them the whole time.

Darla’s experiment in dating was a failure, but she began a new hypothesis about a life of instant gratification.

(c) Copyright Suzanne Rudd Hamilton 2021

Published by suzanneruddhamilton

I write anything from novels and children's books to plays to relate and retell everyday life experiences in a fun-filled read with heart, hope and humor. A former journalist and real estate marketing expert, I am a transplant from Chicago, now happily living in southwest Florida to keep warm and sunny all year round. You can find me at www.suzanneruddhamilton.com

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