Meet Lizzie and Catherine

Excerpt from Cousins Four: Lizzie

My first memory of the difficulties between Catherine and me is when we were about four years old. It was Christmas and we were at Gran and Gramp’s resort. We both got Barbie dolls from Santa. My Barbie had very light-blonde hair while Catherine’s was a brunette.

* * *

Twenty-eight years ago

Catherine threw her doll across the room, lay on the floor and screamed and kicked. “I want a yellow-hair Barbie. I don’t want that ugly thing.”

“Catherine,” her grandmother said, “Santa wanted you and Lizzie to be able to tell which doll belongs to you and which belongs to Lizzie.”

“I don’t care! I don’t want that one! I want Lizzie’s.”

Lizzie walked over to Gran. “Here, Gran. She can have this one. I don’t really play with Barbies anyway.”

“Now, Lizzie. Santa wanted you to have the doll.”

“Really, Mother Johnson,” Catherine’s mother, Cassaundra, said, “if Lizzie doesn’t want the doll, why not let Catherine have it?”

“Cassaundra, stay out of it,” her husband, John said. “You spoil that child too much as it is. It’s no wonder she’s such a brat.”

“Don’t call my daughter a brat.” Cassaundra picked up Catherine. “It’s okay, Baby. We’ll go to the store and get you a blonde doll tomorrow.”

“I want one today!” Catherine insisted.

Her mother tried to soothe her. “But the stores aren’t open today.”

“I don’t care! I want Lizzie’s”

“You cannot have Lizzie’s doll,” John said. “And, Cassaundra, you will not buy her another one.”

“I’ll do whatever I want. After all, it’s my money. You certainly don’t make enough to support us.”

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