Jennifer Sander O'Hearn
|Influences||Louisa May Alcott, S.E Hinton, The Grimm Brothers|
|Bio||A twenty-two-year-old writer from Canberra. I look to the past to write my stories. History is a story, after all.|
‘You could make a career out of that,’ cousin Lucy tells me. ‘No,’ I quickly respond, shutting down any chance of furthering this conversation. ‘Hear me out,’ she starts, but one glance of me tells her to change the subject. ‘I’m so excited to walk down the aisle, the plane aisle that is, and once I’m there it’s all mimosas and pedicures in every city.’ ‘So, the ultimate white woman trip?’ I ask. ‘It’s what I like,’ she defends herself with. That’s not what I’m judging. ‘Let’s play a game,’ she tries once more to open a conversation – no – yes, it’s kiss, marry, kill and the candidates are Harry Styles, Prince Harry and um… that guy that made that one good Thor film,’ she starts. ‘Taika Waititi, the only decent person on that list,’ I answer her, rather angrily. ‘Is Harry Styles not accomplished enough for you,’ she questions. ‘Fair play, also, I assume you were going for a Harry themed question,’ I tell her. ‘I couldn’t think of anyone else… Harry Potter,’ she lights up as if it is the most brilliant answer. ‘So, is it Harry Potter or Taika?’ I ask, ‘both,’ she says. Okay, let me think here for one second to give her an honest answer, but I already knew it before she said, Potter. ‘Kill Potter, kiss Styles and Prince, and marry the Thor director,’ I tell her. ‘Really? He’s like twenty-something years older than you. ‘You do realise I am not actually going to marry him, nor kiss or kill the Harrys,’ I’m concerned that she believes everything she says. My phone goes off before any more of this conversation drags on. ‘Everything all right?’ she asks. ‘Yeah,’ I tell her. ‘You sure?’ I look to her and smile, ‘yeah, it’s just Duolingo threatening me to do my German,’ I joke. ‘Is there any point to that?’ She asks me. ‘No, but I don’t want to lose my streak, I’m at 392 days and if I lose it; I will kill someone.’ Her eyes look back to the road. ‘So, what else do you plan to do besides mimosas and pedicures? Are you going to see any sights?’ I ask. ‘Maybe, I’ll think about it, this trip is for me to heal myself after... well, you know.’ I do know what she means. We found an even worse way to be left at the altar, receiving a dump text at the altar. Woman may be tiny, but she threw down a punch the minute she laid eyes on him after that. ‘I spent two years playing the most perfect wedding and that little… that…’ she cries, ‘I know, he’s shit,’ I say, I try to comfort her, but sometimes I feel like a robot can do much better. ‘If you married Taika Waititi, what kind of wedding would you want?’ She asks me. I don’t know why a hypothetical question makes me so weird. Still, to make her feel better, I should just answer, ‘my wedding would be a simple one, marry at a courthouse in Prague.’ ‘You want to get married in a courthouse in Prague?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘But why?’ I think she’s about to have a heartache, how funny. ‘You know I hate parties of any kind; do you remember the birthday party you threw for me?’ I ask her. ‘I remember you calling the police and claiming that someone had broken into your apartment,’ she grunts back. ‘I’m not wrong, people did break into my apartment.’ ‘That wasn’t right,’ she says, starting to get mad. Lucy is getting mad, Lucy isn’t happy with me. ‘I told you I would do it,’ I promise her, ‘well, maybe you’re a bit too insane,’ she laughs, ‘why Prague?’ ‘Like Mama always said, it’s one of the most beautiful cities in the world, that’s why it wasn’t bombed in the war,’ I tell her. Most of Mama’s quotes were war-related, “if you don’t want to get old, go hang yourself”. ‘I understand, and if you are going to do a courthouse wedding, why not a destination courthouse wedding?’ See Lucy, you are learning to agree with me. ‘Do you think Taika would – please stop,’ I interrupt. ‘What?’ She asks, ‘you haven’t dated anyone in three years. A made-up relationship with a celebrity from far, far away is more realistic than you actually getting married anytime soon. ‘He’s from New Zealand,’ I interject. ‘Ah, so you do – stop,’ I plead once more. ‘At least I managed to make it down the aisle, it may have been just me, but at least I could do it, ‘she makes a brag sound so sad. ‘At least I didn’t waste $50,000.’ She stays quiet for a moment, ‘all right, you win that one.’ ‘I’m sorry, but that is a waste of money for one night,’ I continue,’ ‘okay,’ says Lucy. ‘If it’s what you want then fine, but it is still too much, I don’t care how rich you are. The only thing I think is worse than that are gender reveal parties. I mean, talk about self-indulgence, I understand if it’s the first kid and it’s the colour in the cake; that’s simple, but any more than that, pipe down.’ ‘I don’t understand you, are they hurting you? Are they making you feel bad?’ Lucy asks, ‘what even is your argument?’ Oh, Lucy, Lucy, Lucy. ‘People spend way too much money to find out a very boring detail about their kid. You don’t need to have an event for every detail of your life, what’s next? The conception party?’ I argue. ‘And we’re here… thank you so much for conversation and for agreeing to drive my car back to my house,’ she says, giving me a hug before grabbing her suitcase. ‘It’s all good, I hope you have a nice trip and don’t bring back anyone who will cost you another 50 grand, okay?’ ‘Okay, cuz,’ she says, smiling as she walks away. I climb into the driver’s seat and… oh shit, it’s a manual. I am, I cannot drive a manual. We may be here a while.