The story so far:
"Hi, Myrtle, you musty mutt!" my cousin Erinne cackled. She was standing on the top step at my house on a pretty warm Thursday afternoon in August. It was obvious that she was in one of her crazy moods again.
I gave her a dirty look. "Erinne, please don't call me a musty mutt, okay? You know I don't like that at all!"
Erinne cackled even harder. Then she stopped. "All right, mutt."
"See, Erinne, you're doing it again! I wish you were working in the library all day!" I had to yell. You see, Erinne worked at the Bella Rosa University library three days a week, four hours a day until school would start. Someone suggested that she applied for the library, because working at her former office job made her sick. People would be cruel to her at times, and sometimes they made her do meaningless things, just because she had autism. Although she spoke her mind, they found her rude. I thought she was being honest. She resigned for everyone's sake! And now, none of her former employees kept in touch with her. Erinne said she didn't care--they weren't really her friends in the beginning...okay, maybe except for one or two people she kept in touch with.
Erinne raised an eyebrow at me. "Um, Myrt, you know good and well I can't. I'm on Social Security, thank you very much, and if I work over the amount that I'm required to make, I will be cut off Social Security, thank you very much."
"Well, Mandy Bee, I'm on Social Security, too, muchas gracias! Thanks very much!" I snapped back. I forgot to mention that I sometimes worked with Tiffany Mercado, my friend Paola Castillo's younger and severely autistic half-sister during the summer. Tiffany does speak a little more than what she used to, but she has to use a communication device to say what she really wants. I really love working with her although it is difficult to understand her. But then again, who could understand autistic old Myrtle Christinne Benedeck? (That's my full name, Myrtle Christinne Benedeck. I'm part-Romanian Jew and part-Irish American. My father Myron and Erinne's dad Eric are brothers; that's why Erinne and I are cousins. My mother Lorraine has Irish blood in her, and people say we look like twins, because we have the same color hair--brown. My hair is a little lighter than hers, though, because I have red and blonde highlights. Erinne teases me and says I look like a clown!)
Now it was Erinne's turn to get upset. She didn't like to be called "Mandy Bee" (her full name is Erinne Amanda Benedeck; she's Romanian and Jew and German American, because her mother Irenne has German blood in her). "Myrtle, don't you call me that!!! Let's talk about something else!"
"Good!" I yelled back. Then I started to laugh, and Erinne followed me with her own "Erinne-like" laugh--hooting like an owl!
When the laughing died down, Erinne asked me, "Has Daniel Rivera called you yet?"
I smiled. Daniel Rivera was this cute Puerto Rican with curly black hair and sweet caramel skin that anyone would want to munch on. (I'm dead serious.) He's 27 years old, and he works at Rivera Uribe Enterprises, his parents' company. Plus, he was 5'10", and he has attended a couple of conferences about autism just like his other good-looking brother Hector did (as you probably know, he's dating my other friend Raquelle Ortiz!). "Yes, he did call me last night, and he said that he would like to go out with me."
Erinne shrieked with joy. "That's wonderful!!!! It's about time he accepted. See, I told you that you had to wait, and so did everyone else! God works in mysterious ways, Myrt!" She gave me a hug, but she didn't hurt me or anything despite being so excited.
I didn't even get upset for her calling me Myrt (I hate being called that!) and returned the hug back. I was just happy and blessed to get a date with Danny (Daniel's nickname), and my parents approved, along with my two older half-sisters Victoria (her father Louis has Italian blood) and Kerianne (her father Dave has Scottish blood). My youngest autistic sister Marie (yes, Myron is her father, too!) teased me about the whole ordeal, but she definitely supports me!
When the hugging was done, Erinne and I decided to order a pizza from our favorite restaurant, The Pink Rug, so we could celebrate. I thank God that all things are possible in life, and I must be patient and wait on Him.