Ordinary World Soap Opera
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Episode 727: Health And Happiness

Caroline smiled as her three younger cousins toweled off and dutifully reapplied their sunscreen. "We have cookies for dessert," she told them, setting out a juice from the cooler for each of the kids along with their lunch. "But cookies only happen after you eat your carrots, and your sandwich, crust and all."

Nine year old Billie Jean, six and a half year old Rose, and four year old Spike, whose name was actually Henry - they all nodded in agreement and bit into their crusts without complaint.

Caroline was the oldest cousin, and therefore, glamorous in their eyes, so they pretty well followed every rule she laid out - her momís rules. It was kind of cool to be the boss, for a minute she quite liked feeling responsible for others, but the next minute she faced a reminder of how sucky it felt to feel responsible for someone who refused help.

Not far down the beach, Jesse and his little brother Nate laid out their beach towels. Sheíd run into him throughout the summer, so often she half suspected heíd planned it. This was it though, enough was enough.

"Guys, can I trust you to stay put and keep eating your lunch for a few minutes?" Caroline asked and her cousins nodded. "Iíll keep my eye on you the whole time."

"Hi Caroline," Nate said, off and running into the water, meantime Caroline reached Jesse at the precise moment he peeled off his t-shirt.

She chose that moment to avert her gaze, her focus shifting back and forth from her cousins to Nate splashing around, having a blast.

"Youíre a mom, now?" Jesse joked, his hand on her wrist, attempting to turn her to face him. She refused to budge.

"Those are my cousins. And someone has to look out for your brother, too, since youíre incapable. How can you think bringing him to the beach is a good idea in your condition? There are no lifeguards here. What if he has a problem and you have a problem?"

"Iím fine."

"You havenít been fine for more than a year, and you havenít done anything about it. Youíre being insane."

"No, really, I am fine. Nothingís happened all summer. I was just waiting to be sure before I told you. I didnít want to put false hope out there. Youíve seen me around, Caro, have I once looked bad?"

He hadnít. Could he, could it really be over? Just then her boyfriend appeared on the beach. He joined her cousins, and it reminded Caroline that she was with someone else because Jesse made it impossible to be with him. "You canít be fine," she said. "You canít know that. Your symptoms could just be dormant for a minute. You donít know. You wonít go to a doctor."

"I have. Iím fine."

Episode 728: Back To Life

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