Episode 795: Wonderful ChristmastimeTansy and her mom shared sheepish grins across her grandparents' living room as her grandpa refused to sample a cookie until he'd made certain Tansy and her mom hadn't baked them. Their Thanksgiving pies had not turned out well, and they'd been the focus of family jokes ever since, which, yeah, stung a little, being made a joke of always stung a little, but she and her mom knew that their baking night had otherwise been good, and they'd made a pact not to let anyone else's opinion drag them down.
Tansy had more than enough other things dragging her down. School felt like a minefield, having to tip-toe around, try not to be noticed, she couldn't wait for the relief of winter break to officially kick in. But, winter break did mean more stuff like this, more family time, more of her older cousin Molly's teasing and bossiness.
Tansy and Molly had never gotten along well, Molly was too much like her mom, Talia, always grouchy about something and taking it out on other people. Tansy used to think Molly was the meanest girl alive until the stuff at school started happening, Molly wasn't as bad as all that, but she wasn't anywhere near nice, either.
Tansy frowned as she watched the older teen affix Tansy's very favorite pink angel ornament to another branch on their grandparents' tree. “Why do you keep moving everything I hang up?”
“Because I'm better at this than you are. It looks better my way. I have taste.”
“Molly, knock it off,” Aunt Talia said. “This is supposed to be a fun family thing, not just a Molly thing. Put this wherever you want it, Tansy.” She grabbed the angel and handed it over. “There's nothing wrong with your taste.”
Tansy blinked and stared and blinked some more at her aunt. She'd fully expected to have to defend herself and to maybe have her mom and dad join in if they'd overheard, but Aunt Talia? That was unexpected. Or maybe not, considering who Aunt Tal dated. Maybe he was having a good influence on her. Or, maybe she just wanted Tansy to report back that she'd actually been decent in order to impress him, in order to hold on to him. Tansy understood wanting to hold onto him, she understood how tough it was to feel alone, she felt that everyday at school.
She felt that loneliness again, only a moment later, when Molly, her voice more taunting than ever, asked, “is it true, what I heard about you from a girl who goes to your school?”
Tansy felt her knees go limp, and her cheeks burn. It was all she could do to stay standing as tears welled in her eyes, and her parents, with little Hero in hand, rushed to her side to ask what was going on. Her evil cousin didn't end up revealing anything just then, but she gave Tansy a look like, I know, so you better not cross me.