A bit of housekeeping before we get into today’s post. We’re taking off the rest of this week. We’ll be back with the regular schedule next week.
Calendar Girl: Chapter 8
Previously on Calendar Girl, Mia fucking expanding brain meme’d her way into figuring out the plot twist.
So there’s, uh, a few problems with how this came about. First, there’s how insane it is that Mia just… decided to remember that she knew Max from her childhood… because she had a recurring dream in the last chapter that we’ve never heard about before said last chapter. There’s that. Which isn’t clear storytelling because there’s… the one big problem…
And our second “wait, what exactly just happened” problem with clarity happens because… apparently Mia didn’t figure it out??? Even after brain-hacking her way into forgotten memories? Because she ended the last chapter with “I knew Maxwell Cunningham and his father knew my mother” (which is somehow a more absurd twist than the real siblings thing, but that’s a whole other problem), it’s actually really unclear how much Mia has figured out by this point. Especially because the reader figured out this incredibly obvious plot twist almost the entire book ago.
“Max, we need to talk,” I said as I entered the kitchen.
This could honestly be about anything. There’s invasions of privacy, there’s weird lying, there’s secret memories, there’s secret family ties, there’s secret not-identity fraud… I’m so confused right now.
Before I could start, Cyndi interrupted. “Now I know you’re probably mad. […] I’ll start by saying I’m sorry,” Cyndi announced.
“No, you’re not,” I state plain as day […]
“You’re right. I’m not sorry. You need your sister here, and we need to meet them.”
They needed to meet them. That was the part that threw me for a loop.
BUT, MIA, YOU HACKED YOUR BRAIN TO THE ONE-YARD LINE. YOU DON’T KNOW YET?
Mia asserts again that they “cannot meddle in my life. I am here to do a job” and more explicitly tells them that bringing Maddy and her fiance here “overstepped a line”. No one’s dialogue makes any sense.
“Please know that our intentions were in the right place.” […]
“I think the lines are getting blurred here. I am pretending to be someone to help fool your investors until you find your real sister. As much as I wish it were true… I’m not your sister.”
Cyndi leaned down, kissed [Max’s] temple, and whispered something that sounded a little like, “Tell her,” into his ear, but I couldn’t be sure.
NOW CALENDAR GIRL IS JUST FUCKING WITH US.
Max shakes his head, and the conversation ends with no closure about anything. He informs Mia that “today is a suit day”, because today is the day they’re meeting with the investors to reveal Mia is the sister. He’s just telling her this now. No wonder his employees are always working overtime. He sounds like a really shitty boss.
They have an awkwardly silent drive to the company headquarters, which somehow Calendar Girl finds a way to make more awkward:
I smiled and clasped his hand. He inhaled sharply and curled his fingers around my hand. A jolt of electricity and familiarity sizzled at the center of my palm.
“Do you feel that?” I asked, wanting more than anything to know he felt that connection between us.
Yes, they’re going to talk about their secret childhood memories because of magic hand-holding. But first, don’t forget this is an erotic romance series.
It wasn’t sexual in nature like I’d experienced with other men I’d been intimate with.
Thanks for clearing that up, Calendar Girl. That was the tone this scene needed.
It just felt right, holding his hand. As though the universe had stuck us together. […]
“Sugar, I’ve felt the connection to you for eons. Ever since I met you that first time when we were little.”
Calendar Girl: “I’m touching your hand but not in a sexy way!” Also Calendar Girl: “…sugar.”
Anyway, they’re finally having a conversation about how they know they knew each other as kids because of magic hand touching. Back to that.
I swallowed down the sob that wanted to tear through my lungs. “You knew?”
He nodded. […]
“I don’t understand. It’s like I know you, but I don’t know you.” […]
“It will be okay. We’ll figure it out. First, we need to get through today and this meeting. It’s go-time, darlin’.”
Why isn’t Mia concerned at all that he’s been lying to her this whole time? We haven’t even gotten to the lie yet.
Anyway, don’t forget this is an erotic romance series.
Jutting out my ample bosom while straightening my spine, I readied for battle.
READ THE ROOM, MIA.
They enter the boardroom and begin the meeting. Max’s cousin and forgettable antagonist, Sofia, is there, ready to be the skeptic throughout this entire very, very weird company meeting.
A bunch of whispered comments reverberated through the room.
“They look nothing alike.”
“I can see it in the eyes.”
“The resemblance is there.”
“No way that’s his sister. Look at her.”
“Her hair is black. His is blond. They are not related.”
This time, when Maxwell quieted the room, it was on a mighty roar. “Enough!”
WHAT KIND OF COMPANY CULTURE DO THEY HAVE HERE? Why are they all just openly talking about this right in front of them? What’s with Robo Dr. Genetics 101 over here going, “Her hair black. His is blond. They are not related.”? What’s with the dude just saying “She’s beautiful”? THAT’S NOT RELEVANT. YOU’RE NOT EVEN CONTRIBUTING.
Max brings out his attorney who’ll explain all the #science why they’re related.
The gorgeous black woman followed, sliding her briefcase beside her chair, and taking her seat, her back ramrod straight. The bright red sole of her sky-high Louboutins gleamed when she gracefully placed one knee over the other. I needed hot “sista” girlfriends. They always seemed to know how to dress.
The irony here is that this definitely does demonstrate that Mia desperately needs black friends.
I’m gonna be real with you guys. They really fucking drag this out, Max reveals to his company and Mia that she’s his real sister at the same fucking time, Sofia is cynical, and I don’t give a shit anymore. Max reveals increasingly legit evidence, including stuff that Mia didn’t know existed and Max definitely could have actually told her about.
“That is a picture my father had of my mother holding me, next to a picture of Mia. The resemblance is uncanny,” he croaked and cleared his throat.
And including stuff that he got through yet more unethical behavior.
[The attorney said] “I felt it prudent to go deeper and a DNA test was done. A sample of hair was taken from Ms. Saunders’s hairbrush”
But why do all of this in secret? What was the fucking point?
Max placed his lips over my hands and kissed the tops over and over again. “I should have told you the truth,” he whispered. “For-Forgive me.” […]
“You’re my brother.” The words came out of my mouth on a gasp.
Max nodded. “I am.” He scanned my face, as if he were looking directly into my soul and seeing a piece of himself.
“My real brother,” I repeated.
“Yes. And you, you’re my baby sister.” He swallowed and licked his lips.
WHY IS HE LICKING HIS LIPS?
This was no longer pretend. Max had brought me here because he’d known this information all along and waited until we were in front of all these strangers to disclose the truth.
The chapter ends with Mia doing what she should have done right at the beginning of the book: freaking out and running the fuck out of the room. Hopefully to get her own goddamn lawyer.