“What do you mean, different?” asked Emily.
I sighed, this wasn’t how I wanted our coffee date to go. It was supposed to be a light catch-up, so we could talk about our jobs and our kids and just about anything but this.
But she’d asked me if I was planning on traveling anywhere, and it just came out.
“It’s hard to say. A lot of little things that maybe don’t add up to much,” I said, fiddling with the swizzle stick in my macchiato.
“She had a group of friends that would go to the movies every week, she barely goes now. She came to the family get-together two weeks ago, but she only stayed for about half an hour. She’s gotten into gardening and clean eating.”
“You’re right, it doesn’t sound like much.”
“I know, but she acts different, too. More reserved. I don’t know.”
An errant lock of hair had somehow escaped my messy bun, and the wind blew it into my face. I brushed it aside and tucked it behind my ear. Emily and I both felt more comfortable in the coffee shop’s outdoor area.
“Do you think you’ll go?” Emily took a sip of her chai latte.
“My branch of the family tree pretty much never does. My cousin was the first in a while. But Echart really wants me to come visit.”
“And Echart is your…dad’s cousin, right?”
“Second cousin, I think.”
“Well I’d say go if you want to,” Emily said. “The Interior is beautiful this time of year. I’d be worried if it seemed like your cousin joined a cult, but otherwise…”
I shook my head. “No, it’s nothing like that.”
“Have you asked your cousin what happened when she went to visit?”
“She just said if I wanted to know, I had to go there myself.”