Şubat 4, 2021

Ben and Beatrice

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Author’s note: This story is an experiment. It is based on “Much Ado About Nothing” but you don’t need to see that play to understand this story.


Ben was wondering what he was going to do with his afternoon off. He was a summer camp leader at camp P- Lake. It was a good job for the summer for a college guy like him and he was getting nearer and nearer to getting a date with one of the women leaders. Her name was Alice and she was so pretty that Ben almost didn’t think she was real at first. He had thought that she should be on the cover of magazines, not roughing it at a summer camp. But she had said she wanted to be a teacher when she finished college so she thought this would be a good job for that.

Wednesday afternoon was Ben’s off time. He could have gotten into his car and left for the town that was down the road but he’d done that last week and discovered that it wasn’t such a good idea. The town really didn’t have anything and it took so much time to get there. So this week he was just going to chill and catch up on his reading. He had a pretty interesting book about a fictitious first mission to Mars. A lot of those old Mars books were becoming popular recently. Now that the actual first human mission to Mars had been completed without anything going wrong it was interesting to go back and look at all the things people used to be worried about.

He was in the recreation room in the main administration building since trying to spend free time in one of the bunk houses or any of the other facilities was a good way for the kids to come and rope you into doing something with them. Ben usually didn’t mind but when he had to be on the clock almost all the time, he had really started to look forward to just getting some alone time. It was more stressful than he’d thought to be responsible for the wellbeing of others.

But besides the kids, there was another very big reason he wanted to avoid the bunk houses. His sister. Beatrice had also gotten a job here and that bitch was deliberately going out of her way to make life hell for Ben. You wouldn’t think it to look at her. You probably wouldn’t think it even if you met her and got to know her a bit. But Beatrice had an evil side. She didn’t show it to everyone. Usually she was just so nice all the time.

A lot of siblings might go through a stage where they fight but they eventually grow out of it. Not these two. Ben was eager to tell anyone who would listen that of course it was all completely Beatrice’s fault. She was the nasty one, not him. He was kind and reasonable to everyone. But women being women, they always took his sister’s side. And Beatrice being as beautiful as she was made other guys want to run to her defense. But they didn’t know her like Ben knew her. They didn’t know that the devil was in that girl. They didn’t know about all the shit she’d pulled on Ben over the years.

Ben was in a dark room reclining on one of the sofas when he heard some people walk past the door to the rec room but they didn’t go in.

“I should just fire both of them. I can’t put up with this.” That was the head of the camp, Mrs. Peters, talking.

“Don’t do that. You don’t know what the whole story is.” That sounded like Mrs. Claudia.

“Then someone better explain it to me fast because I can’t have those two yelling at each other and slamming doors everyday. They’re scaring the children and we’re going to have parents complaining.”

Oh, shit. Ben then realized that they were talking about him and Beatrice. He was overhearing the boss talking about wanting to fire him. His fucking sister was now going to cost him a job. If he did get fired it would be the second time she’d done that. He remained still and tried not to make a sound.

The old man, Mr. Leonard, who was sort of the second in command there then said something. “This camp isn’t just a place to make money. It is supposed to be a place of healing and those two need it.”

“Why? Explain it to me like I’m a two year old.”

“There are certain things I know. The girl, she pretends to hate but she loves her brother.”

“Well, then, if she wants to keep her job she needs to stop pretending.”

“That would be a bad idea.” said Claudia.

“Why? Is she not supposed to love her brother? I don’t care if they hold hands and prance around together in their free time. I want the arguing to stop.”

“What she means to say is, the girl doesn’t just love her brother. She’s in love with her brother.”

Ben was shocked. He froze in place as he heard that news. From the sounds of things Mrs. Peters was shocked as well. The conversation didn’t continue for a few seconds.

“That can’t possibly be true.”

“It’s true.” said Mrs. Claudia.

“Beyond reason, she loves him with something akin to a raging fire.” said Mr. Leonard.

“And you knew about this?”

“Yes, ma’am.” said Mrs. Claudia.

“Maybe she’s just faking to get attention.”

“No, ma’am.” said Mrs. Claudia.

“Faking? No one could ever fake the bahis firmaları passion I see in her.” said Mr. Leonard.

“Passion?” questioned Mrs. Peters. “Like what?”

The older man began to speak but Ben could not hear and so he inched his way closer to the door and almost fell off the sofa. A part of his mind was thinking that maybe they were trying to trick him but old Leonard, so long good friends with Ben’s father would never play a trick on him as cruel as this would be.

“And you see the way he looks at his sister.” Mrs. Claudia said a little softer as Ben heard someone pass them in the hall.

“Well, if that’s really what’s going on then those two need to sit down and talk it through like adults instead of having shouting matches.” said Mrs. Peters.

“No. She says she can never tell him.” said Mr. Leonard. “But not telling him torments her.”

“Her hate is a mask.” said Mrs. Claudia. “She wants him at a distance because she could not bear it if he knew.”

“I can bring by the words she tried to write to him. Then you’ll see with your own eyes. She writes a love letter to him every night and even I have to admit I feel sorry for the girl. If only she were to direct her feelings at another target.”

“And those are the mild ones.” said Mrs. Claudia. “Some of what she writes is so lurid that I can’t even repeat it. She reads it to herself over and over again and then she tears it into a million pieces. She paces back and forth around her bed railing against herself for feeling the way she does. Then she falls down on her knees. She weeps. Then she prays, pleads even, with God to take her feelings for her brother away.”

“There are times when, I have to say it, I’m scared that girl might do something to hurt herself if this keeps up.”

“If all of that is true, and I’m going to check you understand … but if all that is true then it is best we get Conner in on this. We need to have a sit down with her, and the brother so we can work this out.”

“And what would talking accomplish?” ask Claudia. “We’d just push her over the edge.”

“Look, I like her.” said Mrs. Peters. “I like her a lot. She’s good with the kids but I have to stop the yelling.”

“She’s a smart girl.” said Claudia. “Maybe we can just sit down with her and let her know that we know and maybe with our support we can help her through this without getting a whole bunch of other people involved. She’d be mortified.”

“True.” said the administrator. “It isn’t like her brother can return her feelings. He’s a good guy and I like him too but our main concern as of now is getting her in order. Once she’s taken care of, then we can pull him to the side and tell him to lay off his sister.”

“I don’t think we should ever tell him. Not as long as she thinks she feels this way. Let’s get her some counseling.”

“I fear the poor girl will wear her heart out pining after her brother of all people.” said Leonard.

“Counseling is a good idea for her.” Mrs. Peters said. “Let’s get that started but first I want to talk to the girls that might have seen her acting this way. We need to make sure they keep quiet.”

The group moved away from the rec room and Ben was left there feeling dazed. His sister was in love with him. She was secretly in love with him. That was why she was so angry every time he was around her. That was why … Holy Shit!!!

That meant that every time she was trying to hurt him it was just an attempt to show him she loved him. That meant that all those times she attacked him it was because she wanted his attention. All those arguments she started over nothing were her trying to tell him how she felt. All those times she tried to get whoever Ben was dating to break up with him were her feeling jealous.

Ben felt like an asshole. He’d been a dick to her. But he didn’t know. He could swear he didn’t know. He had no idea. She was hurting with thoughts of incest that she could never feel safe enough to tell anyone. She needed him to be helpful and understanding and instead he’d been a jerk to her. His poor sister.

The boys bunk house was empty when Ben got back to his bed and started to pull things out of his bag and lay them out.

“Hey, ass wipe.” said Beatrice who had snuck up behind him.

“Beatrice.” said Ben.

“Dinner’s ready. They want me to tell you to get your lazy ass in gear.”

“Thank you.”

“Well you …” She had been ready with a comeback to whatever he might have said. In truth, she hadn’t even been listening so it took a moment for her to realize he hadn’t said anything to really fight about. “You better not keep them waiting. What are you doing out here anyway? You better not be masturbating, you sick pervert.”

Ben reached for one of the items on his bed and then he offered it to her. “Here. Maybe you need this more than me.”

“I don’t need anything from …” Then she realized he was giving her the laptop that they were supposed to be sharing. Ben had been given use of it for the summer since he had kaçak iddaa a lot of studying to do and Beatrice didn’t have nearly so much of a college load. And now he was just giving it to her. Why? “What are you trying to pull?”

“If now’s not a good time, just come and get it whenever you need it.”

“Oh, but aren’t you scared I’ll see all your porn?”

“There’s nothing on there I’m embarrassed about.”

“Embarrassed. If you want embarrassed I’ll show you embarrassed.”

“Thank you.” Ben said again. Those words completely disarmed her and she didn’t know where to go.

“Well, … just stay out here all night if you’re not hungry but I am so bye.” Then she stormed out and didn’t even bother to take the computer.

Ben came into the cafeteria and found the troop of boys he was assigned to. They started to tell him what they’d done that day when Beatrice deliberately jammed her tray into his back as she was passing him. Some of the gravy from her food splattered onto Ben.

The eyes around them all got wider and the other leaders went into high alert. John was going to the door so he could have it open the second those two had to be told to leave.

Then, nothing happened. Ben ignored what his sister had done. He just went right back to encouraging the boys to tell him about their day.

After all the boys had eaten and put their trays up, Ben was waiting for them to get lined up so he could get a head count. Beatrice marched her troop right in front of Ben and then his sister said in a very loud voice that if Ben was going to have food on his clothes like a homeless person, he might as well sleep outside instead of in the bunk house.

Beatrice finished checking on the girls in the bunk house and everyone seemed to be sleeping. Before going to sleep herself she shut down the laptop. She couldn’t believe her brother had turned into such a wimp overnight. Now she was going to ride him for everything. It was time to put him in his place and punish him to the max.

She went to use the restroom before turning in. While she was in the stall she overheard a very interesting thing. Two of the other women came in and they were talking about her brother. Beatrice hid her feet so they wouldn’t censor their conversation on her account.

“Ben is so cute. And you’re sure he doesn’t have a girlfriend.”

“If you hear the reason why you might change your mind about him, though.”

“He’s not gay is he? Just my luck, another perfect male ruined.”


“What could be worse than gay? I mean, he’s nice. He’s not a jerk.”

“He’s in love with his sister.”


“Sh! Keep it down.”

“No. Way.”

“I was over in the administration building and I overheard Mrs. Peters saying something about it.”


“Really. And think about it. Did you see how he was acting towards her? He’s not the one starting these fights, she is.”


“So, why’s she so mad at him?”

“It could be anything.”

“Yeah, and it could be he tried to make a pass at her and she had the good sense to be pissed about it.”

“The poor guy. Can you imagine what that must be like?”

“I don’t even want to.”

“But … it’s so romantic.”

“Romantic? That’s his sister. It’s gross. It’s worse than gross. It’s like … I mean, they’d have mutant babies or something.”

“I know that, but what I mean is, he has such an innocent love but she can never love him back, not like he loves her. And he can never tell anyone about it. It would eat me alive if I had to bottle something like that up.”

“In any event, dating him is probably not a good idea. Even if he were to go through the motions, he’d always have another girl on his mind and I couldn’t accept that.”

“I don’t know. He’s the best looking guy here. And he’s also probably the smartest.”

“And the sickest.”

“He needs someone to show him how to love someone other than his sister.”

“He needs a therapist.”

“He needs someone like me.”

“You’re not serious right now.”

“I am. He needs someone who’s not going to reject him or push him away. He needs to be with someone who he knows will accept him for who he really is. I think if I can give him that he’ll stop feeling the way he does for his sister.”

“I don’t think those kinds of feelings can just be switched off. Who knows how long this has been building up. I think it’s kind of a stupid move.”

“Even if his feelings for her never completely go away, that doesn’t mean he’d do anything with her. He needs to know he can love someone else. I can transition him. I can fix him. You watch. When he argues with his sister he’ll see that I’m on his side. Then he’ll open up to me and I can remind him of how two faced his sister is.”

“I think it’s crazy.”

The girls left and Beatrice felt like the bottom had fallen out of her heart. She started crying and couldn’t stop no matter how much she tried. She could not believe how awful she’d been kaçak bahis to her brother. Her sweet, sweet brother. And now his secret, his terrible secret; that he’d guarded to the point that Beatrice didn’t even suspect; was now out and who knew how many people would learn of it.

She felt like an absolutely shitty person as she made her way to her bed. Memory after memory of when she’d tried to hurt him came back to her. How long had he been in love with her? She thought she had the answer. That Christmas party where they’d had to dance together. Maybe it started then. And from then every time Beatrice had done something, to him it was a double betrayal.

Under her covers she rolled up into the fetal position and started crying hard. She was trying to be quiet about it but wave after wave of remorse, regret, and pity started flooding out of her. She could not believe all the things she’d done to him. She wanted to hug him. She wanted to apologize to him. She wanted to protect him. But all she’d ever done to him was try and put him down for the crime of being a little older than her.

And to make it worse, he’d tried to move on from her. He’d tried and she’d sabotaged him. Maybe that was the worst part. But she didn’t know. She could plead with him that she didn’t know. …

“I just heard that they want each house manager to bring the forms in for everyone.” said Conner while the boys were going to breakfast.

Ben listened and as usual it took him an extra second to process what Conner had said because of the guy’s accent. “Why?” asked Ben who was not thrilled to be told he’d have to do someone else’s work for them.

“I don’t know. Do you want me to leave them on your bed?”

“No. You hold onto them until I come get them. Otherwise they might go missing.”

“Dude.” said John to Ben. “I heard your sister was bawling her eyes out last night. What the hell did you do to her this time?”

“Not now.” said Ben. He was making sure the kids in his group each got only one cafeteria tray during breakfast.

“This constant, you know, whatever, between you and your sister is going to have to stop or you guys …”

“I know. It’s stopping. Don’t worry.”

“It better be.”

“I can’t stop her from … being emotional but there’ll be no more fighting. Ok? That part is over.”

Once all the kids were served and everyone was sitting down to eat; Ben glanced over at his sister. She saw him looking at her and then she hid her face from him. That would have seemed like new behavior for her but then he saw his sister mentally firing daggers at another girl.

Beatrice was watching that bitch Ursula with hateful eyes. What kind of stupid fucking name was Ursula anyway? Were her parents fucking morons? She dared to think she could fix Beatrice’s brother. There was nothing wrong with him. He was perfect. Beatrice wanted to keep that skank away from her sibling. She didn’t want anyone to touch him. He was going through a tough time and if anyone was going to be there for him, it was going to be Beatrice. His feelings were for her so she had to be the one to help him.

She had to … make up for all the things she’d done to him. Whatever it took, she was going to get him to forgive her. And then she was going to be the one to help him. It was her responsibility. She was family, not that bitch.

“Brian.” said Ben. When he heard the child answer that he was present he checked off the name on the attendance form. “Carl. … Steven. … Captain, give me a head count.” The oldest of the boys reported that all 23 were present. “Good. Ok, bear troop. We’re going to make our way up the path to the rope way. Then we’re going to …”

“Excuse me.” said a woman as she approached Ben’s group. Ben didn’t remember her name. She handed him a note and then all the boys in the group started making ‘oo” sounds. The woman excused herself and Ben put his hands up to get the boys to quiet down.

“Alright, alright. It’s not that kind of letter, just so you know.”

They encouraged him to read it but Ben shook his head. “First mate, I want you leading the way. Captain, I want you in back to make sure we don’t have any stragglers. Ok, boys. Let’s move.”

“Patricia, can I talk to you for a second?” said Beatrice.

“Sure. What’s up?”

Beatrice looked around to see if anyone would overhear them. “We’re friends, right?”

“Sure. Of course we are.”

“Good. I only want to say this one time. I don’t care what you heard or what you think you heard. If it has to do with my brother you shut up about it.”

“Your brother? I … I …”

“I mean it. Shut your mouth. It has nothing to do with you.”

“I would never tell …”

“If Ursula gets a date with Ben I’m holding you responsible. My brother isn’t a toy.”

“I thought you hated your brother.”

“He’s still my brother.”

“Alright. I’m sorry. I should have come and told you first.”

“You’re damn right. What were you thinking repeating something like that about someone?”

“I was just so surprised. I mean, you don’t hear that everyday.”

“Well, if it’s about my brother, I don’t want people hearing it at all.”

“Ok. Secret. I understand. Totally.”

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