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Random Scenes: Girl Cousins

Setting: On a late Spring Friday afternoon, two 12-year old cousins are standing on the BART train platform in El Cerrito, a small city across the bay from San Francisco. 

 “The pony-tail lady in jeans and pink sweater," I said to my cousin who was a few months older than me. Whenever we’re in a public place, Sydney and I like to play a game of guessing what people are.

“A dancer. Maybe a ballerina,” Twelve-year old Sydney said, gazing down the BART train platform.

"See the old man with the silver cane behind her."

“A retired guy from the government.”

“The girl in overalls with a brown leather backpack.”

 “Easy. College student, probably UC Berkeley." Sydney lowered her voice and said, "I've got one for you, Jeannie. The tall guy with the bald head and the blond ponytail."


“Behind you.”

I squatted down and pretended to tie my shoe as I glanced at the man wearing a grayish-green raincoat, the belt hanging to the ground. He reminded me of characters in the spy movies my brothers like to watch.

 “A double agent of course,” I said, nearly whispering.

Sydney nodded, looking over at him. I took another peek. He was staring at us. Giggling, we turned quickly around.

 “Ssssh,” I said. “He’ll think we’re talking bout him.”

“We are,” Sydney said between giggles.

I turned again. He was still staring at us. It made me nervous. But I never let a stare get the better of me. I stared back.

“Cool, Jeannie. You made him look away,”  said Sydney.

I shrugged. It was nothing. I was the champion starer in my class. I needed some notoriety other than being the shortest kid in class.

 “You pick one,” said Sydney.

"Here comes the train," I said. "Come on, let's get on the first car."

In seconds, the train to San Francisco came to a halt. We were spending the weekend with Sydney's mom who says she's an artist. But, I know better. I'm certain she's a spy.


  1. Oh I think most people are spies from some Country. Actually this seems to be a fun game to play especially when waiting in line

    1. Even after the Husband left his job, I let him know that he was still doing spy work. I figure it was over when we moved down here with the Mama.

  2. Susie,

    I love this story. It's great fun to imagine what people are. Most people think I'm an ordinary mother or wife. I bet no one in our parish suspects I have a secret identity: writer and blogger!

    1. Thanks, Sue. It's just as well that people don't know our secret identities. They may get awkward around us, thinking that we may write about something they say or do. :-)

  3. My family did (and still does) this whenever we are around people we make up stories about them.

    1. Kristin, it's a pleasure to meet someone else who likes to do this. :-)


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