Bugs and Gum

Keeka’s boyfriend Gil is worried about Keeka. To Gil, it seems that Keeka has become very strange since becoming rich by winning the lottery several weeks earlier.

Some of Keeka’s post-lottery-win behaviors have seemed normal enough to Gil: quitting her job; moving out of her crummy studio apartment; moving into a mansion in a very upper-class neighborhood; buying a new, ultra-expensive car; etcetera.

But there are other behaviors of Keeka that have been troubling Gil, specifically the ones in relation to Keeka’s four new female acquaintances.

The four new female acquaintances are named Fawna, Tabeeza, Miona, and Nella. They are all very tall and very beautiful, unlike Keeka, who is short and plump.

Fawna, Tabeeza, Miona, and Nella are rich residents of the neighborhood that Keeka now lives in. Keeka became acquainted with these four tall, beautiful women shortly after moving to the neighborhood.

Fawna, Miona, Nella, and Tabeeza are a powerful social clique known as the Swans. The Swans influence the fashion styles and opinions of the neighborhood’s other residents. The Swans are always invited to the most exclusive parties. All the other female residents want to be Swans. All the neighborhood’s male residents want to be with the Swans.

Keeka wants to be a Swan. She badly craves the respect and adoration and popularity and envy and resentment that the Swans receive.

Keeka is currently a candidate for Swan membership. Typically, candidates for Swan membership are referred to as Ducklings. However, for unspecified reasons, the Swans refer to Keeka as an Ugly Duckling.

Unfortunately for Keeka, Swan membership candidates have to go through a grueling, mandatory hazing process in order to become a Swan. This hazing process involves lots and lots of torture from the Swans and having to do whatever the Swans tell the candidate to do. In the few weeks since Keeka’s membership candidacy began, the Swans have done many, many terrible things to Keeka as part of the hazing process.

At the moment, it is the evening. Keeka is at home, in her mansion’s bathroom. Gil is also in the bathroom. He came to the mansion to pick Keeka up for a date, but she is too tired to go out now, as she is exhausted from another long, grueling day with the Swans.

Keeka is sitting in front of a large mirror, brushing her teeth intensely. Today, per the Swans’ commands, Keeka ate various bugs.

With the hand Keeka isn’t using to brush her teeth, Keeka is trying to remove pieces of chewed gum from her hair. One of the Swans, Nella, likes to chew gum. During the day, she stuck her many, many finished pieces of gum in Keeka’s hair. This gum torture is not a new addition to the hazing process. Removing Nella’s chewed gum from Keeka’s hair has become one of Keeka’s nightly routines.

Gil tells Keeka that he is worried about her; that he doesn’t like what this Swan membership candidacy is doing to her. Gil suggests that she abandon her goal to become a Swan.

Keeka becomes very angry in response to Gil’s suggestion. She accuses Gil of not being supportive of her. She accuses Gil of never being supportive of her.

Keeka and Gil get into a huge, heated argument. Gil leaves the mansion angrily.

As Gil is driving away from Keeka’s mansion, he is thinking about how he and Keeka never argued before her Swan membership candidacy began. He wonders how much more of a strain this candidacy will have on their relationship.

Back at the mansion, Keeka isn’t thinking about Gil. She is struggling to get one remaining piece of gum out of her hair. She realizes how futile it is: even if she gets this piece of gum out of her hair, there will be more gum in her hair by tomorrow night. She hopes to become a Swan soon.

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