Fio was completely taken in by--let's call her M--and so was everyone else. She was new in town, quite vocal, and quickly became active in the elementary school. Her children were smart and well-behaved. Her husband was a local newscaster. She told Fio, who wrote her up in the neighborhood column for the American-Statesman, that she sang country-western and that Nashville had offered her a contract, but she wanted to wait till her daughter and twin boys were older.
Oddly enough, when Fiorella asked to hear her sing, she said she never sang without a full instrumental back-up. And her husband seemed confused when Fio mentioned her singing. And, while she claimed her father was a doctor, she went to a chiropractor for all her aches and pains. And the school was concerned because she took a peculiar interest in a certain student and phoned his parents about him several times, then denied doing so.
The next thing Fio knew, M's husband got a better job in North Texas and the family moved--only to be back in Austin within six months because M had developed a crush on her husband's boss and harassed him by telephone. The family settled in South Austin, as Fio remembers, and M must have been up to her same old tricks, because one evening Fiorella received a call from M asking to borrow one hundred dollars. M's husband had cleaned out the bank account and run out on her and the kids.
Fio mailed her the check, knowing full well she'd never be repaid. But she also knew it meant M would never try to contact her again. Which made the money worth it.