A Song of the Past: Twenty-six

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Friday, 7:00 PM
Deirdre sat at home waiting for Chuck’s call. She needed companionship; she needed to remember hope and happiness. Perhaps they could go to see Justin play, get out in a crowd, dance, forget everything else—for at least a few hours. It was seven at night when the call finally came.
Deirdre sensed that something was wrong: his voice sounded tense. She said simply, “Yes…” then waited for Chuck to talk.
“Deirdre, my wife called me last night. She just got out of rehab, and she sounds great. She… she wants to get back together.”
She tried to muster as much sarcasm as she could at the moment. “I thought you were done with her periodic ‘improvements.’”
“I don’t know. I can’t just turn her away like she’s a stranger. I have to take some time to meditate on the situation.”
“Oh, meditate, is it? Christ Almighty, I can’t believe that you’re telling me this!”

“Deirdre, she and I have been together a long time. It’s not that easy to let go of all that.”
“And what about us? Was the other night just some ‘issue’ you had to work out?”
“Deirdre, I think you’re wonderful. And I’m not saying that I don’t want to keep seeing you. But I need this weekend to think.”
“Well, I hope that your thoughts are all pleasant ones.”
“Deirdre, don’t…”
She slammed the phone down. She went to the kitchen and poured herself a tall glass of vodka and orange juice. Back in the living room she sank into the couch. The worst of it all was that it wasn’t even unexpected—she had known that things that were too good to be true weren’t true. What an idiot she had been! A married man—hadn’t she learned anything in her twenty-eight years? She finished her drink and poured herself another one, a bit stronger.

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