continued from here
Three days after Ed left, I am going through the motions while I feel like life has crumbled around me. I want to be one of those women who rise up like a beautiful phoenix and say, “my life is better without you!” but I don’t lie easily.
My half-sister, Angie, pops up unexpectedly Friday morning, after I’ve called in sick to work because while I may not have a contagious disease, I feel sick, sick, tired, and mentally bruised beyond recognition. I thought I would never be one of those women who wilted. I guess I am. I loved and I loved with everything I had.
Angie opens cupboards and then the pantry where, evidently, she finds what she’s looking for. I love her. She’s like a sprite, an imp, with her bounty of curly red hair and bright mischievous blue eyes. And, I’ve always called her a pest.
She throws a Pop-Tart in the toaster. Ed’s Pop-Tarts. Chocolate. His one, ah, no, his second bad habit; Chrissy will always be the first. I guess he did leave something behind after all. She rests her back against the counter, folds her arms across her chest, and watches me, but she reminds me of when she was a kid and had a secret to share. She is practically bouncing on her feet.
“You look like shit,” she says finally.
Rolling my eyes, I draw my really old pink terry cloth robe around me. It’s like Linus’ blanket, a comfort, and I can hardly do without it. “Thanks. I can always count on you for sweetness.”
“She tricked him,” she says finally.
Closing my eyes, I’m afraid of letting all of this reality sink in too much. “What?”
“Chrissy told him that she was thinking of killing herself and that she really needed him because she never fell out of love with him and that you have always made her life hell and you have a history of always stealing her boyfriends.”
With my eyes closed, I shake my head. “Did he believe that?”
I open my eyes to see her shrug. “I don’t know. She was sobbing when she told me this. She forgot I was there the day that you both saw Ed. I remember her saying he looked like trailer trash but you said you thought he was cute and then she changed her mind. Do you want me to tell him?”
Smiling, I shake my head. She’s such a little mischief-maker. “He went of his own volition.”
“I don’t think he did. She said she went around packing up his stuff and he kept telling her he didn’t know if he wanted to do that.”
I could see him, trying not to hurt Chrissy, what a sap, god, I could see him just being a sap. “Why did she tell you that last bit? It hardly fits her.”
Angie grabs the hot Pop-Tart from the toaster and juggles it between her fingers, blowing on it as if to cool it. She takes a tentative small bite from the corner. “She said he is so wrapped around your finger that he doesn’t know what’s good for him.”
The same clock that ticked away the moments saying “he’s gone,” ticks, but it sounds slightly more optimistic: perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.