She continued her story. “I heard him approach the entry, so I flung open the door, thrust the martini forward and said something stupid like ‘Boy have I been waiting for YOU!’. He just stood there. His eyes bugged out and his mouth dropped. Then he turned away and said ‘I’m sorry Mrs. Bradley, I’ll come back later!” She grinned as she recalled the image of his tool belt slapping against his pudgy
belly as he ran for the safety of the utility van.
“What?” Colleen shrieked, causing several indignant looks to turn their way.
“I was so excited about greeting William that I forgot about the appointment with the Cable Guy. When I realized who it was I tried to cover myself and dumped the martini down my cleavage. Do you know how hard it is to get out of wet saran wrap? They certainly don’t lie about the clinging power; I had to use scissors to cut myself out! Now I only use zip-lock Baggies, I can’t bring myself to have it in the house anymore.”
Sheila was convulsing with laughter and appeared to be in danger of sliding under the table when Colleen and Patsy grabbed her arms and pulled her back up. The couple at the next table hid their faces behind menus, trying not to laugh out loud.
“That was too much!” Colleen gasped. “I can’t remember when I’ve laughed so hard. I almost peed my pants!” Then soberly slightly she asked, “How did he tell you it was over?”
Patsy sighed and took a moment to compose her thoughts. “We married young, just in our early twenties and then had the kids. He was always busy trying to be the youngest millionaire or something. I guess we settled into a routine when the kids left home. I wanted to work, but he wouldn’t hear of it. I think it would have been embarrassing to him, like he wasn’t capable of providing for his family. I was bored silly, just sitting around the house with nothing to do and put on some weight. He couldn’t stand my not being thin…didn’t reflect well on his corporate image. I believe he said I was too old, too fat and too boring for his tastes.”
Her friends sympathetically shook their heads. “Damn fool.” Sheila said. “He should see you now…great job, enjoying the art and theatre again, and with a killer body!”
Colleen chimed in with a toast “And great friends!”
They paused for a moment; each reflecting on the conversation.
“How’s he doing?” Sheila asked. “Not that I really care, but I’m just curious about how things worked out for Ole Billie Boy.”
Colleen came back with “Oh, I’m sure he’s doing just fine. That kind always lands on their feet.” Patsy declined comment.
As they dropped her off they buzzed about what a great evening it was and again wished her a happy fiftieth birthday.
It certainly has been a wild ride, these fifty years she thought to herself as she tidied the kitchen before going to bed. She smiled as she passed the telephone and replayed the conversation in her mind. She couldn’t bring herself to tell them it was William. She hadn’t heard from him in over five years and then out of the blue here he was. Crying. Begging. It seems that Barbara had matured and now found him too old, too fat and too boring for her tastes. “I guess you don’t know what you've got until it’s gone” he pleaded. “Please, can we give it another try?”
Long Live the Queen of Sweet Revenge