Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Someone Like You--"Thank You Ashley Madison" excerpt

Wednesday, May 1

     Tom has had a lingering stomach virus for weeks. He feels fine for four or five days then queasy again. I took him to the doctor and Tom was told to eat bland food for at least one week to get his stomach back to normal.
     “I have six or seven patients with this,” the doctor told Tom. “They’re all about your age.”
     Tom’s queasiness re-flared up the first time on the day JB and I divorced. JB picked Tom up after school, Tom threw up, and he didn’t go back to school the rest of that week or the beginning of the next. I fed Tom chicken, rice, chicken noodle soup, bagels, bananas and apples. Tom went to JB’s and ate pizza and chili dogs. Tom came home feeling lousy and I put him back on his special diet. But three days later, he was back at JB’s eating donuts. I’d given JB explicit instructions what to feed Tom weeks ago. When Tom was with me, he didn't vomit. I crossed my fingers when Tom went to JB’s today.

     “Tom’s stomach is acting up again,” JB texted.

     “I’m not surprised. He doesn’t eat the food he’s supposed to with you.”

     “Okay. He had soup last night, toast for breakfast, eating soup now. He has had dairy though.”

     “He’s not supposed to have dairy. I asked you to feed him certain foods. You aren’t. He has voice at six tonight.”

     “I cancelled. Didn’t want to but he threw up.”

     “Great. Do I need to tell you what he can eat again?”


     “Hey Brenda,” Golf Guy texted, “might be able to see you around two on Friday for a little while. Would that work?”

     “Yeah. Guessing it’s a no go if it’s raining?”


     “If it’s iffy, will you confirm?”

     “If it’s iffy we will talk.”

     “Okay. Thanks. Goodnight.”

     “You need to help me find someone like you who isn’t married.”

     “I got divorced a week ago.”

     “Wow, sorry to hear that. You okay?”

     I’d already told Golf Guy I was divorced. What the hell?

     “I’m great,” I texted. “It was a good thing.”

     “Okay, good, I’m happy for you.”

     “What about you?” I texted.

     “I’ve been divorced four years.”

     “How was that? Bad?”

     “No, it was a good thing. Married fourteen years and we just grew apart. No spark left. We get along well because the focus is our kids.”

     “I was married for twenty-one years. Unhappily for lots of reasons. Glad it’s over.”

     “I’m glad you are in a better place now.”

     “Me, too. It feels good to have scraped him off me. Sounds terrible, but it’s true.”

     “I’m sorry you were in a bad place for a long time. People change.”

     “They do. I feel bad for my kids. We can swap stories some time. Bet mine will top yours.”

     “Sounds like it might. Sleep well.”

     “You, too.”

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