Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional … someone said that… just don’t know who … anonymous probably.
Ambrose found himself sitting in a Mac Donalds restaurant devouring a big mac deluxe with all the trimmings. He’d have no regrets later. He wasn’t that kind of guy. He toyed with the idea before pressing speed dial. The phone rang a few times and then he heard the familiar grand dame voice answer.
“Oh you.” She didn’t sound her usual, happy, surprised you called self.
“Yes me. I take it you’ve been updated on the latest.”
“I have and I knew it would be just a matter of time before you called. Now the lovely young woman you left in your apartment this morning seemed to have been a fire starter.”
He chocked on his drink and coughed. “No one called me.”
“For God’s sake Ambrose! Why on earth would they? I own the apartment and your father owns the building. You on the other hand act as though you’ve got a masters degree in being a troublesome leach! Luckily for all of us it’s mostly smoke damage but it could have been a lot worse. Now you know I love you but this has got to end. No job and now no home, what next?”
“Look mom, I know you’re upset can I stay with you till they get the apartment liveable again?”
There was a silence at the end of the line.
“I’m sorry darling but you’re father made it pretty clear that he’d cut me off if I helped you in any way after this mornings drama. I think it’s best if you find a friend to help you.”
“Right, okay then.”
“You understand don’t you darling, I really cannot upset your father too much.”
“Since when? You’re divorced! You’re only doing this for the money.” He sighed. “Fine mother, I’ll find my own way.”
“Oh good and FYI … I suggest you carry cash. You’ll find your wallet is a whole lot lighter since 12 noon.”
She put the phone down. He couldn’t believe it. He was officially cut off.
“There she is! Hello matron of honor!” I steeled myself before I turned around.
“I’m about to leave.” I said picking up my bag and slinging it onto my shoulder.
“But I just got her. You can’t leave. I know this must be so cold of me but I need you.”
“I will come around on the weekend and we can do all the wedding planning you need but I really have to go. I’ve spent half the day here with Thomas already and I have to do some grocery shopping for Oak.”
“Oh that’s ok. I figured you were neglecting yourself and just thinking about Oak so I did a little grocery shopping for you and Oak before I came here. You aren’t attracted to that greasy little Frenchman are you?”
“What? No! He’s been a really good friend after everything I’ve been through.”
“Yea well it was his best friend that hurt you. No one else. It still makes me angry just thinking about it.”
“He died.” I said quietly when I really felt like screaming at her for being so inhumane.
“I’m your friend. He deserved what he got! Your cheating fiancée went out of town on a business meeting and burned to death in a motel with another woman in his bed. He gets no sympathy from me but I really get how you must feel.”
“Really Melony and how is that?”
“Cheated out of the chance to set fire to him yourself. I know that’s how I’d feel.” She said sipping from her decaf.
I burst out laughing. Sometimes I think I feel like that but the worst part is that I feel nothing which is why I spend my days in a daze. Wondering what kind of person feels nothing after their fiancée dies. Even if he was a cheater in the end. Even if he did get what he deserved. No one deserves to die that way. The coroner had said that he was probably intoxicated and had died of smoke inhalation before the fire had even reached them. The girl was a junior accountant from work. She had met her at the Christmas party the previous year and hadn’t given her a second thought.
“Natalie, you’re a beautiful, rather successful author of the children’s books you write and you’ve inherited the house and some cash from him as is right. Now you need to take your 29 year old self and go and get your hair done, buy a new wardrobe and maybe go on vacation, meet someone. Then come back and help me marry the asshole that I found.
I laughed astounded. “How can you say that about Cohen?”
“Simply because all men are dogs. You just have to get in their early and train them right. Once some other bitch has ruined them you might as well just use them for nocturnal pleasure and toss them out with yesterday’s paper.
“You really have to stop with the romance malarkey. Didn’t David prove anything?”
“Yes he did. If you’re going to cheat go to a 5 star hotel with hotel staff who will remember that you checked in just hours ago and will make sure you don’t char to death.”
“Why don’t I make you and Oak some dinner and then take out all those bridal magazines I know you’ve stashed somewhere. Let’s go and cheer you up with good food and lots of beautiful ideas for a simple 300 guest wedding.” She grinned.