Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Get to know Molly and Jamie Burnham...

...though admittedly not at their best...

I would’ve traded all the tea in China for the chance to sit up all night with a screaming kid, but that was beside the point.
Sue laughed anxiously. “That’s right. And you don’t get peed on. I can’t tell you how many times my children went on me.”
“Exactly,” I fibbed. “What a relief!”
“Relief or not, don’t give up.” Owen wiped his mouth with a napkin, while his wife’s face turned a nice shade of fuchsia. “There’s always adoption. My cousin adopted her children.”
“Yes, well…” I ran out of things to say. My response library was used up. “Maybe someday.” Someday was code for probably not, but Owen didn’t know that.
Jamie plucked up his beer bottle and took a swig. “It was for the best.”
I shot daggers at him from across the table. “Is that so?”
He frowned at me, before picking his fork back up and chiseling at his food like an excavator. “All I mean is, what happened happened for a reason. Besides, we wound up splitting up. So if we had kids, they would’ve been caught up in our mess, and that wouldn’t have been good for a child.”
My insides turned icy, especially my empty pelvis. “Speak for yourself, Jamie. I would’ve still wanted them.”
“James,” he reminded me tightly, taking a bite.
“Jamie.” When he brought his eyes to mine, I jutted my chin out. “You may have started a whole new life, but you’ll always be Jamie to me. I’m not buying into the whole new and improved version.”
“You wouldn’t.” He swallowed his bite, and forked another, his cutlery making an awful squeak across the plate. “You didn’t buy into anything I said or did. That was the problem.”
My wine glass came down with a crack. “We didn’t have problems until we couldn’t have a baby, Jamie. Don’t rewrite history.”
“Why would I rewrite history when you clearly live in your own little world?”
“At least my world doesn’t involve stabbing people in the back, and kicking them while they’re down.”
“No. It just involves wallowing in self-pity and shutting out everyone who gives a damn.”
I sucked in a sharp breath. “I did not shut you out. You moved on without me.”
“Not until you showed me how much you didn’t give a damn.” He shook his head, peeling his narrowed eyes off of me to cast an embarrassed glance at Owen and Sue. “Sorry. I’m sorry. This is inappropriate. We shouldn’t be talking about—”
“Why not?” I demanded, hands trembling as I held my fork. “We never talk about it. You just packed up and left and told me to talk to your lawyer. You wouldn’t even discuss what went wrong, let alone who got to keep what. You acted like I wasn’t even worth the effort it took to explain why you moved out. How do you suppose that made me feel?”
Graham held out his plate, his face pink. “Sue, these ribs are fantastic. Could I have another?”