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She paused for a beat, and I wondered if my phone had dropped the call.
“So… speaking of Jamie, did the bastard show up?” mom finally asked.
I closed my eyes and rested the side of my head on the thick, bumpy bark. I was torn. Part of me was glad she hated Jamie. It felt good to have her on my side. But I also felt bad. Jamie—underneath his cold, disconnected exterior—was a softie who’d been every bit as devastated by infertility as I had, and ultimately he deserved happiness. Not that I ever admitted that to my mother. In her mind he wronged her only child and deserved a fiery death. It didn’t matter what part I played in things.
I cleared my throat, trying to rid my voice of any emotion. “Yes. He did.”
“Oh, is that so? Well, has he talked to you? Or is he still giving you the silent treatment?”
For a split second I grappled with whether or not I wished he was still ignoring me. “No. He’s speaking to me.”
Not much, and most of it stings like a backhanded slap, but whatever.
Mom snorted. “I can only imagine what he has to say for himself. Has he told you about his girlfriend yet?”
My stomach twisted around itself and I wrapped my arm around my middle. The girlfriend. Yeah. I’d purposefully not thought about her since a mutual friend dropped her name during a run-in at Starbucks. Not because I was in denial. Sure, I hoped Jamie would wake up one day and realize his life was empty and pointless without me, but the truth was, I also wanted him to be happy.
I loved him so much I wanted him to find joy… even without me. What the hell was that?
But honestly, I wasn’t stupid. As far as I could tell, it was Jamie’s first post-divorce relationship, and he approached the dating pool like every other guy pushing forty. Like a walking mid-life crisis, with the twenty-something girlfriend with blonde hair and perky boobs. Not to mention the working uterus.
From what I’d been able to investigate—thanks to half a bottle of pinot and four hours on Instagram—her name was Mackayla and she taught kindergarten at Jamie’s school district. She was a bottle blonde with extensions; with impeccably white and straight teeth, and her weekend photographs looked like an advertisement for Absolut Vodka. But what else could I expect from a woman who graduated from college in 2014?
2014. Mother of heaven, she was an embryo.