New Year’s Day, 2007
Lizzie stood at the stove fixing breakfast when Jerry came downstairs. “Good morning. Coffee’s in the pot,” she said as she looked over her shoulder.
Jerry poured a mug of coffee and sat at the table.
“You were very quiet at Gran’s last week,” Lizzie said. “Is something wrong?”
“Lizzie there’s something we need to discuss.” Jerry ran his hand through his hair. “I want a divorce.”
Lizzie turned off the burner under the bacon, wiped her hands on the kitchen towel on her shoulder and turned to face him. “What did you say?”
“I said, I want a divorce.”
“That’s what I thought.” Lizzie sat across the table from him. “When did you decide this?”
“A couple of weeks ago.”
“Is there someone else?”
“In fact there is.” Jerry stood and walked across the room. “I swear, Lizzie, it only happened once.”
“So when was this once?” Lizzie asked.
Jerry again ran his hand through his usually neat hair. “Remember the fundraiser in October when you were ill and I went alone? We’d booked a room so we wouldn’t have to drive home so late. I got a little drunk. The last thing I remember is someone helping me up to the room. The next morning, I woke up in bed with this woman. We were both naked and she told me what a good lover I was.”
“Based on one time, you’ve decided you want her instead of me? That doesn’t sound logical. Why did it take two months to decide?”
“It isn’t that I want her instead of you. She’s pregnant.”
“Pregnant! In this day and age?” Lizzie nearly shouted. “Isn’t she on the pill? Who is she?” She took the towel from her shoulder and twisted it. “Is she part of the campaign group? Do I know her?”
“She’s not part of the campaign.” Jerry looked down at his feet. “It’s Catherine,” he said quietly.
“Catherine? My cousin Catherine?” Lizzie stood and threw the towel on the table.
“Well, she finally got what she’s always wanted.”
“What do you mean?”
“Ever since I can remember, she’s always wanted whatever I had. When we were five it was dolls. Then when we were ten, her mother bleached her hair so it would be the same color as mine. When we were in high school, I made the cheerleading team and she didn’t.” Lizzie shook her head. “I even went to prom with the guy she wanted to go with. Of course, that was after she’d told him she wouldn’t go with him because she hoped the captain of the football team would ask her. She ended up going alone.” Lizzie sat back down and remain quiet for a couple of minutes. I guess I should be more upset. But, I’ve known for months this marriage wasn’t working. All I feel is relief. “I won’t fight you on this, but I think you’d better pack a bag and leave.”
“Where am I supposed to go?” Jerry whined.
“I’m sure you can find a hotel room. After all, Los Angeles is full of hotels.”
Lizzie – Chapter 1