WHEN ALLISON ARRIVED at Moonshine Taphouse, a pub she and Sara frequented before either of them were married, she was more than happy to see her friend at the bar, waving her over.
“You hung up on me,” Sara scolded her jokingly as she sat down.
“I lost reception in the elevator,” she told her, and turned to order a glass of lemonade from the bartender.
“Lemonade? You are not drinking?”
“It would keep me awake all night if I did.”
“I thought you do that anyway, with or without alcohol.”
Allison flashed her a fed-up look.
“Right. I’m not supposed to kid about that, moving on. So, tell me, how did the meeting really go with Lisa?”
“It’s like I said, a disaster.”
“What do you mean? Did you get your prescription?”
“Yes. I’m picking it up on my way home.”
“Then it’s not so bad, right?”
“Well… I yelled at her.”
Sara’s eyes widened. “No way. Did you really? You are not a yeller. So it really was that bad.”
“I was frustrated with her constant snooping.”
“She kept asking me all these questions, digging into my personal life. I was uncomfortable the whole time.”
“You know she’s a shrink, right? I mean that’s just what they are supposed to do.”
“I know. That’s also why I wish to never deal with those people. You know how I get when I feel intruded on.”
“Very defensive. But to be fair, you are naturally reserved. Remember how it took you the whole tenth grade to warm up to me? Good thing one of us is a social butterfly or we might never have become friends.”
“Right. Well, it just didn’t work. I’m sorry. I know you think very highly of her.”
“Don’t be, because I’m not. She worked out great for me. Honestly, if it wasn’t for her, I probably would still be down in the dumps today, depressed, blaming myself for Chad’s leaving me. Instead, I feel the most carefree these days. Like I’m ready to party whenever I want… well, almost whenever.”
“How are your boys doing?”
“Ethan’s calmed down. Reese still whines about wanting to go see their father. It took me an hour to get them ready this morning because he was whining so much.”
“Did you eventually talk to Chad?”
“Not yet. Every time I called it connected me directly to his answering machine. For all I know, he might have been too busy fucking his secretary to pick up the phone. Men are all the same after all. They are horny and will cheat just to get you in bed —”
“That’s not true,” Allison argued, “They aren’t all like that.”
Sara took a stealthy look at her while drinking from her mojito. Setting it back down onto the counter, she hinted at her. “Right. I just feel bad for you is all. Since that happened, every time we talked lately you sounded miserable.”
“Well, that’s all over. She was buried yesterday. Her whole family was there, Dan and I included.”
“Yeah, but I mean, have you gotten over the whole catastrophe yet?”
“You know, the whole cheating thing with Daniel. How he had sex with her on the sly while we were in Vegas a few months back…”
Upon Sara’s blunt delivery, her face darkened every bit with shame.
“I still don’t know why you want to stick around. If I were you, I would have left him the very night he confessed and told him to go —”
“Do I need to hear this again? It’s not helping me. Besides, that’s old news. And she came onto him, don’t forget.”
“Only you would believe him.”
“Well, I do. I trust him. If only you knew what kind of a woman she was, you would understand.”
“There you go again.”