Friday, September 6, 2013

Widow Woman by Julia Tagliere

Suddenly, I wondered what to do. Shove the pouch in my coat pocket? Crumple it up and throw it in the garbage back at Mom’s house? My stomach jolted. What if a few flecks of Mom still clung inside it? What parts of her would they be? Her hand? Her smile?

My suffering ended quickly, as Catherine gently slipped the pouch from my fingers, carefully folding it. She clasped it to her chest with one hand, squeezing my hand with the other.

“I’m so sorry, Audrey. Your mom was truly special. I’m going to miss her very much.” Catherine started crying inconsolably; we both were.

Feeling Peter’s hand on my shoulder, I turned. This time, he surprised me and succeeded in pulling me into his arms. So soon after seeing his arms around another woman, I wanted to resist having his arms around me, but in that moment of supreme weakness, I yielded. I enjoyed it, and hated myself for it.

“I’m sorry, too, Audrey. I’m so sorry,” he murmured into my ear. I knew he meant it, but in his voice I heard the echoes of his hundreds of other apologies as well, which only served to diminish the one I needed the most at that moment.

Out of the corner of my eye, I caught Catherine’s grim expression as she worked to regain her composure. I remembered her almost laughable attempt at hardness when Mom shared the news of Peter’s transgression.

“That bastard!” she’d written huffily. “That’s the last time he’s getting any of my red velvet cake!” she’d added, in a postscript to Mom’s last letter. It wasn’t unusual that Mom and I had shared the news with her—Catherine was like a second mother to me and I’d appreciated her feisty reply.

She didn’t understand why Peter came. I didn’t quite understand myself, except that everything happened so quickly, one disaster after another, that I didn’t know how to act anymore, didn’t know what to do. Peter stepped up right when I’d needed him to take charge.

Pastor Alan touched my elbow, and I pulled away from Peter to face him. “We’ll be at the cars when you’re ready, Audrey. Take whatever time you need,” he said kindly.

Though I couldn’t see it in his eyes the way I could in Catherine’s, I wondered if the pastor knew about Peter, too. Had Mom and Catherine told him? I didn’t necessarily want everyone to know about it, at least, not until I’d figured out what to do next.

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Genre – Women’s Fiction

Rating – PG13

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  1. I enjoyed this book :)