“Honey?” I ask as I emerge from the bathroom, clad in a black-lace La Perla teddy. “You already asleep?”
“Out like a light in a few,” Andrew grumbles.
He’s rolled onto his side, one arm propped under his folded pillow. He blinks a few times and blows a kiss my way.
“You and your damn sleeping pills.” I spritz some Chanel Mademoiselle on my wrists and décolletage. “You’ve hardly been back in town and you’re already back to your boring, busy routine.”
With a flick of the bathroom light, I jump into bed, purposely moving rambunctiously so I might have one or two extra waking minutes with my husband.
Since Andrew returned home from Singapore a couple days ago I haven’t had more than a minute to tell him all about Robin and Bobby’s fabulous wedding. He’s been so busy with “loose ends,” as he calls them, to tie up with the big overseas deal, and I suppose I’m lucky I’ve been able to tell him one, maybe two, anecdotes about the wedding and my time while he was gone.
“Busy day at the office tomorrow,” he says through a short yawn.
I roll my eyes as I fluff two pillows. I place both against the headboard and make a high-pitched sigh as I sink back, upright. “Well, if I’ve only got a few fleeting seconds with you before you fall into a deep sleep, then I want to tell you more about Robin’s wedding.”
I turn towards him and nudge him—softly at first, then more aggressively when he doesn’t respond. “Come on. Don’t sleep just yet. Please. Can’t you spare five short minutes? I’ll make it quick. Promise.”
“I’m really tired,” he grumbles. “I’m sorry.” He blindly worms a hand behind him, reaching back towards me and finally alighting on my leg to give it a few conciliatory pats. “Tell me more ‘morrow.”
I swallow hard and stare at the back of his head, his salt and pepper hair freshly cut and still coiffed, and frustration begins to brew. He had enough energy for the past half hour to sit here and toy with his iPad while I got ready for bed, yet now, once I’m here, it’s light’s out—no moment spared to reconnect, to be husband and wife.
“You really would have enjoyed it, Andrew,” I whisper. “It was a really nice wedding.”
A smile can’t help but tug at my lips as I think back on how beautiful Robin looked, how truly happy and content she seemed. “It was really classy and well done, understated but sweet and—”
“Can you please shut off the light, doll?” Andrew interrupts. “It’s past ten and I’m exhausted.”
“You’re really that exhausted?” I say in a small and dejected tone. I pull the comforter up tighter and tuck it snugly around my waist.
“Time change…big client…fine details…” he rambles in a sleepy haze. “Lights…”
I give a quick huff and cross my arms over my chest. “Oh, Andrew, just give your sleeping pills a second to kick in and then you won’t give a crap about the lights.”
I reach for my copy of Home & Design Décor on the nightstand and shake open to the middle of the magazine, conceding defeat. I stare at nothing in particular—simply something to do as I brood and eventually settle into one of my routine evenings: Jackie with her magazines, Andrew with his Ambien.
“You know,” I say after some festering, “if you’re not going to talk to me and you’re always going to go to bed early, then I should just go out. Go do something.” I look over at him and he doesn’t make a sound, doesn’t stir. “It’s not like you’d even notice.”
Suddenly he mumbles, “I love you, doll.” He pats a hand in my general direction behind him, then lets it fall limp between us, the Ambien working its black magic. “G’night…”
“Goodnight,” I mutter through a heavy sigh.
I move my empty gaze from the magazine to Andrew’s hand.
My eyes fall to his wedding band, and I can’t contain myself. I slowly shake my head, pick up his hand, and drop it in between his slumbering body and the edge of the bed, nearly letting it hang over into the dark, empty space.
“I just don’t know how this is going to work,” I say quietly to myself as I flip through the magazine’s pages. My eyes fall on a spread featuring a gorgeous, aquamarine lap pool that’s splayed across it, with a superficially bubbly couple sitting at the edge, toasting champagne under the moonlit night. I sniff at the thought of how some couples still have a spark.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
A novel about love, self-discovery, and realizing sometimes you have to let go.
Jackie Kittredge is the consummate drama queen living the charmed life. She’s enthusiastic, outspoken, and is always looking for a good time. At twenty-seven she’s got a swanky Seattle townhouse, a wealthy husband, a designer wardrobe, the best of girlfriends, and a calendar filled not with meetings and deadlines, but spa appointments and happy hour reminders. On the outside, she’s got it all.
On the inside, though, Jackie’s charmed life isn’t as it seems. She’s seeing a therapist, battling the demons of coming from a broken home and a past of promiscuity and heavy drinking. She can be selfish and demanding, sometimes even wearing her best friends thin. And now her marriage—what she thought could be her solid foundation—is on the rocks. Her husband Andrew spends nearly all his time at the office (and possibly with his secretary), and apologizes for his absence with lavish gifts and empty promises.
Miserable and desperate, Jackie questions if her marriage is worth fighting for. Then a string of events begins to put things into perspective…into a perspective she didn’t quite anticipate. With her best friends by her side and some tough love, Jackie finds herself not only asking if she’s where she belongs, but if she’s who she’s supposed to be.
This is a passionate story about having to answer some of life’s most important and difficult questions. It’s a story about fear, courage, and personal growth. About what happens when girlfriends let go.
Savannah Page is the author of the seven-novel When Girlfriends collection, heartfelt women's fiction that celebrates friendship, love, and life sprinkled with drama and humor. When she isn't writing, Savannah enjoys a good book with a latte and jazz tunes, Pilates, and exploring her home of Berlin as an American expat.
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