Welcome back to my serial novella.
For those who are returning for the second installment, just skip down to B and read on.
For those who are new here, A is for Amy & Adonis is a comic story of romantic redemption. The aim is to provide a fun and fast read with characters you can connect to emotionally.
There are 26 short chapters. This is the second. The first is on-line, too. In fact, all the chapters will be archived so people will be able to catch up with the story no matter how late they come to the novella.
I will post one chapter a week. So, if you like what you read here, stay tuned with Huffpost email alerts or follow me on Twitter. --Steven
Amy's husband Bart resided in a small wooden box on the mantelpiece above the fireplace. Right beside him sat a photo of Amy and the two older kids in their funeral finery. Bart's photographer brother Zachary had taken the portrait for free -- as a kind of going-away present. Zachary had been moving to Philadelphia. Bart, on the other hand, had been moving to the crematorium and then to the box on the mantelpiece.
Dust to dusty. Amy hadn't cleaned there in months.
Bart died while Amy was pregnant with their third child. It was tragic timing, but there were some pluses. Death had cured his chronic snoring. The grocery bill was way down. And there were fewer interruptions when Amy spoke.
Before his demise, he wouldn't let her finish a sentence. A real estate salesman. A talker. He used to say that in his game, you had to establish yourself with image and words. You had to give your customers a handle to grab.
So it made sense that Bart was attracted to pretty much anyone who would grab his handle. There were motel rooms rented by the hour. There were certain stupid females.
Anyone willing to get within a quarter-mile of Bart's pecker was stupid. Like Amy, for example. However.
To be fair, Bart did have his attractive side. She appreciated it most when he had his back turned. He claimed he could balance a flute glass of champagne on the nearly horizontal shelf of his upper derriere. She doubted this, but she had witnessed a marshmallow neatly poised on top of either cheek.
Bart had abandoned his life and his family in a public way. He caught a taxi on a business trip to LA and asked the driver to stop on a bridge over Interstate 5. Then he took a leap into the freeway traffic. Whether or not he intended it, he landed on the car-pool lane -- thus not compounding suicide with unnecessary mutilation. It was rush-hour. The other four lanes were grid-locked.
A Ford Explorer, with four people inside, slammed on its brakes. The Explorer missed running him over by two SUV-lengths. Meanwhile, the cabbie scrambled down the embankment and rushed on to the freeway to pull Bart to the shoulder. People thought the cabbie was a hero, but Bart was already dead. The cabbie went through Bart's pockets looking for the fare. He found a toothbrush, two condoms, a wallet filled with business cards and loose change. No photos of his family. No suicide note. And no folding money.
Bart's child was born six months later. Amy named her Bartlette. People always asked. Amy always told them. Nothing to do with the pear.
For her, it was just a way of saying goodbye to Bart and forgiving him all at once. He was a shit. That was a fact. But his third baby was cute as a button, and Amy liked the idea that a corrupt man might have his name redeemed by an innocent child. However.
A few weeks ago, on the first anniversary of Bart's death, Amy's friend Eustazia sent her a book. Passionate Marriage, by Dr. David Schnarch. Amy called her straight back and told her it was a nasty, mean joke. Eustazia, "U" to her friends, took offense. The book wasn't mean, nasty or a joke. After all, Amy might meet somebody. This book would leave her prepared.
"There's always hope," U said.
"There's always suicide," said Amy.
She waited a few seconds before she laughed.
Baby Bartlette just smiled and smiled. She was a happy baby.
(More to come.)
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