Ed Ramses telephoned from Bart's old real estate office. "You can call me Eddie," he said. He wanted Amy's e-mail address. He said he was cleaning out Bart's old computer files to make some room on the hard disc and he had come across "this e-mail" which she might want to see. Eddie hadn't read it, of course. Private correspondence. Well, at least he hadn't read all of it. You know how you have to read a little bit of things to know whether they're worth saving? Anyway, knowing how Bart was deceased and everything, Eddie thought Amy might want to see this, this e-mail. It was an eye-opener, Eddie had to admit that much. He didn't have a clue that Bart was bisexual. Kept that completely hidden.
The silence on the phone line grew to the size of a football field or the Grand Canyon or the Pacific Frigging Ocean.
Amy said she didn't have an e-mail address. Or the Internet. Or a god-damn computer for that matter.
Eddie wondered about a fax.
Amy said she had a mailbox.
Eddie said the e-mail was short, and he would be glad to read it over the phone. If she liked.
Amy told him to do her a favor. First, print out the e-mail. Then, roll it into a tube. And finally, use it to perform a colonic irrigation on himself.
She hung up in anger.
The phone rang seconds later. It was Eddie. He apologized. He was really sorry, in fact. But it was a practical thing and he had to ask. Had she thought about putting her house on the market and moving to a condo. She probably didn't need so much room, and the mortgage payments had to be tough without Bart's salary, and there were a lot of sharks out there.
She screamed as loud as she could into the receiver. Then she hung up again.
Back at the office, he shook his head in bewilderment, but remembered to write down her name a month ahead in his daily planner. For a follow-up call. Eddie knew she might change her mind about selling.
Two days later, Bart's suicide note arrived in the mail. Eddie had added his business card in the mailing, not to mention a fridge magnet decorated with his three phone numbers, his e-mail address and his photo.
Bart was a dick. However.
Amy sat down with his last e-mail in the privacy of her bedroom. She had bribed Ferguson and Carmen not to bother her. A box of chocolate chip fudge cookies did the trick. Baby Bartlette was sleeping. Amy left the door ajar to hear any child emergency distress calls she might have to respond to. Then she settled in for a good, solid half-hour of loathing.
No one is so deserving of hate as someone who you once loved.
The e-mail said this:
You may never get this. (You never let me get a computer for home so I can't e-mail it to you.)
Anyway, I wanted to clear my conscience before I died. And I didn't want to take the risk that you might not forgive me.
So, for the hell of it, here are my top six regrets.
1) You know that life insurance policy I kept talking about getting? I didn't (My bad.)
2) You used to look hot in a bikini. You don't any more. (Your bad.)
3) I visited hookers while on road trips. (I think you knew about this.)
4) Not all the hookers were female. (Surprise.)
5) I won't be around for the kids. (Tell them I love them anyway.)
6) My horses kept losing. (Their bad.)
That's about it, Babe.
Oh, and don't freak out too much about why I did it. It's just that my life kind of went into escrow and never came out. And weighing up the pluses and the minuses, choosing the time of my death just came out a lot more attractive than having it done at someone else's convenience.
I don't know if I ever told you this but I'm majorly in debt to a couple of dudes with big forearms and small brains, who seem to suffer from some kind of aggressive-compulsive disorder.
Babe, I know this is going to be a shock. But don't take my suicide personally. As much as I'd like to blame it on you, it's not your fault.
Amy put down the e-mail. This was the man she had married. Selfish. Insensitive. Childish. Unfaithful. Bi-sexual. Reading the black words on the white paper now it seemed hardly credible. But the voice in the words was his -- full of himself and his games to the bitter end.
She did the books at their house and she knew how much he earned and how much he spent on the horses. As for the idea that burly loan sharks had been about to kill Bart, it was just another fanciful lie, a way for him to avoid admitting that he was giving up on himself and his family.
On the front porch of death, Bart was just the same as he was in the living room of life -- weak. Amy found this consistency both comforting and soul-destroying. It was soul-destroying because Bart was proof of her spectacularly poor taste in choosing a mate. It was comforting because, even if she tried, it would be difficult to choose as poorly again.
Just then, she had a moment of insight. And though she normally shook her head when she thought about her life, she found herself nodding.
Bart's e-mail had done something extraordinary. She felt free. After 15 months spent squashed in the trash compactor of grief and guilt, she realized it didn't matter any more why he did it. In fact, he didn't matter any more. He was history. Their relationship was history. She was the present.
It felt like bravado, like a cover for some seriously deep insecurity, but she liked the feeling anyway.
She was free. She could choose.
Amy sat up as straight as she could on the former marital, now widowed, water bed. She examined herself in the long mirror opposite. She eased her hands under her breasts, then lifted them and the old nursing bra that housed them, to a pre-motherhood altitude.
Time to get perky, she thought.
(More to Come)
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. But it's easy to catch up. The chapters just take a few minutes to read. And here they are:
READ FIRST FOUR CHAPTERS (just click on the one you want)--
Nota Bene -- All the chapters will be archived on Huffpost so people will be able to catch up with the story no matter how late they come to the novella.
I have decided to post two chapters a week. So, if you like what you read here, stay tuned with Huffpost email alerts or follow me on Twitter. --Steven