Saturday, May 19, 2012
Sonya's Midlife Crisis by Donna Del Oro
Contemporary Romance/Women's Fiction
When Sonya’s husband tells her he wants a divorce so that he can marry his pregnant girlfriend, she goes a little berserk! So, how does the worst day of her life turn out to be the best thing that ever happens to her? Forty-two-year-old Sonya learns it’s never too late to wake up and grow up!
Now I began to wonder. Earl’s girlfriend was pregnant, although it appeared he’d used birth control. So what happened? Did he intend for her to get pregnant or was he duped by a clever woman who was bent on trapping him?
“Bet the skanky bitch put holes in his condoms,” Tina snarled, mirroring my thoughts. She scooped them up, using a shoehorn and the shoebox lid, like so many dog turds, then tossed them in the same box with the underwear I was collecting. “One of Eddie’s brothers—Carlos—got snagged that way. He’s resented her ever since although he loves the little guy to death. Funny the way that sometimes turns out. He says he’s going to divorce her as soon as little Chuckie turns eighteen.”
I frowned. That was one marriage made in hell. Little Chuckie was only six. Tina’s brother-in-law’s problem made me wonder, though. Was that how Earl had felt when I didn’t get pregnant? Did he resent me for miscarrying? Feel cheated somehow? Did he feel trapped into raising my sister’s daughter? If he did, he never showed it, for he and I both treated Evita as our own. And he knew when we were dating that I came with a child.
I’d have to ask Scott about that soon. Maybe not having our own children was at the heart of our disintegrated marriage. Maybe Earl had stopped using those condoms long ago in order to have his own biological babies…
Two hours later—how time flies when you’re busy packing up a relationship—Tina and I dragged, pushed, carried—kicked when necessary—all fourteen boxes filled with Earl’s drawers and closet including his coin collection, girlie mags and sports paraphernalia. Packing up those items truly made it final. Tina was staring at the closet when I returned for the last box.
“Now what?” I asked, wiping the sweat off my neck. Our eyes locked for a moment, then hers slipped downward. Something was bothering her, but whatever it was didn’t last long, for a moment later, she was backing out my Explorer. She had a plan. Rent an open U-Haul trailer and take all the boxes over to Connie’s house. That way, Tina could drive it over to Connie’s, let them unload the boxes, and it would save Earl’s sister an unpleasant trip. I agreed to that, and by early evening our task was done.
Later, we shared a Margarita, made golden by Tina’s special recipe and the bottle of Grand Marnier she’d bought on her way back from Connie’s. She toasted our health and better times. I toasted to insight and wisdom, two qualities I was severely lacking.
Then she kept me busy by helping her make pork and chicken tamales. We’d take them to my church, Saints Peter and Paul, and serve them to the homeless on Sunday evening.
Between the corn husks, corn meal and bowls of spicy filling, our fingers flew. We drank and laughed about our childhood, growing up in a middle-class latino barrio in Abilene and spending hot summers on our uncle’s ranch in east Texas. I occasionally missed Texas, especially family, and flew home mostly during Christmas or Easter vacations. But I’d lived in California since I’d come to live with a spinster aunt in San Jose and go to college. Both places were home to me.
It felt so good to laugh again. When Tina climbed into the guest-room bed around midnight, she eyed me in her tipsy, teasing fashion.
“This pillow smells of men’s cologne. Eddie wears the same cologne, so I know. Who’s been staying with you, Sonya? Is there something you’re not telling me?”
I furrowed my brows. Eddie was Tina’s defense attorney-husband, successful and rich. They adored each other, even after fifteen years of marriage. Then it dawned on me, a memory clawing to the surface of my muddy, inebriated brain.
“Oh, that’s Scott. He was here one night. His birthday. The day I flipped out. He was worried about me.”
“I’ll say. I found the knives in the clothes dryer, where he said he put them. He’s got quite a crush, wouldn’t you say?”
“No, I wouldn’t.” I started to close the mini blinds, trying hard to focus on the plastic wand that turned them. My fingers fumbled, then finally grasped it. “He’s a good friend, that’s all. My best friend.”
“Are you sure that’s all?”
Annoyed that Tina would even broach the subject, I flicked the light off on the wall. Nevertheless, the good feelings of that evening lingered. The tamale-making, the Texas memories. Even the Margaritas.