I’m selecting excerpts from Redesigning Rose for an upcoming blog tour with Chick Lit Plus and decided I should share one here. This is one of my favourite scenes with my favourite character, Becky. Sometimes – just sometimes – I want to write her story or a sequel. I miss her and Rose now that some time has passed.
Eventually, between alcohol, expletives I wasn’t even aware I knew how to use, and tears, I told Becky everything.
“Rose, you did right.” She waved her glass around in a toast, red wine sloshing over the edges. I couldn’t even remember when we’d swapped the whiskey for wine.
“I can’t believe the money. He thought I was too dumb to figure it out.” Now slurring, I reached for the wine bottle and missed. Becky caught it before we almost had a perilous loss. It was the last bottle.
“I can’t believe the porn.”
“You can’t? How do you think I feel? Typical Frank, always wanting the biggest and best of everything. Why couldn’t he have just liked feet?”
“There’s no way you could have known. I’m all up for exploration, but people hide that weird shit. My friend’s friend found her husband’s tranny porn hidden above the basement bathroom ceiling tiles. God knows why she was up there, but she was so glad she found it before their boys got old enough to start snooping for daddy’s porn… What was my point? Oh… Hiding it. You couldn’t have known, honey,” she said, poking my arm with her index finger before pouring us each another glass.
“I don’t know. Sometimes I wondered if something was wrong with him in bed. He did it, but he never seemed as into it as he should have been. I chalked it up to marriage. You get bored.” I slammed my glass down. “I trusted that fucker. I could have a disease and not even know. Remind me to go to the doctor, okay? I’m gonna forget.”
She nodded and we sat in silence, digesting the possibility of my disease-infested nether regions.
“I’m not sure if a dominatrix actually has sex with her clients,” Becky said eventually.
“Close enough. And those messages… The things he was doing?” I wrapped my arms around me as another shudder ran down the length of my body.
“You didn’t print any? As evidence.”
“Ugh. Like I need the reminder. They burned onto my eyes.” I said, poking at them. I missed and jabbed my temple. “You know what the worst part is? I knew.”
Becky’s eyes widened.
“Oh no. No! I didn’t know all that.”
She shrugged. “People do weird things.” She trailed the ssss, sounding like a snake. “What about those women or men who stay when they discover their partners want a sex change operation? Or find out their partners are gay and ignore it for whatever stupid reason.” She sighed. “I miss Oprah.”
“Maybe I’m just not strong enough to stay?”
Becky looked at me like I’d sprouted tentacles. “You’re strong. You left. You needed time to think and took it. He obviously hasn’t been treating you well.”
“I knew something was wrong but I ignored it,” I said in a whisper. “I didn’t want to believe my marriage was less than perfect.”
She nodded solemnly. “I know.”
“But I glossed over it. I ignored what was right in front of my face. Like this.” I held my hands in front of my eyes, fingers splayed wide and sang out, “I see you.”
“Hindsight, Rose. Hindsight. It’s the universe’s biggest clairvoyant. The things I wish I had known too. Did the same thing. Packed up. He didn’t know. We fought like crazy. Mean and dirty. We’re better off without them.” She raised her glass again and clanged it against mine. Red wine splashed onto the grimy white ceramic tiles like blood splatter.
I stood and shook my head to clear it, but only managed to make myself dizzy. I reached out for my chair, missed, and toppled over onto the floor.
“That’s it. You’re cut off,” Becky said, snatching the glass out of my hand, which, like any good wine lover who takes a tumble, I hadn’t spilled a drop of. I did however mop up Becky’s wine with my jeans.
“Nooo!” I wailed, climbing to my knees and clasping my hands together. “Please, can I have it back? Please?”
“You sure?” she asked, grabbing my shoulders. “Are you sure you can handle it?”
“Yes, ma’am,” I slurred and tipped over at her touch.
She handed it back to me and I took a swig from my position on the floor.
“What were we talking about?” Becky asked.
Becky groped for a small black object on the counter and music blared. She reached for my hand and pulled me up. “C’mon. Let’s dance.”
I wrapped my arms around her. “My savior,” I screamed so she could hear me above the music she was belting out the words along to.
Becky threw her head back and laughed before continuing to shimmy around the room. “You’re probably not going to love me in the morning.”