“Oh my God! She’s at it again! Call her sister quick!” the woman said to her husband as he came to look out of their window.
There she was…Amy Holloway, firing up the barbecue grill. It was sprinkling outside. The man shook his head and told his wife, “Just leave that girl be. She has suffered enough with that ex husband to be of hers screwing around two days after her kid’s funeral. I don’t blame her for acting out a bit!”
“You aren’t the least bit concerned that she’s lighting a grill during what is about to be a severe storm?” she snapped.
“Absolutely not. She did stranger things when she was younger. So did you as I recall.” he countered.
“I said LEAVE her alone!” and with that he went into the den to watch television.
What Amy did next caused Mrs. Madsen to be even more concerned, although she fully understood why this was going on…
She came out with a long white box that held the wedding gown she wore…The same gown that she had hoped to see her now dead daughter Hailey wear. She put the veil in first then tore the dress to shreds. She also put it in there. After that she took the unframed wedding portrait and tore it into five pieces and put it on top.
After that she doused her miniature pyre with lighter fluid and waited for it to soak in a couple of minutes…She then struck a long match and tossed it on top of the contents of the grill as her eyes welled up.
“It is finished. Goodbye Hailey.” she whispered as a single tear rolled down her cheek.
Once the task was complete and the last bit of smoke came up from the grill, she closed it and went inside. She then laid the keys down on the kitchen counter and sat in her recliner. She looked out the window as the rain began to fall.
“Maybe I should give this house to the church. That way something can actually LIVE in this place.” she mused as she reached for the remote control. Just as she was getting into a movie called “The Diamond Fleece” the telephone rang…
“Hello.” she said…Paused…”Oh it’s you.”…”Yes that’s right! You got the cars so you got the f**king bills now leave me be–” Paused…
“Share the house? You heard the judge. I worked two jobs to pay for this house and bought it well before I met you. Screw you and your girlfriend!” Paused…”How many times are you going to lie and say there is nothing between you now that we–Hold it! I wouldn’t take you back after knowing you’d been with her. I thought divorcing you proved that!”…Paused…”Look, you got one shot. Screwing her after Hailey’s funeral is rather unforgivable so stop calling me up drunk! Your tears aren’t for her or for me. They are for the fact that you got caught and f***ed yourself!” Paused…”Oh…That…I burned the dress. I guess your sister has to buy her own…” Paused…”IF you don’t effin’ believe me then come to the back and check the grill, A**hole!” she yelled as she slammed down the phone.
“You are far too angry.” the voice inside the front bedroom said to her. She just sighed and mixed herself a drink.
“You know you shouldn’t have dumped him like that. He’s hurting too.” the voice said.
“He doesn’t feel half of the pain I do. Now please leave me be for a while.” she said as she went back to the blue recliner with her drink in hand.
“Honey, I think divorcing him without trying counseling is a mistake. He does love you–”
“And you hate divorce, Mother. However if he loved me he wouldn’t have looked at her twice. It made our vows a lie! I would never trust him again after that anyway. We must not have had much of a marriage to begin with for him to do that with her 2 days after the funeral and God only knows how many times prior. It’s over.” Amy said as she tightly clutched the glass.
“You are wrong. In time you will see that. I know it.” her mother told her.
“Whatever Mom. Call Tish if you like because that’s all that ever happens when I get angry anymore. No one can let me vent it and get it over-with! I’m supposed to be the little silent church mouse like the two of you–”
“That is so untrue! It may be what you feel, but I never wanted you to be anything less than what you want to be. I am proud of you for getting a career and moving up in the world. I couldn’t give much but I did give you that.” she said.
Amy turned to face the older grey haired woman. A tear rolled down her cheek. “You never told me you were proud of me before. Especially when Dad was around.”
“Well I am and he would be too–”
“He wanted me to go to a freaking convent!” she said.
“No he didn’t. He only wanted for you to learn to control yourself more. I know you have a short fuse like he did, but he always bragged to the boys at the pub when you succeeded in anything. I only wish you heard it then. All that stuff he said when you were younger–he was just being an ass. Read his journal and it will prove that.” her mother told her.
“I honestly think he wanted a boy.” she said.
“Well he certainly didn’t do you any favors taking you to the docks did he?” her mother asked.
Amy smiled, “No he didn’t. But I’m glad he did. I liked the boats and the guys showed me how to prepare the fish properly.”
“As you got older he made you stay here because the dock hands kept eyeballing you and it pissed him off.” her mother grinned.
“Yeah…Tish told me he hated that!” she laughed.
“Well he was glad when the counselor told him you could be in advanced classes. He signed the papers.” she said.
“That’s right. He signed them. He said if it keeps you out of the bars and off the docks, he’s happy. I know he’d be proud now, Amy.” she said.
“Wish he said it to me.” Amy said.
“He did in a way, Amy. He gave you the business. That and with your law practice, you’ve done well and I know he’d love that.” her mother said as she walked over to her and hugged her.
“Well, he’s with Hailey now and I’m sure he’s showing her constellations and how the ships know where to go and such.” she mused.
“But it’s a good thing he didn’t live to see this because he would have killed Michael and we both know it.” she said.
“Amy, this is all killing Michael. He loves you. He did not want the divorce.” her mother said.
“Doesn’t matter now.”Amy said as the rain began to pour against the windows. She glanced at the remnants of smoke from the grill and the empty swing Hailey so loved.
“And I don’t think you wanted one either. I’m going to lie down. If you want Michael to be a knight in shining armor, then you had better give him a reason to come out of the bottom of that bottle before he kills himself. He thinks he lost you long before Hailey died. He told Tish that. He’s been lost ever since she fell ill the last time. “ her mother warned.
“Well Mother,” Amy began, “Maybe if he came to me instead of his whore secretary we might have had a chance in hell of actually making it work. He should have thought of it. I won’t forgive him and nobody has any right to expect me to.”
“All I am saying is that you are probably going to always wonder what may have been if you don’t at least talk to him. Try talking about Hailey. You’re both grieving–”
“He’s only grieving the fact that I caught him and he couldn’t get the house.” Amy hissed.
“You are wrong. It takes two to make a marriage work and two to break it. I’ll talk to you later dear.” her mother said as she went back into her room.
“And I’ll get over it.” Amy said to herself as she continued to take in the blurred view through the window while the rain fell and her eyes once again blurred as they became misty at the site of the swing…