Things to do in Freehold

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Chapter Forty-six:

Amy Russo (Late morning of September 11, 1983)

I was down in the basement, washing a load of laundry, when I heard Tommy, calling for me from upstairs. I made my way over to the bottom of the steps and shouted to him that I was down there.

“There’s some lady here, asking for you,” he explained, coming down the stairs.

“Did she say who she was?” It better not be Carrie, I instantly thought.

Tommy shook his head, though. “Just that she wants to talk to my mom.”

“Alright, then. Stay here,” I sighed, climbing up the staircase. As I passed by him, I playfully messed up his hair, then continued on. When I entered the foyer, I saw that the mysterious woman had already let herself in and she certainly was no Carrie.

She had luscious blonde hair that sparkled in the sunlight and clear, fair skin. On her petite body, she wore a leopard-print, peplum dress and a pair of sleek, black stilettos. I noticed her, staring at a couple of family photographs when she heard me walk in. “Hi, you must be Amy,” she beamed, reaching out to shake my hand.

“Hi, have we met?” I asked, giving her said hand.

“No, not officially. I’m Adriene, Adriene Ricci,” she replied, releasing her grip. “My husband’s the Principal at Tommy’s school.”

“Oh, right, Walter, isn’t it?”

“That’s him.”

“So what do I owe you the pleasure for then?”

“Well, I would like to invite you and the rest of your family to tonight’s annual dinner party. You see, Walter likes to throw this big soiree at the beginning of every school year as a way of getting to know his students and their parents. I figured since you’ll be starting as the new theatre director soon, you may want to do the same.”

“That’s very kind of you,” I told her as I looked back up at my bedroom. It sounded as though Ivan was beginning to get up, making the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. “I’ll have to check with my husband to see what he has planned for the rest of the day, but we will definitely try to make it.”

“Okay, great. I’ll maybe see you there then,” she said as I hurried her out the door. I didn’t want her meeting Ivan just yet, not when I didn’t know if he was still in a drunken state or not. Before I could shut anything on her though, she handed me a card with all of the details on it, including her phone number.

“Who was that?” I heard Ivan’s raspy morning voice say behind me as I closed the door.

“Adriene Ricci,” I answered, turning to face him as he sluggishly walked down each step of the stairwell. “Principal Ricci’s wife. Apparently, he likes them on the younger side.”

“Yeah? And what’d she want?”

“Just to invite us to a little get-together they’re throwing tonight.”

“And what did you say?”

“That I would have to check with you first.”

He thought about it for a moment and rubbed the drowsiness out of the right side of his face. “Well if it’s an opportunity to get to know Tommy’s principal better, I don’t see why not.”

I grinned, foolishly. This was the side of Ivan that I liked, the one I fell in love with. I knew he didn’t really want to go; he hated parties, especially ones on such short notice. However, he was going anyway, in support of our son. “Thank you,” I said, before pecking him on the lips. The alcohol on his breath was nearly all the way gone. “I’ll go tell the kids.”

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