Annie & Jack After Forty

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Chapter 35


“I’m so glad for teacher workdays, you know, remember those days?” Leslie asks as she fans her freshly painted nails. I sip my wine and nod my yes, I remember. I’m glad they ended up coming over for dinner tonight and spending the night with me. Since Sarah Jane went to bed with Leslie’s phone in hand, our conversation has revolved around the Phillips brothers. Leslie has cracked me up, I’ve laughed all night at her describing all of her run-ins with Ben Phillips. SJ even teased her a little tonight about him over pizza and our homemade facials.

My wine consumption helps me admit I’m ready to quit working so much. “Maranda is working full time with Derek, and I’m only working a couple of hours a day. I have twelve thousand dollars in the bank, and since I’ve sublet my apartment to Jerry, zero, ZERO, bills to pay. Jack won’t even let me pay for Netflix and cable even though the crazy nut doesn’t watch TV. I’m thinking about only working at The Stardust when Jack is in New York, and we can synch our schedules further together. I’ll admit, it’s all still intimidating Leslie. New York is so intimidating, unlike anything I’ve read or seen. Its size alone is mind-blowing. The people there really are completely different, night and day from Tennessee. His work colleagues are very different. Eli and Hannah are nice, but that’s how I’d describe them, nice. They are not cold, by any means, but not welcoming, open arms kinda, warm either.”

“Housewives of New York used to be my favorite show; I can only imagine. Just remember, and always go back to our southern teachings. Be nice, polite, sweet, and let them know, right off the bat, that that doesn’t make you dumb or a pushover. Your Mama and Laura, hell, even my Mama, were proof of that philosophy. Now I have to tell you something that I can’t keep to myself any longer. I should have told you a while ago, but the whole thing has blown up in my face. I slept with Ben Phillips weeks before I knew he was Sophie’s Dad. The first night SJ slept over with you when you just moved into your apartment. I picked him up in a bar, got a hotel room with him, and he fucked my brains out.”

I scream “WHAT?!” so loud that I’m scared I woke SJ up, all the way upstairs.

“Spill Barbra Jean August!” I down my glass of wine. My goodness, what are the odds? I giggle, it turns into a laugh. “I’m opening another bottle of wine, and I want every detail. We need to toast to sex and the Phillips brothers.” I laugh again. Isn’t life crazy?

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