A woman that Liz had often called an old hag had replaced her. Brenda clenched her fists, anger skipping along her spine and slamming into her gut. She’d lost her best friend, George. Did she have to lose her other friends as well?
“We’ve been friends since grade school,” Brenda said.
“But, because I’m no longer part of a couple, I’m being excluded?” Brenda asked in disbelief, the realization leaving a bitter taste in her mouth.
Liz released a heavy sigh, rolled her eyes, and faced Brenda for the first time. “Not really excluded. At dinner parties, it’s always hard to sit a single. And I just can’t bring myself to place you with another man. I mean, you and George were together for so many years.”
“Yes, but I’m not dead, and I miss my friends,” Brenda said, her voice rising with the resentment that rose like a thermometer on a hot summer day.
“Brenda, it’s not the same anymore,” Liz said, growing agitated.
“So I should buy a gun and shoot myself,” Brenda responded, beyond annoyed at the insensitivity of the person she’d considered her best friend. “Or could it be, I shouldn’t inconvenience my friends by reminding them that their husbands might die and leave them alone?”
Liz’s body stiffened. Her shoulders drew together in a rigid manner, horror frozen on her face, and Brenda knew she’d connected with the truth. “That’s it. You’re afraid. If my George could die suddenly, so could Dean. You could be left alone with no one.”
“Dear, you’re overreacting and drawing attention,” Liz said, glancing around at the other women in the pool.
Brenda realized the ladies were gawking at them with interest, but she couldn’t seem to care. “Excuse me, I’m being kicked out of the married friends club.”