Chapter no 56

If He Had Been with Me

We are in the courthouse downtown. I’m holding my new digital camera, a gift from my birthday. Angie’s dress is short and white, with blue tights. She has a large white flower pinned in her hair. Her back is to me now, but when she turns in profile, I will see the barely discernible swell in her middle. Preppy Dave is in a gray suit. His hair is wetted down and combed so that the lines show. His mother is crying. I’m not sure if they’re happy tears or not. I raise my camera and take another shot. Jamie leans over and looks at the screen. He nods in approval. All of us are sitting in one row on the left. On the other side, three of Preppy Dave’s teammates sit. They are the only other young people here; the rest are parents and grandparents, a few aunts and uncles. There is one baby in the crowd and every few minutes, it mews and is shushed again.

I reach over and take Jamie’s hand again.

“We’re next,” I whisper. He smiles briefly and squeezes back.

Preppy Dave and Angie turn to face each other, and I let go of his hand and raise my camera again. Her smile sends a knifepoint into my stomach; my hands shake and the picture is blurry. I delete it before Jamie sees.

Someday I’ll be happy like that, I tell myself.

Angie’s hands squeeze Dave’s and I think about his hand over mine as we aimed the pool cue. I squeeze Jamie’s hand.

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