She put the phone down. Far in the distance of Atlanta I heard my sister blowing her nose. "Neddy left me." She sniffed and cleared her throat. "There. What do you think of that?"
I didn't like Neddy, but that was hardly the point. I only saw him once a year. Taffy saw him every day. "What happened?"
She sighed, which I read as her being bored by such an obvious question. "What always happens: He took up with some junior executive. It isn't even a secretary they leave you for these days. Neddy has to tell me she's a junior executive. She's thirty-four years old. Do you know what that means? Holden is thirty-six."
I closed my eyes tightly, remembering Holden's second birthday party. Holden in a white linen dress with yellow daisies embroidered across the front, blowing out two candles stuck on top of something that looked like Queen Elizabeth's wedding cake. Taffy was wearing sling-backs and diamond studs with her Lilly Pulitzer, making sure everybody had champagne. Neddy was talking too loudly about golf and forgot to take the pictures, which had been his assignment. On the day of Holden's second birthday, the junior executive, my sister's rival for her husband's affections, had yet to be born.
Excerpted from Step-Ball-Change by Jeanne Ray Copyright 2002 by Jeanne Ray. Excerpted by permission of Shaye Areheart Books, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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