"Hallo sweetheart," a cheery familiar voice called over the phone.
"Mum, how are you?" Adrianne replied, tucking the phone between her shoulder and left ear to open the fridge.
"Fine. How about you?"
Good, can't complain." She pulled out a diet soda and opened it. How did the town fair go? Did your apple pie win?"
"Yeap. Number one by a long shot. I'd really hoped you'd come and support me."
"Mum," Adrianne said in a tired low voice. "We had covered why i couldn't make it." She took a sip of the soda.
"Yes yes, work. I always come second to work," she said resignedly.
"Mum..." Adrianne complained
Mrs. Jessica Shaw automatically changed the topic. "So, how is Max?"
"Who?""Max, dear""Oh!" Adrianne exclaimed. "He's okey"
* * * *** ** ** ** **
"Mum, this is a really bad time, can't i call you later?" Adrianne askedgrabbing her handbag and jacket from the kitchen counter.
"You never take the initiative Adrianne, that's why I do it for you. Now tell me how your week has been."
Adrianne sighed. "Good"
"Really? You're not hang up on Max leaving you?"
"No, am strrong and besides, it's his loss."
"How are you dealing with the break up?"
"I keep busy. Just like you taught me mum."
*** *** *** *** **
"I told you am over him mum," Adrianne insisted sitting on the sofa heavily.
"The only way to do that is to find a better man. How are you going to prove it to Max?"
Inspiration struck. Tempering her excited voice, she made up a plausible lie. "I didn't want to say anything, in case you'd worry. "
"Nonsense, that's a mother's job. What happened?"
"I had a date last Tuesday with this guy. Max happened to be in the same restaurant and made a scene."
"The skunk, after he left you! Okey what happened?"
"My date scared him away."
"He sounds dreamy. A knight in shining armour. Tell me about paragon," Jessica demanded with an excited complacent voice.
"Well, his name is Queen. He has green eyes and blond hair. He's really tall with a ni..."
* ** ** ** * *
"My God Adrianne! what were you thinking? Chabon?"
"The name sounds like, like a powder soap that was manufactured but never flourished."
Adrianne chuckled. "Oh mum."
"It's not funny missy! God help you should you marry him. No doubt his mother will want to exercise her rights and demand you name your children Magdaline, Wilma or some ghastly name like Zebedee."
"Mum, mum don't get carried away. Me marrying Chabon is getting way ahead of ourselves." She thought about how Chabon Christenberry did not even exist. "Way way ahead of ourselves," she murmured.
* * * * * * * ** * **
"There's nothing wrong with me mum," Adrianne said patiently.
"Your love life says otherwise. I think you're afraid of commitment, whenever you get close with a boyfriend, you break off with him."
"Lester cheated on me, was I supposed to say 'don't worry about it Les it doesn't matter?' " Adrianne demanded.
"What about Max or Queen? I think you should see a counselor."
"Mum, I think only married couples see counselors. There is no way I could convince a boyfriend to do that and I can't go alone. The sessions are supposed to help two people co-exist together, " Adrianne persisted.
"Then you should see a psychiatrist."
"There's nothing wrong with my mental health."
"A psychologist then! It all comes down to the fact that you need medical help."
"But there's nothing wrong with me mum. I just haven't found the right man yet."
Jessica Shaw scoffed "Tell me that when you take another serious step in your relationships, move in with a man, get married or get pregnant. Anything! "
* * ** ** ** * ** *
"You moved in with Nick!? Oh honey that is great news. Does this mean you're serious with him? "
"Yes mum. Let's see how it goes."
"Oh baby, I'll keep my fingers crossed that neither of you screws this up."
"Just,... don't be disappointed if it's not the real thing. "
"Don't be silly dear, it is the real thing. I can feel it in my bones. I'm so happy. I have to hang up and call Lucy."
"Sure thing. Catch you later."
"Not so later. I'll be calling tomorrow evening to find out what this Nick Sharpe is like. All attributes and vices."
Adrianne pulled a notebook close and wroteat the top in capital letters, 'Nick Sharpe.' She had to dream him up. "Sure thing mum, Thanks for calling."
* * * * * * * * ** ** **
"I was thinking you and Nick could come visiting this Easter."
"I might make it but Nick can't. He has a family thing and he can't miss it."
"Well that's too bad, but at least I can count on you."
"I'll be there bright and early Friday," Adrianne vowed marking her kitchen calendar.
"Bring pictures, will you? Of you and Nick."
Pausing, Adrianne leaned in and wrote another reminder. 'Forget photos of imaginary boyfriend.' To the receiver, she spoke. "I hope I remember to bring some."
* * * * * * * * * * ** * **
"I sure do hate it when i get your answering machine. It's as though am speaking to myself. Anyway, honey, I have the most extraordinary news! You've been talking on and on about Nick for months and I've been dying to meet him. So, hold on to your seat!... Am coming to Manhattan over the weekend. Nick sounds divine and i just have to meet him baby. Don't worry about the plane ticket or picking me up at the airport, I've got it all covered. All I want to find is you and Nick standing outside the house hand in hand with big smiles to welcome me. I wish I could make it sooner. See you baby, Can't wait to meet him."
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