Things aren't always what they seem.
"They called it a near miss, but I called it a near Mrs.," she said as she squashed out her cigarette.
Edie said nothing.
"Yeah," she said. "He was wonderful. He brought me flowers, candy, did all the romantic stuff you read about."
She looked at Edie, who sat on the edge of her bed, elbows on knees, hands dangling, staring vacantly at the floor, showing no interest in the tale she'd already heard so many times.
"It wasn't like I had men lined up at my door, at my age. I was thinking, 'this is my last chance, if this don't work out, I'll spend the rest of my life alone.' But Malvina, she didn't like him. Said he was just after my money. Probably heard about Pop leaving all that money..." she drifted off.
She stood up, walked to the window and looked out. Big Edie said nothing.
"When I saw him in the restaurant with that woman, his arm around her shoulder, I figured Malvina was right. I stewed and fumed about it all night. The next night, by the time he was supposed to come, I was in a real state, I was. Had decided no man was going to make a fool out of me. So I got Pop's gun and waited for him. When he rang the doorbell, I threw that door open and let him have it, boom, boom! But I missed. He went running off. And then, not five minutes later, my doorbell rings. It's the florist with a vase of long-stemmed roses. And tied to the bow is a small box. Inside it is a ring and a note. A note asking me to marry him."
She laughed, a humourless cackle. "Turns out the woman was his sister. She was bringing him their mother's engagement ring so he could give it to me. And Malvina was wrong about him being after my money. Turns out he's a millionaire."
Big Edie said nothing, but heaved a long-suffering sigh.
Just then a guard opened their cell door. "Time for the exercise yard, ladies."
copyright 2006 Tommie Lyn