This is the scene after Summer Leigh Johnson is notified her ex-husband Dwight Sullivan has her listed as next of kin. He’s been injured in Iraq and is in hospital in Germany. Summer Leigh is talking with her friends:
“You’re going to Germany?”
“Yeah.” I stepped into the bathroom and grabbed some Tylenol before taking my original seat. The pills stuck in my throat and I washed them down with lukewarm coffee.
“Why the hell would you go see your ex-husband?” Her red face clearly indicated her anger.
“His parents were always good to me,” I tried to explain. “Generous and kind. Always made me feel like a part of the family.”
“Screw that!” Janice interjected herself into the conversation in her usual gentle manner. “Any debt to them was paid when their ass-of-a-son left you.”
“We didn’t even know you’d been married.” Bernice sounded tentative and worried. “How much can this man mean to you if your best friends don’t even know about him?” She took my hands, rubbed them softly and asked, “Why would you go to him? Especially after all these years?”
“For God’s sake. I’d never go see my ex!” Janice exclaimed.
“We all know you wouldn’t piss on your ex if he were on fire…” Stephanie said.
“I would if I peed gasoline!”
“Not everyone abhors their ex,” I said.
“You might not detest your ex, but God knows you don’t like the guy,” Janice said. “Never. Once. In the eight years I’ve known you have you even mentioned him. Never! How can you go to him now?”
“Because if I refuse to go and something happened to him, I’d never be able to forgive myself.”
Stephanie and Candy nodded in understanding, but I could tell, Janice and Bernice needed more convincing.
“Look at it this way, how can I be a martyr if I don’t go?” I joked.