The Husband Maker by Karey White
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Mrs. Shelton’s words bounced around in my head. They call her the husband maker.
“That’s quite a frown you’ve got going there.”
Angus dipped his head, forcing me to make eye contact with him.
“Don’t be sorry. Just talk to me.”
“Have you heard anyone call me the husband maker?”
Angus leaned back in the booth and shook his head. His dark, worried eyes watched me. “Who told you about that?”
“So you have?” When he didn’t immediately speak, I knew the answer. I sighed and leaned back against my seat as well.
There we sat, both of us slouching against our seats, looking at each other.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” I whispered.
“Now why would I do that? Why would I purposely tell you something that would hurt your feelings?”
I should have appreciated his desire to spare me, but at the moment, I wasn’t sure what to think. “Wouldn’t a real friend be honest with me?”
“I was honest. If you’d ever asked me, I’d have told you. I wouldn’t have lied to you. But I don’t think a real friend would jump at the chance to share something hurtful. Wouldn’t a real friend be protective?”
“Who told you?”
“I overheard Hannah Shelton’s mom in the restroom. She was telling some other woman that everyone calls me the husband maker.”
“Not everyone, Chuck.”
“You know what I mean. And why shouldn’t they? There I was at Harrison’s wedding. I guess I just made him a husband. I guess I made Skyler a husband. And CJ and Jerry and . . . I can keep going if you want me to.” I would have kept going to illustrate my point, but my voice was starting to quiver, and in a minute, I’d only have two options—cry or yell at Angus. As upset as I was that he’d never told me, I knew he didn’t deserve to be yelled at. He was here for therapy, after all.
His voice was full of concern, and he used my given name, so I knew he wasn’t kidding around.
“What?” My voice cracked.
He shook his head. “Don’t worry about what people say. You’ve had bad luck. That’s all. It isn’t your fault.”
The waitress brought out our food. “Can I get you anything else?”
“This is great, thanks.” Angus wasted no time piling food on his plate. “I hope you’re hungry,” he said after she left.
“I can’t believe we’re eating this much food at almost ten.”
“If the food doesn’t take your mind off all this junk, the heartburn will.”
Angus’s voice turned serious again. “If you wish I’d have told you, I’m sorry I didn’t.”
I nodded. I wasn’t sure I wanted the answer, but I had to ask. “Have you ever called me that?”
“Of course not.”
Karey White grew up in Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and Missouri. She attended Ricks College and Brigham Young University. Her first novel, Gifted, was a Whitney Award Finalist. She loves to travel, read, bake treats, and spend time with family and friends. She and her husband are the parents of four great children. She teaches summer creative writing courses to young people and is currently working on her next book.
Coming Fall 2014 - Charlotte's Story continues in The Match Maker
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