Suspiciously Obedient

Page 34

“Grandma, I’m not moving out completely.”

“Ehh, actually, it can’t hurt if you do.”

Now she was just a little bit offended. “What do you mean, Grandma?”

“Ed. you know, he’s been talking about moving in with me, but I told him I couldn’t because my granddaughter was living with me, but now…”

“Ed wants to move in with you?”

“Ed wants to marry me.”

“Marry you? Grandma, you’re eighty-three years old. Why would you want to get married?”

“So I can finally have sex.” Madge cackled. “This whole rule about waiting until you’re married has made me the world’s oldest virgin.”

Lydia shuddered. “TMI Grandma, TMI. I don’t want to talk about your sex life.”

“Fine, then we’ll talk about yours. So, that Diane girl just came in and swooped your fame, huh?”

“She swooped my shame,” Lydia sighed. “Took the heat off me.” Lydia wasn’t sure whether to be grateful or pissed. Truth be told, she felt a little of both.

“You know that woman got her own reality TV show after all?” Madge said, shaking her head, unlocking the car with the remote and slinging Lydia’s suitcase, laptop bag, and carry-on into the trunk, slamming it shut.

“Good for her. I’m done with being on camera.”

Madge paused, looking at her. As she peered deeply at Lydia’s face, wrinkle after wrinkle after wrinkle folded in on each other and her lips pursed and puckered. It was a disconcerting look, but one that Lydia had grown accustomed to. Grandma was full of piss and vinegar, and when she thought something, she said it. “Do you love him?”

Lydia cocked one eyebrow. She wasn’t expecting that question. “Do I love who?” She chuckled without mirth. “Do I love the guy I thought I was sleeping with or the man I was actually sleeping with?” Two men. Having this conversation with her grandmother was making her head spin. Jeremy would follow her on a different flight, unable to book a spot fast enough. Lydia had caught the last possible seat and wanted to get home ahead of him, anyhow, to brace her mother for his pending arrival. He’d promised up and down that he would, in fact, be there for the talent show.

“I need two days to prepare my act,” he’d said, waggling his eyebrows.

“No Icelandic whores.”

He’d made a grumpy face. “Spoilsport.”

She missed him.

As Madge made her way onto the Pike, she nodded slowly and then rasped, “Why does there have to be a difference?”

“A difference between what?”

“Earth to Lydia. Between the man you love and the man you’re sleeping with?”

As they made their way out of the Ted Williams Tunnel, the city made her look up, eyes tracing the skyscrapers. So different from Reykjavik. Familiar and dirty and jumbled, it was home.

Oh, Grandma, if only you knew the difference.

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