Mrs. Perfect(4)

By: Jane Porter



“Anything juicy happen at the meeting?” Kate asks, pulling up another white chair to stretch her legs on. Her legs are thin and tan, but they’re always tan. Kate plays a lot of golf, and she and Bill routinely sneak off to Cabo.

Patti and I look at each other, try to think. There wasn’t a lot of chitchat. We were pretty organized, and the auction meeting isn’t the place for gossip. It would look bad. Unprofessional.

“I know something juicy,” Monica chimes in eagerly.

I shoot Patti a “here we go again” look. Monica Tallman irritates me. She isn’t poor, and she’s not unattractive, but she’s pathetically insecure and compensates for her feelings of inferiority by trying too hard.

The truth is, Monica needs a life. And she needs to stop copying my hairstyle.

Monica throws a hand into her hair, showing off her most recent highlights, which are nearly identical to mine. “The Wellsleys separated this summer,” she announces loudly.

“The Wellsleys?” Kate gasps.

Monica nods, sips her wine cooler, pleased to be the bearer of horrible news. “Apparently Lucy was having an affair.”

“What?” We all turn, shocked, to stare at Monica.

Patti frowns, a deep furrow between dark eyebrows. At least I know she doesn’t do Botox. “I don’t believe it,” she says. “I can’t believe it. Lucy would never do that. I’ve known her for years—”

“She’s on the altar guild at St. Thomas,” Kate adds.

Monica shrugs, lips curving. “Jesus loves a sinner.”

Unbelievable. I drain the rest of my gin and tonic and immediately crave another. Too bad I can’t send one of my girls for the drink, but they don’t sell liquor to minors here.

Monica gives her wine cooler a twirl. “Pete’s going after custody.”

“No.” Now this is going too far. It really is. I know Lucy, too, and she’s a great mother, a good wife, and it would destroy her not to have the kids. Kids need to be with their mother, too.

Well, unless their mother’s a nutcase.

Like mine was.

“Pete thinks he’s got a case.” Monica sounds smug.

I hate it when she’s so smug. I really think she needs to work out with her personal trainer a bit less and volunteer a lot more.

“You can’t take children from their mother,” I defend. “Courts don’t do that. I know it for a fact. Are you sure she’s having an affair?”

“I imagine it’s over now that Pete found out, but Pete’s embarrassed. He paid for her lipo, the implants, the tummy tuck, the eye job, the laser skin treatments, and now he finds out it wasn’t even for him? Fifty thousand later he feels a little cheated.”

Patti’s outraged. “Lucy didn’t even need the work. She did it for him. He’s never been happy, especially with her.”

I nod my head in agreement. Lucy was really attractive, even before all the surgeries, and you know, you couldn’t tell she had that much work done because it was subtle. We knew, because she’d told us, highly recommending her plastic surgeon to us. And in the plastic surgeon’s defense, he was very, very good, and the only way I knew Lucy had done her eyes (before we knew about the plastic surgery) was because she just looked happier.

Apparently, she was happier.

She was getting laid by someone who wasn’t her fat husband.

That’s not a nice thought, and I shouldn’t think thoughts like that, but Pete is big. He’s gained at least thirty-five or forty pounds in the last year or so. Maybe more. When I saw him at brunch a couple of weeks ago, I almost didn’t recognize him. Nathan, who never notices anything like that, leaned over to me and said Pete was a heart attack waiting to happen.

Did that stop Pete from filling up his plate at the buffet? No. In fact, he went back for seconds and thirds—piles of sausages, cream cheese Danishes, eggs Benedict, blueberry-and-sour-cream crepes, strawberries covered in whipped cream. You could hear his arteries hardening as he lumbered back to his table.

I can’t blame Lucy if she didn’t want to sleep with Pete. I wouldn’t want to eat with him, much less do the down and dirty, but an affair . . . ?

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