Good Old Mary Beth

“I can’t believe you did this to me!”

Mary Beth held the phone out an inch from her ear. Tom was a yeller when he was mad, and he was mad now.

“I did exactly what you asked me to do,” Mary Beth said, taking a deep breath to steady herself. She’d always been scared of Tom’s temper.

“You’re just messing with me. It’s not good for Tiffany to get upset in her condition, and right now she’s is crying her little eyes out because of you.”

A slow smile spread across Mary Beth’s face. “She’s caused me a few tears herself.”

“Now, dammit, Mary Beth, your little joke’s over. You know we’re counting on that money to get settled. If there’s one thing you are, it’s dependable. So quit horsing around.”

“Yeah, that’s one thing I am, all right, good old dependable Mary Beth, always ready to make your life easier. I’ll tell you again, I did exactly what you asked when you left. You said we’d settle things between ourselves because you didn’t want to pay a divorce lawyer. We agreed I’d keep the house in town and you’d get the beach house. Then you asked me to sell it and send you the money because you needed to get back to Tiffany. And that’s what I did.”

“Mary Beth. You sent me a one dollar bill.”

“Yes, I know. I used my own judgment on the price. The first man who looked at it bought it. He was delighted.”

Mary Beth heard an inarticulate bellow of rage. “Good luck with your new wife and your new life,” she said softly. “I hope she proves to be as dependable as I am.”

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