“Oh, just some old souvenirs,” I said.
“How’d you like Nantucket?”
“These aren’t mine,” I said. “They belonged to Abigail.”
“Where’d you get them?”
“Yeah. That's kind of interesting. Evidently, she gave them to her neighbor, who passed them on to me...and left town this morning.”
“Can I see?”
But when I shared the little stash with him, he grew quiet and then suspicious. He studied the photograph carefully.
“So that was her, huh? She’s a bit of a light-weight to be causing you and Judith so much trouble.” He snorted. “Not to mention Kevin.”
“I was just wondering how much trouble she meant to be. They look so happy here. I don’t understand.”
“Don’t understand what? Stolen moments? When was this taken, do you think? Last year? Last summer?”
He flipped to the menu. “August 14. Huh.”
“Well, they were separated, weren’t they? I mean, Ken may have been cheating on his wife, but Abigail was at least technically in the clear.”
“You think so? Well, you’re not married, that’s obvious.” He made it sound like a personal problem.
“Neither are you…anymore.”
“That’s not the point. You think because you’re single, you can’t commit adultery?”
“Yeah, that’s exactly what I think. I’m not saying married men make good boyfriends or that I’d want to date one. Especially now.” I pointed to the ephemera. “That’s not good enough.”
“It must have felt romantic to her. The secrecy, I mean.”
“How can you say that? Did you like keeping secrets from Judith. Yours are a lot more significant than poor Abigail’s. She was probably hiding this photo from Ken. No one else would care.”
“Kevin would. He was her husband.”
“Well, that’s just bullshit. You can’t have an ex-wife, or even an estranged, soon-to-be ex-wife and object to her love life. Especially if-“
“Especially if you’re gay?”
We sulked together over this until I apologized, though I’m not sure why I did and he ignored it.
“Judith and I will always be married. We’ll always have been married. We’re parents together. We’re tied by him and by…” He waved his hand, as if searching for the right words to describe his lingering loyalty to the woman he flat out dumped. “…affection. And history. We’re friends.”
“Really? Then why not stay married?”
He stood up, abruptly. “Because we don’t have to.”