Alone…Corrine never expected to end up here after five years of marriage. Her brother Jack’s condo sat empty for two years after he… died. “At least I had a place to go,” she thought. Moving in with her mother was not an option. She looked around the condo. Her mom had not been here since the police found Jack.

When her brother died, killed himself, Corrine had to take care of everything. She made the funeral arrangements, found a service to clean the bathroom, and scraped together enough money from her brother’s accounts to pay for the funeral.  Her mother was useless. Corrine wasn’t sure if her mother was mourning the loss of her son, or the fact that there were now no men to take care of her. Corrine’s dad died before she and Cameron married.  Her mother had no brothers. There were no uncles or male cousins on either side to lend a hand.  And now Cameron who had been husband to both her and her mother was gone too. She began to unpack the kitchen – – it was going to be a long night.

She had emptied two boxes of wine glasses and champagne flutes when she heard a knock at the door. She missed the doorman already. “Who is it?”

“Back up.” The voices at the door answered. Back up indeed. Danielle and Norma walked in each carrying a bag from Binny’s Beverage Depot.  “Ladies, tomorrow is a school night.” Corrine laughed!

“That’s why I only brought two bottles!” Danielle raised the bag over her head!

“So what are we drinking, red, white or bubbles?” Corrine asked, knowing that tonight only bubbles would do.

“Bubbles!”  Norma handed Corrine a bottle of Graham Beck sparkling wine.

“Cheers!” Corrine smiled! Corrine had discovered the Graham Beck Brut non-vintage at a South African Wine tasting a few months ago and fell in love with its light creamy texture and green apple and citrus flavors.

“And more bubbles!” Danielle added. She handed Corrine a bottle of Martini & Rossi Rose.

“You’ve got to be kidding me!” Norma broke into laughter. “Haven’t we taught you anything?”

“I like it!” Danielle was already over Norma, she was such a wine snob.

“Martini & Rossi? Ha!”

“Norma, this is for me. You don’t need to drink it. I got a bottle of Veuve for Corrine.” As far as Danielle was concerned she likes sweet wines. The sweeter, the better and no matter what her friends said she was going to drink what she likes. She also knew that you can find an enjoyable wine at any budget.

“Thanks Danielle. You did not have to spend so much ($59.99).”  Corrine stared at the Veuve-Clicquot Demi Sec label and her tears broke free. “I’m miserable, and he’s celebrating!” Corrine shouted.

“You talk, I’ll pour.” Norma took the bottle from Corrine and poured two glasses of the Veuve-Clicquot demi sec champagne. She handed one to Corrine and kept the other for herself. “Sorry, Danielle, I can’t touch that.” Norma laughed pointing at the bottle of Martini & Rossi. Danielle could not help but to laugh as she filled her own glass.

“Cameron left our condo; I mean the condo early this morning. He said he wanted to give me and the movers some space. Well, the move took longer than I expected, and I was there when he came home. “

“Oh no, that must have been tense.” Danielle said.

“Yes. Well to be honest I was hoping we could talk. Or just say a proper good bye.”

“Corrine, you’ve said goodbye. You’ve been saying goodbye for the last two years.” Norma added.

“When he saw me, he said, oh you’re still here!” Corrine went on as if she didn’t hear Norma.  “Do you believe it? You’re still here! To make things worse he came in with a fresh haircut and bottle of Veuve. He only drinks Veuve when he’s celebrating something. My moving out is cause for celebration!”

Corrine could taste the bitterness on her tongue. She quickly took a sip of champagne and let the delicate bubbles and its fruity-freshness sooth her anger.


Half way through the bottle of Veuve-Clicquot yellow label, Cameron decided to head out. He was too happy to be alone. To be continued. 
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