“I’m not afraid of being alone. I’m afraid that I am the reason that I’m alone.”

We should have ordered a bottle; a glass will not be enough for this talk, Sandy thought. She hadn’t spent time alone with Corrine since baby Mia arrived. The last months were a whirlwind for the two of friends. Sandy was adjusting to motherhood and Corrine to being single, again. These days Sandy’s patience was lean. Having a baby made her indifferent to the small stuff. Not that divorce was a small thing, but Corrine has been here so many times before. All of her relationships ended with a period of woe-is-me soul-searching.  After a few months of crying, questioning and obsessively working out, she would meet a guy, fall in love and repeat the same pattern again. Maybe Sandy was losing patience with Corrine; they’ve been best friends since the third grade.

Sandy was not known for being delicate. Her opinions were delivered with an accuracy that either stabbed or calmed the heart. You never knew which was coming, pain or comfort.  She has a gift for seeing past your drama and making muddiness translucent. Her insight was undeniable. So her friends waited until they were at the edge to ask for her opinion, bit their lips and braced themselves.

Corrine watched the bubbles shoot to the rim of her glass like a string of stars. “Make a wish,” she told herself and smiled.

“What? What’s funny?”

“Nothing. Sandy, I can’t start over and he’s already dating somebody. A woman named Roxanne.” Sandy knew all about Roxanne. Cameron brought her over to meet Mia. Sandy wondered if she should tell Corrine, but decided it was best to keep quiet.

The silence between the two friends was astringent. Sandy knew Corrine expected tough love, but was this the time to give it? Could she pour salt on her friend’s wound, even if it is the medicine she needs?
“This is my first time tasting the Laurent-Perrier Demi-Sec. I’m really enjoying it.” Sandy delayed the treatment. “I’m really loving the touch of sweetness, yeastiness, a little citrus, this champagne is just lovely.  Sandy cleared her throat.

“Corrine, you are the reason that you’re alone.”

There it was…the truth. Sandy didn’t sprinkle the salt over the gash. She didn’t start with a pinch and adjust the dose. True to form, she just emptied the box into Corrine’s hurt. Corrine knew her words would pierce but knowing didn’t dull the stings. Corinne felt the throb from each grain. Had she been home alone, she would have screamed from the ache.  Instead she let a few tears go, sipped the Laurent-Perrier Demi-Sec Champagne and asked for more. “Why do you think I’m the problem?

“We will have a bottle,” Sandy told the server.