Bridget Carlton has had some disappointments in her lifetime, but she is struggling to turn things around. In this excerpt from An Accidental Life, she and her new “boyfriend” are discovering each other.
She almost smirked to herself at the somewhat “self-deprecating” descriptions she gave herself. That would be her mother’s word for it. And add poor self-esteem and abandonment issues to the labels her mother would apply. Abandonment issues. A cloud crossed her face, but she quickly replaced the shadowy thoughts with more pleasant here-and-now images. She had just refocused on Colin’s eyes when she heard a voice at her elbow.
“Well, what do you know? It’s Bridget Carlton!” Bree’s loud voice invaded their privacy and Bridget cringed inwardly, even while flashing a fake generous smile in the other girl’s direction.
“Well, hi there, Bree, imagine running into you! And your baby is getting so big! Oh…Bree, this is Colin; Colin, Bree.”
Bree plopped down beside them in the booth, without invitation, and proceeded to dominate the whole setting. First she removed her baby from the stroller, placing him smack in the middle of the table. Then, rather rudely, she reached across the table to take a morsel from the pizza, which she handed to Jonathan; he then proceeded to smash it all over his face with his fingers while his mother tried flashing her baby blue eyes at Colin! Who does she think she is? Bridget grimaced to herself, trying to maintain her composure and a pleasant exterior.
Colin seemed totally flabbergasted, staring at the young woman with the baby and not missing the protrusion in her abdomen. But he regained his charming composure, made small talk, and then, as if something extremely important had suddenly occurred to him, he spoke quickly: “Well, it was nice meeting you, Bree. Bridget, we have to run along now! Remember that thing we have to do?” And he hustled her out of there. Outside, in the parking lot, they both burst into laughter, now bonded by their mischievous little stunt.
“Well, I guess we’d better be off to that…thing…we have to do,” she sputtered, sliding into Colin’s car.