A short story where Valerie has a friend from childhood and college who has lingering emotional problems from a nasty divorce a year ago. Unable to cope with the reality of being newly single, she turns to Valerie to help her recover her emotional stability, and get over her apprehension about her ability to get back into the single world. Valerie's husband Dave is a great help.
Valerie Hinton grimaced as she listened to her friend on the phone. They had been inseparable from the first day of kindergarten through their final year in college. They had been closer than sisters. They had stayed in touch since graduation, but for the last six months, they had spoken almost daily by phone or email. Anne was having a very hard time adjusting to single life. This conversation was ending in tears.
"Anne" Valerie said, "why don't you just take a month or so and come stay with us?" "Oh Val, do you think Dave would mind? Shouldn't you check with him first?" "Dave will want you to come too, don't you worry about that! You just pack up and get on a planewe have plenty of room and it's the slow season here." Anne agreed to get the tickets as soon as she could set up the leave time from her job.
Valerie started to call Dave at work, but he came in just as she was dialing his work number. He saw her puffy eyes and hugged her, knowing about the calls from Anne every day. "Why don't you just ask her to come here?" he asked. We've got plenty of room, and you know we're not busy at work." She kissed him for his understanding. "I already asked her honey, she's going to come as soon as she can get the time off." She explained that she had been trying to get Anne to come home for some time. Anne was a little reluctant because she hadn't been home since her parents had died. Her only ties to the home town were Valerie, Dave, and fond memories. Dave patted her back comfortingly. "She'll be fine baby, she just needs some time with friends in familiar surroundings." "I hope so Dave, I've known her practically all her life, and she seems different this time." Valerie kissed him. Dave was the kindest, most understanding man she had ever known. If he couldn't help Anne, she didn't know anyone who could.
In the quiet of her bath that night, she remembered well the soft curves of Annie's body, she had explored them herself over the years.