Mommy’s Little Helper


“Why are you doing that?”  He asked.

“Doing what?”

“Putting those lemons slices in the water.”

“It’s for my book club,” she answered.

“Why don’t you just leave the lemons on the side?   Maybe some people don’t want lemons in their water.”

“I just felt like doing it this way.  I think it looks pretty.”

“What looks pretty doesn’t always taste good.”

She knew he actually preferred lemon in his water and that he always thought he was right.  She wouldn’t argue.  She sprinkled powdered sugar on the lemon bars and began cutting them into squares.

“Who’s coming over?”  He asked.  She named the five women in her book club even though it had been the same five women for the past two years.  “Who’s Gina?” he asked just like last time and she explained who Gina was again.  “How long are they staying?”

She asked if he would prefer if she not host the bookclub. She felt more relaxed at the other women’s houses anyway. He said no and asked why she made lemon bars.

“For my book club.”

“Well, I know that,” he rolled his eyes.  “I thought you were trying to lose weight.”

She didn’t answer and he added, “Can you make sure I get some this time?”

“Of course,” she answered.  She cut out two and set them aside and when he left the room she took out the bottle of pills she had hidden behind the bag of flour.  She broke open two capsules and sprinkled the white powder onto the lemon bars along with the powdered sugar.  She covered the little plate with clear plastic and put a post it note on top labeling them “Dad’s.”  The kids wouldn’t dare.  Then she washed some strawberries and put them on a big platter and surrounded them with the remaining lemon bars.

Gina arrived first and whispered “How’s it going with Josie Wales?”  That was their code name for him based on the handsome but cold blooded Clint Eastwood character.

“Oh, the same, but I feel hopeful.  I expect a change soon.”

Gina raised an eyebrow so she went on to explain, “You know how the doctor gave me antidepressants a few months ago but I never took them?”

“Yeah, cuz you’re not really depressed, just married to an asshole.”

“Well, fair enough.  But since he won’t go to marriage counseling, I started giving him the pills.  On the sly.”  She grinned, certain her friend would approve of her genius plan.

Gina started to say something, and then hesitated remembering she had snuck Viagra into her ex-husband’s food, a move had not saved her own marriage.   “Yeah well, you need to try something.  I sincerely hope it works for you.”

“For him,” She corrected.  “I’m fine.  He’s the one who is miserable.”  And she carried her beautiful tray of refreshments out to the patio.




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