We’d been divorced for almost six years when my ex-wife called and asked if I’d like to live in the bottom apartment of her duplex. I had been moving from place to place, exhausting welcome after welcome, until I’d wound up at my parents’ house, but even they had had enough of me. Sure, they told me, David had died, and they doubted I would ever get over it, but skulking around their house day in and day out was no cure for grief.
I’d heard Eadie had bought the duplex somewhere in Jersey not long after our divorce. I fluctuated between imagining her as a mess like me or as very put-together: a responsible landlord who fixed the plumbing, maintained a garden out back, and cooked herself elaborate meals each night, wafting the smell of sauce toward her nose and sighing with pleasure. Maybe she went to movies on her own. Maybe she was even dating again.