First line ficlet for Sandy Keene.

was married
by Lesa Soja

A bridegroom in May, a widower in November. Plenty of people had said it wouldn't last, but no one was saying "I told you so" now. Justin chose not to sue the driver of the other car. His mom said, "It won't bring her back, baby," and Johnny said it was better for him to be generous than bitter.

Justin wasn't taking a lot of calls anymore, but when Britney's name came up, his hand stretched out and he picked up. "Oh, Justin," she said, first thing. "Oh, honey. Oh, Justin."

"Hi, Brit," he said.

"God. I am so, so sorry, you know that?"

His cast itched like crazy. "Yeah," he said. "Thanks."

"Is your mom staying there with you?"


"Tell her hello from me, okay? No rush. Just whenever you get a chance."


"So do you miss her awful?"

"What?" Justin said.

"I just. I know it's gotta be bad right now. I was wondering how you were doing."

His jaw tightened, and his fingers tightened on the phone. "How do you think?" he said. He opened and closed his mouth, searching for words. "I was married." He drew his shoulders up, sitting up straighter. "I was married!"

"Oh baby, I know," she said. "I know, I do."

"You -" he said. Then his throat closed up, and for a long time all he could hear was Britney murmuring,

"honey, honey, honey," over and over again.

Finally Justin cleared his throat and said, "Sorry." Britney made a soft noise over the line.

"I miss being married, too," she said.

"Oh, Pinky," he said without thinking, and she sniffled a little.

"We're quite a pair, huh?" and he could tell she was making herself smile as she said it.

"Yeah," he said, "yeah, we sure are."