Annette Gardner had finally received some good news in the midst of the soap opera of her life. Her sister had finally come out of her coma, and God had intervened to settle her misguided feelings towards Michael Falcone. It was a start. Of course, she had numerous other things to worry about. Her sister-in-law Elaine was now mentally unwell, and she had decided that she would be her caregiver. They were close, after all, despite Redmond’s indiscretions. That was something else. She was carrying his child, but she no longer wanted him in the picture.
Entering the living room, she stood before Redmond, who was sitting in his easy-chair reading the paper. At that moment, he looked like he would make an ideal father. Of course, Annette would have none of it since he had cheated. No, it was time.
“Redmond,” said Annette calmly, “I’ve come to a decision about us.” Her voice was gentle, yet resolute. Redmond’s face was grave. “I loved you once, more than anything in the world. I wanted to make you happy, and I tried harder than you’ll ever know. But, as you see, things have changed in more ways than one. You broke our marriage vows, Redmond, and I, unfortunately, don’t think I’ll ever be able to trust you again. I’m sad that our child, yes, I said our, our child will be a part of a broken home. You’ll see the baby, Redmond, but I want a divorce.”
The words stung Redmond Gardner. He known for sometime that the coexistence they were living in would have to end. He did not fight it. He felt it was the least he could do.
He sighed a heavy breath, then said, “All right. We’ll start immediately.”
After a few days more in the hospital, Louise Falcone was released with a clean bill of health to the care of her husband Michael. She had been ordered to rest in bed and not lift a finger. She feared, however, that her mother-in-law would make that happen permanently.
Sitting in her bed, Louise said, “Michael, I need to tell you something.”
“Anything Lou, anything,” he said with tenderness she had not heard in a long time.
“No Michael, it’s about my accident or whatever you want to call it. You said the doctor had found traces of atropine in my system, right? Well, as we both know, atropine isn’t one of my prescriptions and I don’t keep it lying around the house! Michael, I think your mother poisoned me.”
A tinge of anger came over the young man. He had felt the same thing in the back of his mind. “Lou, listen, I know you and Ma don’t get along, but I don’t think she’d poison you! It’s not like she’s the devil or somethin’!”
Louise laughed to herself. Of course she was! “Michael. If you recall, I ruined your mother’s dinner party to try to, I don’t know…teach her a lesson, that I could play hardball too. Well, she says to me ‘Welcome to the family’ like I proved myself worthy of her. Next day, she offers to teach me how to make her cannolis, then BAM, I’m in the hospital. What does that mean to you?”
“You mean, Ma actually was gonna teach you how to make cannolis? She won’t even tell me that…”
“Yeah Michael, and she loves you. I’m the last one she’d ever tell.”
Michael couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “I uh, I gotta get some air. I’ll be back…” He left.
“I’ll get even with that old bitch as soon as I can stand. They don’t call Bains girls The Fighting Irish for nothing.”