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Authors: Olivia Goldsmith

Young Wives

BOOK: Young Wives
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Young Wives
Olivia Goldsmith
Table of Contents

Diversion Books
A Division of Diversion Publishing Corp.
443 Park Avenue South, Suite 1008
New York, NY 10016

Copyright © 2000 by Olivia Goldsmith
All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental.

For more information, email
[email protected]

First Diversion Books edition October 2014

More from Olivia Goldsmith

Fashionably Late

Flavor of the Month

Marrying Mom


The Bestseller

Young Wives

Bad Boy


Wish Upon a Star

In memory of the late Jane O’Connell, a dedicated reader

Ring One

For a woman, marriage is like a circus.

There are three rings:

the engagement ring, the wedding ring,

and the suffering.

Nan Delano


In which we meet the improbably named Angela Rachel Goldfarb Romazzano Wakefield on the occasion of her paper anniversary and the strange outcome of that celebration

Angela Wakefield had arrived early, partly because she was a compulsively prompt person—law school had taught her the wisdom of that—but equally because she wanted to savor these moments before their little party began. So she sat, her legs neatly crossed at the ankle, her purse on the third chair, and stared out the window at the water. Marblehead, Massachusetts, was so beautiful that it was not a place she’d ever imagined making her home—her, a dago Jew mongrel from Queens, New York. Even now, though it was well into autumn, sailboats were tacking their way across the harbor, fishing boats were pulling into dock as the sunset turned to twilight. Distant lights had begun to twinkle in homes along the water.

Reid had picked the restaurant and, just like Reid, the club was perfectly groomed. The white cloths on the table glowed in the waning light; the glass and silverware gleamed. The starched napkins had been folded into complicated shapes, kind of like the newspaper soldier hats she used to make to play army, though these napkins were much prettier.

Angie looked around self-consciously. She was never so neat, so well-pressed as the napkins. Her hair was wild, black and curly, long and not really styled; her clothes were always wrinkled or losing a button. She was told often by Reid that it was part of her charm. Why else would Reid have married her?

Angie looked around the club dining room. She knew not to expect much from the food in places like this: go to a Brookline deli or Boston’s North End for good food. Here the martinis would be dry, the service impeccable. Angie never felt very comfortable alone in the club. She shifted in her chair. In just a little while—since he was usually late—Reid Wakefield III, her husband of one year today, would be sitting opposite her. Reid was comfortable anywhere. He belonged not only to this club but the birthright club welcomed by all.

When the waiter approached Angela inwardly groaned. He asked for her drink order, but she didn’t want to start without Reid, so she apologized and said she’d wait, if it was okay. “He should be here any minute,” she added, checking her watch. Reid was already twenty minutes late, but he was chronic that way, always overscheduling, always so involved with whatever he was doing that he forgot about whatever he was committed to do next. Well, not forget about, exactly. He just juggled a little and—because of his charm—everyone forgave him.

Angie used the time now to pull out her makeup kit and surreptitiously check her face. It was a pretty face—roundish, with round dark eyes, and a generous mouth. Okay, let’s face it—a big mouth in both senses of the word. Now her mouth needed more lipstick—why did it wear off her lips but not off her teeth? She ought to comb her hair, though she knew she shouldn’t do that at the table.

Angie sighed. She was what she was, and Reid had picked her, not one of these real blond, anemic poster girls for Miss Porter’s School. They all had names like Elizabeth and Emily and Sloane, but they—in their understated, unwrinkled clothes and untreated hair—hadn’t attracted the prince that she had.
Take that, you Waspettes!

Reid represented sunshine, vitality, and the kind of life that did not have to acknowledge defeat. Cushioned by money and contacts, his family boated and played tennis and celebrated birthdays and weddings and even funerals in a dignified way that boasted of order and control.

Not that Angela was proud of her heritage. Anyway, all of them were new immigrants compared to Reid’s family. The Wakefields had come over after the
, but only just. Reid’s mother, on the other hand, was a Daughter of the American Revolution—and looked it. She didn’t color her hair or worry about fashion. She was a Barbara Bush type, but prouder. She’d never said that she was disappointed in Reid’s mate, but when Angie thought about it, she didn’t know what they had to be so proud of—they’d stolen their land from the Native Americans. Angela figured they got some credit for stealing it early. And they still owned plenty of it in and around Marblehead.

Angie put her lipstick away and pulled out the wrapped gift she had for her husband. It was their paper anniversary and she had racked her brain to come up with the right present. Here it was: an autographed first edition of Clarence Darrow’s autobiography. Reid—a newly minted lawyer working for Andover Putnam, the most old-line of Boston’s old-line law firms—worshipped Darrow. He’d
. Angie patted the package and grinned.

She didn’t allow herself to get too excited by the prospect of his gift to her, though. Men weren’t that good with gifts or romance. Especially WASP men from old money. She’d learned that already: for their first married Christmas, Reid had given her a pair of ski gloves—even though she didn’t ski. When she’d suggested they spend their first romantic weekend away, he’d opted for Springfield, to visit the Basketball Hall of Fame. As if. Worst, for her birthday he’d given her a coffee grinder. She shook her head now, remembering the scene when she’d opened the elaborately wrapped box. “But don’t you
fresh ground?” Reid had asked, shocked when in answer she’d thrown the thing at him. They’d had a huge fight. Later she’d called her mother. “A coffee grinder?” she’d asked. “Is it a Braun? Hey, he’s trainable. Your father once gave me an ironing board.”

Angela had neglected to point out to her mother that she and Angela’s father had divorced, and that she didn’t want that to happen to her and Reid. Instead, “What did
do,” Angie had wept, “when you got the ironing board?”

“I made him swallow it,” her mom admitted. Angie had begun laughing. “Look. Mixed marriages never work,” Natalie Goldfarb-Romazzano said in a comforting voice.

“Don’t tell me that now,
I married a Protestant,” Angela had replied.

“I don’t mean mixed religions. I mean mixed genders. Men and women. Mars and Venus. We’re not from other planets. We’re from other solar systems.”

Now Angie shook her head again at the memory. Her mother was, as her father put it, a real piece of work.

“What’s that about?” a voice asked. “We allow no ‘nos’ here. ‘Yeses’ exclusively. This is a
exclusive club.”

Angie looked up at Reid—her tall golden boy, a water skier, a rock climber, a Princeton grad. In the last reflected light of the sunset, she could swear he glowed. Reid, who had already taken his seat across from her, got up, came over to her chair and bent down and kissed her—a long, lingering one. A public display of affection! She could hardly believe it. And at the club, where no one ever
any feelings, much less
them! His lips pressed hers. God! He’d been so sweet lately. Angie found his tongue with her own. She felt herself blushing. He took her breath away. Big deal about the coffee grinder. She was so lucky!

Eventually Reid moved back to his chair, untousled, unflushed. The waiter stood behind him. “So, what will you have, Angie?” Reid asked. Then he hesitated, moved her purse, and took the chair beside her. “Too far away from my girl,” he explained, his voice low. Then unexpectedly he put his right hand—the one closest to her under the tablecloth—high on the inside of her thigh. A wave of longing washed over her, so intense that she had to look away, out at the lapping tide. “I want you,” Reid whispered. Then he raised his voice to give their drink order to the hovering waiter. But that interruption didn’t stop him from stroking her thigh. She blushed again while the waiter nodded and left to fetch for the scion of the Wakefield family. Angie always apologized to “the help,” while Reid made them wait, yet they served him better.

“So, what’s this?” Reid asked, placing his other hand on the little package. “Who could it be for?” His voice was full of assurance and teasing.

“Oh, nothing,” Angie said innocently. “For no one. A little anniversary present, maybe, if anyone you know is having an anniversary.”

“Oddly enough,
am. And so is my wife. Could it be for her? Or for me?” He didn’t reach for his gift, though. Instead, to her delight, he pulled a little box from his inside jacket pocket. “Does this look like a Braun?” he asked.

Angela’s heart began to beat even faster. Jewelry? Real jewelry? Aside from her engagement ring and wedding band, he’d never given her jewelry. She tried to be calm as she reached out for the box. It was navy blue leather, unwrapped, and had
stamped in silver letters across the top. Only the best jewelry store in Boston! And the most overpriced, but hey, this was a present. Angela still couldn’t get over the fact that Reid paid retail for things. But on this occasion she was glad. Maybe her mom was right. He was trainable.

Angie stared at the enchanting box and told herself to be calm. It was probably only a sterling key chain or thimble or something, but she’d treasure it forever. “Animal, vegetable, or mineral?” she asked, vamping for time.

“Well, I’m the animal, you’re the vegetable, and the gift is certainly from the mineral world,” he told her.

She took the little case in her hand. Mineral world. As in gems? Ready to faint, she flipped open the lid; a small but exquisite sapphire surrounded by seed pearls winked at her from the satin interior.

BOOK: Young Wives
5.16Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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