“Still searching for your prince? This Thanksgiving, let me prescribe the perfect man to cure your romantic ills on our special holiday episode: The Ugly Duckling and the Frog Prince. If you’re ready for your forever after love, contact me today.”
A web address and eight-hundred number scrolled across the screen. Mercifully, a commercial for hemorrhoid cream stopped the sappiness.
“You should go on that show,” Momma said. “I bet the Love Doctor could find you the one.”
Momma had lost her mind. How could the woman who’d seen through every lie Addie had ever tried to tell not see through this mess?
“There’s no way the Love Doctor could find the one for anybody, especially not me. I want the kind of love you and Daddy and everybody else in the family has, not some made-for-television version of it.”
Ugh, she was doing it again. Tracing the outline of a ring long gone. At least she wasn’t crying. Sixty-one tear free days. To make it to sixty-two, focus on the onions, or the show, or anything except what happened.
Calling all ugly ducklings flashed across the screen. Who came up with that? “The show’s whole premise is insulting,” she said. “Ugly duckling, really? Granted, I may not be the most beautiful woman in the world, but I’m not ugly, am I?” Her voice trailed off. She’d never asked the question, at least not out loud.
Momma sprang from her chair and hugged Addie. “Of course, you’re not ugly, baby.”
What else would Momma say? No momma, especially not hers, would call their child ugly.
In over a hundred years, there had never been a single divorce in her family, not even a separation. There was none of that staying together for the sake of the children either. Couples in her family stayed together because they’d all found the one.
Maybe she’d finally hit on why she hadn’t. All of her female cousins were drop dead gorgeous. Compared to them, she not only wasn’t in the same ballpark, she wasn’t even in the same state. Why hadn’t she noticed that before?
“Don’t let what happened make you stop believing in love,” Momma said.
Addie pulled away and switched off the television. “I believe in love. Love just doesn’t believe in me. I’m through pretending it does.
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