For a long time after Rex died, you thought your life was over. You stopped caring about appearances (although, ironically, you kept up the appearance of caring, simply out of habit). You also stopped caring about your health, as evidenced by the glass of Chardonnay you hold onto with a white-knuckle grip. Because, after all, your life was with Rex, and he's gone, so what does it matter, anymore?

At least, that's what you used to tell yourself. But it wasn't too long ago, five months, maybe six – details get fuzzy when you drink – that it all changed. From across the street, you met the caring eyes of your best friend, as you stood in front of a row of twelve empty wine bottles.

The world suddenly tilted on its axis and you realized that if your life with Rex was a book, Lynette would be your sequel.

It wasn't long after that, a week or two, that you started going to AA. Which, you realize, is a complete contradiction to the glass in your hand and the half-empty bottle beside you. But you have an ulterior motive.

Sometime in the next half hour (because Lynette isn't as punctual as you are), Lynette will be arriving for the poker game, early as has become usual, to help you set up, and find out about your progress. She will find you here, half drunk, and set about sobering you up. Strong black coffee – sludge, you both fondly call it – will be brewed, and she will stand over you while you drink it. Then she will send you upstairs to shower. When you stumble, she will sigh and wrap an arm around you, helping you get there. Under the pretense of making sure you don't fall, she will stay in the washroom with you while you undress. She will run the water for you, and neither of you will mention how it is the perfect temperature.

As you step into the shower stall, you will sway dangerously – only half because of the alcohol – and she will quickly wrap her arms around you. You will feel fire rush through your veins, intoxicating you more than alcohol ever could, as her hands slide over the smooth, by then wet, skin of your abdomen.

She will leave you in the shower, propped against the wall, as she uses your blow dryer to dry her shirt where it got wet.

Despite the fact that the table still needs to be set up for poker, she will stay with you while you shower. She will tell you that you need to drink water, and you might as well just drink the shower water. You will feign disgust, and she will laugh as she points out that it's no different than the water from the kitchen tap. Although she won't see it, you will pout that your logic was defeated.

When you finish your shower, she will help you out and dry you with the fluffy white towel that hangs on the rack. You will shiver and she will ask you if you're cold, but you will both know you're not. The signs of arousal will be written all over your body.

She will help you get dressed, and you will have just enough time to hurriedly set up for poker before the other girls get there. The game will go as it usually does; however, you will lose more than you usually do. You always lose more when you've been drinking.

After the girls leave, Lynette will stay behind to talk. She will ask you why you were drinking. You're good at deflecting the question. You won't tell her that you drink to feel her body against yours and her hands on your skin.

Everything she will do and say is burned into your mind, from every other time she's done it. Only this time, you realize, you can't predict her reaction. Because when you opened the bottle of wine, you called Susan and Gabrielle and Edie and Betty, and you told them you had to cancel. Something came up. You didn't call Lynette.

The doorbell rings, and you carefully set down your glass.

The sequel is about to be written.

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