ERNIE AND ERNESTINA: The Writer, His Wife, and their Afterlife

Book One, Part Two, Chapter 91: Bella Hops

Bella knocks on my door this afternoon. A faint blush tints her ivory cheeks.

“I sold eight hundred dollars in jewelry today. If my friend Joyce buys the jade-and-diamond ring, and my friend Susan buys the sapphire-and-diamond bracelet, I’ll be debt-free, all my charge cards paid off.” She hops up and down, hugging herself. “I feel so much lighter.”

I open wide my door. “Come in. I’m heating ginger-and-garlic sauce for my pasta. Let me turn off the burner.”

Bella’s already eaten, and it doesn’t bother her that I eat my lunch in front of her. She tells me about the jewelry-designing couple who looked at her goods yesterday and bought a sterling-silver necklace today, along with several other pieces. “I don’t need them. I never wore them. I won’t miss them.”

Bella’s gotten herself out of debt. She hops. She hugs herself. She feels lighter.

Feeling lighter? Maybe I’ll get there, too.

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My writer husband’s favorite nickname for me was Ernestina, so in this 2-book memoir, he is Ernie. This is his story, our story, and my story. I invite you in.