New Excerpt from The Right Thing
Her pale eyes meet mine and the wind lifts that hair, the color of good champagne, in a foamy tangle. I know this woman. I’m sure of it even before she speaks my name.
“Annie Banks,” she says. She folds her arms above her pregnant belly. Even in my confusion, I notice her coat’s grown too small, the buttons not able to meet. I’m speechless. Who the hell is she? I wonder.
“Yes,” I manage. She knows me? I used to be a Banks before I married Du and became a Sizemore. Without thinking, the rite pertaining to social awkwardnesses comes to my lips and I say, “Do I know you?” Immediately I realize I’ve said the wrong thing—even though under these circumstances, of course it’s the right thing to say—because her face closes like a prayer book at the end of a funeral.
“I’m Starr Dukes,” she says. The look she gives me is as cold as the wind. “It’s sure been a long time.”
The Jackson liturgy fails me. There’s no rite conforming to this situation, no magic incantation at my disposal to turn this into a casual encounter. I’m stunned. Before I can stop myself I reach out to take the freezing, ringless hand of my once-best friend.
“Oh, Starr,” I breathe.
It’s been twenty-seven years.