From Chapter One of “Profile on Page Nine” (Book Two in the Angie Wharton series):

“Ebay, Ebay, donate, dump.”

Katie was doubtful. “My wedding dress?”

“You have plans for it?” Ellen asked holding up the billowing pile of lace and tulle.

“No. Well… Carly?”

“You want to watch Carly get married in that dress?” I asked.

My sister shook her head. “No. Guess not.”

Ellen tossed it in the Ebay pile next to Gordon’s golf clubs. “You don’t have to include a marital autopsy. Just sell the damn thing. I made five hundred bucks off of one of my furs.”

“And you sold your dress?” Katie asked softly.

“Didn’t have one. We eloped.”

“Her parent didn’t approve,” I explained. “He was —is— Arabic.”

“Yep. My kids are Arabic hillbillies,’ Ellen laughed.

“Kentucky,” I added.

It had taken a whole day to clean up Gordon’s mess after he ran off with the bridesmaid. Gordon was actually pretty discreet for a man in the midst of a midlife crisis. He’d filled a suitcase with sportswear while Katie was selecting salmon at the grocery. She got as far as pulling out his favorite marinade from the kitchen pantry before she had wandered into the master bath and found the note. That was when the mess actually happened. Katie had marinated Gordon’s Armani dress shirts and tossed fifty dollars worth of Sockeye salmon in the woods by the time I got there. After that it was mainly burning and breakage.

When my sister told the story of Gordon running off with his dead friend’s daughter she always mentioned Gordon’s underwear. “He left a note next to my sink and his damn Tommy Bahama boxers on the floor by the shower!”

I always wondered if she had actually expected him to toss them in the hamper for her to wash. But I never asked. The red plaid boxers had ended up in the backyard bonfire with the rest of Gordon’s non-synthetic clothing.