The Patron Saint of Unattractive People deleted scene

From now until my novel’s publication in September, I will be posting a series of deleted scenes and excerpts to whet your appetite and introduce you to my protagonist, her coffee shop, and assorted friends and family members.

Here’s the first one:

My grandmother calls in the afternoon, while Dad’s on break, to ask Mom if she’s divorcing him yet. My grandparents were upset with Dad when he decided to give up accounting and open a coffee shop. They’d married their daughter off to an accountant and they expected him to stay that way. My grandparents believe in tradition and stability. Owning a coffee shop was not stable.

Grandma has been trying to dissolve my parents’ marriage for the past thirty years, though I only hear Mom’s side of the phone conversations. My grandparents live in Arizona, don’t want to trouble themselves with Ohio’s humidity, so Grandma resorts to bothering Mom long-distance.

“Yes, I’m happy,” says my mother.

This is always the first sentence out of her mouth when Grandma is on the phone. I’ve only seen my grandparents a few times, when I was little, before they moved to the southwest.

“I’m sure,” Mom says.

When she saw me with my shade, Grandma said I looked like a space invader. I liked the comment at the time, but I’m not sure if she meant it to be a compliment.

“Mom, we all work hard,” says my mother.

Sometimes I think Mom has stayed with Dad for so long because she wanted to make my grandparents mad. They planned on her being a housewife, cooking and cleaning and taking care of me. This was why they wanted to marry her to an accountant. She did as they asked. Ten years later, Dad opened Drogo’s and my grandparents told her to threaten him with divorce.

Mom was sick of being ordered around.

After a fifteen-minute conversation volley (in which Mom tells her mother nine times that she’s happy and eleven times that she’s not leaving Dad) Mom hangs up the phone and gets a pack of cigarettes out of her pocket.

“I thought you were just going to buy the one pack,” I say.

“This is only the second pack,” she says.

“I said I’d smack you if you bought another pack,” I say.

“Go ahead,” she says. “After talking with my mother I need a cigarette.”

I consider this. “I’ll smack you if you buy a third pack,” I say.

“Deal,” she says.

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