“I don’t care about the god damn weather,” Smith said. “They’re so bad at consoling that I spend three hours a night crying myself to sleep.”
“I figure she’d probably just move on and I just want to give her space,” close friend Janet Johnson said. “Besides the occasional comment, I don’t think she thinks about it that much.”
Other friends of Smith voiced similar awkwardness to bringing up the topic of her dead husband. For Nick Jones, longtime companion of Smith, the best course of advice is to forget about it.
“I worry about triggering her if I bring it up,” Jones said. “I think she’s better off just finding another man and moving on.’
For a lot of friends, there’s no point in bringing it up in the first place. She’s excelled at her job since Brian’s passing and completed the whole office’s paperwork the past month. Her boss, Tyrell Shaw, attested to her excellence in the workplace.
“I’m really sad that her husband passed, but it’s been a blessing for the office,” he said. “She seems to be doing fine and she’s doing really well at work, so I don’t see a point in asking her about it.”
Smith, when I brought it up, chafed at the possibility that she’d forgotten about it.
“I think about it every damn hour,” she said. “No one talks about Brian, and whenever I make jokes about him they get really stiff and just look away.”
Smith made sure to reiterate that she never stops thinking about it, and she never will. It’s ridiculous that people think she will forget. In fact, she relishes the opportunity to talk about her husband. In fact, she’s excited whenever anyone brings him up.
“Look, we were married for 10 years,” she said. “But sometimes he was an asshole, and a borderline alcoholic. And don’t even get me started on how much he farted in his sleep.”
Johnson admitted that she found it funny whenever Smith made jokes about Brian, but also found it awkward to laugh at the jokes because it was inappropriate. Johnson worried that if she lost control of her laughter, she would mistakenly mention the affair she and Brian had five years ago.
“He had a beer belly, but he was really hot,” Johnson said. “I worry about Nicole, but I’m more sad about Brian not being here anymore.”
Smith, however, has been aware of the affair for years. She laughs hysterically at the thought that Johnson and Brian thought that their affair was discrete.
“He told me he was working late,” she said. “But I drove around the block and found his car at Janet’s house.”
Although Smith was heated about it, she shrewdly realized she could use the knowledge for leverage. Whether it was to wash the dishes, do laundry, or watch the kids so she could leave the house, Smith soon realized she could use the affair to blackmail Brian into doing anything, lest mention it to the kids or Friar John at Mass.
Despite their various conflicts and tensions, Nicole Smith misses Brian and thinks about him all the time. Having to deal with the kids all the time has been a pain, and she has no other option than to say “yes” to the question of whether Brian is in Heaven. And Smith has had to take up another job on the weekends to provide for her kids. She frustratingly laments that Brian’s death has taken over her time to binge-watch “Game of Thrones”.
“Look, he was a piece of shit,” Smith said. “But he was my piece of shit. I just wish I could talk about him more.”
Meanwhile, Brian sat in the afterlife watching his funeral, holding his fifth beer of the day in his hand. He wished that people would stop crying and just lighten up, but he also lamented that Nicole’s jokes didn’t paint him in the best light.
“Look, she didn’t need to tell everyone about the farting,” he said. “But she got me pretty good.”
This satire was originally published on September 18, 2019 on The Haven