You Had Me At Boo - Marian Tee Page 0,1

I appreciated it all the same. It couldn't have been easy for Nana to sneak these drinks past the nurse station.

'Want another one?" Nana asked.

"Yes, please." Nana refilled my glass, and as soon as she turned away to refill hers, I knocked the whole thing back with a single swig. That was the trick with all things you didn't want to taste, you guys. Have it go down your throat fast enough, and anything you've swallowed down might as well have been air.

"Do you plan on going back to work as soon as you're out?" Nana asked as she settled back in her seat.

"That's the plan," I confirmed. "But I'm not holding my breath about getting my old job back."

"How can they not want you back?" Nana fumed. "Didn't you say you were one of the most in-demand makeup artists before?"

"Before being the operative word."

"You had an aneurysm, not amnesia," the older woman scoffed. "Don't these folks know the difference?"

I loved how Nana sounded so offended on my behalf, but it also made my heart ache the tiniest bit. If my parents hadn't died in 9/11, I had a feeling Mom would be just like Nana, who was like a gentle Mama bear...until she thought one of her cubs needed defending, and that's when she'd turn into a terrifying old grizzly.

"It's okay, Nana. Image is everything in the business I'm in - or was. My clients were mostly models and celebrities, and they can't be "cool" if their makeup artist is being touted as a has-been who's been dumped by her boyfriend for a 25-year-old itch."

Nana laughed. "That's how you think of her?"

"At least it's not the B word," I said a little defensively. "And she was an itch he should've had the decency not to scratch while he was still with me." If he had just broken up with me first, I would've respected him so much more. But instead, Jason had thought he could get away with infidelity.

"He looked rather broken though," Nana offered hesitantly, "when he visited you."

Naturally, I couldn't help thinking. Jason had suffered from some kind of midlife crisis while we were together, and he had been stupid enough to think Alicia was the cure for it. Instead, she was the biggest mistake of his life, and I rather suspected he realized this when he thought I was on my deathbed.

"If he asks you back..."

I was already shaking my head before Nana even finished her question. "Nope." I could forgive him if he asked for it, but that was that. "He's the past, and I'm all about the present—-"

Nana raised a brow when I suddenly stopped speaking. "What is it?"

"There is one thing that bothers me a little, and I know it's shallow, but I can't help thinking how much it sucks, that my last memory before waking up in this hospital was me being in my late thirties. And now I'm forty, and I can't even remember how it was to be thirty-nine—-"

"It's nothing to feel bad about," Nana joked. "Being thirty-nine is quite overrated."

I couldn't help laughing at that. "Oh, Nan." She always did know the right thing to say, and I was incredibly grateful for it.

"But truly, dear—-" Nana peered at me curiously. "Does being forty truly feel that bad?"

"Well..." I chewed on my lip thoughtfully. "I guess, it only started to bother me when I finally went online, and I saw my inbox flooded with get-well-soon messages."

"Isn't that a good thing?"

"It would've been if it were just that, but it wasn't. They all - I do mean all - started the same way, saying that they were so happy that I woke up. But after that..." I gave Nana a sour look. "They all launched into these well-meaning warnings, saying that they hope and pray I'd find the right man soon and have babies, because that's what life is all about."

"And you don't think it is?"

"I just hate it," I couldn't help sulking. "They made it seem like a woman can't afford to be single and forty if she doesn't belong to a particular income bracket. It just makes me...grrrr."

Nana burst into laughter. "I have never heard anyone literally say 'grr' before."

"But you can see why it makes my blood boil, right?"

"I certainly do," Nana said wryly, "since I was also in the same boat, once upon a time. I was a career woman before the term was even coined, and back in my day, people thought this odd. They believed