The Groom Wanted Seconds

By: Shirley Jump

Author Bio

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, well softened 1 10-ounce can chunk chicken (or 10 ounces cooked and shredded chicken) 1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce

1/2 cup blue cheese dressing 1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles

1 8-ounce bag shredded colby-jack cheese

Cooking isn’t your thing, so this dump and bake dish is perfect, especially when you’re still trying to figure out why she ended it and whether there’s any hope you can win her back. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a 1-quart casserole, mix the cream cheese, chicken, sauce, dressing, blue cheese and most of the colby-jack. Sprinkle the rest of the shredded cheese on top.

Then sit back and wallow, or write really bad poetry, while it bakes for 20 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips, celery sticks, carrot sticks—whatever works to fill that gaping hole in your life. And if you’re serving it with beer, remember it’s never a good idea to mix alcohol and bad decisions.


He was a fool.

Jeremy Hamilton realized that fact about five minutes after Rebecca Wilson broke up with him, on a warm early summer day three months ago. Still, he’d let her go, figuring that was the best choice all around. She didn’t want him. Not anymore.

It hurt like hell to watch her head out of his apartment and hop into her car. As Rebecca left, the skies began to darken, a storm rolling in, a poetic exclamation point on the end of their relationship—if one was the kind of guy who thought in poetic terms. Jeremy, as logical as Spock, saw the storm as a shifting in barometric pressure and nothing more. All his life, he’d been able to puzzle out the whys and wherefores. Except when it came to Rebecca.

They’d been dating for over a year, while he tried to juggle his last semester in college, along with work and some semblance of a life. They’d been crazy and chaotic months, leaving Jeremy feeling like a giant piece of salt water taffy in a preschoolers’ tug of war.

The day she broke up with him, Rebecca said she’d gotten tired of being the next thing to cross off an ever growing list. She’d kissed him on the cheek, handed over his favorite sweater, then walked out of his apartment and out of his life.

Then why was he here in her neighborhood three months later, crossing the street, heading toward her house, when she’d made it clear they were over? What was he thinking?

That being without Rebecca had been hell, and if there was even a .00001 chance she’d take him back, he’d risk it.

“Yo, Jeremy! What are you doing here?”

He turned to see Rebecca’s cousin Will leaning on the fence that separated his house from Rebecca’s. Will was almost thirty, still lived at home, and talked like he was fifteen. He was working on mastering some skateboarding game on Playstation. Everybody had to have a goal in life, and Will’s was to beat Tony Hawk in virtual reality. “How you doing, Will?”

“Good, good. Taking a break. I got a wrist injury when I twisted the damned controller the wrong way.” He wriggled his arm. “Makes those ollies wicked hard to master.”

“I bet.” Whatever ollies were. Jeremy turned back to Rebecca’s.

“Uh, you thinking of visiting Rebecca? I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” Will said.

“Why not?”

Will let out a long-suffering sigh and leaned over the fence, resting his arms on the dog-eared posts. “Dude, it’s like ProSkater. Sometimes you gotta know when to go for the Fingerflip Airwalk and when to skate away, because you haven’t got enough air to land it.”


Will threw up his hands. “Well, don’t say I didn’t try to do you a solid. Anyway, I gotta get back in and work on my Kickflip McTwist.”

Jeremy hesitated on the walkway. He debated taking Will’s advice and turning around. Giving up on an already lost cause. After all, he’d done okay without her the last few months, hadn’t he?

If one defined “okay” as suffering like a caffeine addict put on a diet of decaf only. For the first week after Rebecca left, he had done what any suddenly single bachelor did—partied like a rock star with his friends, flirted like hell with every leggy blonde that crossed his path, and in general, acted like an idiot.