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"That's funny," Jake was saying to a woman seated nearby, "I always find that one layer of plastic wrap is never enough. You pop it into the fridge, and it comes out days later, walking on its own power!" At this, he laughed heartily at his own joke. Then he put his elbow on the table, (a table manners no-no), and stared at Abby while she listened to Jerry.

"We used to have a fishing shed in the late 1800's," continued Jerry, very much absorbed in his own narration, "but a wave washed it out into the bay years later."

At this, Jake burst into uncontrollable peals of laughter. He laughed so hard that tears came to his eyes. Everyone in the room looked at each other and then at Jake.

"I think your husband has had a little too much to drink," observed Jerry, as Abby tried to calm Jake down.

"Jake doesn't drink," denied Abby, struggling to stop his continuous laughter.

"I hate to contradict you, Honey," spoke up one of the wives, "but he's been at it all evening!"

"I think we'd better leave," apologized Abby, extremely embarrassed by what was happening. The young woman tried to help Jake out of his chair, but quickly found that she couldn't do it alone. Jerry got up and took one arm while Abby took the other. Once in the parking lot, they helped the inebriated young man into Abby's jeep.

"I'm so sorry," she repeated once more, as Jerry fastened Jake's seat belt. "This has never happened before. Jake never drinks!"

"I was prepared to give him a chance," said Jerry in disdain, "even though he is white trash. You would do yourself a favor if you divorced him, Mrs. Murphy. He'll only hold you back."

"Jake is my friend," refuted Abby evenly, "and he's not trash."

Even though the job offer was no longer there, she didn't want it anymore. As Jerry rejoined the dinner party in the clubhouse, Abby looked at Jake and smiled in spite of the situation.

"Can't I take you anywhere?" she joked.

When they reached home a few minutes later, Jake's condition had further deteriorated. This greatly puzzled Abby, for he hadn't consumed any more alcohol.

Abby put one of Jake's arms around her shoulder, and to her surprise, he let her help him into the yellow house. To Abby's gratitude, her parents hadn't seen the sorry couple stumble inside, for Terry had taken them out to dinner that night, to commemorate Izumi's last day before her bed rest began.

With some difficulty, Abby led Jake to the living room sofa and let him collapse there. He was looking more intoxicated than ever, and his speech was becoming very slurred.

"How can you still be getting worse?" cried Abby in dismay.

As she went to the kitchen to get a glass of water for her companion, her eyes caught sight of the cupboard where Jake kept his medication. Out of curiosity, she opened the door and picked up one of the bottles. On the label, in small print, it read, "do not take with alcohol."

"Great!" Abby sighed glumly, for she remembered that he had taken his medication just before they left that evening. When she turned to go back to the living room, Abby was startled to find Jake standing directly behind her.

"Poor Abby," he said, seeing her unhappy face. "You probably wish you'd never married a bum like me."

"You're not a bum," she assured him, trying to get around Jake. He was uncomfortably close to her-- something which he never did. The young man, however, would not let her pass. "You've had a little too much to drink, and it's interacting with your medication," she explained.

"So beautiful," he breathed, reaching out to touch her face with his hand. Jake gazed intently into her eyes, this time allowing himself to linger as long as he wanted.
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