Simple Summaries

I Don't Believe This

Merrill Joan Gerber

Simple Summary by Sarah Frank

• Carol = sister

• “The article said that the crematorium to which her husband s body had been entrusted for cremation had been burning six bodies at a time and dumping most of the bone and ash into plastic garbage bags, which went directly into their dumpsters. A disgruntled employee had tattled.”

o Carol says “try to think of what he was feeling when he gulped in that stinking exhaust. What could he nave been thinking? I know he was blaming me." about Bard, who we are assuming is dead

• *time jump*

• “Bard had not believed me when I'd told him that my sister was in a shelter for battered women. Afraid of him? Running away from him?”

o Women cannot be contacted while in the shelter

• Bard is annoyed he cannot contact her and says “Goodbye, this is it!”

• Narrator’s husband says “"He calls every day and says he's killing himself and he never does. Why should this call be any different?"”

• Narrator tells Carol he called and that Carol should NOT call him back

• Carol calls Bard anyway to say to stop bothering the narrator, but Bard demanded to know if Carol still loves him

o Carol says no, hangs up, feels badly, then calls again and finds out he is gone

• Carol and narrator were abused by their father

• One time, Bard said he was going to try to find his kids but Carol wanted to protect them from him

• Another time, Bard got busted by the cops for messing up public property and asked the narrator to bail him out

• Bard wrote a card to Carol “"I have been a brute and I don't deserve you. But 1 can't live without you and the boys. Don't take that away from me. Try to forgive me."”

• “As long as he lived he would search for her, and if she hid, he would plague me. He had once said to her (she told me this), "You love your family? You want them alive? Then you'd better do as I say."

• Husband got an anti-Bard restraining order

• Bard keeps calling o “Let her come to see me without bodyguards! What can happen? The worst I could do is kill her, and how bad could that be, compared with what we're going through now?"”

• Carol moved across the street and they developed signals

• Bard committed suicide via “his car’s exhaust through a vacuum-cleaner hose”

• Carol says that her kids aren’t thinking of Bard