I lay in bed staring at the ceiling, listening as the love of my life packed up everything possible. I should have expected this, should have seen this coming after recognizing the signs and the changes. Still, the fact that I’m being left for someone else; someone younger, someone better looking… it hurts so much.
I can’t help but think that I should have beat them to the punch. Should have done my own experimenting and exploring, should have taken my own two weeks out of the country to ‘find myself’, should have done any and everything to be the one causing pain instead of feeling it.
For better or for worse, for richer, for poor. In sickness and in health, ‘til death do us part.
Ha, more like ‘til I find someone willing to accept bullshit without speaking up or questioning things.
I was everything anyone could have wanted.
Quiet, supportive, gentle, respectful, honest, appreciative… Would have done anything in this world for my love, … would have given my last, taken my last breath just for her.
“James, please, just whatever you do… don’t cry. That’s so unbecoming of a man.”
I sat up, resting on my elbows. “Unbecoming? Just as unbecoming of a woman leaving her husband and kids for a stranger she just met two weeks ago, right? You know, I did everything for you, Sloan.” She took a deep breath, resting her hand on her hips as she looked at me. “If it weren’t for me, you’d still be living under your mother’s control. If it weren’t for me, that tiny ass business of yours wouldn’t have gotten off the ground, wouldn’t have expanded, and wouldn’t be one of the top businesses in the nation today. Thirteen years I’ve spent, sitting and working behind the scenes, building you up while taking little to no credit. Day in and day out, taking the brunt of your frustration, working my ass off to make sure you were comfortable and happy. I loved you wholeheartedly, with everything in me, but it never mattered to you. You loved yourself enough to be content without my love. Selfish.”
“Oh grow up! Be a man! I’m leaving you, and you’re going to deal with it.”
I nodded, lying back as I cleared my throat. “You’re right, I am going to deal with it. And no, I’m not going to cry. You’re not worth a single tear, and if I could stop my children from feeling bad and crying for the fact that they’re losing their mother, I would. You don’t deserve their tears, you don’t deserve them, their affections, or to be missed by them.”
“I didn’t stutter Sloan. Go ahead and finish packing your bags. Have all the fun in the world in your new life with your little friend. But please understand that when you return; there will be divorce papers, alimony and child support petitions, and I am seeking full custody.”
I could hear an audible gasp, and I just know her jaw dropped. And before she could start bitching and complaining, I grabbed my phone and headphones, turning on one of my favorite Latimore blues albums as I zoned out.
Sure as I said I wasn’t going to cry, but I couldn’t help it. They weren’t for my soon-to-be ex-wife though. Just for all we’d lost, for my kids and the pain they’d have to go through. I was strong enough to handle everything else. I’ve been lonely for the majority of this marriage anyway, more than half of it, been doing things on my own for quite some time too. I can handle the stares, the gossip and anything else that has to come from our family.
Thoughts of me being the one to leave first, at the very first sign of her stepping out replayed over and over. Sad how she could leave like it’s nothing after two weeks, and I’m still struggling even though I know it’s over.
It’s unfair, but that’s life.