She knew he was talking because she could see his lips moving, but she heard no sound. All she could hear was a buzzing in her ears. Her stomach grew weak and the room was spinning. She thought back to their early days.
He walked in through the back door. He looked like a punk with his dopey shorts and cocky confidence. She couldn’t help but watch though, there was just something about him. She already planned to say no when Erin asked her to come back to a job she hated, she only met with her because they were family. Now she thought he made the idea less revolting. She was already working at the salon and the awful bar her mom convinced her to work at. Her mom could guilt her into anything. She really didn’t have the time to commit to a third job, but she just knew he was someone she had to know. She hadn’t had a gut feeling like this in a long time. It had been even longer since she thought of dating. Her love life was nothing short of tragic. “Maybe this is a sign” she thought as she pulled out of the U-Store-It parking lot. She was scared, not the scared that she had been feeling for months before as she double checked her locks each night and always kept on guard. No, this was a nervous kind of scared. A wonderful kind of scared. She was scared that things might actually be looking up, it was a trend she wasn’t used to.
"Counseling?" she managed to ask.
"Do you think it will work?" he asked as he wiped away the tears.
He was crying. This was the first time her head stopped pounding and spinning long enough to see he was crying.
"What the fuck is happening?" she thought as his words became silent again.
Her first day back at U-Store-It, was a never ending reminder of why she hated this place. The customers were awful, the job was boring, and the uniform was anything but flattering. How was she supposed to catch his eye in industrial pants and this awful brown? No one looked good in this dried mud colored collared shirt. Second thought, he looked good in that shirt. He would probably look good in a paper bag. Her head falling off her hand and nearly smacking the register made her realize she was staring at him. "Shit, did he see me staring? Gosh, I'm such a loser"
"Hey, you're new" he said.
"Hey, you're observant" she quipped, always using sarcasm as a defense mechanism.
"Stupid, stupid, stupid!" She thought about all the other things she could have said.
"Is there someone else?" she asked as she stared at the floor.
"No, I'm just not happy, you're not happy, we're just like roommates".
Use a few more cliches, asshole.
"Fine!" she said, trying not to scream. Their youngest was just down the hall.
Just then the bus came to that awful screeching halt. Couldn't they fix the damn breaks already?
They walked to the bus together to get the kids. Not as the happy couple she imagined. He was distant, five steps behind.
"I'm taking them to my dad's so we can figure out the logistics"
As she drove the kids to her dad's, trying not to cry in front of them she thought back to that first day.
"Hey, so do you hang?" he asked.
"Oh yes I hang. Tonight, I'm hanging out in the bathrooms getting really rowdy as I bleach the toilets" she replied.
"Well what if I clean the bathrooms?" He asked
"Then I could probably hang somewhere more thrilling"
"I'm Wade" he said with a smile.
"Liza" she replied, trying to maintain her cool.
"I know!" he said as he headed towards the bathroom with the mop.
She felt like she wasn't in her body as they made the plans to end their marriage. She was floating above the room- watching. Watching 13 years wash away in an instant.
They'd give their kids normalcy through Thanksgiving, then they'll tell them. He will stay in the house until then. After the holidays they would divide up the houses, the furnishings, and the massive pile of debts. She wouldn't dare look at him as he told her how it would be. He dictated when she can tell family, how she will act, and where they will sleep.
After picking up the kids she walked into an empty house. He wasn't supposed to leave yet! She tucked the kids in and crawled to their bed- alone! The weight of the day finally hit her and she wept thinking of where the hell he could be.
Liza Kurtz (author) from Wisconsin on March 23, 2020:
Thank you. Unfortunately, there is truth in this story but despite all the pain Im still grateful for the journey
Farrah Young from Lagos, Nigeria on March 22, 2020:
Separation or divorce is always hard.
Nice story. I just hope it isn't a true story. Lol.