Beginning of the end
I had a day from hell and was full of dread. My in-laws were in town and I dreaded spending the evening with them. The last time they were in town they had insulted me and didn’t care. My husband always pooh-poohed their behavior. “Oh they didn’t mean it that way!” or “You took it the wrong way!” I had given up arguing with him about it. They were never wrong and I was always overreacting. (Whatever!)
I pulled into the driveway and saw one of my husband’s friend’s car sitting there. That had my radar up. Too bad I didn’t have psychic abilities. If I had I would have driven my car straight into the back-end of the car and smashed it into the house. My crystal ball was broken that day.
Instead of smashing the car, I parked in the garage and walked through the laundry room towards the kitchen. The air in the house was heavy. My husband and his friend were sitting at the kitchen table grim-faced. Panic and fear set in. I felt nauseous. This is how I felt when my parents had died. I knew that look.
“What’s going on?” I asked.
Holding a pile of papers toward me, my husband said, “You need to look at these.”
I refused to touch them. I just looked at him confused and betrayed. I knew what it was but I wanted confirmation.
“What is it?”
He looked almost ashamed as he said, “Separation papers. I want a divorce.”
I felt as if I had been slapped. I began to hyperventilate. I couldn’t breathe. But instead of sitting and trying to catch my breath, I began flinging open cabinet doors wordlessly. I turned and ran down the hall and up the stairs. I ran through the bedroom to his closet and ripped the door open. It was empty. I leaned against the wall and slid to the floor crying. Hot tears poured down my face. I sat there with my head in my hands on the floor of the closet.
I felt a hand on my shoulder. I looked up into the face of my betrayer. His face wordlessly asked for absolution. I just stared at him.
He said, “Come on. You need to get up.”
I flinched at his touch. He was a stranger to me. I did get up and walked to the dresser and began looking through it. He touched my arm again and told me to stop. That is when the fury came forth.
I spun around and asked, “Why?! Why would you do this to me?”
He quietly said, “I’m not happy.”
I think he heard the ridiculousness of his words. I looked at him and shook my head. Then I mockingly yelled, “You’re not happy? Boo-freaking-hoo! Do you think I am? But at least I tried!”
I walked to the door frame and punched it over and over until my hand was bleeding. His friend yelled from downstairs, “Y’all need to calm down!” His words infuriated me. I was being humiliated in my own home and that bastard was telling me to calm down? I marched to the top of the stairs. He was standing at the base of the stairs.
“You son of a bitch! Don’t you ever tell me what to do! Get the hell out of my house! Now!”
He stood there like a deer in the headlights. He looked up at me and then at the door. The longer he waited, the angrier I got.
“Did you not hear me? If you don’t get the hell out of my house right now I will come down there and kick your ass!”
My husband’s friend ran out the front door without looking back.
I turned to my husband and said quietly, “There went your back-up.”
My husband was telling me to calm down. I looked at him as if he had lost his mind. He pleadingly said, “We need to bandage your hand. You’re bleeding.”
I scoffed as I said, “A band-aid, huh? You just ripped my heart out but you are concerned about a little blood on my hand! That’s a joke, right?”
He knew he was on thin ice and that he was lucky that his face wasn’t the doorframe. I knocked into him as I stormed into the bathroom and ran water over my hand. I wrapped a wet wash cloth around my hand and sat on the bed with my back towards him. I couldn’t even look at him. I was hurt, angry, betrayed and overwhelmed.
He said, “I need to go.”
The word need was the catalyst for the rage that overcame me again.
“Need? No. you want to leave. Don’t hand me that bullshit. You want to run to your mama and let her know you’re finally rid of me. Go. Nobody’s stopping you.”
The gauntlet had been thrown when I brought up his mother. He started yelling at me. I can’t even remember what he said. I was just happy to have pissed him off. Finally I had enough and said, “Give me your hand.” I pulled his wedding ring off and threw it in his face and said, “Get out of my damn house, you bastard!”
As he walked away I slammed the bedroom so hard that it shook the doorframe.