This ain’t your home…

We bought that house together months before our wedding but it was never really mine. In his mind, he did all the work so he became the sole owner and he made that clear. I didn’t care. In the end, I just walked away from it all and threw everyone into a state of confusion. Who walks away like that unless there’s another man?

I do.

I tried to be like them and, in conforming, I began to drown. In the end, I went back to get my things. I left half of everything – half of the towels, half the dishes, half the sheets, I left the bed, I took the couch, and I left the house. It was never mine. I cleaned it. I cooked his dinner in it. I tried to be his wife in it. I wanted to die in it.

One night I went back to pick up my cat. His new girlfriend, the Bud Girl from Vegas, was allergic. The dog was off limits though, because she liked Jack. He’d left her picture at my sister’s house. Had he planted it there as if accidentally, so that I’d see his new girlfriend? She was cute. She wore her Bud Girl uniform proudly and stood beaming next to a hairy overweight and heavily bearded biker. I think his planted photo scheme bombed. I simultaneously thought it was funny, sad and desperate.

The night I picked up my cat, I stood in the living room and he moved closer to me, trying to pull me into an embrace that I didn’t want when the telephone began to ring. My telephone number, my telephone, my answering machine. “Hi, Baby it’s me…” my eyebrows rose as I spun back to look at his face. I stared at the person who had been accusing me of cheating for a month and a half. I glared at the person who threatened to change the locks on our house before we were divorced because his father told him to – the person who was just trying to pull me into an embrace. I moved to pick up my telephone and say hello. “Wait!” he pleaded, “Don’t.” My hand hovered over the cradled telephone as I weighed the importance of picking it up. What did she know about me? Did she know I hadn’t even moved out yet? That we weren’t divorced? Did she know that he was trying to sleep with me while I picked up the cat? Did I really care enough to tell her?

 No.

I took a step back and listened to the disembodied voice calling my husband ‘Baby’. I looked around the room that I hated and my eyes finally came to rest on him. He had no idea what to do. Was he waiting for me to confront him? Was he waiting for me to retaliate after the accusations that I’d cheated? Did he need me to explain again that sometimes people leave because they’re drowning? Should I scream that I’d slept in my car because of him? That my own family stepped away from me because of my alleged cheating?

 No.

I stepped away from the telephone and picked up the crate holding Rosie. He reached for me again as she hung up, trying to pull me closer but I resisted. “I’ll be here with the moving truck in two weeks.”

She moved in a month later. I moved to Greenwich and a house full of single girls.

Comments

  1. Sandi A. Braymer says:

    OMG, Kelli…..this is GREAT!!!!!

  2. Wow.
    Just…wow.
    Your stories, your very true stories, always give me the chills.
    What a douche.

    • Life lessons…

    • I know, I know! Dweej hit the nail on the head about you. (And about him, too. Egh.) I seriously get the chills, every time!

      Your energy zips like an electric current through your written words, and then down my spine as I read them. Truly incredible!

      Thank you for being willing to put this out there. Believe it or not, it was like reading one of my very own past stories. And he is still married to her (by none of his own merit, let me tell you) to this day… poor her.

      • Wow! Thank you so much, Eden! I’m truly flattered. I keep meaning to pop over and say hello. I saw your comment at The Lightening and The Lightening Bug. If you still need help linking up, let me know.

  3. I’m with Dweej but make that a double-douche.

    You walked away with far more than just “half”…you took your self-respect too. That’s more than the doucher will ever have.

    • Technically, I walked with less than 1/4… I got the living room furniture and the cat. He and his Bud Girl got the house, my dog and everything else. But you’re right, Patty. I walked away with my dignity and some self-respect and for that, I’m proud.

  4. Ever see or read ‘Starship Troopers’?

    Pretty much every time I read something you post, I have the news refrain from that movie, “Would you like to know more?” coursing through my brain. You are that good. Plus, Neil Patrick Harris was in that movie. He’s pretty good looking.

    You suited up. And now, your life is so awesome, innit?

    • It sounds familiar, but I have retention issues… nevertheless, I’m more thanslightly thrilled that you’re left wanting to know more. I put my super-suit on and life is awesome! Do you like how I used the word “awesome”? A bit of a hommage to your fellow (temporary) countrymen.

  5. Fascinating. I’m so glad you got out of that terrible situation. Yikes!

  6. I hate him, but I probably shouldn’t waste the energy on it. As your friend though, I hate him and wish I had known you then so that I could have supported you and stood by you when you needed it most. Sometimes family pulls away when it’s the last thing they need to do.

    You’re the type of woman I’d like to be someday. Strong beyond belief. Good for you. And thanks as always for sharing your words and stories.

  7. This was wonderfully written and really drew me in. I can only hope that in that situation I would have the courage to act as you did, and be able to describe it just as poignantly afterward. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Compelling. Glad I took the time to read your piece. Spent the beginning trying to determine if it was true…which is exactly why it was compelling.

    Visiting from RDC

  9. Your restraint in that situation was awe inspiring. I’m so glad I stopped by to read.

  10. I love the first paragraph the best!!! And I’m voting for you especially because you said if you like it then you better put a click on it!! LOL

  11. Some people leave because they’re drowning. You left half of everything in the house you wanted to die in.

    Girl, I understand this one. I have some memories just like that.

    Bravely written, thank you for opening a vein and allowing us into this part of your story.

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