The sick feeling that had taken root in her stomach this morning, grew in intensity with every mile that took her closer to the apartment she shared with her husband. “We need to talk when you get home from work”, that was all he would say when he dropped her off at work that morning. She hadn’t been able to tolerate that, things had been a bit rough in their marriage and a bad feeling had come over her at his words. She worked double shifts, and wouldn’t be getting home until well after 3 in the morning. That was an unspeakably long time to have to wait and stew over what the upcoming conversation would entail. She would go crazy with wondering.
She had looked at him and spoken with a calm she most certainly hadn’t felt, “I will come home between shifts and we can talk then.” That hadn’t made him happy, he had tried to put her off, tried to say that it was something that should wait. She had stayed adamant, and they had finally agreed.
She almost regretted pushing the issue now, maybe she should have just left it alone until after her 18 hour shift, but she knew that wasn’t realistic. She really would drive herself mad, and more than likely be useless at work. Losing a job over something ridiculous, when they only had the one income, didn’t really appeal to her. So here she was, on her way to what felt like an ambush. She wasn’t a control freak, but didn’t lie to herself about her need for control of her own life. Her past had fostered that need, had caused her to fight for that control as though her life depended on it, and some days it felt like it did. She didn’t have control of this though, and she felt the loss of it keenly in her chest. It was making it hard for her to breath. Her breaths felt labored and shallow as she pulled into their complex. She wasn’t sure what was about to happen, and she was scared. She rounded the final corner and slowed her car, stopping a few feet from the parking spot that had been hers for over a year. She was beginning to wonder if she could handle this, maybe the not knowing was better, maybe she could just turn around and act like that mornings conversation hadn’t happened. While she was at it, maybe she could go join the circus. Get real, she told herself, you are stronger than this. Pushing down on the gas and closing the last bit of distance to her drive and then to the front door took so much effort she was beginning to see spots. When she reached for the doorknob she began to notice a loud annoying noise, she was actually surprised she could hear anything above the roaring in her ears. What was that? It sounded like someone was retching. Slowly, with her hand gripping the knob so tight her knuckles strained against her skin, she realized it was coming from her. She was hyperventilating. The stress was taking a toll, she needed to calm down. She consciously loosened her grip on the doorknob, and made a concerted effort to slow her breathing. She tried not to think about what she would find on the other side of the door, she stopped thinking altogether, she forced herself to calm down. She didn’t even know what he wanted to talk about, why was she getting so worked up??
“He wants a divorce” The evil little whispered through her head.
“Oh, shut up” she said aloud, and turned the knob. Whatever was going to happen she would face it head on. She would not cower in the dark, she was strong, and she would be okay.
She opened the door and stepped inside to find her husband sitting on their ratty old couch watching tv, their dog Rain instantly springing up to meet her at the door and show her how much he had missed her. After a flurry of wet puppy kisses and snuggles, she walked to the kitchen and laid her stuff on the counter. She knew she didn’t have much time before she had to be back in so the “talk” needed to happen pretty fast. She could tell by his posture and the way he avoided her gaze that it would be up to her to start things off. It was almost funny to her that she had to be the one to bring it up when she didn’t even know what the talk was even about. She swallowed the small hysterical giggle that had threatened to break her composure, and looked him dead in the face. Whatever happened, whatever came next, she would handle it. She was strong, she would be okay……………..To Be Continued………………..