I held my hand near the flimsy support as the printer ejected the note I’d just printed. I quickly scanned it, not much more than half a page. I shook my head, six years of marriage, ended on half a sheet of paper, unbelievable.
I carried the note into the kitchen and placed it on the table on top of her half of our large wedding photo. I had always liked that photo. It perfectly captured the love and devotion we shared as we were just beginning our new life together. Now it was torn in half, the smiling faces separated by a jagged edge.
I sighed and placed my wedding ring on top of the note, then I picked up my keys and walked out the door. I climbed into my old pickup and headed west. Eight hundred miles away, an old friend waited. He has a spare room and said his boss is hiring. It is a new beginning, I never even glanced at the rearview mirror as I drove away.
Late Sunday evening a tired and slightly worried Linda called my name as she dragged her case through the front door. For a moment she wondered why the apartment was dark. She flipped on a light and walked back to the bedroom, calling my name again.
As she dumped her clothes into the hamper she smiled as she saw her lingerie tumble out. “Next time I wear that, it will be my husband who peels it off my horny body,” she thought.
Her weekend had been a disappointment. The boss was a selfish lover, not at all like her husband. The excitement of going off with another man had carried her through their first coupling, but then the excitement faded and she was left unsatisfied.
“No worries, I’m sure my loving husband will rock my world when he reclaims me,” she thought, as she wandered back into the kitchen. She poured herself a glass of wine and then spotted the paper on the table.
A cold wave of fear washed over her when she saw the gold band lying on the paper. She picked up the ring and gripped it hard in her trembling hand. She gasped out loud when she lifted the note and saw the torn wedding photo. She flopped into a chair and read the note.
I didn’t want to believe you’d really do it. When you said you needed a weekend away with your boss to “explore your true feelings,” I laughed. I mean, why wouldn’t I? How could my loving wife NOT have been joking when she said such a thing?
It was utterly ridiculous and you damn well knew it. You couldn’t even maintain eye contact as you spewed that bullshit. Still, I should not have laughed and I promise you, I’m not laughing now.
You promised you would come back to me and everything would be “just as it was” before you left. … Well, thanks for the warning. Before you left, your delusional brain allowed you to decide it would be okay to spend a weekend fucking your boss and I would just accept it. … So, no thanks, I don’t want any part of “just as it was.”
You chose to destroy our marriage and discard the dreams we shared. Those three kids you wished for, the cozy house with the white picket fence, the loyal family dog lying at our feet as we sat rocking on the front porch, all of that, is now just a fairy tale. It will never happen.
I have taken everything I wanted, the rest is yours. The rent is paid through the end of next month when our lease expires. I informed the landlord I would not be renewing it. I took half of our meager savings and closed our other joint accounts.
I plan to relocate several states away. Once established, I will contact a lawyer and file for divorce. Of course, you can file anytime if you so choose, I don’t care.
I hope you enjoyed your weekend with your boss. I’m guessing you’ll get to spend a lot of time with him once his wife reads the email I sent her. I also emailed your sister and your mother because I wanted them to know why I left town.
I have no interest in hearing your excuses for what you did, so you will never see me again. I hope that eventually, I will forget you ever existed.
Linda dropped her head to the table and sobbed. Moments later her phone rang and her older sister’s photo appeared. Linda raised the phone and was about to speak when her sister cut her off.