posted by susan-oh-susan / february 22 at 10:45 am / uncategorized / 6 comments
My plan of pretending nothing happened, I knew nothing, I had to do nothing—except “my life was over oh-my-god”—was going really well until Cody—that’s my eldest son—arrived with his girlfriend, the morning of Christmas Eve.
Cody and Tyler are—they’re both awesome kids, great boys. But they’re so different. Tyler is this giant of a man. Looked like a footballer player in the making since he was two. And Cody is—he gets offended when I call him tiny, but he’s small-boned and half a foot shorter than his brother, built like a jockey, you know? These delicate, fine hands… compared to Tyler’s massive fists… Anyway. So different. Tyler’s never had a girlfriend. Cody’s been bringing home a girl a week since he was twelve.
The latest one, he introduced as Veronica. “Call me Nika,” she said immediately, and slid right into my arms into the kind of hug Marcella and I share, but one I’ve never given one of my son’s girlfriends… or any stranger. She was—is—ridiculously beautiful, Nika. Cody had told me she was half-Polish, half-Chinese, but the only word for her was gorgeous. As small-boned as Cody—she looked tiny next to him, actually, which was maybe part of the appeal?
Anyway. Gorgeous. Affectionate.
And what happened was—ok, so I had found out about the cheating texts four or five days earlier, and I hadn’t told anyone, I hadn’t told John I knew, I hadn’t told Marcella, no one—and so what happened was, Nika hugged me, and I looked at her, and she was this beautiful, tiny, fragile thing standing beside my husband’s son, and god, I loved—I love—Cody so much, but he’s a tomcat, a slut, he’s totally going to break her heart, these thoughts went shooting through me, and I burst into tears.
Giant, ridiculous, blubbery tears.
“Jesus, Mom, what’s wrong?” Cody said, I think, but Nika just moved back into my arms and hugged me and hugged me and hugged me.
The next thing I remember, I was in bed, and she was perched beside me, with a cup of green tea and a pot of honey.
And I was telling her everything.
Which, admittedly, wasn’t much.
iPad. Texts. My husband is cheating on me and my life is over.
“You need to tell him that you know,” she said.
“I’m going to ruin Christmas!” I wailed.
“I think you’re going to ruin Christmas anyway if you don’t tell him,” she said.
“The boys will hate me,” I sobbed.
“Because their father cheated on you?” Nika demanded.
“Because I’m going to ruin Christmas!”
“I doubt it,” she said. And made me drink the tea.
Gave me half a dozen tissues.
I decided that if Cody didn’t marry her, I’d never forgive him, and I said so.
“We’ve only been dating two months, Mama Susan,” she said. “But thank you. I’ll remind you of this moment if we do get married and you become a jealous harridan of a mother-in-law.”
She kissed me on both cheeks before she left me in the bedroom, gently closing the door behind her.
When she left, I cried some more.
And then I texted Marcella.
6 comments on This one is about trying not to ruin Christmas, and meeting Nika:
BeautifulThingsEveryday: I know, hey? I’m still pissed she didn’t tell me for four fucking days.
susan-oh-susan: I wasn’t thinking clearly. I wasn’t thinking at all. You know this.
BeautifulThingsEveryday: I know. But I’m still pissed.
sugar&spice76: So what happens next? I mean, do you tell the kids? Do you tell your husband that you know?
susan-oh-susan: I ruin Christmas.
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