posted by susan-oh-susan / march 1 at 11:30 pm / uncategorized / 5 comments / TOC of Susan’s published posts
Alone, alone, alone.
If John had texted me—called me—in those first few days after the kids left, I would have taken him back, no conditions, no recriminations.
I’m still not sure how it was that I didn’t text him. Begged him to come back.
I wanted to.
And each time I wanted to… I’d light another cigarette.
Pace around the house like a madwoman.
Text Nika back and lie.
She was so good, checking in with me every day.
Nike: “Hey, Mama Susan, checking in. How are you holding up?”
Text Marcella and whine.
Me: “I hate him!”
Marcella: “You should. He is a dickweed.”
Because surely… any day now… he would text me. Call me. Show up on the doorstep. Beg my forgiveness. Right?
When the text finally came…
“Jewel and I are coming to the house on Sunday afternoon to pack up the rest of my things. We will be there at noon. Jewel doesn’t mind meeting you, but I prefer that you are not at home.”
I thought: He left me for someone named Jewel?
What is she?
A porn star?
(Well, she couldn’t be. I did mention—those breasts? Not that great? But, seriously, Jewel? What sort of name is Jewel?)
(Honestly, my apologies to anyone really named Jewel. I’m sure if her name had been Susan, I’d be all like, “Worst name ever!”)
(By the way, Susan is a horrible, boring name. I hate it.)
When I texted Marcella, I was completely and utterly psychotic. She was at my house in about seven minutes. With a bottle of tequila and a bag of limes.
We drank so much that when I think about that night, I can still taste my own vomit.
Marcella wanted to change the locks on the house, put all of John’s stuff into garbage bags, and leave them on the front porch.
We compromised by calling a lawyer.
“This is how women get screwed,” she said. “He comes in. Takes all the stuff. You don’t know what he took that’s valuable.”
“I don’t want to think about any of that,” I said.
“I know,” she said. “That’s why I’m here.”
She dragged me to the lawyer’s appointment. I sat there, stupid, while they made plans to “protect my interests.” I understood none of it.
I wanted to go back to the couch. And smoke.
A text from John, on Sunday, while I sat in Marcella’s kitchen. Fingers twitching and needing a cigarette.
“I can’t believe you didn’t trust me alone in the house, Susan. What did you think I was going to do?”
“I don’t know,” I texted back. “You’re right. There’s absolutely no reason why I shouldn’t trust you.”
I didn’t add, “You cheating jerk.”
But I wanted to.
Then I cried.
Then I wanted to say—“It was Marcella’s idea! Of course I trust you!”
Except, well, I didn’t. How could I?
But if it hadn’t been for Marcella…
He didn’t take much more than his clothes. Some books—including the set of these beautifully bound Sir Walter Scott novels we had bought, together and for each other, as a joint fifth anniversary present.
The lawyer kept a list of everything—clothes and books.
The painting, a wedding gift from one of my uncles, was apparently worth $25,000, she said.
“See?” Marcella said. “This is why you get a lawyer.”
I just cried some more.
Oh-my-god. I am so pathetic.
This is so pathetic.
Right now—in this moment? Writing about all this stuff? Remembering that moment? The thing I want to do more than anything is text the cheating jerk and say, “John. Honey. Let’s talk.”
And he will come over. And we will talk. And he will forgive me.
Oh-my-god. What did I just write down. He will forgive me?
Forgive me for what?
Forgive me for cheating on me?
How is any of this my fault?
5 comments on Alone, alone, alone:
sugar&spice76: Honey, you know none of this is your fault, right? He cheated.
susan-oh-susan: But it takes two, doesn’t it? If he had been happy… if we had been happy… he wouldn’t have.
BeautifulThingsEveryday: I am skipping salsa class and coming over right after work to slap your face. Repeatedly. Women’s capacity for taking on guilt is fucking amazing. Susan! Snap out of it! Cheating rat-fuck bastard, and he didn’t explain—apologize—or, fuck, even fight to stay in the house! None of this is your fault!
susan-oh-susan: I think at least some of this is my fault. 😦
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