posted by susan-oh-susan / may 22 at 2:01 am / uncategorized / 4 comments
Marcella just left, with instructions that I should write.
I must write. This really does help. You guys really do help. But even before you help… putting my thoughts down and looking at them, and going, wow, Susan is that what you’re really thinking?—that helps too.
I’m not thinking right now, I’m reeling.
Marcella can tell you. I was barely coherent. I think she knows that John came over and that Reza saw him, and that’s about it.
But what happened was—well, first of all, Tyler took off for the long weekend, again to Kelowna—“Is there a special friend in Kelowna?” I asked and he shrugged and didn’t actually answer, which I suppose means yes—and very explicitly gave me “permission” to “do whatever you want to with whoever you want to in your house while I’m gone.” Which was very sweet—and, after what happened with Cody, very needed—but also again blurred that child-parent role thing, and made me pensive.
Then John’s mother called, again, and feeling pensive and slightly… guilty? …I think, a little, guilty… I picked up the phone.
“Oh,” she said. “Susie?”
“I expected voice mail,” she said.
“Would you like me to hang up so you can call again? I won’t pick up,” I asked. Very politely.
“No! I’m so happy to finally get a hold of you. Now, listen, Susie…” she said.
But I didn’t.
I put the phone on speaker with the volume turned very low, and hummed and sung to myself and chopped and shredded things and danced around the kitchen.
“So just think about all that, Susie,” she said at one point, and I picked up the phone and sang into it, “I will, Dorothy, thank you for calling, take care,” and I hung up very quickly. Politely.
Mother-in-law—well, probably thousands and thousands of points over the years. But today, Susan scored and Susan is victorious.
So I was feeling pensive-guilty-victorious when Reza came over.
And then I was just feeling… lusty. And devoured.
And everything was glorious.
He had arranged to not work over the long weekend. So we had three days.
Three entire glorious days.
I was so happy for Femme’s clit rub.
“I think you have killed my penis,” he announced on the morning of day three. “Look at this guy. I mean, no matter what I do—he is dead.”
“Depleted,” I corrected. “Maybe he needs some food?”
“He is beyond help,” Reza sighed. “And the rest of me needs a nap.”
“You have a nap, and I’ll make some food for later,” I said. I think he was snoring by the time I kissed the tip of his nose, but, you know, he deserved it, because…
Ok, all that is still impossible to write about. He just deserved it.
So I went downstairs to cook. Fully dressed, by the way, because after the Cody incident—anyway. I was dressed. So at least that was good.
Because in the living room was John.
Orange hair and all.
And Cody was right. About the ears.
He didn’t just pierce his ears.
He was stretching his ears.
Nika has stretched ears, by the way, and I think it’s very attractive. On her? When you’re young?
Seeing it on John…
“What are you doing in my house?” I asked.
“This is our house,” he said. He looked around. “You rearranged things,” he said.
“Taking my uncle’s painting off the wall unbalanced the room,” I said.
I decided not to mention the books.
“I felt I needed a change,” I added.
I felt… powerful.
Oh-my-god, so angry.
“You look good,” he said.
“I know,” I said.
True thing: I’ve never said that to anyone, to any compliment, ever. I’ve told you before—I’m not a supermodel. And I’m kind of lumpy. But I’m also cute. And I had just spent three days making a gorgeous man… anyway. I was wearing yoga pants and a crumpled T-shirt without a bra underneath, and my hair was a mess and I wasn’t wearing any make-up, and I was sure I was gorgeous.
“That’s not like you, Susan,” John said.
“What?” I asked.
“To brag,” he said.
The tension in the room, and my anger, escalated.
Which is why what happened next makes absolutely no sense.
Except, I guess he felt it?
My anger? The tension?
“I’m sorry,” he said. “I don’t know why I said that.”
“That’s not like you, John,” I said. “To apologize.”
“Ouch, Susan,” he said. “But I suppose I deserve that.”
He sat down on the couch. Our couch. I looked at it, and very carefully and determinedly thought about how six hours ago, I was having sex with Reza on that couch.
I might have blushed.
“Why are you here, John?” I asked.
Stayed standing, by the way.
He spread himself on the couch. Maybe this is the way of small men. But Cody doesn’t do it. Maybe it’s just a John thing. He always seems to work to take up as much space as possible.
“I got the papers from your lawyer,” he said. “And I realized… Susan, we haven’t really talked. Since December.”
We haven’t really talked for a decade. Maybe even two. Did we ever have real conversations?
(See how hard it is to remember the good times when love is gone?)
“Do you not remember what today is?” he said.
No. It had been a really good day until just now, I thought. I glowered.
“It’s our anniversary,” he said. “Our wedding anniversary. It’s twenty-three years.”
I felt hot. Then cold.
“Susan, is this what you really want?” he asked.
I just stood there.
“We had a good life,” he said. “We have this beautiful house. Two great kids. Everyone loves Tyler at work, you know.”
I looked at his orange hair and his stretching ears. I wondered where the tattoo that Cody had mentioned was.
I wondered why he was here.
“If you hadn’t happened to look at my iPad that day,” he said, “we would still be living here, in this beautiful house, together. A stable family for our beautiful children.”
I thought—is he going to apologize?
“Susan?” he said. “Why don’t you sit down?”
I did. On the arm chair far away from him.
Why did I sit down?
I didn’t want to.
“Susan,” he said, and he moved from the couch to perch on the arm of my arm chair, “do you want to be a middle-aged divorced woman?”
“I don’t know,” I choked out. “Do you want to be a middle-aged divorced man?”
“Susan,” he said, “imagine you had never looked at that iPad. Imagine I had just come home that day, and everything had gone the way it always does, and…”
…and I imagined.
And as I write it down now, and as I see what the fuck—FUCK! yes, I AM SWEARING!—he actually said, I feel like an utter and total moron, because, I see, I see—there is no apology. There is no contrition. There is no taking fucking responsibility. There isn’t even a, “Susan, I made a mistake,” “Susan, it was a fling,” “Susan, I don’t know what I was thinking!”—there isn’t a single hint of “I’m sorry.” What did he ask me to do?
“Susan, imagine if you didn’t look at that iPad. If you didn’t know.”
And I imagined—a Christmas that didn’t suck. And all of us, all four of us—five, with Nika—going somewhere for New Year’s Eve, and champagne. And I imagined all four of us at Tyler’s birthday. And not being alone on Valentine’s Day. And not stressing about the lawyer. Or second-guessing whether I should use our visa or my new MasterCard. I imagined all the things he wanted me to imagine.
And I… I guess I softened.
And he saw it.
And from his perch on the armchair, he leaned in and took me in his arms and kissed me.
Breaking the spell immediately.
Because… it was a passionless kiss and I imagined twenty more years of those obligatory, passionless kisses. Twenty more years of ironing his shirts and, “Susan, what will people think?” because I wanted to have vegetables and not grass in the front garden and… and twenty more years of never hearing “Susan, I’m sorry, I fucked up, Susan, I love you madly, forgive me…”
Twenty more years of… John.
I did not want John.
I was free.
I was done.
It was over.
And I pulled away, free, and looked up… and saw Reza.
Standing in the arch of the living room, shirtless but in his jeans, and taking a step back already.
And his face…
I stared at him in panic. Closed my eyes.
When I opened them, he had disappeared, and John was making plans for our future together.
“Excuse me?” I said.
“Well, I’ll pack up over this week and move back in next weekend,” he said. “I’m sure Jewel will give me the week. She won’t be happy—she might be caught off-guard by my decision. But she will have to be reasonable…”
“You’re not moving back in,” I said.
“It’s a good thing that you didn’t actually break up with Jewel before coming to me,” I said. “That was wise. Or did you? Or did you come back to me because she dumped you? Or do you feel that coming, maybe she’s getting bored of you, and so you thought you’d…”
“Susan, this really isn’t like you,” he said.
“This is me,” I said. “And this is me telling you to get the hell out of my house.”
“On our anniversary?” he said. And I realized—OMFG, he is trying to make it sound like it’s my fault.
“On our anniversary,” I said. “Go.”
And he left.
And I collapsed.
Oh, and I’m about to collapse again.
I’m sorry. I’ll finish tomorrow.
4 comments on All John’s fault:
FemmeFataleFun: Ok, I don’t get it. What’s with the drama, girlfriend? I was fucking terrified you were going to end up back together with the asshat. That he had hypnotized you, and… but no. He came. He tried. You—you said it, you broke free. The spell got broken? What with the drama?
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