At first, I couldn’t believe what I was actually seeing. I wiped my glasses again to be sure I wasn’t hallucinating. I didn’t understand how this all could be possible. Just yesterday we were a normal, functional family. I don’t think I’m asleep and dreaming all this (pinched myself to be sure), nope, not sleeping. I’m wide awake and witnessing this, this, what can I call it, a miracle? Yes, I’m going to call it a miracle. Miracles happen every day! Usually, to other people, but I suppose it can happen to me.
Let me start at the beginning. We were a normal, nuclear family, husband, wife, 2 children; 1 boy and 1 girl. Pretty normal, I’d say. Can’t forget the dog and the cat! Yes, one of each, all cute as buttons.
I’d noticed that my husband had been acting strange but I passed it off merely as an “off” day for him. He’d just gotten onto the State Police, a life-long dream of his, in August of last year. The year Covid made an appearance and changed everyone’s life, not just mine. Being a rookie trooper he’d had to take assignments that no other trooper wanted. Plus, he was money hungry and wanting to clock every hour of every day he had available to make more money, HIS lion’s share.
Having him work so much made life a little more challenging as a parent. I’d needed to begin my day by, first and foremost, indulging in a good cup of coffee. I cannot face the day without a cup. That first sip just makes me say “aaah”; of course it has to be a good cup and not a bad cup. I’ve screwed up making coffee by not securing the darn lid securely on the percolator only to go pour me a cup and it’s basically just water. Ugh, start over.
Now that I’ve ingested my energy for the morning, it’s time to feed cat and dog and let them out to relieve themselves, all before getting the kids up for school or whatever the day holds. Onward, here we go.
I start for my son’s room first. He’s always been the kid that gets up and gets ready without me having to prompt him much. He’s done his homework and project the night before and is ready for the school day.
“Go ahead and get some breakfast, I’ll be right there” I say.
Secondly, I get to wake my daughter, the princess. Now, she is normally the one that hates to wake up in the morning (or anytime of day, really) and it’s truly a struggle but we finally make it and she’s now sitting at the table for breakfast.
With everyone fed and dressed and ready for the day I walk the kids to the bus stop and we wait. “Do you both have your homework assignments with you?” “yes, Mom”.
“Do you both have your lunches that I packed last night with you?” “yes, says my son”, “NO! says the princess”. “Ugh, well I’m not running back to the house for you so here’s some money for lunch, make sure you pick out something FAIRLY healthy!” “Oh, I WILL, mom!”
School bus is here. I say my goodbyes and turn to go home when I look up the street and I swear, I just saw my husband leaving the house with a box. What was he doing home? I thought he was at work.
I approach him as he’s putting the box in his trunk. He has the audacity to say to me, “I’ve decided that I’m leaving you. I’ve packed some of my stuff and I’ve written notes to both the kids. Don’t ask me any questions because I won’t have the answers you need.”
I was utterly speechless. My face had contorted into some unknown beast and I was so angry that I wanted to lash out, kick him, scratch his car, anything to release some of the anger, frustration, wonderment and hurt I was feeling.
Instead, I walked back into the house, shut the door and collapsed against the wall and bawled my eyes out. “What just happened?” I was stunned into silence. I was frozen in place and didn’t know what to do next. I knew that I had things to do around the house and I wasn’t due into work for at least an hour. I was just working a part time office job as we didn’t want to have sitters watching our kids all the time.
So, I sat there for a good 30 minutes and decided that I couldn’t do anything to change what just happened. I should just keep putting one foot in front of the other and get through the next few hours on my own. I set out to tidy up the home just a little then get myself ready for work.
Fast forward to the end of my work shift. I left the office still in a state of shock and began to drive to the kid’s school. I was running a few minutes behind and with all that happened today I was in no mood for traffic. All it’s going to do to set me off is just ONE moronic driver in my way.
Later on, after I’d retrieved the kids and started dinner for the evening, my son asks me why his daddy left. He had read the note that was left for him and I had noticed how quiet he was that afternoon. I just let it go. I figured he had to sort some stuff out in his little head first.
My daughter asked if I could read the note that was left for her. She hadn’t started reading classes yet in school so definitely needed my help. I read her the note and before I ended, she started crying. Why and HOW do kids instinctively know when something is really wrong? I tried to explain to her that her dad hadn’t left her, or her brother. He had left me. He still loved them both but he didn’t love me anymore. I don’t know if she absorbed that and understood or if she just got bored listening to me. Haha!
It’s been four days since we’ve heard anything from my husband and the kids were getting worried. So, I called his cell phone. It rang and rang and rang until, finally, he picked up. At least I thought it was him but it was a woman. I hung up because I thought I had the wrong number. Confused, I dialed his number again and he picked up on the first ring. He told me that he hadn’t heard the phone. When I asked him who the woman was he got silent. Very strange. My stomach plummeted and hit rock bottom. I felt like I was going to vomit. Somehow, I KNEW he was with HER! And, I was right. He admitted that he left me for her. He’s known her for many years and just reconnected with her at a Bike Run he was working at. (how, nice.) While I was at home making sure my family was safe, fed, loved and secure, he was with another woman. Who WAS this person I just spoke with? I didn’t recognize him at all.
Today is Saturday and my son has a T-Ball game. We hurried with our breakfasts, got the animals taken care of and the three of us got dressed and into the van, headed to the field.
Once we arrived, I saw my husband. He was standing next to a pretty red head who looked up at him with a look in her eye that I recognized. This was “HER”. Her, from the phone call. Her, the one he left me for. Oh, yay! (sarcastically) I get to meet the woman who is breaking our family up.
The kids ran to him and hugs were had all around. I could see my daughter was standoffish towards the redhead. My son was just anxious to get on the field.
I didn’t have the gumption to walk over to them and say hello, so I just stayed on the opposite side while watching the game. My daughter came with me and says to me “Mom, that’s Daddy’s girlfriend and she wants me and my brother to come spend the rest of the weekend with them. Will that be alright?”
“Um, NO! (I thought) “In what world is this okay?” (again, I thought). Ugh! I just want to go back to bed and sleep until this nightmare is over. “I supposed it’d be okay for you both to go and spend the rest of the weekend with them.” I can’t believe I even agreed to this. I wanted to lash out and hurt someone; I wanted them to hurt as much as me. Not going to happen though. It appears, that I am the ONLY one this is hurting.
As time passed and I watched what should have been MY life happening, I watched my children, still my husband and his new girlfriend live a life that was meant for me. They bought and moved into his parents old home, which should have been Him and I moving in instead.
I became the outsider. I am now observing my children growing up with another woman who is trying to be their mother. I am still so very hurt and angry that I hardly notice what is happening inside of me. My husband became another person once he became a state trooper. I barely recognize him anymore. His entire personna changed. His once calm and understanding attitude became quite harsh and judgemental towards me. I wasn’t sure how to receive this. Again, who IS this man?
I’m not exactly sure how I was able to move beyond all this but I do know that being angry had NO EFFECT whatsoever to anyone but myself. I do know, without some form of faith-driven belief system, I would have NEVER survived this treason to my heart. So, I thank my Heavenly Father for the guidance I needed to see this through. This was the miracle I needed.
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I liked this story, but I think if you do more showing, and less telling, your writing will improve. For some suggestions: Instead of listing the family members, have them arrive for breakfast one by one and have your perspective character greet them. Instead of "He’d just gotten onto the State Police, a life-long dream of his, in August of last year." you could have the husband walk into the kitchen in a police uniform, or the MC hands him his badge that he has misplaced. There's a lot of explaining set-up in this story, and not much action...