As Husband and I walked into our house together tears ran down his face and mine. We had to get stuff. His stuff, our stuff, stuff. Just personal belongings I guess, like clothes and papers that were left behind; tools thrown around in the garage. All that was left was junk really and some old sweats.
Husband ascended into the attic while I stayed in the guest room below. He was grabbing old tax returns and furniture that he would take to Mexico one day. When he came down there were tears streaming down his face and dust in his hair.
“I’m sorry. You don’t deserve this. I feel like shit…I just wanted you to know that I appreciated you and the kids,” he began.
I cut him off angry and hurt, “You never appreciated us. If you had, this never would have happened. We wouldn’t be in this situation.”
“What if I just stay downstairs and see if we can work this out? I could sleep on the couch,” he replied.
“I don’t think that’s a good idea,” I said.
He nodded and continued stuffing random junk into boxes. I saw him pack the printer, a hammock, and some old shoes and a fan. They did not fit neatly into the box that surrounded them. Nothing was neat in my life anymore. It was all messy like the boxes in front of me.
Husband started sobbing. He was crying hard and covering his face. He was breathing in and out heavily and wetness was everywhere. He hugged me and I found myself hugging him back even though I was so hurt and angry.
“You never loved me,” I said. “If you truly loved me, then you would not have done this.”
“That’s not true. I love you. I do,” he said as he held me tight.
I pushed away and turned my back on him. My heart ached and it hurt to be near him. I didn’t want him to stay and I didn’t want him to go. I didn’t want to be with or without him. The pain was unbearable.
The next day…
The building stood tall and black before me, and I realized I was just an ant in a massive world and I could be squashed in a moment. I walked up the steps and went through a maze of travertine tile and chrome until I found the office I was looking for; not just any office, my lawyer’s office.
My dad was at my side so I would not be alone. He was a lawyer too, but not a divorce attorney. I sat on one said with my dad and the lawyer was on the other. The table was long and dark, and there were chairs on either side which were empty. The room smelled of strong coffee and cleaning solution. I looked down at the mess of documents before me.
The lawyer asked me every question under the sun. He left no aspect of my life unaccounted for. We looked at kids, property, assets, stocks, and we had to talk through a parenting plan. Legal. Sterile. Clean.
I knew Husband would not fight me for anything material. It was actually quite clean. He would keep the condo we rented out and the beach house we were building in Mexico. I would keep the house in the suburbs. Husband just wanted to make sure he would see the boys.
Husband and I were comfortable, and not stressed about money, but we honestly didn’t have tons of cash to fight over. We had a savings account in case we needed it, and we worked hard to have the security. It was just all so meaningless without a family intact.
“Are you sure this is all you have?” asked the lawyer. “I thought your husband worked all the time.”
“Well, he was working or f*ing Rachel,” I responded.
I was drained, exhausted, and could not think straight by the time I walked out of the clear glass doors of the conference room. I saw my life flash before me in an instant with the little I had shoved in the bag at my side. Only one week had passed since I found out about the affair.