‘What are you up to today?’
It was Tuesday. And Tuesday was vacuum day. And bathroom cleaning day. And laundry day. That meant that he had to leave.
‘I don’t know. Why?’ Annoyance.
‘Because I want to clean. I can’t clean if you’re here!’ More annoyance. Coming from me this time.
The past fifteen years I had asked George the same question every single day, and he knew that ‘what are you up to today?’ was synonym for ‘I need you to not be here.’ Getting George out of the house had gotten a lot harder since he retired.
Sometimes I felt guilty about it. About my routine. About my questions and the fights that started to occur daily years ago and are now so integrated in our lives. It wasn’t fair.
I’m fifty and I’m too old to deal with this. It’s a thought I’ve had daily for the past ten years but have never said out loud.
‘I want to get a divorce.’
My voice doesn’t sound like it belongs to my body, but it does. George, about to grab his coat, freezes and then lets both his arms fall to his sides.
‘I thought you would never say that.’ A trace of sadness. But also relief.
‘I’ll get the papers on my way back home.’ he says walking towards the door. ‘We’ll go over them tonight.’
He shuts the door before I have the chance to say anything. I’ll need to do the laundry some other time.
Photo taken by Charles L. (Via Unsplash.com)