You can’t walk by a single store without some grotesque pink and red tribute to the vilest holiday ever to be spewed from the festering underbelly of hell. Worse yet, you get to see happy couples frolicking about blissfully unaware that they are making people ill with their toxic cuteness. I’m sure that’s what people must feel when they see Bill with his whore. God knows, it makes me want to retch every time.
Like me, Bill was never big on holidays. I never received so much as a card on Valentine’s Day. Not that it bothered me, mind you. We had plenty of ways of expressing our love without overpriced flowers, crappy chocolates oozing with unidentifiable fillings, and sappy Hallmark cards. Love doesn’t come from a store. All that mattered was that we were happy. Or at least I thought we were.
Then it happened: February Fourteenth. It turned out to be our tenth and final Valentine’s Day as man and wife. Now, I wasn’t in the habit of poking around in his things but when the neatly folded piece of paper happened to fall out of his pants as I was putting them in the wash, I just had to peek. What I read left me so enraged that I seriously contemplated taking out my Daddy’s old hunting knife and removing his twig and berries. After much thought (about prison life) I settled for confronting him with the damn letter instead and toyed with the idea of shoving it down his gullet.
Although he refused to tell me how long he’d been seeing that “woman” or why he would decimate our lives together just so he could go sniffing around the crotch of the office tramp, he admitted to being in love with her. Imagine that. He fell in love with a skank whose idea of class is wearing press-on nails the same color as her cheap shoes. It wasn’t until he started throwing his work clothes into a plastic bag that I was suddenly jolted into panic mode.
You know all the stuff they tell you not to do in these situations? Well, I did them all. I fell to my knees and clung to his pant leg so tightly that my fingers hurt. I pleaded with him not to abandon me in barely audible mumbles between sobs of hysteria. When he failed to even attempt to comfort me after awhile, I bubbled over with righteous anger. It was a rampage that was worthy of Godzilla. I hurled every curse word I could think of at him and a few lamps too. Not to mention the remote control, our wedding album, his favorite mug and a curling iron. He still has a slightly noticeable scar on his upper right forehead to remember me by. Lucky bastard; how I wish I got away with such little scarring.
I don’t understand how he could just leave a person behind and be completely unconcerned with their fate but other than the short duration of our divorce negotiations, he hasn’t bothered to contact me at all. It’s like I never even existed to him. How do you get over being cast aside like an old plaything headed for the dumpster? Yet, out of everything that’s happened, I think it bothers me the most that he’s still with that home wrecker.
Oh, my friends and family are always telling me that I need to move on. I’ve tried and I can’t. I simply can’t stop obsessing over what she’s done to me. What that conniving succubus has done to my life. She sleeps in my old bed, with my ex husband, in what used to be my home. They go out to eat at all the same places that we did and enjoy all the same activities. He even celebrates Valentine’s Day now, can you believe it? That man, who was once too cheap to buy me a single red rose when we were out on a date, dotes on her as though she’s some almighty queen. Yeah she’s a queen alright; the majestic queen of the whores!
You may be asking how I would even know all these intimate details about their relationship. Let’s just say that I have a whole lot of free time on my hands now that I am unemployed. I know you might be thinking that I sound like a stalker but I like to think of myself as a private eye. You have no right to judge me unless you know what it’s like to be neatly extracted from your own life and replaced by another. Besides, it’s not like I break any laws. At least I haven’t yet.
There’s no law against learning to lip read. It’s certainly not my fault that I can easily see into my old home from the park across the street with a pair of binoculars. If they wanted privacy they would learn to close the blinds. Plus I have an old friend from the office picking up juicy tidbits for me here and there when she can. Thank God for cubicles! All in all, I keep myself pretty busy these days.
The ultimate slap in the face came when I discovered she was pregnant. The whole time we were together, he told me he never wanted children. He even talked me into getting an abortion once. My son would have been eight this March. I can picture him so vividly in my mind. He’d be tall with his Daddy’s thick sun kissed hair and soulful brown eyes. He’d have my freckles; the ones that faded as I grew into a woman.
If I close my eyes I can visualize the three of us goofing around in our over sized backyard; our son wrestling with his father while the family dog watches impatiently for the opportunity to join in the fun. I would ambush my husband, tickling him without mercy in all his most vulnerable areas and he would chase me clear across the yard. He’d catch me, pull me in for a quick kiss and envelop me in a hug. I swear I could live off of his hugs. I have never felt more safe or loved than when I was in his arms.
All I have left are my daydreams. His arms belong to another now and the window of opportunity for me to have a family has passed. I gave up my dreams of motherhood for him and that creature from the Black Lagoon is now ripe with the child that should have been mine. He’s been carrying on like he’s father of the year ever since he knocked her up! What was wrong with our son? Why did I ever allow that man to convince me it was for the best? It was the best for him. It’s always been about him. He’s such a selfish prick.
I got an email from that office friend of mine yesterday. She overheard him making reservations for Valentine’s Day. The kicker is, it’s at the same restaurant where he asked me to be his bride. Can I not have just one memory that is mine alone? Can’t they leave me just one memory of my marriage that isn’t tainted?
People used to tell me that bad people would get theirs in the end when I was younger. I wish it were true, but the longer I await the Karma Bus to run them down, the more I realize that sometimes you have to give justice a little nudge. The truth is, I can’t remember what happiness or joy feels like. Why should they get to be happy at my expense? Why do they get to suck my life essence dry like a pair of overgrown mosquitoes? Everything in my life, everything I’ve ever wanted, was pried from me and given away without my consent. It’s time I do the same to him. He needs to know what real loss feels like.
So here it is, quarter past six. I have to get ready to go soon. I have the dress all picked out. It was Bill’s favorite. I’m going to make sure I look my absolute best for this last special occasion. I’m going to go to that restaurant and do what I should have done in the first place. She thinks she’s won but she hasn’t. She’ll find that out tonight.
You see, I am no longer afraid of what awaits me in jail. Prison can’t be any worse than the endless nightmare that has become my existence. At least tomorrow I’ll be able to wake up and revel in the knowledge that his child is as dead as mine and his life every bit as destroyed. Live and let live doesn’t apply to cockroaches, and that’s exactly what they are. I am going to squash them good.
The above is not based on real events and is a purely fictional character driven monologue. Hope you guys enjoyed my special short story tribute to Valentine’s Day, Misanthropic Muse style! Comments, critiques, chocolates from Belgium, all are welcome!