Donavon came to the house the next day. Although the encounter was awkward, we were both surprisingly calm. Donavon packed up as much of his things that he could safely fit into the saddle bags of his motorcycle and made rough plans to be back sometime later in the week for the rest of his things. We did not argue, or fight because of the children. He tried to apologize to me again, but I turned and walked away from him. I did not want to listen to his excuses, the lies, but most importantly I did not want him to sway me from my decision. The visit was brief, and I was left feeling numb. Perhaps I was in shock, but I felt numb.
I thought I would cry as he fired up his Harley. I was watching the man that I had married, went to war with, had children with, and gave up my dreams for ride off as if he did not have a care in the world. Maybe the tears would come later, but for now I was grateful that I was numb.
Kendra, a friend that I had made through working here in Oregon came by to check on me after Donavon had left. She asked me how everything went. I told her that it was calm, that he packed up some of his stuff and to my knowledge was going to be staying with his Aunt. My voice sounded robotic even to my own ears. Perhaps I was in shock. Who wouldn’t be after their world falls apart? She hugged me close, and tried to comfort me, but I was still numb to everything happening. The main question that kept rolling through my head was how in the world I managed to stay with him the last couple of years.
Thankfully, Kendra cooked and minded after the children for most of the day, while I just silently sulked. My mind refused to quit analyzing every last detail of our marriage. I do not know if the children really understood what was happening, but I do know that I did not want this split to turn ugly in front of them. I was determined that they would be affected as little as possible during this split. I did not cry, and that felt odd to me.I knew that I needed to make a game plan. Donavon and I had a lot of things that we needed to discuss, regarding visitation with the children, as well as support. Even if he did not want to be a physical part of their life, he had an obligation to help support them. I had never envisioned us splitting up and going separate ways, but I had known several people that had gotten divorced. Once the children were settled in bed for the night Kendra joined me on the couch.
“Alright the kids are in bed, serious question how are you holding up?” Kendra asked me cautiously, like she was afraid I was a ticking time bomb ready to explode at the slightest move.
“Honestly, Kendra I feel numb. I am a little scared because I feel like I should be crying. There is a small part of me that wants to call and beg him to come back. There is another part of me that wants to call and scream and cry and ask him why.” Kendra listened as I ranted on.
“You know the worst part about it all, I practically begged him for sex Kendra. He has not touched me in over a year. Yet he goes and knocks some girl up?” Finally, the tears are streaming down my face. I finally realized what had been bothering me the most. In the final years of our relationship Donavon and I had not been having sex. I was ashamed of how often I asked or tried to seduce him to no avail. This was the part that was causing me the most pain. Not the fact that he cheated, that I could have gotten over. It was the fact that he cheated instead of sleeping with his own wife. The thought destroyed what little self-esteem I had left.
The more I thought about him turning to someone else, the more I started finding faults with myself. Yes, I had gained weight, mainly because of the depression. No, I do not wear makeup most days, I work too many jobs to worry about my foundation failing me, or my mascara running. Most days I wear work clothes or scrubs, but again I work too much to really dress up. I had tried seducing him a million ways. I had used candles, offered oral, taken naughty pictures, pretty much anything you can imagine to seduce a man. Was I really that undesirable?
Kendra could tell that I was starting to wallow in self-pity. She asked me to come sit with her on the front porch so she could smoke a cigarette. The night air was cool, and it wrapped around me like a soothing balm. Being outside helped me think a little more clearly.
“Do you know that I gave everything up for him?” I ask Kendra. “I gave up nursing school because he wanted to move to pursue making video games. I gave up my designing job that I loved, because it did not make enough money, and he had to have a motorcycle. Hell, I even moved to Oregon, and missed my adopted mom’s funeral. All of it I did for him. So, what did I do so wrong that he could not love me? That he could not have sex with me?”
“I hope that you realize that you are not the problem, he is.” Kendra’s voice is soft, but firm. Almost demanding me to change the way I was looking at myself.
“If I am not the problem, then why could he not get hard for me, but he could obviously get hard for her?” I ask her sarcastically.
“Noel listen men have cheated since the dawn of time. They are dogs. Society practically congratulations them for screwing as many women as they can. Shoot we patted a President on the back for getting Marilyn Monroe as a mistress. It is not right, but that is the way it is. There is absolutely nothing wrong with you, other than you choose a crappy husband.” I know that she is trying her hardest to cheer me up.
“I am scared Kendra. I have never truly been on my own. I do not even know how in the hell I am going to pay the bills here. Donavon was always at the house, that is how I could work so much. Without him being here, I can not leave the kids all the time. I have no idea what I am going to do.” That was the other part that was causing me so much anxiety. I really did not know how I was going to be able to afford the bills here. I was struggling as it is, working multiple jobs. Without Donavon at least being here in case of an emergency, I knew that I could not continue working so much.
“Well how about I move in?” Kendra blurts out. I never really considered the possibility of having a roommate, but Kendra was probably the person I knew best in Oregon. I mulled over the possibility in my head, wondering if this were something that could work out. Although I loved Kendra as a friend, I was worried that our personalities would clash if we were living with each other.
Kendra was a free spirit, with a good heart. She was loud, but funny. Definitely a personality that took some time to warm up to. She was fiercely blunt with her words. She has children, but they lived with their father. She was a beautiful girl, and she knew it. Kendra was a shorter girl about five foot five, shoulder length hair, and sharp facial features that gave her almost a cat like appearance. Her makeup was always on point, and she had beautiful curves with a flat stomach. Kendra never wanted for dates, and on any given weekend you could find her blowing off steam at the local bars. I was not sure that it would be a great idea for us to be roommates, but I was in a pickle. I needed help paying bills, and even with Kendra’s free spirit I knew that she had a job. I also knew that she liked my kids and could help around the house to.
“What if we try it temporarily, you know to see if we can live together without killing each other.” I ask her tentatively. I do not want to hurt her feelings, so I try hard to make it humorous.
“Sure, I could use a break from Kelly.” Kendra quickly agrees to making it temporary. Kelly is Kendra’s ex mother in law, but they had maintained a great relationship even after the divorce. I could never wrap my head around their relationship, but I respected that they still got along.
“Is it going to cause problems between you and Kelly?” I do not want to cause any issues for anyone else in my life. Although I did not know Kelly personally, I do not want to put her in a bind if she is counting on Kendra helping with bills.
“No, I think she is getting sick of having me around the house. Besides, you and I work together so it makes more sense for me to stay here. I can help you out with the kids and bills, and in return you can help me by driving me to work. Plus, if I stay here, I can actually go on dates.” Kendra says all this with a little laugh, and again I am left worried that this will not be a good situation.
Kendra has shared some of her date night stories with me at work. I have never judged her for how she conducts her life, but I do wonder if it is something that I will be able to live with. Even though on multiple occasions Kendra has told me that she wants to settle down, she seems to go through men faster than a speeding train.
“Alright but just remember I have the kids here, so I do not want a lot of people coming into the house.” I figured it would be good to set some boundaries now, so that we do not have any issues later.
Kendra laughs and says she understands. I am eternally grateful for her staying with me during this time. It seemed like things were already taking a turn for the better. With Kendra helping with the bills, and with the kids I would still be able to keep working more than one job, but still have someone that can help with the cleaning and cooking.
We stayed outside on the porch in silence for hours. Both of us locked within our minds, playing out what our futures were beginning to look like. In truth I was more lost in that moment than I can ever remember being in my life. Everything that I had once envisioned for my future had changed in an instant. I was now questioning everything about myself, and how to move forward. I was already in my thirties, yet somehow it felt like someone had hit a reset button on my entire life.
Kendra and I stayed on the front porch until dusk, turned to night, and then night turned into midnight. Finally, as the chill permeated our skin, we wandered back inside. Kendra ended up sleeping on my chair that night, while I laid down on the couch. It was by far too soon for me to sleep in the bed that I had once shared with Donavon.
The next two weeks went by rapidly. Kendra and I moved in together. Both of us sharing the room that Donavon and I had shared. We took turns with one of us sleeping on the couch, the other in the bed. The children had adapted to the situation surprisingly well. They accepted Kendra living with us and were enjoying having someone there that would help cook and look after their needs.Donavon and I had spoken a few times since he moved out, but the situation between us was intense. Half of the time I wanted to try to make things work, the other half I just wanted to yell and scream at him for tearing me apart. Our conversations were brief, and to the point. I explained to him that I still wanted him to be a part of the children’s lives. He was after all their dad. He said that he wanted that too. I made the offer that anytime he wanted to come visit with the children I would be more than happy to leave the house or take them to a park.
By the time Friday rolled around, I had completely forgotten that Kendra had asked me to go out with her. When I got home from work that day, she was already in the kitchen making dinner for the kids. She yelled at me to get in the shower and told me that she had already picked out clothes for me. I felt my anxiety shoot through the roof. I could not feasibly go out today and tomorrow. This was too much for me.“Kendra I am not feeling all that good. I do not think that I should go out tonight. You go out without me. I am just going to make some tea and watch some movies.” I was hoping that I looked a little pale, and even threw in a small cough to try to make it more believable.“Come here Noel.” Kendra raised her palm to my head, feeling to see if I had a temperature. “You do not have a fever; you will feel better after you get in a shower. I have already made dinner for the kids, and
It had been almost three weeks since I had gone out with Kendra. Even though that Friday had not been fun, I still kept the date on Saturday with the guy that I had met using the app. I did not think that it was a bad date. We went and had dinner, laughed, and got to know each other. Then I never heard from him again. Kendra told me this was called ghosting.Since then I had been on a few more dates, some were alright, and others were downright atrocious. I was just coming home from one of the atrocious dates. Kendra was on the front porch when I walked up.“Hey so how was your night?” She asked me, taking a drag of her cigarette.“Well considering I left here less than an hour ago, I would say it did not go great at all.” I tell her fully exasperated by the experience.“Tell me what happened.” Kendra pats the step beside her, and
I was really nervous and had started pacing in my living room waiting for his reply. My phone pinged in my hand, and for a moment I thought about blocking him and just going to bed. No, I was not going to be a coward, I was going to go have sex with a random guy. I take a deep breath and open his email. He gave me directions to a place that was about five minutes away. He included his phone number and told me to call when I got there, and he signed this email Jayce.“Kendra, I um I am going to go out.” I call out to her.“What are you talking about it is almost eleven, where are you going?” She immediately asks me back.“Well you know that guy that placed the ad, I am going to go have sex with him.” I cannot even believe that I just said those words out loud. Kendra is laughing at me.“Hell, yes girl, it is about time that yo
“Mom I need you to sign this form, we are taking a field trip.” My eldest son was holding a paper out for me to sign, as I am in the kitchen stirring noodles for dinner.“Alright just set it on the table, I will sign it after I finish up dinner. What are the other kids doing?” I ask Levi.“Savannah is reading a book, and Jacob is currently playing a game upstairs.” Levi said with a sigh.“What is wrong kiddo? You seem down.” I ask him out of curiosity.“I am not down, just bored. Shawn is at a birthday party, and Kenny is at his dads house.” Shawn and Kenny are Levi’s best friends and they can usually be found hanging out together during the day. My son goes quiet for a moment before he gets a little nervous. “Mom, um are we going to have to go to Dad’s house, like Kenny does?”
Life was falling into a new routine, and I can not say that I was all too happy with the way things were going. Kendra was working but was still not helping much with the bills. She was going out a lot more too, and although I did not feel like I had a say in her personal life it was quickly impacting my life. Instead of helping to pay the rent, or the electric bill, she was more worried about her party life. She was coming home drunk, stumbling over furniture and being very noisy. Often times her racket would wake either me or the kids. When her children would visit on weekends, I would find myself cleaning up after them, and ensuring that they ate. Kendra was spiraling out of control, and I was not sure what to do about it.I tried to talk to Kendra about the bill situation, informing her that she needed to start paying to live there or she needed to go back to Kelly’s house. Kendra would make promises that she would get some of the
I have finished getting dressed for work right as Donavon makes it to the house to watch over the kids. He does not knock, walking in as if he still lives there.“Why did you need me here if Kendra is here?” He asks me barley keeping the anger from boiling over in his words.“She is drunk, and I do not trust her to keep an eye on the kids if there is an emergency while she is like this. I put her to bed as soon as she stumbled in the door. I am not asking you to do much Donavon, just stay here and sleep and handle the kids if anything should pop up.” I am already exhausted talking to him. Just seeing him releases a tornado of emotion inside me. It is like there are two parts of my body and brain that react to him. On one hand I can see the boy that I married, he has not changed much in the looks department and I have always found him handsome. On the other hand, looking at him churns my stoma
One good thing that came out of this morning is that the kids had a splendid breakfast. I made them pancakes, eggs, bacon, and sausage. It is not normal for me to cook breakfast, and especially not a feast like this. I needed to keep moving though, if I stopped the sight of them in my living room floods my mind. After the kids have eaten, I grab the broom and dustpan so that I can go sweep up the glass from the broken bottle. I know that later the kids will be in the living room, and I would not be able to forgive myself if one of them got hurt because of my stupid anger.I hate that I even have to walk back into my living room. It feels tainted now. I am mad at myself for throwing the bottle against the wall. Now I have to be the one to clean up the mess. I guess that is what I always do, clean up messes. I sigh as I move the chair away from the wall. I am going to have to pull out the vacuum to clean the glass off of the chair. As I sweep