Twenty-three years ago she walked out–I don’t remember why. I ran after her, talked her back in. I should of let her walk. Four years later I committed to the long haul.
Another fight. I was walking it off. I was sure it was over. I see a vending machine selling condoms. I drop a ten franc coin in the machine thinking that I would be needing them again. Later, I return home finding that she had also calmed down. I forget about the condoms. A few days later she finds them.
I spend the night, back against the wall, sat on the floor, thinking.
If I stay, I will have it thrown in my face during every fight. The fights are guaranteed. Too many triggers. Many of them subjects, like money, that you are supposed to talk about to avoid conflict.
If I leave, which one of her threats will she carry out? Poisoning the well and making sure I can never have a relationship with our daughter is the minimum. Would she actually commit suicide taking our daughter with her? Regardless, I don’t trust her to bring up our daughter alone–she is less than two years old and already being fed burgers at the fast food joint. There is very little chance a judge would give me custody. She’ll be a teenager before I know it and, knowing why I am staying, I can try and make it as agreeable as possible.
Fourteen years later, I choose a target date. I hadn’t calculated that the night thinking would be considered salt. It has been fourteen more years of unfounded suspicions, reactions to imagined torts, and having every member of my family, dead or alive, insulted. So many lines crossed. I am ready.
My daughter has her teenage existential crisis. What’s a few more years? I am in no rush. I am no longer capable of normal relationship. After high school?
“You do realize this is costing you 200€ an hour and it is not covered by your health plan? I am your lawyer.”
I think I underestimated the cost. The wear and tear. One wrong decision twenty three years ago. Oh well.