I sat in his office across the desk from him. The office I had cheered with him on attaining. The office I had lovingly decorated. The office that contained pictures of him and me and our children. The office I had not been allowed to step foot into for a year. The office next door to the woman he was having an affair with. The office that I thought would be the answer to all my prayers but had become one of nightmares.
“I’m in trouble”, I said. “I am being accused of something awful and I am being put on leave until they figure something out.”
He was livid. Uncaring. Accusatory himself.
He was angry I had dared come to his office to tell him this.
He told me to meet him at home. And once again, with my own two legs, I stood and walked out of that office for the very last time. I walked dry eyed and stoic to my vehicle and crawled inside of it. I drove to the home I shared with my husband. With my monster. I was terrified and yet felt nothing. I could not figure out how to react and so I did not. Shock is funny like that.
We sat down in the living room. The one that had been hunter green when we moved in. An awful, dark hunter green on not only the walls but also the ceiling. The one in which I had lovingly painted gray with a white ceiling. The one in which I’d stood on a chair at nine months pregnant and hung the rods and the curtains. The one in which I’d chosen artwork to match and arranged to best suit our needs. The one that housed the piano that was gifted to me by a kind unknown person. A room I had spent hours in with my children. I cowered back into the couch.
He started out loving. He came to kneel in front of me and asked me what was happening. He feigned concern. He used all the tools he had learned in his current job as a Human Relations “talent advisor” which is just a dumb way to say he hires people. He searched for all my weaknesses and attacked with vigor. He asked me question after question. I rung my hands and answered to the best of my ability while trying not to answer at all. I did not trust him. I was frightened of him. I had betrayed him.
The kindness and concern faded as he slowly pulled the truth from me. It was replaced with blazing anger. He screamed. He cussed. He paced. He was volatile. I did not blame him.
For hours this continued on. Sounds like an exaggeration but it is not. Hours of being tossed back and forth from having a caring husband to a psychopath in front of me. I did not bend nor break until…
“You will pack your bags and leave this house. You are never welcome back. I will file for divorce and I will take everything from you. You will be left with nothing. No home. No job. No money. And especially not your kids. You will never see your children again. You are alone. Forever.”
And I lost it. The panic I should have been feeling all day swooped up from the ground and blew through my body. My limbs began to shake. I gasped for air. My eyes filled with tears that spilled over. And I felt everything. All at once. Like a wave of hell crashing over me.
I fell to the ground in a heap. I sobbed and begged and reached for even a morsel of compassion. And he sneered and stood above me and his eyes danced with glee at the sight of me rotting on the floor. His lips curled at the edges. He was glad to see me in such pain.
He let me beg and plead for another hour or more. Coaxing all the things he wanted and needed to hear from me. Then he grabbed my arm and forced me to stand. He shoved me through the kitchen into the hallway. He grabbed a small bag and forced me to pack a few belongings into it. And then I was being pulled from the house.