Alternate Universe.

I wonder what my life would be like if I just did what he wanted. If I became the woman he was pushing me to be.

I wonder what life would like right now if I handled the cheating better. Sucked it up and forgave him blindly.

::Cue the fuzzy transition to the alternate universe::

I woke up today to staring at a picture of the beach with pretty boats shored up. I yawned and stretched a big stretch. My hand hit the oak bed post and I quickly retreated back to my fuzzy blanket. I look at the brown curtains in the window, man I need to take them down and clean them, they are so dusty. I grabbed my phone, it’s 6:00 AM. He is not there. I won’t even try to wonder where he is because I know. He left for the gym an hour ago. But his blue ratty blanket is laying there, ripped and shredded. I roll my eyes. Stupid man and stupid blanket. I dream quickly of tossing it in the garbage and then move on with my day. I put my feet on the creaky wood floor and make my way to the hall and up the stairs where the little guy’s room is. Bright blue walls and toys galore. I remember how much time I spent when I pregnant painting and scheming what I wanted this room to look like. I remember how hard I saved for all the furniture. I always wanted a bigger home but this tiny home harbors so much that it is more than enough. He greets me with a grin and says “Hi Mommy”. I change his diaper and I get him dressed into his clothes for the day. I ask him if he wants breakfast and we go back down to the kitchen. I love my kitchen and I love being in it. It’s one of the last things we could afford before the baby came and it makes the house brighter and happier. White cupbords and a pretty sandy color counter with light lemon yellow walls. You cannot help but feel uplifted and happy in that kitchen. Little guy runs to the couch and asks for cartoons. I shoot him down promptly and bring him some mini pancakes. I hear his car roll in the driveway. He walks in briskly and says “Hey” to me and the little guy runs to him “DADDY”. They interact briefly and then he goes in to the bathroom to take a shower and gets changed for work. It’s a quite fast paced morning and we both have places to be. I grab the boy, put him the car and say our goodbyes. Off to the sitter. 

Later I get home, he picks up the boy tonight so I can whip up dinner. I made a pasta meal and some veggies. I wonder if this was an OK dinner for him? I wonder how long I should eat before I clean up. What if he get’s up before me to clean? Will he be upset with me? We eat at our dinner tray tables at the couch and the little guy is playing with his toys around the house. We make small talk, mostly about work or something we saw in the news. He feels the need to tell me he scrubbed the toilet and his tone reminds me maybe I shouldn’t be eating. Maybe I need to be scrubbing something too? I get up. Grab the dishes and put them in the sink.

Bed time for the boy, I bring him up after giving him a quick bath, he’s kicking and screaming. He wants to stay up. I read him a book tuck him in. He asks me to stay and snuggle. A part of me wants to tell him no. Because I know there is stuff I should be doing. But if there is a problem with how long I cuddle the boy tonight I will be willing to fight that fight. It’s only been 20 minutes but he’s asleep. I sneak out and go back down stairs.

I see him on the couch drinking a beer. Watching some show about crab fishing. I want to sit with him and talk about our day. But I don’t because I know that he expects me to clean. So despite feeling tired, I go to the sink and clean the dishes. I stare out the window as I scrub. I start to day dream a bit and wonder if it is possible to like doing dishes ever. I wash the counter and the stove. Then I pick up the toys. I need to shower but there is still some messes and laundry to do.

I go to the dark lonely basement and fold a load of laundry. I hear him upstairs walking so I go up to see what hes up to. He is walking to the door. He says he needs to get going to the gym. I frown. I was hoping to have time to chat or discuss weekend plans. I say have fun. I snag a quick shower, no time to shave my legs or feel pretty but I am clean. Midnight rolls around and he comes home. He grabs a bowl of mint ting a ling ice cream and comes to bed. He tells me how tired he is and he lets me watch an episode of the office before bed. 

I tinker on my phone until I fall asleep, thinking all kinds of thoughts to myself. That maybe he wouldn’t be so tired if didn’t go to the gym so much. Is he really at the gym? Did I put all the dishes away. Oh no. I think I didn’t pick up all of Carter’s toys. I was thinking that I feel trapped. I wonder if I made the right choice to stick this out and keep trying. I wonder what it would be like if I moved home with Mom and Dad. Divorced. Missed nights putting my baby boy to bed. Split my life in the middle. I sigh. Tomorrow I get to do this all again.

::Cue the fuzzy transition to the real universe::

I want a real family. I want it bad. I want a normal life. None of those “No Momsponsibility” days. None of the wondering if I am forgetting some changed agreement thing. I want a parenting partner. Someone to suffer in the trenches with. Someone to laugh at the bad with.

I don’t want that alternate universe. Typing it up felt like I was writing a sad story about a hostage or something. Just picturing my life back in the old house, with him. We didn’t feel like a family. We were two people going in two directions. And the way things ended, that is the way things should be.

But so badly I hope J can be the partner I dream of. I get scared. I look at us. He is still pretty heavy into smoking (not tobacco) and I know it’s something he isn’t willing to give up. I see him call in to work because he is… tired. Man if I did that… I’d never work! I worry if he is up to the life I live. It’s fast paced and it’s busy. If I have a real parenting partner, using vacation time because you are tired could ruin a planned family vacation. I worry because I want my boy to have a figure in his life that sets good examples. A boyfriend that is always high and never wants to do anything isn’t the example I want to set for my son. I try to politely explain it to J. He seems to think that we will be fine. But those 2 complaints I have are big. There is so much more to him that offsets that. But when it comes time to make the leap he needs to know that those 2 could be real deal breakers if we cannot find a middle ground that doesn’t compromise my morals and doesn’t ruin his life. I mean. I am willing to make sacrifices for this man. But what will he sacrifice for me?

In this universe where the divorce is a wonderful thing, a blessing, a gift I hope this girl can find what she needs.


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