I'm spending most of my time finishing my novel, and I feel guilty that I haven't been writing here. I thought if I started a new series, it will motivate me.
Alex's series is inspired by a true, on-going story (not mine). I don't know how it will end (neither does Alex*), but I hope I can write a happy ending for her.
*Names have been changed to protect the innocent and the guilty.
* * *
Glancing at her watch, Alex noted she had two hours before she had to pick up the boys from school. They both had basketball practice tonight, then she was dropping off Jason for a sleepover at Wayne’s, and taking Simon to stay over at Ethan’s.
Finally a quiet night, she thought as she unloaded the dryer, just her and Ken.
And maybe—oh, please god—they’d have sex. She couldn’t remember the last time Ken had been interested. Then again, it’s not like he was home much.
He stayed late most evenings, went into the office on the weekend. His job was demanding, but money was tight, so the raise that came with this new position was a welcome relief. Maybe they’d stop arguing about money. Then again, they’d been arguing so damn long, she didn’t know if they knew how to play nice.
She folded gym shorts, paired sweat socks. She could remember a faraway time when they were each other’s best friend. They stayed up late just holding hands, knew what the other was thinking.
What happened? she wondered.
Ken had called to this morning to say he wanted to talk. Good. So did she. The kids would be finishing high school soon. They could start planning their retirement to Arizona, buy that RV they wanted, just spend some time getting to know each other again. They would snuggle on the sofa, plan their future. And things would be better. She knew it would. It always was.
Alex swung the laundry basket onto her hip, went upstairs. She was in Jason’s room when she heard the front door open then close.
“In here,” she called out.
When Ken stood in the doorway, she looked up at him, her face already smiling, looking forward to a romantic weekend.
Her lips sagged when he didn’t smile back.
“What?” she said. The moment the word left her mouth, she regretted saying them. Later, she’d ask herself what would have happened if she hadn’t asked?
Ken reached out, gripped the door handle until his knuckles turned white.
“I want a divorce,” he said.
Without giving her a chance to reply, he closed the door behind him.
Alex stood in their oldest son’s bedroom, a pair of balled socks in one hand. Through the deafening thunder in her ears, she heard the front door slam shut.