To begin at the beginning, as one is supposed to do: I separated from my husband of seven years a few months ago. He left abruptly – to say the least – packing his bag right in front of me, my daughter, and my father.
We’d had conflicting schedules that day, which resulted in my father and I spending the day at my daughter’s concert with one set of my friends, and The One Who Should Have Gotten Away spending the day with his daughter at a candy-making class, with another set of my friends. When we all regrouped at home, there was a short argument, which went something like this:
Me: “How was your day.”
Me: “Was so-and-so at the thing? How was she?”
(Repeat with several additional questions and one-word responses).
(Lengthy, frosty pause.)
Me: “Well, the concert went well. Thanks for asking.”
Him: “I did ask.”
And then he started packing.
I’d had conversations like this before, where he insisted he’d said something that I was sure he was not. Lots of them.
In fact, there was a period of time where we had them daily: I guess I’m old-school, but I think when people enter the house, the other occupants should say hello and ask quaint questions like, “How was your day and/or traffic?”
After you do this a few times, though, two things happen:
- You stop attempting to have these conversations, because arguing is tiresome.
- You start wondering if maybe it really is you, not hearing things that the other person insists so adamantly that they have said. I’ve seen Gaslight; I know how this works.
But on that night in October, as He packed his bag, I looked at my father, who shook his head: No, he didn’t say a word. I looked at my daughter: No, he didn’t say a word.
And then we three watched him go.