The Cleaning Lady comes, as always, every other week. At first, after The Departed left, she is happy just to see me happy. She cleans and we chat a bit. When the divorce is final, I start buying furniture to replace what he took, and as I do that, I start painting rooms, moving things around. Things are taken off the walls and I wonder why I ever hung them there. It all happens slowly, but the house starts to take on a new personality.
When there is a big purchase, The Cleaning Lady will often compliment it. But more often than not, I simply overhear her when she walks into a room with a new bedspread or other detail, and say under her breath, “So much better.”
I start to notice her cleaning improves. I think maybe this is because there is less clutter around the house – but in fact with all the moving things around, the house is in perpetual chaos, and she’s constantly having to ask me where I put this or that away these days. I think maybe it’s just because she’s happier, or perhaps it’s just that I am.
On the week that I receive The Departed’s Suspended License Notice, I of course have to tell The Cleaning Lady the story. She says, he’ll get what he deserves in the end. You watch. I will never forgive what he did to you, she tells me.
She hesitates, and then decides she wants to tell me something else.
Do you remember, she says, when you went to Paris with him?