She Gave Me:
• Detailed descriptions of her sexual experiences with other men.
• Only two, sloppy blowjobs during five years of marriage.
• An S.T.I.
• Explanations, after the procedure, as to why the abortion was absolutely necessary. And, frankly, none of my fucking business.
• Two of my children.
• Conditional love.
• Limited affection, which did not include neck kisses.
• Impossible debt.
• Bras and panties to pick up every day. Period blood in the bath to wipe away every month.
• No respect, only contempt.
• Stories and lies. Lies and stories. Deliberate misperceptions and exaggerations.
• Nightmares about the extent and reach of her deceit.
• The second-worst grief I’ve ever had to endure.
• Reasons to hate the world.
• Most of the best moments and years of my life.
She Told Me:
• Don’t be under any illusions: I’m not here because I’m concerned about you.
• You look terrible. Pull yourself together.
• I don’t understand you. Maybe I never did.
• You are dishonest and manipulative and controlling.
• I’m tired of you and your petty bullshit. Shit, I’m just tired.
• You need to get over yourself.
• All you do is make my life more difficult.
• I don’t think I hate you, but I’m finding it impossible to like you.
• In fact, you are lower than low. It’s how I see you now and I stand by that.
• Your behaviour is disgusting – you are disgusting – and I don’t want to deal with it anymore.
• I wanted us to separate months ago – this marriage was over long before I told you it was – but we still had nursery fees to pay and I couldn’t leave you so soon after your sister died.
• I’ll always regret the years – the fucking decades – I wasted with you. If I could go back, I never would have let you kiss me that night. And nobody kisses worse than you.
• All you can give me now is money. Money. You have nothing else to offer. And there’s nothing else I want from you. Money. Only the money. And childcare, obviously. And money.
• We are no longer family and I don’t want to be your friend. Don’t contact me or anyone I know ever again.
• By the way, you can’t see the kids. They’re not safe with you.
Christopher P. Mooney was born in Glasgow in 1978. At various times in his life he has been a paperboy, a supermarket cashier, a shelf stacker, a barman, a cinema usher, a carpet-fitter’s labourer, a foreign-language assistant and a teacher. He currently lives and writes in someone else’s small flat near London and his debut collection of short fiction, Whisky for Breakfast, is available now from Bridge House Publishing.
Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash