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.