Chapter 20

The next day was Saturday. Simon and a buddy drove the rig with the jet skis back to the dealer.

I hadn’t slept well.

I kept telling myself:

  • It’s no big deal; anyone can have a lapse in judgment.
  • People spend more money than they make all the time. I shouldn’t get so upset.
  • Simon had good intentions. The gift was meant to bring us closer together. Isn’t that what celebrating an anniversary is all about?

Then why am I so angry?


I made coffee. In the family room, Maddie sat on the floor watching TV with her chin resting on  the coffee table, intermittently scooping spoonfuls of cereal and milk up and over the edge of a bowl into her mouth.  Her backpack leaned against the sofa beside her. She’s spending the day with her friend Kaylee, and staying overnight. Kaylee’s mom will pick her up soon.

After Maddie left, I went for a bike ride, took a shower, and thought about lunch.

Simon returned without the rig. He smiled sheepishly.

“The dealer agreed to resell the rig for us. It was already a great deal, but now that it’s priced as used, he says it will go fast. We’ll probably only make one, maybe two payments before it sells.”

“How much of a loss will we take?”

“Less than $10,000, I figure.”

I had nothing to say.

“Okay, Niki, I get it. I was wrong to buy the jet skis, and cancel the Coronado trip without talking to you first. I get it. I won’t do it again. Can you just get over it, and let’s move on?”

I felt anger rising like a pot boiling over. I steeled myself to say the words I’d rehearsed,

“Simon, I want a divorce.”

“WHAT! Over jet skis? What’s wrong with you, Niki?

That’s right Simon, it’s me not you,” sarcasm escaped my mouth.

“Damn right it’s you! How can you break apart a family? Our family? Over jet skis!”

I paused before blurting out, “A family? Yeah, a single parent family! You’re impulsive, Simon. It’s like being married to a child. You’re a crisis about to happen. You only think about your needs, your wants. Putting us in debt without talking to me about it is just a part of our problems.

I take care of people all night long at work, then I come home and take care of you. The kitchen sink is always full of dirty dishes from the night before, and the garbage overflows. I get up, clean house, and go back to work, while you watch sports on TV.

If I go on like this, I’m going to shatter, Simon, and the pieces will be so small and scattered, I’ll never gather them up and put myself back together. I need a partner Simon, not another child. For all I do around here, I may as well be a single parent. It can’t be any harder than this already is.”

Well, it’s not like you work five days a week like I do, Niki.”

I hissed at him, “I want a divorce, Simon. I want to be happy.”

“Is this about that ER nurse, what’s his name? Are you sleeping with him?”

“No I’m not sleeping with him. Corey’s married. I’m not a home wrecker!”

“Yes you are, Niki.  You’re wrecking our home.”