Chapter 21

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

Simon, seated across from me in the family room hadn’t moved a muscle, but the power of his words hit me like a punch to the stomach: breathless, and unable to speak. My bravado was gone. Defeated, I crumpled into the chair, fighting back tears.

“I don’t have the strength to do this,” it occurred to me.

Before I recovered, Simon’s shoulders dropped. His energy changed. He looked down at his hands in his lap before looking into my eyes, and said,

“I’m not angry at you for wanting a divorce Niki.  I’m angry that you gave up on us before I did.”

Puzzled, I stared at him.

“Our marriage hasn’t worked for me for a long time. I don’t know when the magic stopped, but you’re different now Nik.

You used to be fun. We used to go to games together. You were as big a fan as me. Now you don’t want to be in the crowd in the bleachers anymore. You’re not interested in watching on TV either.

You take everything so literally. You used to have a sense of humor and laugh. Now I have to explain, ‘I’m just kidding,’ so you know it’s a joke.

When we go to movies or concerts, the first thing you do is locate all the emergency exits. Everything is always worst-case scenario with you. You’re too intense. When was the last time we laughed?”

I couldn’t think of an answer to this. Simon used my pause to continue.

“When you talk about work, and the drugs you give to those kids, all I can think about is, “Jesus, she knows how to kill someone!”

“I like to think I know how to save lives, Simon.”

“The point is Niki, I don’t know you anymore. You’re not the fun girl I met in college. It’s like saving the world is your only concern. I married a wife, not a super hero.”

Simon bit his lip then clenched his jaw. His eyes were red-rimmed, and moist. Then he pulled his finger out of the dike, and it burst open, changing the landscape of our lives forever.

“Niki, I want a divorce too. This doesn’t have to be a bad thing. You’re a good person, and I’m glad we share Maddie, but I don’t love you anymore.”

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