Ten years, three months and two days. Two parts happiness, one part pure hell. Across the table was the man I called honey for the first four years of matrimony. What had gone so wrong that I deserved this disaster in my thirty one years of pitiful life?
Jake glanced at me before giving Michael a nod.
“April also gets the home in Palm Springs.” Michael read from the sheet of paper in front of him. “And, finally, half the investments in the money-market accounts.”
What did the glance mean, really? Was Jake exasperated, wanting it over and done with; so he could move on with his life and marry some model-skinny, twenty year old he perhaps had waiting in the wings?
I followed my attorney Grace’s lead in shaking everyone’s hands. Jake’s hands were soft and comforting as he squeezed mine. I wanted it to be a sign, a sign our love could spring up again. But I wasn’t sure what it meant, and I was too embarrassed to look into his eyes.
“So it’s over and done with? Finally!” Raquel’s mouth was slapping at the other end of the line, eating with her mouth open. “With that money you can start your own business: a salon, a spa, a clothes store. No, a bakery! Can’t go wrong with food. You know how we Jamaicans love wi belly already.”
“Raquel, I don’t know anything about starting a business. Plus what do I do with a stupid vacation house all the way in Florida?” I tossed a silky, auburn lock of hair over one shoulder. Jake hated my hair. Well, technically, it wasn’t my hair. Not all of it. My stylist said it came straight off some woman’s head in India.
“April, stop fuss up yourself; you have half his stuff.”
“It’s not about his stuff, Raquel. I struggled with him before he sold his first house.”
“So what! Boohoo! Is not you force him to pack up and leave Florida for the ‘islands’. Consider the ‘struggle’ your investment. And right now, you’re reaping your reward.”
I hissed. “I have to go, Raquel; I’m starving.”
For the first time in years, I craved family, even though their honesty grated my nerves. But I would trade in Raquel’s thoughtless yapping for family candor in a heartbeat. Of course, I would first have to apologize for alienating them two years ago. My stomach flipped.
cont… (click below)