Sunday, March 20, 2016

Chapter 6 (3/20/16)

            “We should go out tonight,” Chelsea said when we were back in our hotel room.  I made a face.  “Seriously, Jenna?  What are you going to do, just mope around for the next 6 months?”

            “I just got divorced, Chelsea,” I snapped. 

            “Yeah, and?” she replied. 

            “What do you mean, ‘yeah, and?’” I asked incredulously.  “I just divorced the man I spent almost 10 years of my life with because he couldn't stop fucking other women.  Am I supposed to just magically get over it?  Literally 8 weeks ago we were still hanging on to our marriage and now it’s completely over.  What the hell do you expect from me?”

            Chelsea breathed an audible sigh of relief, causing me to narrow my eyes at her.  “Finally,” she said.  “It’s about time you stopped pretending that you don’t have any feelings about this.”

            “Did you just intentionally push my buttons?” I asked, gaping at her.

            “Yes,” she replied.  “Now that you’ve acknowledged how hurt you are, how are we going to get revenge?”

            I blinked at her.  “Revenge?” I asked.

            “Revenge,” she confirmed.

            “I don’t think I want revenge,” I said cautiously. 

            “Of course you do,” she replied, shaking her head.  “Listen, I’m not talking like let’s go egg his car or something, though that would be amazingly satisfying.  But in a case like this, the best revenge is moving on.  Walking away with your head high and showing him that you need no part of his bullshit to be happy.  That you’re happier without him.”

            “I don’t know if I am,” I admitted.

            She threw her arms around me and pulled me against her.  I slumped half against Chelsea and half against the back of the couch in our room.  “Of course you’re not,” she said.  “Not yet, anyway.  But you will be, someday.  You absolutely will be.  Jenna, you have to get out of that house.  You don’t have to be happy about it, but you do have to leave.  You cannot get over it and move on and get your sweet revenge if you stay there.  Can I be really honest with you for a second?”

            “Are you not already being really honest?” I grumbled.

            Ignoring me, she prattled on.  “You’re so negative.  You are not a bitter, negative person.  Sarcastic and cynical, sure.  But bitter and angry?  No.  Absolutely not.  All you’re doing by staying in that house is sitting and stewing in the bullshit that is your terrible ex-husband.  It’s making you miserable.  I know you want to buy a place, and I don’t think it hurts to look, but maybe consider something else short term while you look?”

            “I’m not ready,” I admitted.  “And I really hate the idea of moving twice.  I want to move once and be done.”

            “Moving is the worst,” she agreed.  “But maybe, just maybe, think about setting a date.  If you haven’t found a place to buy by then, maybe start looking at rentals too.”

            It was a sensible plan.  One that made sense and I couldn’t find a single reason not to do it.  But committing to a date seemed so…final.  “I’ll think about it,” I said, finally.

            “Good.  Think about it.  That’s all I’m asking.”  She was quiet for a minute, then said, “Jen?  Can I ask you something?”

            “Yep,” I replied, knowing she’d ask either way.

            “Do you still want to be with him?”

            The question hurt.  Thinking about the answer hurt more.  “No,” I said honestly.  “I still want to be with the person I thought he was, but he’s not that person.  So I don’t want to be with him.  I want my life to go back to normal, and I want to be happy.  I wish I wasn’t divorced.  I wish I’d never married him.  I hate everything about what’s happened, but I don’t still want to be with him.”

            Chelsea hugged me tightly, and I sighed.  I hadn’t said any of those things out loud yet, and it was a relief to finally do so.  “Your life will go back to normal,” she promised me.  “You’ll be happy.  It will suck for awhile, but it will get better.  I’ve never been divorced, but I’ve been through some nasty breakups, and you always think it can’t possibly get any worse or any better.  Well, it will probably get worse.  Sorry, but it’s true.  You’ll have good days and bad days and days where you only get out of bed so you don’t lose your job, even after you’ve just had 4 good days in a row.  But then, slowly, the bad days will be not as awful, and the good days will get better, and then there will be fewer bad days and more good days, and then you’ll be happy again and you won’t even realize that it happened.”

            Without any warning, I started to cry.  I’d been with Kevin for so long that this was my first real breakup.  My first real breakup…and it’s a divorce.  When I do things, I do them big.  Chelsea didn’t say anything, just kept her arm firmly around me while I added some tears and snot and mascara to the shirt she was wearing.  When I was done, she cheerfully asked what the plan for dinner was.  I appreciated the subject change and her ignoring the fact that I was just sobbing all over her.

            We decided to head out to dinner.  I washed my face and reapplied my makeup, then changed into something a little bit nicer than the jeans and hoodie I’d worn to the showings.  Chelsea chatted about random things the whole time, distracting me. 

            We’d only been at the restaurant for about 15 minutes when I saw Chelsea’s eyes get big.  I started to turn but she said, “Hey, wait, do you need another drink?”  I glared at her and turned, just in time to see Kevin with his arm around a petite blonde. 

            “That’s not even the same girl he brought home last weekend,” I muttered.

            “Do you want to go somewhere else?” Chelsea asked.

            “No, fuck him,” I said, probably a little too loudly given the public place we were in.  “He’s not going to ruin my night.”  I turned myself fully back to face Chelsea and she smiled at me.

            And I didn’t let him ruin my night.  After we ate, Chelsea talked me into going to a bar for one drink.  “Easing you back into the social scene,” she said.  I rolled my eyes, but followed her a block over to one of the better bars in the area.  She stuck to her word and we only stayed for one drink, but I couldn’t help looking around and feeling out of place.  I didn’t feel like I belonged in this scene anymore.  There were too many college students around being obnoxious.

            When we got back to the hotel, we opened one of the bottles of wine.  Halfway through it, Chelsea said, “Did you notice how many hot guys were at that bar?”

            “Not really,” I said.  All I noticed were college students.  They all looked so young to me. 

            Chelsea frowned, and then her face lit up.  “Jenna,” she said, her voice serious.

            “Chelsea,” I replied, scared to know what she was going to suggest next.

            “You need to make an online dating profile.”

            I couldn’t help it.  I laughed.  I completely lost it, sprawling sideways across the bed.  “Chels, I’ve been divorced for 5 minutes,” I replied when I finally caught my breath.  “I still live with my ex-husband.  I’m not ready to date.”

            “You don’t have to use it to date,” she said, shaking her head.

            “I don’t think I’m ready to have sex with strangers either,” I informed her.  Potentially having sex with Jamie was daunting enough, and I knew him well.  And we’d done it before.

            “That’s not what I meant,” she told me.  “Look, you have no idea what’s even out there.  Let’s find out!”  She had a look on her face I knew well: there was no talking her out of this.

            “Chels,” I protested weakly, but she was already on her feet and fishing her laptop out of her bag.  Within minutes she had created a profile for me on some stupid free dating site and was prowling my Facebook pictures, looking for the perfect one.  I laid back on the bed and listened to her talking happily to herself as she selected a picture, saved it, and uploaded it to my new online dating profile.  “This is ridiculous, you know that, right?”

            “Don’t care, can’t hear you,” she replied in a sing-song voice.  I groaned and got up to pour myself another glass of wine.  “Okay, we’re done!  Come here and look at all your potential future husbands!”

            I groaned again, loudly this time.  I trudged back over to the bed, filled up her wine glass, and sat down next to her.  We spent the next 40 minutes inspecting profiles.  Well, she spent the next 40 minutes inspecting profiles.  I, on the other hand, stared blankly at the computer screen and nodded when she got excited about a profile.  “You should send him a message,” she said, pointing to one. 

            “No,” I replied.  “This is for ‘seeing what’s out there’, remember?  I don’t want to send anyone messages.”  She pouted, but I refused to give in.  With a grumble, she moved to the next.  By the time she finally got bored, I was ready for bed. 

            Once the lights were off and we were nestled in the king sized bed, I said, “Chels?”

            “Yeah?” she asked sleepily.

            “Thanks,” I said.

            “For what?”

            “For the talk earlier.  I needed that.”  It might not have done much, but I was thinking about it at least. 

            “You’re welcome,” she replied, and in the dark I heard her head move on the pillow.  “Be kind to yourself.  That’s all you can do right now.”

            “Yeah,” I agreed.  I took a deep breath, then rolled over and closed my eyes.


  1. I really like this new story line. I feel like it's more raw and real.

  2. I really love this blog! ❤️ I went through something very similar...

  3. Omg. This blog is hitting a little too close to home! Cheating boyfriend, living in the same house while figuring out where I wanted to move...all while in Rochester, MN!

  4. I really love Chelsea. She seems like an amazing -albeit, persuasive- friend. Just what Jenna needs right now. I hope she moves out of her ex's house like yesterday. haha

    Cannot wait to read what's next.

  5. Great blog! And thanks for the dates. :)

  6. I love this blog.