I shake my head. “Well, he slept with her, he had sex with her, and he promised to love her forever. Am I to assume he didn’t mean that?”
“Maybe if you had stopped harassing him when he was home and had been more understanding, it wouldn’t have led to that.” And I’m gutted; I’m so fucking gutted I don’t even think I can breathe. Her hand flies up. “Maybe if you had been there for him and caring to his needs, he wouldn’t have gone elsewhere.”
I step back. My chest is heaving, rising up and down as if I ran a marathon. It’s almost broken; my heart is broken as I look at this woman standing in front of me who pretended to love me. “So Eric doing what he did was all my fault?” I ask her, and she doesn’t answer. “No!” I yell now. “It wasn’t my fucking fault that I was a single parent for the past eighteen months while he was off gallivanting and making himself another family. Without you guys, might I add.” I rub the tears off my face angrily. “It’s not my fault that he felt the need to lead two fucking lives. That’s on him.” I shake my head. “Now I’m here by myself raising two girls, trying to make it look like we can live without him. I’m trying to give them the normal that they need, that they deserve. That I finally deserve.”
“You were nothing before Eric.” And it’s at that moment I know she never loved me; she never cared for me. She never felt I was a part of her family.
I smile at her as I cry and break inside. “Wow, boy, was I stupid. Here I thought when you said I was just part of the family that you actually meant it, that you meant you loved me no matter what. That it didn’t matter what happened before because now I had you guys. You were right about one thing; I was nothing before him, but I’m something now. I’m a mother now. They are my life; they are my family. They are mine.”
“We’ll see about that,” she says, and she storms out of the house, slamming the door behind her.
I look at the paint, and nothing comes in me, not one piece of happiness is in me while I look at the paint. I take my phone out and send Blake a text.
I might be rethinking painting the room yellow.
I don’t know why I sent him a text. I don’t even know why I’m sad he doesn’t get right back to me, but I look back at the wall and see the yellow. It’s a change, and it’s my house. I look at the mess of the kitchen, turn around, and take a deep breath. Dipping the brush into the paint again, I continue to paint. The more I paint, the more I feel a little happier. Until the phone rings and when I walk over with a smile, it immediately disappears when I see that it’s Elliot.
“What the fuck did you do to Mom?” he asks right away, anger in his voice.
“I didn’t do anything to your mother,” I tell him.
“She just called me, and she is hysterical,” he hisses.
“She came to see me and saw that I’m painting the kitchen. According to her, it’s my fault that Eric cheated and married someone in secret,” I say, putting the brush back into the paint.
“I doubt she said that,” he says.
“Of course, you do, because according to your mother, I was nothing before Eric, so I mean, I can’t expect anyone to believe me or actually be on my side.”
“Sam,” he says quietly now. “She’s going through a lot.”
“Really, you don’t say?” I laugh. “I mean, it’s not like I lost my husband, and then my girls lost their father, and I lost the only family that I’ve ever known. I’m sure she is going through a shit ton.”
“I just think you should relax when you talk to her.”
“How’s this? I won’t talk to any of you since every single time I try to tell you guys how I feel, you just feel the need to let me know how perfect Eric was,” I say, finally sounding defeated as I just hang up on him.
I sit in the middle of the kitchen now, my legs crossed, looking around and seeing my little piece of happiness. I sit here, thinking about how the last time we painted the kitchen, he bitched the whole time—his shoulder hurt, he hated the color, he was tired. And I walked around on eggshells, trying not to piss him off. I had to take the kids to the park just so he could have peace and quiet.
My phone rings again, and this time, it’s Blake.