Placing my coffee cup on my dresser, I go to my closet and pull out my black pencil skirt with the long-sleeved white chiffon shirt, my heart pounding the whole time I get dressed. My stomach turns, flips, and flops, my armpits start sweating. My shirt criss crosses in the front, and my black pumps complete the outfit. I walk downstairs just as the doorbell rings. I open it up and find Blake in a suit. If he looked good in jeans, he pushes the bar in a suit. His blue suit fits him perfectly, and he pairs it with a baby blue shirt, no tie. The top couple of buttons are unbuttoned, and my hand goes to the inside of his shirt, my finger sliding in. “Look at you all dapper,” I tell him as he looks me up and down.
“You look like a sex kitten,” he says, and I back up.
“Should I change?” I ask him, but his father comes in followed by his mother. “Is this okay?” I ask them about the outfit. His father just nods his head, and his mother smiles at me.
“You look wonderful,” she says, and I can see she is nervous also.
“What time is court?” I ask them. Looking at my watch, I see it’s almost eight.
“We need to be there by nine thirty,” Henry says, and I breathe out and shake my hands.
“It’s going to be fine,” Blake tells me, grabbing my one hand.
“I hate them,” I say, and everyone looks at me. “I hate them for pushing me like this. I hate them for putting this fear in me. I hate them for not supporting them and making the girls go through this. I just fucking hate them,” I finally say. “How long do these things last?”
Henry, who is wearing a black suit, white shirt, and black tie, puts his hands in his pockets. “It can be just today, or it can go on for weeks. It really depends on the judge.”
“I won’t survive if it’s longer than a week,” I tell them and look down, a tear escaping.
“We get to make our argument first,” Henry says. “So you will take the stand today.” He looks at me as I nod my head. “They are going to come at you hard,” he says. “They will try to paint you in a really bad light.” He puts his head down. “And I have no doubt that they will bring up Blake.”
“I don’t care,” I tell them. “I don’t care; we did nothing wrong,” I say, holding Blake’s hand. “Nothing. Blake has the answers to the questions I had, and that is the truth.”
“I know,” his father says. I offer them something to drink, but they all decline. Everyone’s on pins and needles.
“Excuse me,” I say, walking upstairs and closing the door. Putting my hands on my knees, I bend over, breathing heavily. “Oh my God, oh my God.” The tears run down my face, and I think I’m going to be sick. A knock on the door startles me.
“Baby.” I hear Blake whisper softly. “Let me in.”
I open the door, and he takes one look at me. “One last fight,” he tells me.
“It’s the biggest fight of my life,” I reply, and he nods his head. “I’m leaving after this,” I tell him. “The girls and I decided we are moving.”
“What?” he whispers, and I see his face searching mine.
“Yes,” I tell him. “They can have the house; they can have everything in the house. I want nothing.”
“Where?” he asks me, and I didn’t want to tell him like this. The girls wanted to be here when I told him.
“The girls and I were talking, and we really like this little town that we visited. They have great parks, and the zoo is out of this world.” I smile when he finally gets it. “Minus the monkey who tries to steal candy.” He comes to me, pulling me into his arms. “I don’t want to pressure you,” I tell him, and I don’t continue because his lips are on mine. And just like that, the nerves go away, my stomach settles, my hands stop shaking, and my heart beats normal.
“I want you and the girls to come down this weekend,” he tells me, and I just nod my head. “Stay with me.”
“Okay,” I whisper to him. “We have to go,” I say, smoothing down my skirt.
We don’t say anything in the car on the way there. We don’t say anything when we walk into the courtroom. I don’t even turn my head when my in-laws walk in. They hold their heads high as they sit at the table next to us. I don’t even make it seem that my heart is beating so fast I think I may pass out. I put my hands on my lap to stop them from shaking. “Here we go,” Henry says under his breath.