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Broken Love Story (Love 3) Natasha Madison 2022/8/3 13:53:35

“Thank you,” I say, hanging up the phone and walking out the door to the bus stop. The kids bounce off the bus, and I bend to kiss them both.

“How was school?” I ask them, and Lizzie tells me about the solar system project she needs to have done for tomorrow that she forgot about. I groan inwardly because I hated the solar system. “We can YouTube and Google and see what we come up with.” I grab her by the shoulders, bringing her to me; she is getting so big.

The first thing the girls do is unload their lunch bags, throwing all the things in the garbage or the sink. I walk over to the computer with Lizzie, and we make a plan for the solar system. “We need to run out and get supplies,” I tell her as I call for Daisy, who comes hopping into the room. “We need to go to Michael’s for Lizzie’s project,” I tell her, and we all load up the minivan. We spend the next fucking three hours cutting Styrofoam balls and painting them different colors.

Daisy has a meltdown because I won’t let her use the glue gun, and then again when I won’t let her paint. I’m at my wit’s end when she calls out for Daddy with her last breakdown.

I pick up the phone to call him, going into another room. His voicemail picks up again. “Seriously, this is fucking ridiculous,” I say, angry with the fact I’m having to do a solar system project, angry that my five-year-old is having a nervous breakdown because she’s tired, angry that for the past fucking eighteen months, he hasn’t really fucking been here, and I’ve fucking had it.

The hormones in my body are still fucking all over the place, my body doesn’t know if I’m having a baby or not, and it’s just the straw that broke the camel’s back. I hang up right when Elliot walks in and looks at me.

“You okay?” he asks, coming to me.

“No, I’m not okay. Your brother isn’t answering, Lizzie forgot about a project that she needs to do, Daisy is overtired and just crying about everything. I’ve kind of just reached my limit.” He doesn’t say anything, just goes into the kitchen.

“I heard someone needs some help,” he says, and Daisy finally gets up from the floor, running to him. “Daisy girl, why the tears?”

“Mommy didn’t let me glue and cut.” She wipes the tears from her cheeks with her palms. “Or paint.”

“Well, it’s dangerous.” I let him explain to Daisy what I just tried to explain to her for the past two hours. Going to the stove, I take his plate out of the oven. He looks up, smiling when he sits on the chair. Picking Daisy up on his lap, he eats with one hand. I finish the project with Lizzie while Elliot gets his tools out and asks Daisy to be his helper.

That lasts a whole five minutes before I hear crying from the kitchen and then Daisy runs in. “I want Daddy,” she says, and I murmur, “You aren’t the only one.”

I pick up my phone again to call his number, and this time, it connects after two rings. Fucking finally.

“Hello?” a shaky female voice answers his phone, and my stomach drops. The back of my neck gets hot, and my heart starts to pound so loud, it feels like it’s coming out of my eardrums. My hands shake and get sweaty.

“Hello,” I answer, my voice almost as shaky as the woman who answered. “Who is this?” I ask her now, my voice coming out a little bit higher as I wait for her to tell me who she is. I think I know, I think my heart knows, but in the end, I knew nothing. Because the next few words cut me to my core. It is like he stood over me with a knife and stabbed me right in the heart. “This is Hailey.”

“Who is Hailey?” I ask, waiting for the dreaded answer. Waiting for the confirmation of what I know deep inside.

“Who are you?” she asks me, not willing to tell me who she is.

“I’m his wife,” I say, and the shattering of her phone fills the silence. Just like that, my world falls apart, and my knees now give out as I fall to the floor.

They say that when something happens to you and your body goes into shock, you remember key things from that day. I will never smell lemon again without thinking of the day my life changed. I will never listen to a certain song without being transported back.

Your brain shuts off and goes into itself as it takes in certain little things, like the heat on your face as you drive down the street and the sound of chirping birds in the distance as they soar in front of you. The constant beat of your heart in your chest as the sound echoes in your ears like galloping horses. This is how you survive, I’m told. This is how my story goes. This is how my perfect life became broken.