No histrionics, no asshole lawyers getting fat off the corpse of our marriage.
Her way of explaining why she waited until I went to work one morning, then buying a dozen or so storage bins and throwing 20 years worth of her personal shit into them and then the bins in her boyfriend’s car.
He was her physiotherapist from a couple years back, when she’d blown out her knee at work.
Maybe I should have been more upset, but it was a relief, really.
She’d taken the settlement from her job; the knee had been a result of improper safety practices and they were happy to buy her off, rather than having the entire thing dragged through some court.
So, with her taking the settlement money and me keeping the house and the cottage and one of the cars, we had come out almost dead even.
So here I was.
Last year my mother had willed me the house I had grown up in, then revealed that she had end stage cancer.
So, now I had her house as well.
This one I was going to keep.
The one in town had been bought for about a quarter of what I could get for it now.
Same with the cottage.
If I sold them I could retire early and write, most likely in my old bedroom slash office.
I would miss the cottage though, even though it was full of ghosts of happier times; that glorious first decade of our marriage, before it descended into what it would end as.
“You want help?”
I looked up to see Megan, my old neighbour.
“Cleaning up the house?”
“My cousins beat you to it.”
I had gone through the house with post-it notes for the stuff I wanted, then let Bethany and Nico have at the rest.
“So you’re moving in?”she said.
“Yup,” I said, “You’re selling your Dad’s house?”
“No reason to stay. We live an hour away now,why keep this?”
“A few. Not enough to keep me here.Just those about you.”
“ Forty years ago,” I reminded her.
“Well, that was a great summer…At least I liked it,” she said.
“So did I, obviously.”
“You know what we never did?”
“Do it in my Mom’s bed.”
“No we never did.”
“You want to?”
“Megan,” I said, “ I haven’t seen you in years and suddenly you want to fuck?”
“One last time.”
It was OK, if a bit awkward.
Neither of us was fifteen anymore, but everything fit the way it used to and she even came once.
We exchanged phone numbers and even texted for a while.
Then she stopped, presumably before her husband found out.
A couple times while working in my office I’m sure I see her red minivan drive down the street, then drive on past.
Eventually I hope she stops.