Today, I decided to start a story. If you like what you read, maybe I’ll write more.
The divorce had been far less painful than she ever expected.
It’s six months since they were discovered, wrapped around each other like snakes in the space that used to be the centre of her Universe. Now Amy sleeps in the spare room on a small, single bed and doesn’t mind that she keeps bumping into boxes on the way to make breakfast. Jamie’s still up before her, constructing wraps in his own worryingly distinctive fashion on a grey, cold Tuesday that reeks of British Summer. His school uniform looks small, Amy notes, another thing to add to her list of things to do. He won’t make it to the end of term without trousers, but the blazer will survive.
Grace seems tiny in comparison to her brother now, even though only three years separate the two. Her dark hair is surprisingly well-tamed, and maybe all that nagging about brushing before bed has finally registered. Only now does Amy Fisher realise that both her children are staring, oddly confused in the cramped kitchen of the semi-detached.
‘Are you alright, mum?’
Jamie’s head tips, probably registering the tears that are falling unhindered as the realisation dawns that now, like it or not, she’s on her own.
‘Mummy, it’s okay. We still both love you very much. Don’t be sad.’
Then two sets of arms wrap around a shaking body everything just falls out, torrent of angry, bitter regret: failings she grasped in fifteen years of togetherness but never addressed. They all stand, warmly wrapped until the tears cease and she moves back, smiling at them both.
‘You’re both brilliant, thank you. I have no idea how I’d manage without you being helpful and understanding, and that’s the best thing I could ever ask for.’
It’s the first time she’s actually thanked them, Amy grasps, and the effect is both instant and gratifying. There’s a packet of tissues in her hand and shortly a cup of tea on the table as Grace makes her sit, providing her own breakfast with impressive speed. Then both of them are ready, standing with bags and coats, and it’s 8.15. Her part of this equation now is the car and delivery to the schools half a mile apart, because they’ve grown into vastly different people but maintain love without reproach.
Today is the day you don’t just forget the world changed, Amy decides without fear. It will be the time to finally clear the bedroom, make some space for yourself, and move on.