Finally deciding to confront the issue, she interrupted him as he sat there ponderously checking off incorrect responses on the page before him. “David, we should talk.” As soon as the words left her lips, she wished she could bite them back. His glance withered her with its ferocity. Now where did that come from?
“Are you sure you want to get into this now?”
But he had paused and looked up at her. Was that a good sign? She continued: “When else are we going to have the time – or be alone – so the kids won’t hear us.…”
He sighed and folded up his work, stuffing everything into his briefcase. He stood and approached her slowly. “I think we’re kind of hanging in, aren’t we? We can’t change what happened, you know – and maybe it was all part of some kind of inevitability – I mean we were sort of bored with each other last summer, don’t you think? Our big political protest was over, we were doing the neighborly get-togethers, and what happened – well, I think it was fate. You and I got together during a political process, back in Sacramento, and we seem to connect when we’re doing that…but then the party ends. We have to move on. And when we do, we don’t really have much between us. Oh, of course, the kids and the house – we kind of got into the remodeling and refurbishing everything – and then all we had was our day-to-day lives of work and parenting. Not everyone gets off on that stuff – I know that I don’t….”
“So what are you saying?” Fear gripped her, even as the tears slid slowly down her cheeks; she tried to swallow the lump forming in her throat. But she knew he was right. Their lives had turned mundane….
“We either keep doing what we’re doing – hanging in – or we do something to change it.”
“Like what?” Carly sat down hard on the side of the bed, watching David as he started pacing across the bedroom, her eyes huge with fear and unshed tears. Was he talking about counseling, perhaps? She felt almost hopeful.
“Now don’t get all weepy on me,” he chastened. He was clearly uncomfortable with a show of emotion. “It doesn’t have to get ugly – or be difficult – all we have to do is agree on what happens next….”
“So it sounds like you’re saying we should split….”
“Maybe it’ll be temporary…until we can reassess everything….” Now he was really backpedaling, she thought, but pushed ahead.
“We can’t afford the house if we’re not together,” she pointed out.
“Well, we could sell the house and move into rentals,” he offered. “Why don’t we call a realtor? We don’t have to do anything drastic until after the house sells…We can surely hang in that long!” He laughed suddenly.
“Okay….” Depleted, she leaned back against the bed pillows and closed her eyes. Behind her eyelids, fantasies flashed – a life of her own with only halftime responsibility for the kids; her own place and the time for her own friends – now why hadn’t she thought of any of this before? And then, maybe, she could finally erase those horrible images of a night last summer when they had all thrown caution to the winds.