Read Chapter 21 “Taking A Break”
Jim Wants to Talk
June 7th, 2019
The half term is already finished, and the three of us are back to our crazy, busy London life. While being away, I wasn’t concerned with job hunting, money stretching and imagining what the future had in store for us.
That short break had a healing effect on my mind, body, and soul. I was so relaxed and didn’t have to focus on what I needed or didn’t have in life.
While I was in the state of happiness, the Universe did some pairing up for me, and I picked up two more weekly content writing jobs. The jobs are small, but it’s always some extra income.
Two days after our return from Poland, unexpectedly out of the blue, Jim called me and wanted to meet up for a chat. I was gobsmacked to hear from him. He didn’t text me or asked to see the girls for weeks; he completely cut us out when I challenged him about not paying for the school.
He suggested we meet without the girls and talk. My ex-hubby (we aren’t officially divorced, just officially seriously separated), who made sure that the past seven months were a nightmare for me, all of a sudden wants to talk. I have to admit that a part of me is pretty curious to find out what he wants, but another part wants to give him the silent treatment he deserves.
Since I don’t have anyone to look after the girls while we talk (he made sure I was left with no support system), I suggested we meet in the playground. Besides, if he tries to pull some shit (you never know what is brewing in his sick mind), he may think twice not to do it in front of the girls and other families (with his recent thought processing you never know what to expect from him, even in public spaces).
I agreed to meet him because of the girls, not because I’m desperate to see him. My kind and gentle nature believe that as a father, he should have contact with his kids, regardless of how little I think of him.
June 8th, 2019
The weather hasn’t been the best for the playground exploration on that particular Saturday but not too unusual for the London summer. The four of us met in the Greenwich playground. The girls know that space very well, and the place is big enough for them to keep busy for longer than five minutes before getting bored.
Jim was a bit late, very unlike Jim; he used to be always on time or way ahead of time. He looked nervous (I’m not surprised after being a dickhead for months) and seemed to have a hard time knowing what to do with his hands. He wasn’t too sure whether he should kiss me, hug me, or shake my hand. To rescue him from his misery, I moved far enough from him, so his embrace wouldn’t reach me. The girls gave him hugs, kids are so forgiving, before running off to play. Once they were gone, it became clear that the tension between the two of us was high.
Ahead of our meeting, I promised myself that I wasn’t going to speak first. Why should I? As my little revenge, I was planning to make him feel as uncomfortable as I could. I also wore my skinny jeans (all the cakes I ate in Poland didn’t make such a huge difference). Of course, I wanted him to see how good I look and that I’ve moved on from the mess he so graciously bestowed on me. After nearly eternal silence, he finally spoke and what he said made me utterly speechless.
My ex, the person who put me through hell, left me hanging on life support (without my family I don’t think I would have managed), wants to get back together. When he said those words, my brain shut down, and I stopped thinking for a moment before I started wondering “why”.
Fast enough, I reasoned with myself that I didn’t need to know his why’s and how’s and I surely didn’t want to get back together with him. I knew that deep down in my heart, but words failed me. As a woman, I’ve been trained pretty well to keep quiet, don’t express my opinions just in case my too opinionated views would hurt someone. The longer I was silent; the more impatient Jim was growing. I tried to focus on catching a glimpse of girls’ jackets while composing my reply, but the girls moved too fast for my eyes.
When, after a couple of minutes, I still didn’t say anything, the reply turned out to be harder than I anticipated. Jim started talking again and telling me how much he’s changed and grown and how much he misses the family and the girls and what a big mistake it was to leave us and be with Christina. BLA… BLA…BLA…
I know I was listening, but something in me was broken, and he was the very reason that it was broken. I didn’t believe even one word he said. Finally, I stopped him and bluntly said: “no, thank you, but no, we are doing fine without you”.
I could see how angry he suddenly became. All the stuff he said about change and being a different person was just another lie. All of a sudden, I remembered that when we were still together, we always did what he wanted, because he could never stomach a refusal or someone having a different opinion than him.
The man that was standing next to me wasn’t any different from the one I knew for years. He was still the same Jim, who always put his interest ahead of everyone else’s, which unfortunately I didn’t see until our separation.
My best guess is that something had gone wrong between him and Christina and he was desperately trying to find a rescue boat. He wanted to be back because it’s always more comfortable to be with someone familiar than start your life all over again on your own.
I knew I needed to be strong for my girls, who must learn how to respect themselves and not let men walk all over them (I still have quite a lot of making up to do in the respect department). When his speech patter became quite fast, I stopped him, put the good girl’s image aside, and blurted out everything I hold against him deep down in my heart. At the end of my monologue, I simply asked him how on Earth, after putting us through hell, he expected from the girls and me to take him back.
He tried to blame Christina and her possessive nature for not being in touch with the girls, but I didn’t care. His first responsibility in the event of a broken relationship should be his children, not other women and their fucking egos.
He clearly wasn’t happy with the way the conversation went. I guess he expected me to welcome him with open arms and heart no way that will never happen. The woman he was married to doesn’t exist anymore.
He stayed at the playground for a few more minutes before making some clumsy excuse and left. The girls were a bit disappointed that dad didn’t hang around long enough to play with them. However, I can’t say I was surprised; dodging responsibility seems to be one of his talents.
The girls and I stayed in the playground a little bit longer. While they were running around, I tried to collect my thoughts and digest what just happened. It was surely not what I expected at all, not in a million years.