Anger rolled off her in waves, a barely controlled response to his foolish pigheadedness. What a day it had been, and nearly all of the obstacles had been stupidly imposed by him being… him. Shirley turned around to check on the kids, who were surprisingly engrossed in their iPads, playing some sort of jewel gathering game. If only.
Her father always told her she would marry the wrong guy, but he was wrong, and she had guaranteed it. See, she promised herself she would never accept Jerry’s many proposals. In all other ways they were married. He often joked that they might as well be a gay couple (because they couldn’t get married in New Mexico). He didn’t realize, of course, that she took offense to that because they never talked. But there were the kids to consider. Which is why they were stuck in limbo.
They were supposed to already be at the Funplex an hour ago, but Jerry wouldn’t admit he was lost. Indeed, even though she had the map and told him where to turn, he swore he knew the way by heart. Although he had NEVER been to the Funplex before. He was also sure they had enough gas to get there, but the indicator was solidly in the red and had been for the past twenty minutes. And she said nothing, silently blaming him for everything that was wrong on the trip and for everything that was wrong in their lives.
Amy and Jen might as well have been dead in the backseat, with the screens glowing blue and green and way too close to their faces. Every five minutes or so, Jerry would yell over his shoulder at them to stop slouching in their seats. At least he communicated with them on occasion, not like her own father who grunted more often than not.
As they turned off onto a dirt road, obviously lost, no closer to their destination, she could hold back no longer. It didn’t matter that he loved her, or that he was the father of her children. Jerry was the absolute wrong man for her, just as her father had said years before. And yes, he was as close as her skin after all that time, but she had to leave him.
So she made him pull the station wagon over onto what could be considered the side of the road as a dust cloud plumed up from underneath them. Getting out of the car, she started counting to ten in her head. The wind from off the nearby lake blew her red hair back into her face, momentarily blocking out his face, and the car, and her life.
And she started walking.