It was an odd question, coming from a perfect stranger. “Are you sure you want to do this?” I looked at my husband, seated in the rough upholstered chair in the title office. The children were still young enough to be interested in the basket of toys on the floor in the corner; Their sweet cooperative play time would be short. Nowadays they just ask for our phones, in the not too far off future, they will just use their own. They’ll have no reason to talk to us at all.
My husband shrugged and sort of smiled. I had a moment of still panic; Of course I was to sign these papers saying my husband owns 1/3 of our house. The bank said we needed to, in order to get the loan through our credit union. Frank was on the board, it was a great rate. Why wouldn’t I? What Does she think he is going to do? What does this stranger know about my husband that I don’t? He’s gonna knock off the mother of his children to take another 1/3 of the title, or what? Ridiculous, I laughed to myself, as I signed the papers, and we went to sushi. One of the few meals that we can go out to, and all be happy.
But still, Frank, no matter how much I hate the way you have made me feel, about you, about myself, I am not going to screw you over. Not the way you did to me, or, are trying to do to me? You are the father of my children, I won’t put you out on the street, I still expect your love and support. And it hasn’t come to that, yet.
He deserves some part of the house, anyway, I remember thinking. Even if it was my inheritance, it was the small equity from our first house that we used to fix up this one, and a lot of the work we did ourselves. Like I said we didn’t have much, and moving back to Santa Barbara, where we never thought we could afford to live for real, again, from a small Midwestern place; We were in disbelief about the value of our new home, and I still thought it was working, we were trying to be happy, working on our relationship. I just don’t know now, not anymore, not with what I have discovered.
The children were still young, and oblivious to our problems. Oblivious like their mother. Were you fucking someone else while I was pregnant? I kind of liked being pregnant, besides feeling bloated and achy and exhausted, it was nothing like the exhaustion I knew was coming, caring for a newborn. I still felt powerful and beautiful, in awe of what my body could do. How could you not love me and my body at that time; I so desired you and yours. That is the funny thing about being pregnant, you feel so full of sexy, everything is so not as it appears, not everyone can see the truth.