Verde is 30, Lainey is 30, Esperanza is 5, Carmela is 57
narrated by Verde
Esperanza has been begging for a pet. Every meal she talks about how great it would be to have a pet.
When we play together, she always makes her dolls beg for a pet
and I've noticed that she always has the daddy doll buy the pet for the children. She always says that the daddy doll is the best daddy in the world.
That's how we ended up in the pet store. Lainey wasn't on board with getting a pet, but my mom and Esperanza convinced her. I think she was hoping that Esperanza would pick out a small fish.
I wouldn't mind if she brought home a wombat.
It was looking like she would adopt a bird.
A bird is an unusual choice for a pet, but it would fit our family.
At least, it looked that way until she made her way outside with the puppies.
I'm not sure how it happened, but first she saw the cute little puppies, then there was this huge dog.
It was as large as a bear Lainey and I agreed. I think Esperanza took the fear in our eyes to mean that this bear/dog would be the perfect pet.
That's how we ended up with Bear. He's a cuddly gentle giant and I bet Esperanza could easily harness him and ride him to school if she wanted to.
Shortly afterwards, Lainey said that we needed to talk.
When a man's wife says she needs to talk and makes sure that no one else is around, then you know you're in trouble.
I even asked if I was in trouble. I couldn't think of anything that I had did wrong...well, except the dirty clothes. I always leave my dirty clothes in the middle of the bathroom and she can't stand it.
She said that this wasn't easy for her and that there wasn't an easy way to say it
so she just said it.
"I want a divorce."
The words hit me harder than any enemy in combat could. A divorce? A divorce?!?!?
She said that she wasn't happy and she didn't think I was either. She said that she felt that we were going through the motions, playing at being married when we were only roommates with a child.
She said that she had given up on our marriage because she didn't see how anything could make it better.
She said that I am a wonderful father, a good husband, a great friend. But she didn't want to be in our marriage anymore.
Then she started talking about custody arrangements and separations and apartments nearby so Esperanza could walk between our homes.
I wanted to say that I wanted her to be happy. That even if she wasn't with me, I wanted her to be happy.
Then I snapped.
"What do you mean, no? I want a divorce, you can't tell me no."
"I'm sorry. I'm sorry that you've been so unhappy and that you've been suffering in silence. I thought everything was ok, I was wrong. Why are you unhappy?"
"I don't love you anymore. I don't respect you anymore."
Her words took my breath away. They left me reeling in pain and anger. I took a breath.
"I don't believe you."
"Whatever you're fighting is with you, it's not with me, it's not with our family. It's with you. I don't plan on letting you hurt our family because you're hurting. I will do whatever I need to do to make you see that we love you and that we can make this work."
"If you need a break, fine. Buy the ax throwing set you always wanted. Turn the extra bedroom into your private sauna. Anything to give you the break, or the distance you need without hurting our family."
Her eyes were empty as she looked at me and then she walked into the house. She came back shortly afterwards with a cold malted nectar for me.
"It's a lot to process right now," I said after thanking her. "I will be inside later."
As I watched her walk back into her home, I knew there was no way in hell I was letting her go. I had already lost her once, I'll be damned if I lose her again.