The Divorce

The Divorce

DivorceYou are getting a divorce?” exclaimed Damien, our son. 

My wife, Martha, and I remained unaffected. 

He might have said we were getting a dog, not a divorce.

“Dad! You sent me a cryptic text that after three decades together, you and Mom are splitting amicably. Have you lost it?” he continued.

We had gathered around the dining table in front of a lavish spread. This should have been a cosy reunion. Only it wasn’t. 

Damien in twenty-eight years had never looked this flustered. I interrupted him.

“Can we discuss this after dinner? The quiche is excellent. Despite our differences, we cooked this feast for you!” 

We? EXCUSE ME! I did the work while you lazed around!” Martha snorted.

“Lord! This woman won’t give me any peace. And she is SO messy!”

“Son, we are incompatible. He watches football when I wish to sleep!” cried Martha.

“I would sleep if only she didn’t snore!” 

“Have you thought of the financials?” our son persisted.

“Divorce is expensive because it’s worth it!” I smirked.

“Stop! You guys love each other!” he pleaded.

“What do you know about love?” I retorted.

Damien opened his mouth, then quickly shut it. We stared at each other with accusatory expressions. 

This was the proverbial dinner from hell. Unsavoury. Unpalatable.

It was Damien who broke the impasse. 

“Since we are dropping truth bombs, I’ve something to say. I’m gay! I love someone and am living with them.”

“When are you going to introduce us to him?” I inquired.

“You should bring him over,” Martha chimed in.

“Wait, you aren’t mad?” He was flummoxed.

“No! We already knew. About the gay thing. Not the divorce. That’s recent.”

“I didn’t think you’d approve. That’s why I never came home all these years!”

“Son! We love you for who you are.”

“Thank you! Please, can we talk?”

“Why don’t you stay with us over the long weekend? Martha and I will try to iron out our differences. You can be our mediator. Please invite your partner too.”

Damien struggled with his emotions, but finally gave in.

“Alright.”

“Fantastic! Fancy dessert?”

***

The minute our son left to fetch his partner, Martha admonished me.

“Why didn’t you tell him that our divorce is a lie, a ruse to get him home?”

I shrugged.

“I was hard on Damien when he was younger. He thought we hated him for who he was, and left home at the first opportunity. I never got a chance to make amends. It hurt. 

One day, I had a brainwave. Shock him; he’d come running. It worked! 

Well, it was either this or fibbing about terminal illness!”

Martha chuckled. She switched on the TV. 

Sometimes I cooked for her, and we sat on the couch, watching football, holding hands.

“So, no divorce?” she teased. 

I picked up the cushion she had dropped.

Messy woman! But without her? My life would be a mess.

“Martha, honey, you are the one I want for life.”
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