Where exactly was the beginning? He wasn’t really sure! If he was being a smart arse he could say when he was born and that he had fucked up ever since, but that was just puerile nonsense. There were a number of defining moments in his life; when his mum died, when he realized his dad was not really his father, his wedding, the birth of his boys, all of these were a beginning to something but not to this mess. If he was pushed he would have to say it all started fourteen months ago on New Years day, the day his wife of sixteen years had up and left him. Yes, he decided that was where all this started.
Jimmy Gallagher was forty one years old when he suddenly found himself single again. The last few years of their marriage had been a sham, married in name only and just staying together “for the sake of the kids”, neither of them had said as much but they both knew it. The spark had long since died and the love had gone, they didn’t even have the sex to fall back on. He could count on one finger the amount of times they had done it in the last year, (“Done it!” charming surely he meant love making, no he decided done it was right!) he’d given up trying. It had gone from “Oh ok if you must!” to “Hurry up then I’m at a good bit in my book!” to “Alright then but if I fall asleep make sure you pull my nightie down and cover me up!” Any nightly emissions after that were going to have to be down to his imagination, a tub of hand cream and a box of tissues.
It’s easy to get into a rut he decided, getting out of it was the hard part. Jimmy wasn’t going to do anything to rock the boat so she, her, his wife, cheating bitch, Sammie, perm any one from three, had taken the initiative. He shouldn’t have been surprised when he walked into the bedroom and she was packing a suitcase but he was. The writing had been on the wall for ages, all the working late and the increasing amount of team building nights, nights out, held in smoke free pubs if the smell or lack of it on her clothes had anything to go by. All the secretive emails and the instant messaging that she covered up as he walked by. And if that wasn’t enough, the previous night at the family party when everyone was hugging and kissing to see in the New Year she was in the corner texting someone on her mobile.
“Going somewhere?” He asked as if she was popping down to the shops.
“Yeah.” She replied without looking up as she tucked a copy of the latest John Grisham into the pouch at the side of the case.
“Isn’t that mine?” he asked not sure what to say.
She pulled it back out of the case and launched it at him with both hands. It flew past his head and knocked the lamp of the bedside table with a crash.
“Fucking have it then!” She screamed at him with a venom he never knew she possessed. “I’m leaving, leaving you and all you’re worried about is whether I take your fucking paperback! For fucks sake, what’s the matter with you?”
“Have you been seeing someone? Another man, you know having an affair?” Jimmy said calmly, she didn’t answer.
“If you’re leaving you could at least have the decency to tell me.” He said without changing the tone of his voice.
She was looking back at the suitcase now, forcing the lid to shut and trying to zip it up at the same time, he could see her going red. She was crap at lying, she always went red and the vein between her eyebrows pulsed, he could see that too!
“I talked to someone; I needed to talk to someone! That was it, just talking, no affair just talking.”
He knew she was lying but he didn’t push it, what would be the point, another broken lamp?
“Where are you going to stay?”
“Jules said I could stay with her for a bit.” Sammie said.
She had managed to zip up the suitcase now and had pulled it up onto its side. Jules, he should have guessed, the interfering bitch! She couldn’t get her marriage to work so she stuck her nose into everybody else’s.
“What about the boys?” Jimmy asked. They had two sons, George (15) and Billy (13) who were downstairs beating the crap out of each other on some mortal combat game on the playstation.
“What about them?”
“Are you taking them with you?”
“No, she’s only got one spare room!” she snapped making a face at him as if he was simple.
“Ok, so have you told them that you’re leaving?”
“Right, lets get this straight. You are moving out and aren’t taking the boys, you’ve packed and are ready to go and you haven’t even told them. How am I supposed to get them up in the morning for school when I’m at work? How am I going to keep this house going on one wage? Why are you in such a fucking rush to leave? Jimmy’s voice was getting louder with each question as his temper grew.
“This is why! You don’t give a shit about me all you care about is money and yourself!”
Great, thought Jimmy, the best form of defence being attack and all that. What was the point in trying to argue with her, she had obviously made her mind up.
“If you are going go, I don’t want you here if you don’t want to be, but talk to the boys first. We’ll talk about childcare arrangements when we are a little calmer.
So that was it, she was gone and Jimmy was left to fend for himself and look after the boys, BRILLIANT!
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