“Can I come over?”
That was the last thing Lizza had expected to hear from her ex-husband, a man who spent their entire marriage cheating on her, the last time with her friend in her own bed.
“Why the hell should I let you?” Lizza asked. “We’re over. You chose that skank over me. What ever problem you’re having, I want none of it. I’m done with your drama.”
“Please, Liz-bear?” He begged. “For old times sake?”
In spite of the indignation coursing through her, hearing his old pet name for her thawed her otherwise chilly feelings for him and she relented. “Fine, but no funny business.”
“Thanks, Liz. I’ll see you in fifteen.”
Fifteen minutes? She wondered. Is he already on his way here? She didn’t wait to consider it much more because her apartment was a mess, and she didn’t want him to see just how far she had let herself go. After a quick cursory sweep though the living room, she changed into something a little more appropriate than a short pair of shorts and a tank top.
Twenty minutes later, she heard a knock at the door. She waited for him to knock again before opening the door. “Hey,” she greeted him disinterestedly.
“Hey to you too,” he grimaced. “Thanks for seeing me.”
“Whatever,” Lizza shrugged. “Not to be rude,” she said as she closed the door, “but what the hell do you want?”
“You’re not at least going to invite me to sit?”
“I don’t want you to think you’re welcome here,” she retorted, “but what the fuck, make yourself comfortable.”
“Thanks.” He maneuvered awkwardly around his ex since she refused to budge and got comfortable on the futon. “This is cozy. I like what you’ve done with the place.”
“Seriously, I’m not up to idle chit-chat. What do you want?”
“Right,” he grew serious and cleared his throat. “Lizza, I made a mistake…”
“Whatever it is you’re doing, just don’t.”
“I don’t understand.”
“Oh spare me,” Lizza spat. “I gave you the best years of my life, and for what? To see you time and again fooling around my back? I put up with it once, but I won’t be your fool again.”
“Sandy’s pregnant,” he blurted out in obvious distress.
“So? She doesn’t know who the father is, only that it’s not me. She made get a vasectomy before we could…”
“I don’t need the particulars,” Lizza stopped him, a look of revulsion on her face. “Why should I care?”
“Because I get it. I understand now what I did and how I wronged you. I understand the hurt I caused you and I want a chance to make amends. I want a chance to be the man, to be the husband you needed me to be.”
“No,” Lizza shook her head sadly, “you want the chance to reclaim your manhood, but I’m not giving you that chance.”
“Because I’ve moved on.”
“You call this moving on?
“I do,” Lizza responded defiantly. “You broke me, shattered me into a million little pieces, or at least I thought you did, but I pulled myself together. I realized that I let myself be defined by you, by our marriage, by your need to control me and your need to satisfy yourself with all those girls you chose to screw behind my back.”
“No. I’m done listening to you. Yeah, I don’t have much,” Lizza glanced around at her sparse surroundings, “but I have everything I need. I’m taking care of myself for the first time in my life, and you know what I found out?”
“That I can do it. I can be independent. I can take care of myself, and I don’t need a man to do everything for me. I don’t need to have to take care of anyone, either. It’s just me and I’m loving the freedom I found when I left you. I can go out or stay in at my leisure. I can read in total silence, and I don’t have to wonder where you are or who you’re with.
“I loved you, or at least I thought I did, but I think I was just scared to be alone. It’s not that bad. In fact, it’s been a blessing. So, no. If you’re hoping for yet another chance, don’t bother. I’m sorry it’s not working out with Sandy, but she cheated on her husband to be with you. Why did you expect that she wouldn’t cheat on you?”
“That’s below the belt,” he pouted.
“No, it’s just the truth.” Lizza sat on the futon beside him and put her hand on his knee. “I wish I could say the pain goes away, but that feeling of being insignificant, of not being able to satisfy your partner might never go away. It hasn’t for me. You’re going to have to deal with it on your own. It’s not my responsibility to help you through it.”
“Fine,” he said in a resigned voice. “I knew it was a long shot to begin with.” He stood up and walked to the door. “I guess I’ll be seeing you?”
“Maybe, but not like this. I don’t want you to come crying to me when it doesn’t work out with one of your floozies. Good bye.”
She watched impassively as her ex walked out, slamming the door behind him. With him gone, she changed back into her skimpy outfit she had one before he called, pulled out a joint and lit it. Once she felt relaxed, she pulled out her phone and called her friend.
“Dante? It’s Lizza. You were right,” she laughed.” He came crawling back to me, just like you said he would. I told him I didn’t want him back. As for tonight, it’s still on. I never let my marriage to that joke get in the way of our fun time did I? No. Just make sure you and the guys are ready to have some fun. I’ll be over some time after dark, and hey, clean sheets this time, okay? Can’t wait. Bye!”