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Now, on to what you’re really interested in . . .
Monday, February 27
Monday morning, I was already missing my boy when the secretary called and said I needed to sign for a piece of mail. Now it was official. I called Stacy when I got back to my desk. “I wanted to let you know I got the summons or whatever it’s called.”
“They said they would take care of it today. I’ve also taken the liberty of setting up a meeting with a mediator Thursday afternoon.”
She had taken the liberty.
“I want you to know I want this to be as quick and painless as possible.”
“I agree.” But I anticipated it would be neither.
“How was your weekend?” She didn’t ask how Christopher was, just my weekend. And her sunshiny, perky tone raised just a hint of suspicion. I told myself to ignore that.
“It was fine. It’s been a month now since my dad died, so I went to see my mother.”
“How was she?”
“It’s still hard. She and my father had a very close, devoted relationship, one that isn’t severed cleanly or without heartache.” By her silence, I figured she probably thought that was directed at her. It wasn’t. “How was your weekend?”
I tried to believe her.
“Michael, I’m guessing you have all our financial information in your filing cabinet.”
“I should have. Do you need copies?”
“There will be a worksheet and checklist for the mediator. You may want to contact him so you can start getting those things together.”
See how she did that? She was divorcing me, but I was going to be doing all the work preparing for it. If she worked her assistant at the pharmaceutical company this way, that girl deserved a raise. A big one.
Finally, and it’s important that this was the final question, she asked me how Christopher had done being away from her those four days. “He did fine.”
“How did he sleep?”
“Like he should. About ten hours, I think.”
“Did he eat?”
“Like he was starved. Mom thought he must be growing again.”
Now that was not an accusation the boy didn’t eat right when he was with her. Most people understand that babies and toddlers go through cycles where they eat and don’t eat.
Most people. Stacy was not most people.
“I feed him properly,” she snapped.
“I know you do.”
“Don’t even try to accuse me of not taking good care of him.”
“I wasn’t. I think you are extremely vigilant about making sure Christopher eats what he needs to and gets the right rest and so forth.” Vigilant to the point of neurosis at times.
“This will get nasty in a hurry if you try to say I’m not a good mother.”
In four minutes we had gone from cooperative, quick and painless to defensive, paranoid and delusional. It was going to be a long divorce.
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