He found it strange how many times during the day that he touched his thumb to his ring finger to twirl his wedding band around on his finger. He didn’t find a ring there anymore, what he found was bare skin, dry and white, the outline of where his ring used to be.

He couldn’t recall the moment of when he first realized things were not as they seemed. He remembered no moment of blinding realization, or of crossing a line that once crossed signified the end.

He didn’t grow suspicious when she asked him to go downstairs and sleep on the couch, just tonight. Then tonight became the next night and the night after, and so forth.

He thought that she just needed her space when she started to spend a few nights a week at a “friends” house. And she probably just need more space when she went on a week long cruise to Costa Rica, presumably by herself.

But he something was wrong we she walked through the door one Saturday morning after a night at her “friends” house, with a smile on her face that spread from ear-to-ear. This was a smile Jimmy, her husband, could never put on his face, no sir. He couldn’t put that smile there after he bought her a new car, and he couldn’t put a smile on her face after he started to pay all the bills after she lost her job at the Kum-N-Go gas station down on the corner, and certainly not after he spent hour after hour each week cleaning dishes, doing laundry, vacumming, dusting, scrubbing, just to keep the house spotless, like she liked it.

Not after all that could he put a smile on her face.

But that day she walked through the door with a smile he hadn’t seen since… well, since after a few months of being married – thirteen years ago, it would have been, this November – he knew, he knew.

“Oh, hi Jimbo.” She said after a few moments, were she seemed to walk on air around the couch that he was sitting on, blissfully unaware that he was even in the room.

“You certaintly are chipper, honey.” Jimmy said as he watched her, her smile still on her face and her hands firmly clamped together in front of her as if she was getting ready to kneel down and pray.

“I am Jimbo, I am.” She let out a large sigh as if the weight of the world, many worlds, had been lifted from her shoulders and replaced by a large, fluffy pillow.

“Want to let me in on the big secret?” Jimmy asked, leaning forward.

“Huh?” She said, seeming not to notice that he had asked a question. “Oh, Jimbo, I’m leaving you, I want a divorce.”

I am going through a seperation right now, which, in part, is where this story came from. I see a little of myself in both characters. Neither one of us cheated in the marriage, but there are some things that go on in a marriage that sting just as much. The parts of myself that I see in the wife are the parts surrounding the weight being lifted off the shoulders. I was the one to leave and when I finaly found the courage to say goodbye, it felt like I was getting a chance to live again, like I had just found a cure for a life threatening disease.

The part of myself that I see in the husband are the parts surrounding him doing everything to make his wife happy and it still wasn’t enough. Im my marriage, I paid all the bills and put myself in a ton a debt to try and give her what she wanted, but it never seemed to be enough. She would always want more and seemed completely oblivous to the fact that I was drowning under a mountain of bills.

There were more problems then that, many more, but it’s over now, and I feel like a can breath deep again.