The secret diary of a single parent bloke
It had been an odd day from the beginning. I’d skived off work for a job interview, spent several hours trying to repair the timer on the boiler (and got thrown across the bathroom from a live cable), tried to repair the washing machine, and then decided to just go and buy a new one. Strangely, last point was to prove very significant.
We went off to the retail park to have a look at the washing machines. Dull, but necessary. Chose the one we wanted, paid for it, and then tried to work out how to get it into the car. We couldn’t. So Kat hatched a plan: she would take the kids home, I would wait in the shop, and my dad would come over in his big car and bring me and the washing machine home. I was suspicious, but agreed. So that’s what we did.
My dad helped plumb in the new washing machine, and went off to a pub to see a band. I went over to the computer, started it up, and read Kat’s messages. They were between her, “James”, “Ben” and someone called “Joe”. Joe? She hadn’t been as careful about deleting them as previously, and there were a couple of weeks worth. They were full chat about how they loved each other, and what they would do when they next met. Some had been posted whilst I was in the shop.
I printed them out, and handed them to her.
“What are these?”, she asked.
“You sent them, you tell me”
“We’re finished. I want you to leave.”
“Where will I go?”
“I don’t care”
And with that, she went upstairs, packed a bag, and left the house. And that was it. She was gone. No protests, arguments, or even raised voices.
“Dad. What’s going on?”. I heard the voice that I prayed I wouldn’t hear that evening. Natalia was sitting on the stairs, she’d heard it all. Shit. I went and gave her a hug, and told her that mommy was going to live somewhere else, and that she still loved her very much. Natalia began to cry. I relief that Kat had gone came crashing down around me. I had broken our family. Our normal “mom, dad, two children and a dog in suburbia family” was gone. And yet I didn’t feel upset- either for Natalia, Jack or myself. I reassured Natalia that we both still loved her, and that she’d see lots more of her Mom. She went back to bed, and slept through the night.
I felt rather odd. I had expected to feel upset, stressed, worried. I was now one of those rare and unnatural creatures: the single parent dad.
I deadlocked the door to make sure she couldn’t come back in.
A couple of hours later, my dad phoned. He was in the pub, and Kat had called him.
Had I really thrown her out, he enquired?
“Yes” I replied.
“Was it because she broke the washing machine?”