Broken Promises Under The Influence Of Blue Agave Chapter 5

Sunday evening dinner is kind of a tradition for Rebecka, Gracie and me. It’s something I have insisted on for the past couple of years since their father left. It actually is something both girls are starting to look forward to each Sunday.

I try and make something a little different. We try a lot of ethnic foods from various countries. As we finish our dinner with the dishes still on the table and the mess to be cleaned up, we take our map of the world, and we pick a Country for next Sunday. One of the three of us studies that countries food, and by Wednesday we plan for next Sunday’s dinner.

I can’t say it always turns out great, or we care about the food or the flavors, but the experience of working together and making the meal is a great bonding time. It has helped with all that we three girls have gone through the past couple of years.

Tonight, working on dinner together started out with typical girl chatter. It wasn’t until we finished dinner that I had this overwhelming thought now was the time to talk to them. I had no intentions of ending our Sunday night with this conversation. It just happened that way.

I got both Rebecka’s and Gracie’s attention. I told them I wanted to talk to them about their father. They both got quiet and sat back in their chairs. You could have heard a pin drop it was so quiet. How to start?

I told them that something seemed out of place about two years before he left. I felt it, but ignored it or perhaps denied it to myself. Maybe a little background first.

I married Joel McBride after college. Joel and I met about a year after Marshall and I parted company. I was in college and Joel had recently opened an accounting firm. He was 5 years older than I. He was stable, good looking and we dated all of my senior year of college.

We got married a year later and had Rebecka almost immediately. I’m pretty sure we got pregnant on our honeymoon. We had talked about children before we married and we both decided we would wait a couple of years after marriage to make sure we had a stable home.

When I told Joel I was pregnant he seemed surprised, and gradually he became more distant. At first, I didn’t think anything of it. When Rebecka was born Joel stepped up and became a real dad. He doted over Rebecka, and it seemed like we were finally becoming a real family.

Gracie came along two years later, and Joel changed. His attention was on the business, and he spent less time at home with we girls. Some days I felt like a single parent. I was so busy and only during the quiet times when the girls were sleeping did I have the time to reflect on our relationship. I had this feeling that perhaps Joel was having an affair. He was gone so much of the time.

I shook off those thoughts and concentrated on making a good home that would make Joel want to be home with his family. The harder I worked at our home life the more he seemed to distance himself from me in particular. I asked him once if he was not attracted to me anymore. He shook his head back and forth and said how could he not love me I was the most beautiful woman he had ever met and the mother of his children. He melted my heart, but it didn’t change anything.

Our lifestyle continued the same way as before. I resigned myself to raising our daughters. Joel worked a lot, and I took care of the home. It wasn’t until Rebecka’s thirteenth birthday party that I finally had the answer what was really wrong with our marriage. This is where I started with my girls that Sunday night after our special dinner.

I started out by asking them if they wanted to talk about their father and in fact did they want to know why he left us. Of course, they both said yes vehemently. This is what they both had been bugging me about, and right now I felt it was the right time to discuss it. I went through our history and how much he loved them. I told them that their dad finally made it clear what I had suspected all along. It was on Rebecka’s thirteenth birthday party. Joel was about forty-five minutes late. I figured he was gearing up for a house full of thirteen-year-old girls and the drama associated with a party of that nature. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Joel came in, the house was decorated in pinks and purples, Rebecka’s favorite colors, there were ten of Rebecka’s girlfriends there with three other mothers to help me with the party. Joel came in with one of his employees. His name was Oliver Sharp. He was working as a personal secretary for Joel. They came in the house holding hands.

I stood there with my apron on holding a bowl of cut fruit. Joel didn’t say anything. What was there to say it was evident he was having an affair. The part I somehow missed, he was having an affair with a man.

From that day forward after lengthy discussions and many, many tears Joel made it clear he was in love with Oliver and had known for many years he was attracted to men. My natural question was then why get married to a woman and why have children? He had no answer except he buried his true feelings in denial, and now he could no longer live with the guilt.

So here I sit and finish this story to my daughters. There were no tears. Rebecka put her head down and folded her hands in her lap. I again said the same words I had used a million times before that their father loved them very much.

Now Rebecka and Gracie knew the truth. At first, neither of them said anything. Finally, I felt a sense of relief and in a small way freedom from hiding behind my own embarrassment and guilt. Now for the first time in a long time, I can admit to myself I wasn’t at fault or a bad wife to Joel. There was nothing I did wrong. I cried.

*****

The kitchen is clean, the girls are up in their rooms and Sunday evening dinner has turned into a deathly quiet thick fog of depression as I sit by myself second guessing that I had done the right thing. Now I have to figure out how to raise my girls with the knowledge their father is gay, and I need to somehow get Joel back in their lives. I sit here and doubt myself if I’m capable of teaching them about acceptance without judgment.

I got up from the living room and went into the kitchen. I reached into the cupboard and pulled out the Blue Agave Tequila and one shot glass. I sat at the kitchen table, and I poured one shot and threw it back. Here is to you Marshall where ever you are.

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