“I don’t know if I can take it any more!” Annie cried. “It’s killing me to stay, but is leaving him the answer ?”
“It sounds as if you haven’t had your tea and toast moment yet.”
She looked at me, and sniffed.
“Tea and toast?”
“Yeah, it’s a story I heard a while back, about a woman who finally made the decision to leave a bad relationship.
“She had been married for twenty years or more, had a grown son, a decent life. Then her husband dumped her for his mistress.
“So, she’s on her own, getting by. She meets a new guy, charming, a few dents and scars, but hey, at this stage, it comes with the territory, right? He’s got a job, which is more than most of the candidates out there can claim. They move in together.
“Before too long, for one reason or another, he quits his job, takes another, and quits or gets fired from that. He’s depressed. He mopes around the house watching the tube and basically scattering toast crumbs around the place. She’s supporting them both on her minimum wage job. They argue, or they don’t speak at all.
“She considers ending it, but doesn’t know how to make that happen. The sheer weight of not one, but two failed relationships is more than she can handle.
“Her son is at college on the west coast. He sends word of a job posting that might interest her fellow. It’s for a superintendent couple in a high-rise apartment. Free rent, maintain the place, you know, unclog sinks and stuff like that. She convinces the boyfriend that they should apply. They get the job and move 3000 miles to a new life.
“Except that the old life moves along with them. Nothing changes. He attends to his duties only when pressed to do so.”
“Holy crap,” says Annie. “She left her job and her friends and moved to a place that was totally foreign! Good thing her son was there otherwise she’d be completely isolated.”
“Yeah, well, it gets worse. One day, someone knocks at their door. She’s expecting a tenant with a burnt-out light bulb or something, but it’s the police. They found her son, dead.”
“NO! You’re kidding me! Oh that poor woman!”
“I know! Can you just imagine? She is completely devastated, can barely remain upright.
“Anyway, after the funeral, she returns to the apartment…”
Annie asks, “Wait, he didn’t go with her?”
I just shrug.
“She lets herself in, and he’s in the living room watching the TV as usual. As she’s taking off her coat and boots, he gets up, and goes into the kitchen. He returns with a pot of tea and some buttered toast on a tray. He walks toward her and hands her the tray. Her heart melts. He made it for her! He knows this is the worst day of her life and he’s trying to comfort her!”
“Take this,” he says. “Put it in the living room for me, will ya? I need to go to the can.”
“That was the moment. Her tea and toast moment.
“She’s back home in Ontario now. She’s working at her old job. She looks great. She’s doing just fine.”
Head Photo Tea and Toast image from http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/
Inspired by the Daily Prompt
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