Jim had just picked up Tina from work and they were snailing their way through the late afternoon traffic. Even with the windows rolled all the way down the car was like an oven. Jim was daydreaming of getting home, grabbing a cold beer and throwing himself on the couch to watch the playoffs.
“I want a divorce,” Tina suddenly declared from the passenger seat.
Jim stared fixedly out of the windshield, at the car in front of them. He wasn’t sure if he had heard her correctly. He couldn’t have. They had been married neigh on 16 years. People didn’t just get divorced out of the blue from someone they had been married to for 16 years. He had definitely heard her wrong.
“Jim, are you listening to me?” She had turned towards him in her seat. “I want a divorce.”
He looked out the window at the oncoming traffic a few lanes over. She was having one of her tantrums. That had to be it. She had probably had a bad day at work and convinced herself that it was his fault the way she sometimes did. That was all. The car in front of them moved a few meters and he followed suit.
“Jim, stop ignoring me!”
His hands tightened around the steering wheel.
“Listen, I understand that you’ve had a bad day, but I see no reason to respond to your antics. That’s all this is. You’ll realize it too as soon as we get home and you calm down.” Jim answered.
He could sense his wife’s ice-cold stare boring into the side of his face. He kept his eyes fixed on the road. She had really taken it too far this time, and then in the middle of the football season too. He would not stand for it.
“This is not a decision I made on a whim, and if you had half a brain you would know it too!” Tina’s voice shook with anger.
“I have been unhappy for more than three years. Three years, Jim! And in that time I have tried everything to make this work. I’ve have tried talking to you and having us spend more time together. I’ve tried getting you to go for a romantic weekend getaway. I’ve even tried convincing you into couples counseling! I have told you time and time again that I was unhappy, but you always brushed me off, Jim.” She trailed off for a few seconds before continuing.
“I want a divorce. When we get home I’ll grab my suitcases and take a cab to my sister’s. I talked to Frank and Missy and we’ve agreed that they’re going to take care of the kids for a couple of days, so we have time to figure out how we are going to tell them. After we’ve told them they’ll be coming to live with me at my sisters,” Tina ended, in a tone that made it clear that there was no more discussion to be had.
Jim finally turned his head and looked at his wife. A car started honking behind them. He opened his mouth to speak.
“Traffic is moving,” Tina said.