“I know that. Don’t you think I know that?”
He spewed the words forth vehemently towards her. As if they would sting her like barbs. That would show her how it hurt him. It felt like he was being stabbed with each sound. He could barely breathe.
“You know I can’t handle confrontation.”
He looked away as he said it, as if doing this would somehow lessen what was to come.
“We both know that about you. But I want you to realise that you can’t teach Jamie that. You need to see a counsellor. You need to step up and be a good father.”
She looked him in the eyes. Willing him to actually listen and take on board what she was saying. Knowing that it was a long shot.
“I am a good father.”
“You are good at being a part time father. It is all you are capable of giving emotionally. Even Marc knows that about you.”
“You are wrong. Marc loves me.”
“Of course he does. You are his dad. But he knows what kind of man you are.”
He shook his head as if to say no, that is not true. But no words came out.
“Well Yeah. Jess called and is upset with me.”
He said this with a sly grin on his face. As if it tickled him to get at her. Even after 19 years.
“I am not Jess. I will not fight with you.”
“I know that you are not like her. But you can at least be nice to me and answer my texts. We can at least be friendly.”
“No, we are never going to be friends. I can understand why Jess hates you. You ruined her life. Hell, you ruined mine too. But I am not going to waste my energy on you. She did call me to tell me you went overseas and that is why you missed the last access visit.”
He looked at her defiantly.
“Aren’t I allowed to have a holiday?” A big smile plastered across his face.
“No, (you fucking idiot) not when you have two kids at home. You can’t have it both ways. You tell child support you are broke, but you can afford to take overseas holidays. I had to put an air conditioner on my credit card for Jamie as he could not handle the hot weather.”
“I know it was really hot. I had to turn mine off.”
She wasn’t really surprised that it would all be about him. She wanted to scream at him. What about Jamie, you idiot. But it wouldn’t help. It was easier to speak to them like they were small children.
“Look, we both know that you do not want him. Not really. I wanted him. I am perfectly capable of raising him on my own. I am offering you an out. You can have all of your weekends free. You don’t have to pay me a cent of child support. It is what you wanted. To be free and to travel. To keep all of your money and your house. Just think of it. You can do what you like. No more solicitors. No more court.”
“I had to go to court to see Jamie.” Petulance just hung there. As a child would blame you for upsetting him.
“You had access to him. You lost that because you attacked me.”
“I still don’t know why I did that. I’m sorry.”
His gaze wandered away again.
“Are you sure that this is the right thing for Jamie.”
He looked up at her sheepishly.
She should have been more disappointed. But was not shocked that he didn’t even fight for the child.
“Of course it is the right thing for him. He needs more than you are going to offer him. Please think about it.”
“I would like to talk some more. Can we talk another time?”
“Sure we can catch up at the next access visit. Do not call me, you know you are not allowed.”
She knew that he would go away and he would hatch up some new plan and nothing that was said would make a difference. He never listened to you if it did not fit into his delusional reality.
In his reality he was a nice guy. Everybody’s friend. A great catch with lots of money. But it was all a front. He was a deceiver, of himself and to all others. Isn’t it grand to live in denial land.
Well, reality has a way of slapping you in the face. You either take responsibility for your actions or you can keep on running. He chose the latter option. So sad.
Was she surprised? No not really. She thought he was different and so did everyone else who had met him. He deceived us all.
She would not let it destroy her. She would go on. She could only hope that he would do the right thing and put Jamie first. For once, it was not all about him. But would he ever realise it? She sits and waits for the next phase. Another sixteen years of this.