“Ivy, what are you doing here? Who’s watching the kids?” He asked so calmly. He didn’t even seem bothered that his whole charade was about to blow up in his face.
“They’re with Johanna. Why are you here Cyrus?”
“Isn’t it obvious?” He said so casually, so coldly.
“So it’s like that huh? After all these years this is what it comes down to? Secrets, lies, betrayal!”
“What are you talking about?” He whined. “Stop being so dramatic!”
“Dramatic? I’m not being dramatic. If anything I’m being as calm and as classy as anyone could be given the circumstances. I could run up to that house and make a scene but I won’t because I have my self-respect. Because I won’t do anything that could ruin the way my children see me. But you on the other hand, you don’t care about them, or me, or anyone but yourself!”
“I don’t care about anyone but myself? That’s rich! Are you seriously saying this to me when you’ve been so self-centred for so long?!”
“Yeah that’s right,” He continued, “I’m sick of everything always being about you! It’s like it’s the Ivy show every single damn day and I’m just a guest star who loses more and more lines with every episode!”
“No! You’re not cutting me off this time! I’m gonna speak! You know how long it’s been since we’ve had a real conversation? All you do is talk about what you’re doing, what you want and how you feel. You never ask me about my day and if I try to tell you, you cut me off because you just have to talk more about yourself! Because I guess what I have to say is not as interesting as what’s going on with you and that’s if you’re even talking to me at all! Most days you just come home and go straight to your lab!”
“I was working for Gabriel!” I insisted, “I was working to make sure his handover to the Sixamians went smoothly. I thought you of all people would understand that my brother needed me!”
“And last week when he was out with Reyna most of the time? Everything was settled, all the plans were made, he didn’t need you then and yet nothing changed with you. You still had no time for me! I came to you, wanted to talk to you and remember what you said? You said, ‘not right now honey, I need to solve this equation’. I needed you and you weren’t there for me!”
“So you went and found another woman? I wasn’t there for you so instead of trying harder to get through to me you found someone else?” I started crying at this point because I couldn’t keep it in any longer. “I’m sorry if I’ve been a little selfish but what you’re doing is no better! You think I wouldn’t figure out what was happening? I see you disappearing to take calls, texting someone late at night, running off as soon as I get home to come here to meet her. So who is she huh? Tell me!”
“Have you lost your damn mind?!” He yelled. “Look around Ivy!” I did look around and I suddenly realised what neighbourhood we were in, and behind me was a house that looked very familiar.
He shook his head, “You think I’m screwing around on you? I would never hurt you like that regardless of how you’ve been treating me. I certainly wouldn’t bring another woman to hook up with her in my mother’s house!”
I guess I was so angry that I didn’t realise where I was while I was following him. He was coming to visit his mother, not some other woman. I felt so stupid! “I…I didn’t…I’m…”
“My mother died Ivy.” He revealed in a quiet voice.
“Earlier this week, when you brushed me off for your stupid equations. She was sick for the last few months. Blair and I knew it was coming but still…” His voice trailed off and I could tell he was holding back tears.
“I’m so sorry! I should have been there for you. But you should have said it was important and I would have listened.” That day, I honestly thought he wanted to talk about his latest Blicblock score or the latest song from Llamahead or something that could have waited for later. I never imagined he was trying to tell me his mother died. “Why didn’t you tell me she was sick before?”
“It’s not like you cared about her anyway.” He said bitterly.
“Cyrus, that’s not fair! She was still my mother-in-law. I care!”
“You care? You never asked about her when the kids and I would go to visit her. Not once. It seemed like you just pretended she didn’t exist!”
I was sure she never asked about me either. Abbie and I haven’t spoken to each other since our fight before Lyra was born. I guess now we’ll never have a chance to resolve our issues. Despite our bitter relationship, I honestly felt sad, more so for him and my kids than for myself, that she was gone. I was also hurt that he didn’t try harder to tell me about it.
“All those calls you saw me take,” He continued. “All those texts, they were to Blair. I was checking up on Mom’s health and then after she died I was helping Blair with the memorial service. The kids and I went while you were at work yesterday.”
“Wait a minute, Kaleb and Lyra knew and I didn’t?”
“Just another example of how uninvolved you’ve been in their lives! You never even ask them about their day or anything otherwise you would have known because they would have told you. I do everything for Kaleb and Lyra. I help them with their homework, I play with them, I make sure they brush their teeth before bed and do their chores. I do everything for those kids! You don’t even appreciate that I practically gave up my career for them, and for you!”
“But I never asked you to give up your career Cyrus…”
“You left me no choice. You made it clear you weren’t gonna cut back on your hours at work so someone had to take a backseat. I love spending time with my kids, I do, but you don’t even recognise the sacrifices that I’ve made. You don’t help out. Everything is on me all the time!”
“Cyrus, honey, I’m really sorry….”
“My mother was right about you!”
“You trapped me! You trapped me into this life where I do your bidding all the time and I get nothing in return except suspicion and accusations! Every time I talk to some female you get on me about it. I’m going out often and texting so obviously I’m cheating on you, right? For all I know, you’re probably the one that’s screwing around on me!”
“How could you even think that?!” I cried. “I would never do such a thing!”
“What am I supposed to think when you come home late and never have time for me? I can’t even touch you anymore, you’re always tired! For all I know, you’re probably hooking up with someone when you’re supposedly working and then letting your guilty conscience convince you that I’m the one doing the dirt!”
“Okay just stop! Just stop! I’m sorry I took you for granted, I seriously am, and I should have been there for you when Abbie died and I shouldn’t have let my jealousy get the better of me and accuse you of cheating but I am not and have never cheated on you, Cyrus! I love you! I didn’t mean to hurt you and please just, just tell me how I can fix this. I don’t want to fight anymore. Tell me how we can work this out.”
“I don’t think we can.”
“Wait…what are you saying Cyrus?” I moved in closer to him but he just stepped back.
“I’m saying…I’m staying here with Blair and her husband for a few days. I need time away from you to think.”
“But…what about the kids?”
“I’ll come and visit them as often as I can.”
“So you’re leaving me? Is that it? You’re giving up on us?” I hoped he was joking. In fact I was hoping this whole argument was just a figment of my imagination and that none of it was actually happening.
“I need some time. I need to think…”
“To think about what? Cyrus we’re gonna work this out. Let’s just go home and talk until we resolve this, okay? We need to work this out. Cyrus…”
He walked away.
My eyes burned with tears and my throat became dry. I was confused. I was hurt. But most of all, I was frightened. I was so frightened that I had just lost the only man I had ever loved. I had no idea he felt all those things he said. I never meant to neglect him or our children. I never meant for him to think I didn’t care or that I didn’t appreciate him.
Now he resented me.
Now he wants to be away from me.
What if he decides he doesn’t want me anymore?
What if it’s really over?
Oh Watcher! I messed up so bad!