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I didn’t win Jane’s IHTM contest, but your comments were so sweet, I couldn’t leave you hanging.
I hated coming home to Scandal and Jailbait. I started hiding in my room, in bars, at work, and on friends’ couches. I also felt really guilty about using them as an entry to a writing contest. I began passive-aggressively stealing Scandal's chicken nuggets from the freezer and eating her ice cream. I hid a pack of toilet paper in my bedroom closet because she hadn’t bought any. Ever.
Finally, I told Scandal that my buddy was moving in.
I’m waiting for my divorce to be finalized so that I can move back into my house … the refinancing is taking longer than I expected … I have rental properties so there are several lenders involved and it’s taking longer than I expected.
Just sending the text gave me relief. There’s would be an end to the mini rubber bands! (Who was paying for his orthodontics, anyway?)
I’d also noticed pot resin around my sink and in my toilet. I didn’t know if Scandal knew what it was, and I didn’t care, what I did care about was the week plus it took her to clean it up.
Eventually, I noticed that they weren’t sleeping here. Then I saw a note on my kitchen table.
I hadn’t seen Jailbait for days and the letter was there for an entire evening. She left it out on purpose, just like she left out their lube, opened her bedroom when they cuddled in bed, and had the privacy settings on her Facebook set to public.
She’d left a break-up note, with a litany of religious references: “I need to get my head straight”, (insert prayer), “don’t spend all your time drinking and smoking”, (prayer reference) “I need to get my head straight, (praying about it), “I know you want to start our life together and so do I” (pray pray pray) “but I need to untangle the last 10 years (marriage) of my life” (I pray about you every night).
I really thought I might come home to a suicide-murder. That night, she spent over an hour in the bathtub, past 10 o’clock. She rarely stayed up that late. I’d never knocked on the door when she was in there, but I was sincerely concerned that she may have hurt herself. Finally, she came out.
The next night I thought they were both gone; I’d seen Scandal leave. I heard something in my living room and walked out to find Jailbait on the couch watching a movie, politely tuned low. I tried to go back to bed. I couldn’t. I had work the next day and it was after 1 a.m. Maybe it was because I couldn’t sleep, but all I could think about was the distraught, drunk teenager on my couch and how I would never hear him come in once I was sleeping.
I tried to quietly move my dresser in front of my bedroom door, but it was too heavy. Finally, I did manage to carry over a giant TV. I decided that he couldn’t get the door open without at least making noise. I fell asleep.
The next day I texted Scandal. Jailbait had always been extremely considerate, but I wasn’t comfortable with him sleeping there without her. She replied that she knew that “the original intention wasn’t for him to stay there at all” (So she knew it wasn’t okay!) and that they were going to look for places that day. She’d get him to stay at a friends’, but asked if it was it okay for him to keep his stuff there.
And then they were gone.
Well, mostly they were gone. I’d see Jailbait or Scandal leaving with some bags when I was coming home from work, or hear someone coming in when I was asleep early in the morning. No one was sleeping in their room. She was still paid up through the end of the month. I would come home to find crumbs on my counter and dishes in my sink. My bar soap was used and a toothbrush was resting in my shower. All I had to do was let it go for 14 more days, then seven.
Tonight Jailbait came in. I was in the kitchen, which opens to the front door. He apologized, assumedly just for coming in my space. He went in the bedroom and came out with a bag. He packed some food up from the kitchen and told me, “Here’s your key back.”
All that’s left in their room is a mattress, blanket, ladies’ pajama pants, a Boggle game, wrapping paper and a typed note about possible apartments in his budget and a comment about how Scandal could help him with the security deposit. Under that were a few pages of local apartments.
On his way out, while carrying the bag from his bedroom and a few food items he’d packed up, he grabbed the sack of trash by the door and took that out, too.
I told him, “Thank you. I really hate taking out the garbage.” He smiled.