via Daily Prompt: Complicated
It’s complicated to maintain a relationship with your ex, but you will do it. Whether you want to or not, and especially if you have children together, you will be eternally bound in a relationship with that person.
At first you will spend your energy avoiding contact and communicate through emails and texts and third parties which can provide physical evidence of exchanges, promises, schedules, lies, insults, etc. It’s complicated to decipher the truth after a while. “I know you’re crazy, but am I crazy, too?”
Between hurling hurtful words and going out of your way to go out of your way (to avoid that asshole in the store, restaurant, school, concerts, plays, sporting events…) you realize things are way too complicated.
One day, you put aside the bullshit and mutually decide to get over it for the kids. “I want to be at the kids’ games and practices, and you want to be at the kids’ games and practices, and they definitely want us both there.” But, it’s complicated.
He’s bringing the skank along and you have your own new significant other that he hates. Soon one child graduates, then another, and in a few years the youngest will be off to college, and you can finally forget all about the fuckface that cheated on you and terrorized you and the kids (and even the poor house). Although, it’s kind of complicated to explain why you have a broken back and trust issues and anxiety and your son hates to smile because of his blackened tooth.
When your children are beautifully grown, and have hopefully forgotten all about the broken windows and flying fists, they begin to fall in love with the dreams of starting families. But even in the beauty of graduations and marriages and new life, it will be complicated.
It’s been years since you have had to lay eyes on the dark swarm of lies that manifested itself into the shape of a charming illusion that once convinced you love existed when you were nineteen. You pray the kids will never have to experience the heartbreak of the violent death of a relationship (again) in their lives. Nevertheless, you will find yourself and across the aisle or on opposite sides of the bassinet from your ex. Smiling.
And in the end – the real end – there it is. Despite your fear of the complicated and the awkwardness of seeing him after 20 years, seeing his wife and extended family, worrying about what can possibly be said that hasn’t already been said, the sadness, the shame, the fact that you have already grieved over this person – you go. Your children need your comfort. They need to know that they are not alone.
Partially out of pity, and partially for show, you awkwardly sit down by the bed. Surprisingly, in the most uncomplicated way, on-lookers turn away out of respect for your brief-lived intimacy that only you shared with this one other person.
Looking into his eyes and holding his hand for the last time, the definition for the word, “complicated” has vanished. The years have been wiped clean. The giant torturous memories that have complicated every aspect of your life have shrunken to nothing more than a dandilion fluff that floats away on a whisper that comes forth to create the most beautiful moment you have ever been witness to, “I am sorry.”