"The End of Good Times" short story by Pia V. Pulido
Sunkissed77: This is what happens to people when they burn out.
She told me over instant messaging. Another message popped into the screen as Eva continued to make me understand why she is leaving him.
Sunkissed77: They go to work, they come home, eat dinner, go to sleep. Rinse, repeat. People just have to find something to keep them distracted from all the bullshit in their lives.
So I guess Sergio was her distraction. A three-month distraction, so far.
KerriLynn: What about the kids? Send.
I guess she had already thought of that because I could tell from the other side of the IM that she is typing and deleting, typing and deleting, furiously, like a madman. Blimp. A new window was blinking again. Blimp. Blimp. Blimp. Wow, three consecutive blimps. The woman had something to say, most definitely.
Sunkissed77: My daughter will be with me. I have a clean record, a stable income, a house that’s paid for, and no shady background lurking around somewhere. The judge will see that. There is no question there. I have police reports filed from a year ago when he was disturbing the peace. Remember how he shoved the front door wide open and knocked down our little daughter? It was an accident, but for fuck’s sake, it was our little girl. She turned out fine, obviously. Just a mere scratch on her foot, but I had to call the cops on him. Somebody had to calm him down, and it sure as hell wasn’t gonna be me. I can’t believe I stayed with that piece of shit a day longer after that. Sure, I’m not a good housewife, I can’t cook, and I hardly ever clean, but I do know how to raise kids, you know, unlike some drama mamas.
KerriLynn: You’re a good mother, I know that, Eva. But what about the boy? In the ten years that you’ve raised him, doesn’t he feel like your own? How is he going to feel when you leave him and Todd? Send.
No response. I have known Eva and Todd since they’ve been together. During our early twenties, when everyone else seemed focus on their careers and their identities, Todd and Eva worked their butts off to raise Todd’s son, David. It was a beautiful relationship, all three of them learning to love each other. Eva, being the lovable selfish brat that she was, finally had a reason to grow up. She became a great mother, and to this day, she would tell you that David was her inspiration for teaching and writing. And Todd, he seemed like a nice enough guy. He could tolerate Eva’s little idiosyncrasies when everyone else couldn’t. Todd could have abandoned all his responsibilities as a father, but he pursued custody of his son. He knew that the baby mama wasn’t going to give David a chance to grow up to become a decent human being.
They’ve gone through more ups and downs together than any other couple friends I have ever known, but they always managed to overcome their obstacles. Maybe not this time. I thought they had a genuine liking towards each other, but one thing’s for sure; they have never been happy together. It might be best for her to end it. Until today, I have never seen her so sure of anything in her whole life, which is probably a sign that she is ready to move on. She hasn’t responded to my question and I got the feeling she wouldn’t anytime soon. I changed the subject.
KerriLynn: So tell me about Sergio. Send.
Sunkissed77: He’s totally hot. He’s young, though. 25. But already accomplished so much. Earned two college degrees. Working on his Master’s, and invented some kind of watch technology for his undergrad thesis. It was so successful that he’s now a VP, but he really doesn’t have to work. He’s quitting his job and selling the technology to the company. He’ll get royalty fees for every watch sold. There is really no reason for him to work, but get this...he wants to be a teacher!
Blimp. A new window popped up. I rolled my eyes as I read the first sentence. What is she, 15???? He’s hot?
KerriLynn: WTF, Eva? I know I should be happy for you, but come on, Eva. You know this guy is probably not looking for anything but a good time. 25? He’s just a baby!!! Send.
Sunkissed77: LOL! Well, how do you know that I’m not looking for a good time, too?
KerriLynn: Because you will become emotionally attached. I’ve known you since high school, Eva. You are totally all or nothing at all. You need to be careful. You’re treading on dangerous waters. Send.
Sunkissed77: I’ve treaded on dangerous waters for ten years with Todd. I should have seen all the red flags before. But oh well, live and learn. I know you’re worried, Kerri, but things are going to be fine. You know, he’s actually nicer to me now that he knows he has everything to lose? The poor bastard doesn’t know what hit him until it’s too late.
KerriLynn: Is it too late? Send.
Sunkissed77: Ten years too late, dear. And no, I am not rushing into another relationship with Sergio. Like I said, he’s just a distraction. He makes me feel…oh, I don’t want to sound like a blushing schoolgirl. He makes me feel beautiful! Anyway, I still haven’t had sex with Sergio. We’ve made out a couple of times, but he knows I’m going through a divorce.
KerriLynn: brb Send.
I rubbed my eyes to recover from the glare of the monitor. I was getting a little tired, but I didn’t want to be rude and cut off the conversation, especially when she was trying to bear her soul to me. Deep sighs. I set the laptop aside and adjusted the pillow on my back. Still uncomfortable. I should probably fly down there and pay her a visit. We could fix it over a couple of martinis and some smokes, like we used to do, before everyone got married. Good times. I got up to go to the kitchen to pour myself a late night cup of coffee. It’s going to be a long night.
Sunkissed77: Are you there?
KerriLynn: Yeah, sorry, I had to get some water. I was thirsty. Send.
Sunkissed77: Oh, okay. So what’s new with you?
I could detect a hint of insincerity with this question. She could give a rat’s ass about what’s new with me, and besides, a single woman’s drama is nothing compared to a married woman, mother of one, stepmother of another, baby mama drama, daddy issues and husband with so many other issues kinda drama.
KeriLynn: Nothing much. Looking into taking cooking classes. Send.
Sunkissed77: Yeah, that’s probably what Todd wanted me to do. Take cooking classes instead of grad school classes. Shithead.
The conversation always revolved around her, but I didn’t mind. It kept me busy. It kept me company. It kept me sane.