Chapter 33: Call It What You Want

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Joy

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Joy

It was the night before Rashad was going to make the drive down to Alabama and we decided it was time we met to talk. I wasn't looking forward to this meeting with him but it was necessary. I hadn't slept at all the night before in anticipation of it. It was easy to ignore each other without the girls around, but with them back was a different story. We had to figure out how to share custody of the them and split everything so that things didn't have to get ugly in court. We both wanted the divorce to be as amicable as possible and we didn't want to hurt each other anymore than the damage that had already been done.

Even though we wanted everything to happen right away, so we could move forward, we learned through the attorney he hired that before we could file for divorce, we had to be separated for a year according to North Carolina state law. Since Rashad initially moved out, it had barely even been a month, so we still had 11 months to go.

Navigating a year as only a separated couple was going to be difficult and I was nervous about how it would take place, what the rules were and most importantly how this limbo place would effect the girls.

As I moved around our house, doing mindless things so I wouldn't think about what was about to take place, a sadness suddenly came over me. My family breaking up like this was the last thing I expected and the realization of that happening hurt. When I married Rashad, I married him for life. I was in this with him for life. I didn't expect these kind of obstacles or for either of us to betray each other in the way we had.

I picked up a framed family photo from the mantle of our fireplace and stared at the four of us laughing into the camera. I remembered that day vividly and remembered feeling so blessed to have such a healthy and happy family. Our lives felt perfect just a year ago, and I still couldn't figure out how we ended up where we were.

The sudden knock at the door jerked me back to reality. I took a deep breath and wiped my hands on my dress before walking towards the door. I took a second to compose myself before pulling it open. Rashad was on the other side dressed in a navy suit as if he had just gotten off of work. He looked good. He always looked good.

"Hey, I'm sorry I'm late. I had to wrap up something at work," he said.

"It's okay," I moved out of the way so that he could step inside. It felt weird inviting my husband inside of our home. I followed him inside of the living room and we sat on opposite couches. "Do you want anything to eat or drink?" I asked trying to remove the tension.

"I already ate at the office," he said removing his suit jacket and tossing it on the back of the couch.

"What time are you leaving in the morning?"

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