On the long drive back to my home I was so on edge I cannot describe how irritated I became. I hit a lot of rain and the windscreen wipers made such a noise I renamed them wind screamers. I wanted to park and rip them off and throw them in the road but I shrugged that off and kept driving - my brain was doing crazy things. I couldn’t stop remembering little details and it was like a photo gallery spinning in my mind.
The way she looked on our wedding day; glowing and almost ethereal; like this delicate magical creature from another world had graced me. She was as beautiful as any ex model would be and I remembered hearing the congregation gasp as she floated down the aisle towards me.
The Special Divorce and Family Law Attorneys at Martin Vermaak had been great when I’d been to consult with them a few weeks ago. I hadn’t gone there for a divorce – that was the last thing on my mind. The consult was so that I could be better informed about my legal rights. My wife was more concerned about her figure that almost anything else. Before we got married she’d said she wanted a family. After marriage, it was the last thing she wanted. Her deal was that I must never make her pregnant. She refused to take the pill in case it did something to her figure, so she placed the no pregnancy responsibility firmly on my shoulders. I wanted a family but I also wanted to keep my wife. It was a really unpleasant dilemma to be facing and one I wasn’t sure she had the right to create. She’d threatened a few other things as well, so I just wanted to be sure of my rights.
Actually, I was really impressed with the matter-of-fact way the Martin Vermaak Attorneys had treated me. I had gone to the consult with trepidation thinking they might regard me as weird, but not at all. Apparently they deal with hundreds of different situations in their normal day that the man in the street might think of as odd, but to them it’s all in a day’s work. Their service was personal but professional and made me feel so much more enlightened and positive.
Fighting back the tears I recalled her angry face at the door of our house as I drove off on my business trip four days ago. Her ponytailed hair was unusually scruffy with uncombed strands around her scowling, make-up free, face. She was screaming at me “it’s your fault; you’re to blame for this” and “if you leave now I’ll divorce you and you’ll never see me again”.
It had been hard to drive away but I had to go to keep my job and my sanity. She’d pushed me beyond endurance and if I’d stayed I might have lost control and hit her. I’ve been raised to believe that no real man hits a woman. I had to leave. We’d been married six months and already it had come to this. I was in shock and to make it worse the memories kept flashing up in my mind and haunting me. They were all muddled and running into each other. I was going mad.
How could I have married such an angelic creature and then return nights or weekends from work to find a filthy house? I was expected to live off take out or cook for us both. I was amazed at how much she could spend on nail polish, face creams, cosmetics and hair. The whole thing threw me. Where was the beautiful goddess I’d married? I couldn’t understand how someone could change so completely. I also couldn’t understand that although I got cross with her, I still loved her dearly and would accept her and live with her on her terms. I was so frightened of being without her.
She often threatened she’d leave me, and the fear that it could become real would choke me and stop me from breathing. I’d lie awake at night watching her sleep and praying that she didn’t mean the bad things she’d said. I worked so hard to please her that I’d stopped being me and tried to become the man she wanted me to be – although that was probably the most difficult part. It was like living a permanent lie, but I kept telling myself it was a whole lot better than upsetting and maybe losing her. I loved her so much but I was scared of losing her and scared of telling anyone. Martin Vermaak Attorneys understood and strangely it had been easier to talk to them than my friends or family. They had said I was always welcome to return to them for further assistance or information but I couldn’t run to them every time something went wrong.
My business trip was supposed to be for six days but on the third day I had a nagging feeling in the pit of my stomach that wouldn’t go away. Whether you call it instinct or a sixth sense or whatever; I believe in those things and usually act upon them. I’d cut the trip short and was driving home fast and furiously. I couldn’t reach her on the phone and my friends hadn’t seen her in the last couple of days; although that was nothing new because as it turned out, surprise, surprise, she didn’t really like my friends. That being said, I didn’t care anymore about anything other than not losing her.I couldn’t bear to think of my life without her. In fact I don’t think I’d have a life without her.
Finally, I was parking in the driveway and running into the empty house. I think I already knew in my heart that she had gone. The day before my trip she done one of those home pregnancy tests and it was positive. She was horrified and had threatened to kill the baby, and herself and me. I didn’t take her that seriously because I thought she’d get over the initial shock and be happy. I was angry with her for threatening all those things and left deliberately thinking some time alone to cool off was what she needed.
Now I walked through the messed up rooms of our deserted home and my blood ran cold. She’d packed all her stuff and left. My cupboard doors were wide open and suddenly I felt sick. Someone had taken a pair of scissors and turned all my shirts and suits into rags and tatters so that ribbons of expensive material hung from hangers like indoor scarecrows hiding in the cupboard.
My phone was in my hand and I was dialling the number of the Specialist Divorce Attorneys at Martin Vermaak, but I cancelled the call before it went through. I dialled my Dad and cancelled on that. I was shaking with panic and anger and paralysed with fear. One part of me wanted to call the world and get help to find her. The other part told me that if I called anyone at all, it would really be over and I’d be staring failure in the face. I couldn’t make it official yet. Somehow, somewhere I would find her and give us one last chance. No; I wouldn’t call anyone today: I was rendered immobile by fear. Maybe later I’d call in sick to work and then reach out to her. It was my fault she’d left and now she needed me.