And So I Left Home


Ellie S. Thomas  


© Copyright 2011 by  Ellie S. Thomas


Photo of a woman with a suitcase.

The last month had been a miserable time and we’d done a fair share of bickering, now after nose-to-nose verbal combat over some fool thing like curfew time, or TV viewing, something like that, I decided I’d had enough.

I’m leaving,” I announced with a flair and flounced out of the room. I made a big to-do about packing a small bag and calling a cab. Then I muttered ‘don’t worry,’ to the oldest daughter, ‘I won’t be long’, and I got into the taxi and sped off.

The driver dropped me off at my favorite hairdresser’s and I had a shampoo and set, then she put me under a dryer close to the front window. This couldn’t have worked better for me because I observed humanity passing to and fro and before long, saw our own vehicle coming down the street. My husband drove past on his way to work, so after I paid off the cosmetologist, I took a second cab back home and went to work.

The rest of the day passed much as usual. I did my housework, not worried that he’d notice any new cleanliness, (he never DID see what I’d done on any given day,) so I vacumned and did some faint-hearted dusting. The only break in the afternoon were several calls from HIM.

I’d told the children that we were playing a new game and what they should say when Dad called. ‘He will ask if I’ve called’ and they could truthfully say, ‘no.’ Then he would admonish them not to quarrel and to be good and he’d return at midnight. This I knew- so they thought this was great fun and they went on with their day. I knew even the ‘baby’ wouldn’t let on because if I told her something and said, ‘Now, don’t tell anybody,’ it couldn’t be pulled out of her even with her fingernails. No, I was safe.

So they continued to answer the calls and assure their father that ‘no, no, I hadn’t called’ and he went on that he couldn’t believe such behavior. Surely I’d call and check on my children. What was the matter with me? And finally they were abed. I read for awhile and worked on my knitting until I began to yawn. That’s when I heard him return and put the car in the garage. I went upstairs and got in with one of the kids.

My husband walked around down below, looking out the windows, opening the ‘fridge, and finally after several shattering yawns, I heard him go to bed. We all slept soundly and then another day-

Next morning the kids dragged down the stairs and joined their father at the breakfast table where I heard discussions about who wanted what and ‘I wonder what SHE is doing, anyway? Then I heard the mower start up.I knew it was safe to descend below and use the facilities and have my breakfast so I did all that,

The kids had fled the house earlier to start whatever they planned to do so I was free to work around until the mower was silent, then I went back upstairs.   This is the way the next 24 hours went.

He’d come in and I’d go up, just managing to evade each other. The children continued on their own way and after the first 24 hours got too bored with the situation to do more than yawn when he asked yet again, ‘did SHE call?’ I was lucky that none of the family, or friends, called looking for me…and there was nothing right now that demanded my attention; however things couldn’t continue this way much longer.

There was garden produce coming on that needed attention and school would be starting up soon and the kids were getting antsy about that so in answer to their questions ‘Mom, when is this going to stop?’ I asked for another 24 hours and then we’d settle things. I needn’t have worried, events have a way of taking care of themselves.

By now, even the most obtuse male would get the idea that his children were singularly unworried about their mother’s defection. Why weren’t they crying for her and asking when she’d come back? Now he got suspicious. He lined them up and once again asked the question ‘has she called’? When they answered and one of them giggled a bit, the jig was up.

Now he began to search the premises and when his abrupt actions brought him up the stairs, there was no time, and less inclination now, to get away. The lost was found! I didn’t care, I had proved my point.

The children acted very happy for things to settle back in the old routine and I enjoyed a kindlier treatment for at least a week after ‘I’d left home.’

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