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Snippet Ten: The Promises
“What?” The fog of my hangover made me sure I had misheard.
Nicky chuckled to himself. “The solution to all your problems is marrying me.”
“Give me a few more years. It’s bound to get better from here, right?
“Okay, if neither of us is married before we’re thirty we’ll just marry each other. You live on one side of the house, I’ll live on the other, and we both get to save on our taxes.”
I rolled over to face him and held out my hand. “You have to pinky promise.”
He wrapped his pinky finger around mine and smiled. “I meant what I said last night. You can do better than all those guys combined.”
“I don’t want to talk about it.” I rolled back onto my pillow and covered my head with my comforter. “Wake me up in a couple hours.”
When hunger finally over-powered my hangover, I stumbled out into the living room where Nick was typing away at his laptop. My fiasco the night before had apparently inspired him to turn my life around.
“I just finished updating your resume and I found you two job fairs this upcoming week.” He didn’t even look up from whatever he was working on to tell me this update.
“I have a job, Nicky.”
“I’m not letting you work with that asshole.”
I put my arm around his shoulder and took a look at my glamorous new resume he way over-hyped me in. “What would I do without you?”
I gave him a quick kiss on the top of his head and went to find the coffee I knew he would have brewed and waiting for me.
In addition to promising Nick I would marry him if my misfortunes continued, I promised I would put my degree to use. I would get out of my comfort zone and look for jobs that weren’t just late-night gigs I could scrape by on, and I promised I wouldn’t look for any shortcuts.
I didn’t expect to break all of those promises in one fell swoop.
I went into the first job fair and came out with a husband instead of a new career.
It may sound like I’m jumping ahead but it happened about that quick. Another mistake Nick tried to warn me against, and I refused to listen.
My date with Peter Hadland, HR executive for a big production company in town, turned into a whirlwind romance, turned into an engagement after three months.
Peter was thirty-one and thought by that point in his life he’d have a wife and kids to share his success with. He could tell within moments of meeting me I really had no interest in working with his company and had stopped by his booth solely to flirt with him. Of course I jumped at the opportunity when he asked me to dinner that night.
Peter’s vision for our life was for me to stay home and take care of our future children. He was hot, he was rich, what could go wrong?
I turned in my notice to my landlord, sold everything but my clothes since Peter would provide it all, and went about planning my dream wedding.
The wedding was the only thing that was a dream. The rest was a nightmare.
Our wedded bliss lasted around three weeks and our Caribbean cruise honeymoon took up ten of those day.
Apparently, I didn’t adjust to my housewife role quick enough. I couldn’t clean properly, my cooking sucked, and heaven forbid I wanted to spend any time with my friends.
Even Nick wasn’t allowed at the house seeing as Peter didn’t trust him. Hanging out at his house was a mistake I only made once. When Peter tracked my phone and showed up unexpectedly, I had to talk him out of fighting Nick by promising to never see him again.
I don’t know why I said that. All those years of putting Nick before stupid boys were erased for the dumbest boy of all.
My promise to cut Nick out of my life was a lie, but it still hurt us both. We could talk while Peter was working and I managed to talk our friend Leslie into being my alibi a couple times so Nick and I could grab dinner. It wasn’t the same though.
My routine to attempt to keep Peter happy took up so much time I was hardly able to see anyone outside of my sham of a marriage.
“Don’t you like the car I bought you? Don’t you want more jewelry?” Peter kept my loyalty with all the material things I always thought I wanted.
It took ten months to realize I was nothing more to him than a maid, cook, and play toy.
He didn’t love me.
He loved control.
I should have realized I was at the end of my rope when I decided it was a good idea to meet up with Nicky for lunch one day with no intention of having a cover plan. I could have turned off my cell phone GPS or had Leslie send texts about our fake plans but honestly, I hoped Peter would catch me.
“Isla, it’s 3:00pm and you’ve had 4 margaritas. What’s going on?”
“I’m fine. Just a rough day.” I lied.
“Is this about Peter?”
“You have to leave him, Isla.” Nick pleaded with his eyes.
“I’m sorry we don’t get to see each other like we used to Nicky, but we’re busy people. And when we have kids we’ll be even busier, it just happens. Maybe when you’re happily married too we can do double dates. I’m sure Peter will be over that fight at your house by then. And you and I can pretend to run into each other at the grocery store and have a big reunion. And then our kids can be friends. And the whole cycle can start over and they can have Friday movie nights. Cause we can’t anymore, Nick, I’m sorry. Life changes sometimes and it just sucks but you have to do it.”
Out of my whole drunken spiel that’s what he decided to nitpick?
“I have to get home before Peter does.” I dumped out my purse on the table so I could find my keys easily then haphazardly shoved everything else back in.
“You can’t drive.”
“Well I can’t leave me car here! Cause you-know-who will have cow.”
“You don’t see a problem with the way he treats you?”
“I have to go, Nick.” The room became a blur when I stood up. I tried to step forward but had no balance.
Nick jumped up and helped me sit back in my chair. “I’ll drive your car then Uber back here for mine.”
I woke up on Nick’s couch a few hours later. He was sitting at my feet with my phone in his hand.
“I took care of Peter for you.” He tossed the phone to me.
I read through the text exchange of Peter freaking out and Nick responding saying I needed time to think things through. Being with Nick infuriated my husband so much he declared he was going to a divorce lawyer the next day. The hard part was over and all I had to do was get drunk in the middle of the day.
The divorce was surprisingly easy. I agreed to move out since it had been Peter’s house to begin with and wound up with a decent sized spousal support paycheck.
I was covered for a few months so I wouldn’t have to work right away which was great for depressed Isla.
I wasn’t depressed over loosing Peter. That was a relief. But I didn’t expect to be a 24-year-old jobless divorcee with nothing to her name.
Life was fan-freaking-tastic.