Laura let a small piece of paper slip from her hand, as her mind simply went black. Her heart was pounding hard, and her vision was starting to get blurry. She'd spent seven years in a marriage and she had nothing to show for it. Her knees were shaking as she made her way to the kitchen counter. Who was going to take care of the house? Her stomach was churning. Why did he have to choose her, out of so many options? Finally, reality sank in.
Laura and Jack had their up and downs, just like every other couple out there. They had a 6-year-gap in age, and it didn't help that Laura was way too young, and Jack had a pretty unstable job. Right off the bat, her parents weren't having it. Jack was a bartender at a bar that was known for hosting underage parties. But her parents were hoping he was nothing but a face during her freshman years. They were so wrong.
Right after graduation, Laura and Jack moved in together into his one-bedroom raggedy apartment. Walls were moldy, there was no heating, and the bathroom door was broken, but they didn't care. They were in love. She started working as a waitress at a steakhouse located a mere 20 minutes from their home. The food was overpriced, but she was getting really good tips. Still, rumors started spreading.
Laura's coworkers started noticing, (and disapproving) of her late-night work visits to Jack, and soon enough, everybody started talking. The ladies bathroom was full of graffiti, phone numbers...and gossip. Every graphic encounter seem to have one name in common—Jack. “If you can’t trust me, then we can’t be together," he told Laura when she confronted him, causing her to question her own instincts. Perhaps she was immature and wrong about listening to the rumors. Perhaps it was all just gossip. She wasn't about to ruin a good thing due to some random scribble on a bathroom wall. One day, she did the unfathomable.
Laura eagerly blurted out, "Yes!" the second she saw Jack get down on one knee, way before he had a chance to fully propose to her. She didn't need to think about it. She was 100% sure that she wanted to be with him forever. Suddenly, she unfriended people off Facebook, and cut everyone from her life, if they didn't support her relationship. She wanted to focus on Jack and their relationship and all the negativity wasn't about to stop them from being happy, or so she thought.
Only a few of her closest friends and family members were at her wedding, which was pretty small since they didn't have the financial means to throw a big white wedding. She got her dress for $50 at a thrift shop, and her mom lent her some shoes. Carla, her younger sister, was in charge of hair and makeup. Laura was glowing with joy, and she couldn't have asked for more. But she would've never been able to imagine what the future was holding for her.
Laura knew that marriage wasn’t easy, but she didn’t realize she’d have to deal with money problems, and quarrels over nonsense too. They couldn’t exactly save a lot of money with their minimum wage jobs. And things kept getting worse. Their rent was raised. Laura had to take on extra shifts just to make ends meet. And Jack didn’t have a chance of being promoted. So as the years went by they fought about careers and kids. She wanted children, but she wanted to go to college too. Jack didn’t take her dreams into consideration. He was pulling away, but she was determined.
“A marriage is the most work you’ll have to do in your life,” Laura’s mom told her as she cried on her shoulder. But while their bond continued to grow, Laura found it tough to pretend things were okay. During family gatherings, she stayed busy, helping her mom, while her sister Carla made sure Jack didn’t feel left out. After all, he was family. Meanwhile, Laura bought scratch cards and lottery tickets in the hopes that she would win something. Could running away for a weekend with her husband rekindle the flames in her marriage?
Laura finally had what she needed to save her marriage. So, she was able to quit her boring job and take her husband away from his dull job... at least, temporarily. She bought two suitcases and booked two flights. But when she went to the fridge to take out a bottle of wine, she saw a letter. “Dear Wife, I am writing this letter to let you know that I am leaving you forever. The truth is that I have been a good husband to you in our seven years of marriage, and I have absolutely nothing from that. These last couple weeks have been really hard for me. Your boss told me that you left your job just today and that, well that was the final straw.”
“Two weeks ago, when you came home after work, you didn’t even notice that I had cooked your favorite dish, that I had a brand-new haircut or that I had a new pair of boxers. You just ate for a couple of minutes, you watched all of your soaps and went straight to bed. The truth is that you don’t want to be intimate with me, and you don’t show your love in any way. Either you don’t love me anymore, or you are cheating on me, whatever the case, I have to say it is over and I’m leaving. P.S. Please, do not try to find me. Your sister Carla and I are moving to West Virginia together! Wish you the best and I hope you have a great life!” Laura started to cry. Then, she couldn’t stop laughing.
Armed with a cup of wine, Laura got on her laptop and wrote a response. “Dead husband, Believe me one thing; getting your letter really made my day. Yes, it is true that we have been married for seven years, but a good husband is completely different from what you have been. Yes, I watch TV shows, but I do it because the soaps drown out your nonstop griping and whining, but this doesn’t seem to work.” And she didn’t stop.
“And yes, I noticed your brand-new haircut, but the first thing that I thought was that you look like a girl. And you know I was raised not to say anything in case I cannot say something nice. For that reason, I decided not to speak about it or comment your haircut. When you made my favorite dish, you must have gotten me mixed with my lovely sister, since I stopped consuming pork seven years ago.” She knew something was off, but she was in denial. But her sister, really?
“When it comes to your new boxers, I didn’t comment since you still had the $49.80 price tag on them and I hoped that it was a coincidence that my lovely sister Carla had borrowed $50 from me the same day.” Laura no longer felt bad because she had done everything to save her marriage. She had repeatedly tried to arrange date nights. But he wouldn’t let her visit him at the bar. And yes, she was tempted to stray, but she chose to remain loyal to her husband. Now, it was time to think of herself for a change. But she still had more to say to her husband.
“But even after all, I still cared about you and loved you, and I believed that we might make this work. So, when I got lotto for 15 million dollars, what I did was quit my job and bought us two tickets to Hawaii. But, by the time I got home you were already gone. I guess there is a reason for everything. I genuinely hope that you will have the life you always desired.” But there was one more secret to get off her chest.
“Moreover, according to my lawyer, the letter you sent me ensures that you won’t get a dime from what I got now. So, there is nothing more to say but take care. P.S. I believe I haven’t told you this, but my lovely sister Carla was actually born as Carl. I hope that is no issue for you.” Laura had wasted too much time on her husband. So, after polishing the last wine bottle, she called a cab and did something for herself for a change. Off to paradise!