Read #TripleX Online

Authors: Christine Zolendz,Angelisa Stone

Tags: #Contemporary

#TripleX (11 page)

BOOK: #TripleX
12.8Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

“Jake, I can’t wait for Emily to get here. I have to leave. Just give me the fax number. I won’t look at the documents--”

“Mother fuc—” Christine screeched.

I covered the phone, barely missing a semi truck. “Kevin! Watch your mouth,” I screamed for good measure, pretending to still be in the house with my kids. Christine’s jaw dropped as she covered her mouth with her hand. “Like I said, I’m not going to look. I’ve got too much to worry about here. Just text me the number,” I said, disconnecting the call before he had time to protest.

“Dude, you said your brother was loaded, but you never said he was loaded—like loaded-loaded,” Christine marveled, still flipping through the forbidden file.

“Yeah, he’s got like a few million,” I admitted. “Can you look up on your GPS to see where a 24-hour Kinko’s is or somewhere we can FAX this crap?”

“A few million? A few million?” Christine shrilled. “Try thirty-effing-million. 30 million!”

“Nuh-huh,” I said. “Let me see that!” Grabbing the file, I slowed down and eased over onto the berm, as cars honked and flashed their lights at me. Putting on my blinker, an activity I rarely did, I eased off Interstate 80 and pulled into a gas station. I started reading the forbidden file while Christine argued with Siri over where the Hell a “Kinky-Ohs” was located.

I couldn’t believe it. Last month, we all went to dinner, my brother, my kids, and me. Jake looked at the bill and told me that my portion was $45.76. He then said that he’d get it “this time.” Screw that with a big, old, rusty fricken screw. He will get it from now on—every damn day of my life. According to this file, my brother’s net worth was right around 34 million dollars. Holy friggen suck a cat! Next time I saw him, I was going to give him back the $45.76 I owed him—right after it took the same journey Evan’s sock took last night in the ER.

Jake knew how much Matt and I struggled financially over the years. Jake couldn’t float us a loan—or Hell—a gift every now and then? Ya know, a small gift, of like say a measly 20 thousand or something? Ya know, chump change?

“Hand me my bag,” I ordered, feeling my temper begin to take over. Christine handed me my bag, and I took out one of the cupcakes I lifted from the buffet. Licking the whipped cream from the top, I chucked the cupcake into the back of the car.

“What the Hell did you do that for?” Christine asked, looking at the cupcake sticking goo-side down on the grey leather.

“Jake hates it when people eat in his car,” I said, revving the engine and peeling out.

“Hey, aren’t we going to FAX these?” Christine asked, grabbing the papers from me.

“No, I’m sure he can pay someone to print him out another copy… or Hell… to paint him a canvas of them over top of a… a… a fricken Monet,” I quipped, feeling spiteful and resentful of all of my brother’s money and the ease at which success came to him. “Give me another cupcake,” I said, knowing that my budding anger would only be appeased by the last red velvet cupcake that was smashed up against the inside of my purse.



After a few hours of me belting out country music, Christine turned down the radio and said, “So, what’re you going to do about Matt?”

“What about Matt?” I asked, my eyes getting heavy.

“Come on Ang, you can’t live in denial like this. Did you not see how that man looked at you, pleaded with you?”

“Chris, I know we talk a lot and share A LOT, but there’s so much you don’t know—so much,” I said, feeling my voice quiver. “He’s not in love with me anymore—”

“Did he say that? Did he tell you that?” she asked, adjusting herself in the seat to look directly at me.

“He doesn’t have to. I can just tell,” I stated. “It’s just not the same anymore. Our marriage used to be about us. It’s now just about the kids—only about the kids.”

“Hello??? That’s called parenthood. He buys you cards, takes you on vacations, builds you fricken libraries--”

Almost on cue, my phone dinged, indicating a new text message. Glancing at the clock, I knew it would be Matt. Matt hadn’t called me once since he left—not once. However, every night before he went to bed, he texted me the same message.

In all of our years of dating and marriage, Matt brought an icy glass of water to our room and put it by my nightstand. I often wake up in the middle of the night with a scratchy voice and need a drink. Matt always ensured my glass of water was right next to me. Sure the ice had melted, but with how cold we kept our house, the water was always cool enough to take a few drinks in the middle of the night without having to trek down to the kitchen.

The first night he was in Michigan, I received a cell phone picture of a glass of icy water sitting on a dresser in his little apartment. The water glass was next to his alarm clock and bedside lamp. It was filled to the rim with ice and water. The message read “For Lou.” I got the same text message every night with the same picture. I doubted he was still filling a glass of water, but he was still sending me the picture and the message.

After I explained the story to Christine, she said, “Come here,” and motioned for me to lean over. The second I was within arm’s reach, she flicked me in the forehead, leaving a perfectly circular red mark right smack dab in the middle of my eyebrows.

“What the…? Why’d you do that?” I asked, rubbing the sting in my head.

“You’re frigging delusional. I walked in on my husband digging for ovarian cysts with his microscopic tool in the depths of some skank’s fallopian tubes, and you’re telling me that I don’t understand,” Christine argued. “Bitch, I understand. I understand that marriages crash and freaking burn… in a big old pile of infidelity and ruin. I also understand that yours… your marriage… isn’t one of them.”

“I know I sound stupid… but… but… Matt told me years and years ago… before we were ever engaged that he would never… ever… get divorced,” I explained. “He said it was the worst thing you could do to your kids. Swore that if he ever had kids that he’d stay married—even if he was in misery,” I said, turning the radio completely off. My head was beginning to ache, and my eyes started to burn. “It was better for him to be miserable… in a loveless marriage… than it was for his kids to be miserable in a dysfunctional environment, living in two different houses.”

“Alright, then what’s the problem?” Christine asked, confused.

“The problem is… Matt
miserable. He hates me. He hates us. He no longer loves me, but he made this promise to himself and his future kids—before they were even born—that he just won’t go back on,” I stated, truthfully. “He wants out, but is afraid of what it’ll do to the boys.”

“Has he told you this?”

“No, but I’m his wife. I just know.” I explained.

“The man that I saw in that kitchen was not looking for a way out. He was looking for way in,” Christine argued.

“Actually, I don’t think so. He hasn’t looked that good—appearance wise—in a long, long time. Chris, I think he might be seeing someone up there,” I admitted, honestly.

My mom always told me that when a spouse drastically changed his or her appearance and overall look and lifestyle that someone was cheating and trying to look better and just be all-around better for someone—someone else. Someone who was not his or her spouse.

“So what are you going to do about it?” she asked, opening a bag of Doritos and giving me a handful. I let a few of them fall to the floor and stomped on them. Let Jake hire someone to clean them up. Then, I scarfed down the rest.

“Let him go,” I said, choking down the dry, ragged edges of the truth—chased with a handful of Doritos.



“Where are we?” Christine asked, waking up and rubbing her eyes.

“Rest stop. Indiana,” I said, unbuckling my seatbelt.

“Have to pee?” she asked, putting her seat upright.

“No, a different kind of release,” I admitted.

“No, no, no, I’m not going to sit here while you diddle the bean,” she said, looking around, mortified.

“Shut the Hell up. Are you kidding me? I would never Tweet-the-Twat with you in the car,” I declared, rolling my eyes at her. When I opened the door, the overhead light shined down on me.

“Jesus! Have you been crying?” Christine asked, her face full of concern.

“Yeah, for like the last two snore-filled hours,” I quipped, grabbing a napkin from the glove compartment and wiping my eyes.

“It started with thinking about Matt—of course, then those douchebags at the buffet… then the damn floodgates opened,” I explained. “I started thinking about all the crap in my life which made me start thinking about the Twinkies—it always comes back to those damn Twinkies, and then I just full-out freaking lose it. Happens every time,” I admitted, sobbing again, but this time in a determined anger. “And now, I’m done. I’m just freaking over it. I can’t… I just cannot do this any more.”

“What in the world are you talking about? What Twinkies? I didn’t even know we had Twinkies with us,” she said, looking around the inside of the car.

“We don’t!” I yelled. “It’s a long story, but it’s the story of my life. My entire life revolves around those damn Twinkies… but not anymore. It ends now. Right now.”

When I was in high school, I was a cheerleader. I was the heaviest cheerleader—by far. However, I wasn’t nearly as heavy as I am now. Hell, I fit into the uniform, so I couldn’t have been
big. The thing buttoned and covered my butt—that had to count for something. Anyway, despite being the biggest, heaviest cheerleader on my squad, I took my position on the team very seriously. Not only was I the biggest, I was also by far the best. Nobody even came remotely close to being as good as I was—even though I was only a sophomore.

Through that horrible, vicious, ever-growing grapevine of gossip, I heard that some of the junior and senior boys had a little something planned for the upcoming Friday’s game-day pep rally. The plan was that during my tumbling pass across the gymnasium floor, the boys were all going to throw Twinkies at the FAT-ASS cheerleader as she tumbled across the court.

I heard about the prank on Thursday morning in study hall from a meek, little freshman boy. He told me who all the participants were going to be. They were all boys who degraded me publicly on numerous occasions, but never with such a grandiose plan, a plan that would allow everyone to witness the level at which the ridicule reached. After doing a little ‘”sleuthing” of my own, I discovered the little freshman boy was right. The plan was set. I was the target, the giant, fat target they wanted to nail.

The next day, I came down with a little something, *cough *cough*. My mom let me stay home from school, and I missed my last pep rally of my sophomore year and skipped the basketball game that night. Those boys never got to pelt me with Hostess deliciousness, and I never had to face the degradation that those spongy desserts were supposed to inflict upon me.

“Are you kidding me? What’re their names? Let’s look them up and cut off their penises and stuff ‘em in Twinkies and make them eat ‘em,” Christine yelled, fury raging.

“That’s just it. I hid from them. I hid from it all. I never faced them. I never got back at them. I never faced the problem… and it’s been the same damn problem all of these years. I’m fat. I’m a total freaking fat-ass and what do I do about? I hide. I hide away from the truth, hoping if I don’t recognize it, then nobody else will either,” I said, hitting the steering wheel with my hand. “I can’t do this anymore. Matt doesn’t want me… and I don’t think it’s because of all the weight I’ve gained. It’s because of how much I hate myself.”

“Awww Ang, don’t say that,” Christine said, reaching for my hand.

“It’s true. All I do is sit around and bitch about my life, complain about everything. And ya know what? My biggest complaint is my damn weight. I’m sick of it. I have to do something about it… right here… right now,” I stated, getting out of the car and grabbing our bags stuffed with food. “And quite frankly Chris, so do you.”

“Well jeez, I’m glad you decided to turn your self-loathing in on me,” she said, glaring at me.

“Seriously though, Scott’s an ass… a total ass, you deserve way better, but you’ve been bitching about your weight since the day I met you. All you do is talk about being on a diet. How much weight have you lost since you started dieting?” I asked, staring at her intently. “Truthfully.”

BOOK: #TripleX
12.8Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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