Poor Mrs. Delinski……. enjoy today’s segment of the short story……
It’s been well over a year since the doctor’s visit. The label that pushed me to eat more still haunts me. The phasing into 3 more larger sizes was easier and justifiable. I eat more, shop more and sleep less. Job hunting implies I’m over-qualified, too old, or morbidly obese. The savings account ran dry a month ago. Credit card bills stack higher unpaid and unopened. The house payment is four months behind. I’m trying to keep my head up and on straight. The only silver lining comes from Derrick taking the kids for the summer. But that also means the only income I have is the child support and since he has the kids, I have nothing.
Today, I came home from a shopping spree, another $150 worth of food and clothes, to find the foreclosure notice on the door. I have 30 days to pay up or get out. In 30 days, I am homeless. Reality just pimp slaps me hard as I make my way into the house. I drop the bags and to my knees. Tears swell and spill. My heart shatters. My life crumbles. And all I want to do is eat.
The familiar and safe binge rushes to my side. Kneeling, crying, and feeling desperate, I answer the binge and eat. I tear open the food right there in the doorway. Sobbing through the chips, cookies and soda. Eat this, you’ll feel better. The darkness of the binge speaks to me and I answer. Where’s the chocolate chip cookies? A sinking feeling stabs me in the pit of my stomach. I push through the empty bags of chips, cracker boxes, candy wrappers and find nothing more. Tearing open the next grocery bag, I find the cookies. My hands shake as I pull open the package. I shove them in by the handfuls. Once the last one passes through my lips, I fall backward and lay down. I curl my knees upward trying to find comfort. I pull the trash into my arms and hug with dark despair.
McDonalds……. I want a burger and fries. I climb up off the floor grab my purse and keys. I purposefully don’t look back. I don’t want to know. I don’t want to see the mess. I just want a burger. Go get a Big Mac, you’ll feel better. We will figure something out. Go Eat. Like a slave, I bow to the command. I get in the car and pull out the drive. I realize I left my cell phone in the car when I rushed to the life changing paper tacked to the door. I grab it from the cup holder and see I have a voice mail. It’s from Derrick and it can wait. I’m on a mission to get a fix so I can think clearly.
I pull up to the drive thru and order my usual: two Big Mac Combos, Super sized, both with cokes and two cheese burger Happy Meals, both with apple slices and chocolate milk. As I ease up in line, I rehearse my usual lines. Prepping for a good performance, I want the pimply faced teen to think I am the best mother and wife. I pull up the professional looking messenger bag from the front floor board. I place my purse next to it. I make sure the toys are visible. I keep the props in the car at all times. I am a hard working mom…… tired from a long day at the office…… I have two kids and a husband waiting for dinner at home…… I rehearse. My sad attempt to convince myself that I have a normal life.
I creep up to the window. The young thing doesn’t suspect a thing. We exchange a smile. He hands me my bags and I hand him my credit card. With a swipe and a “have a nice day” I bow in my mind. I once again pulled off the whole charade. My phone vibrates in the cup holder. I look at the tiny screen as I find an empty parking slot in the McDonald’s lot. That’s strange…. why would my lawyer be calling????
“Mrs. Delinski? Hi. Steve here.”
“Hey Steve. Did I miss an appointment or something?”
“No…..” he pauses and clears his throat.
“Mrs. Delinski, there has been a new development.”
“O….. Kay?” my stomach jumps.
“We need to talk. Can you come by the office?”
“Look Steve, I have had a pretty rough day. I just want to go home and collapse.”
“Just tell me and add this call to my bill.” I don’t want him to see me. I’ll have Big Mac breath.
“Ahem…. Mr. Delinski is filing for full custody. He claims you are unfit, unhealthy, and incapable of caring for the kids…..”
My heart stops beating. My eyes shift back and forth in bewilderment. Unfit? Unhealthy? Incapable?
I hung up.
I’ll claim “dead zone.” My hand reaches into the bag. The steamy burger feels comforting. The days events unwrap the burger. Unfit? I bite. Unhealthy? Incapable? I am a hard working mother….. My character’s lines form in my head. I lost my husband…… my income…… my house……now my kids…….. I don’t know how to rehearse for this……
I drive away eating away the bad news. My phone vibrates again. I ignore it. What am I going to do? When the last fry is consumed, my focus falls onto the problems at hand. I have no food to take my mind off of it. I decide not to go home. I need to take a drive and clear my mind.
I am an unfit wife. I am an unfit mother. Morbidly obese. Unhealthy. I am a fat ugly unhealthy mess. I bought a size 30 today. My stomach turns. Incapable of finding a job, keeping a husband satisfied, and now….. incapable of being a mother….. I hate him. I hate him! I HATE HIM!!!!! My heart breaks. I want to hate him but what he says is true. Tears stream down my face. I can’t do anything right. I can’t find a job. I’m too ugly. Who wants to hire someone looking like me? Without a job, I can’t have a home. No home. No husband. No kids. I am a failure. He is right. The kids are better off without me. The sorted truth sours my stomach. I have nothing. I am nothing. I hate myself. My hands tighten around the steering wheel. The more my thoughts race the faster my car races down the road.
I need to just die. I can’t fight this anyway. I have no money. I can’t pay for court. I can’t pay for food. No clothes for the kids. Nothing. I just need to die. The world hates me so I just need to get out of it. I have no fight nor the will to live anymore. I should just die.
I speed up and drive off the road, on purpose.