Weeping after divorce

Read Chapter One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six and Seven first...

The only time I’d wept was when I told the children that their Dad and I were splitting. Those were difficult and painful tears.
But they stopped.

My mother called me iron hearted.

My father told me my tears would still come, that I was in protection mode.

My friends were anxious that once I started crying, I wouldn’t be able to stop. They all thought I was heading for a nervous breakdown.

It never happened.

I met with my therapist, a mediator and a lawyer. I remained dry eyed.

I bumped into the fat one.  She stared me up and down and called me names. Not a single tear rolled down my cheeks. 

I saw happy sweet young innocent naïve newly married couples. I definitely remained dry eyed.

Until the day I walked into Checkers.  Jim Croce was playing ‘Íf I had Time in a Bottle’. My wedding song.

I burst into tears. Uncontrollable unquenchable tears, tears you could drown in. 

Checkers was in flood. Shoppers were slipping and sliding all over the place.

There are three kinds of women who skid around Checkers. 

Black women, always in a hurry, to do ‘The Madam’s' shopping.

White women, desperate housewives, shrouded behind sunglasses, hiding their own tears. They all want to leave their husbands.

And Muslim women, undercover, in their hijabs.

I had no idea how old these Muslim women were - I could only see their eyes.

But I learned this much. If you’re going to cry, cry with women in hijabs. 

The black women probably wanted to stop and help me, but were too scared of the madam’s reaction back home. They would’ve been late to wash the dishes.

The white women recognized my tears, but moved on. They had their own tears to shed.

But the Muslim women. These women gathered me in their arms. They surrounded me and swaddled me like a babe.  I was cocooned by layers and layers of black fabric, soft and comforting to the touch. They held me, they comforted me, they mothered me.

For all I know, they were crying too. They may have been, but my head was buried so far into their garments, I couldn’t see. 

I wept my tears, apologized to the Checkers staff who were mopping up the rising waters, paid for my one soggy veggie, and left.

I got home with the butternut and nothing else. I thought Checkers rules were that if you cry on something, you have to buy it.  And now that I’d bought it, I had to cook it.

I went and knocked on my tenant’s door. Ella.

She opened. Gorgeous, sexy, young.

‘I’m cooking a small meal tonight.’ I said. ‘Feel like joining me?’

‘No’, she said. ‘But I do want to talk to you. The cottage really stinks. Old bones, or something..’

To be continued…

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