It is 3:05 p.m. and there are only three girls left in Room 1206. They are busy at work at their respective computers. They will be leaving in an hour. Isabel gets up to use the phone. She wants to check on her kids at home.
He answers instead.
Why are you still there? She asks.
I’m not going to work, he says.
I’m watching a concert.
There is a pause. She starts to get choked up.
Why didn’t you tell me?
This is the only time I’ll be watching a concert.
Who are you going with?
Why didn’t you ask me to go instead?
She hangs up the phone. Her eyes start to well up, but she tries to hold back the tears. She needs to let the pain out from her chest.
My good husband is watching the Eric Clapton concert tonight, she blurts out.
The two girls look up.
I didn’t even know that Clapton’s here, she continues.
He’s going without you? Gigi asks.
Yeah, he didn’t tell me that he was going.
That’s not fair, Heather chimes in.
I know, here I am slaving away at work and he’s playing hooky and didn’t ask me to go.
If that were my husband, I’d smack him on the head, Gigi says.
He’s like that, he would go off to somewhere and I wouldn’t know where to find him.
My husband couldn’t do that to me. He knows I’d get mad at him, Gigi says.
It’s not like I don’t get mad at him. He’d just do whatever he wants.
That’s not fair, Heather says again.
Isabel goes back to her desk to let the two girls finish their work.
Why does she put up with him? It’s not like she always let it go. In fact, they always have heated discussions about this kind of behaviour. She just wants him to bring her out also once in a while. When was the last time they went out on a date? Before they were married. And that was what 18 years ago? Then the children were born. He thought it was such a hassle to bring along the kids to eat out or watch a movie. Money has always been tight and they were not really willing to pay for a babysitter just so they could go out. But the kids are older now to be left home alone. And she’s been really craving to have date nights once in a while. But he’d always say that he’d rather eat in or watch DVDs at home.
Why then would he go to a concert without telling her and asking her if she wanted to go? She would love to see Eric sing Wonderful Tonight in person, even if that’s the only Clapton song that she knows. She just wants to feel that excitement of going out with her husband and feeling special. And when was the last time he told her that she’s wonderful? Oh it seems such a long, long time ago.
Photo courtesy of www.mtscentre.ca