Continues from here.
“Simon, I feel like a broken record.” I started to say as we sat at the back off the cafe drinking coffee and having the chat I, for some reason, requested we have.
“What do you mean?”
I’m sure he knew what I was talking about but was probably searching for time to counteract what he knew was coming.
“I have told you so many times I don’t want to be the other woman, But every time we get close she some how makes it feel that way.”
“But we are divorced.”
He still didn’t seem to understand things from my point of view and I wasn’t sure explaining them to him again was going to make it any easier so I decided to change tact and head in a different direction and see if I could circle back.
“Sunday night was really special.” I said not entirely sure which direction I was headed but starting the ball rolling anyway.
“Yeah pity about following it up with that bloody drive by!’ He replied bringing up the incident where his ex-wife drove the kids past my house as we were leaving. I wasn’t even ready to bring that incident up at that point in our conversation.
My first thought was ‘SHIT!’ My second thought was that having any conversation about the two of us, at least for the time being, was always going to come back to HER. I don’t know if it was a conscious effort or whether Simon just didn’t realize it was happening but every time he brought up her name it planted another “other woman” seed into my already well seeded brain. It was time to change things completely.
“I found out today that Sonya’s having issues with her girlfriend. I actually had to send her home from work because her mind just wasn’t in the right place. I can’t ever remember having to do that in all the years we’ve worked together.”
It was at that moment I realized I’d just found my other direction of conversation with Simon, I just had to make sure I kept steering things that way.
“Is she going to be okay?” Simon asked with genuine concern in his voice.
“I’m sure she’ll be ok, I sent her home to talk to Tracy about their issues because if she doesn’t things will just spiral out of control and get to a point where they may not be able to recover anything from the situation. It’s a little bit dramatic but it’s possible.” I said wondering if Simon could see where I was headed with the conversation.
“Yeah it’s probably for the best. What sort of issues are they having?” Simon thought for a few moments before adding. “Oh tell me to shut up if that’s more information that you want to share. I was just following the conversation. Needless to say I wont tell her anything if you do tell me.”
It was obviously taking the long road to where I wanted to go but I decided to give Simon a run down of what was going on with Sonya. I trusted him not to say anything to Sonya but I thought maybe explaining to him how Sonya was struggling with her partner might make him realize I was struggling even trying to be his partner. I wasn’t entirely convinced it was the best segue into it but it was all I had.
I sat at the table playing with my empty coffee cup and I laid out Sonya’s issue, not in great detail but more than enough for him to understand. I made a point of telling him that I thought it was a tricky issue that didn’t necessarily mean Tracy didn’t trust Sonya but the fact that she might have been scared to give her the entire truth because of how she’d react.
It was a long shot, because he was male after all, but I hoped maybe that Simon would make the connection between Tracy not wanting to share something important with Sonya and him not being entirely open with himself about his situation, specifically his living situation.
“Must be a hell of a way to live your life, knowing you have an mental illness that could well effect the ones you love yet not actually wanting to share it with them.” He replied.
Okay, it was a long shot and he didn’t get the connection I was going to have to spell it out for him.
“Yes, Sonya is really struggling, she wants to be there for her, wants to support her and she really likes her, but it’s a bit of a punch in the heart when Tracy is not realizing that Sonya wont run away when her true self is revealed.”
“I feel sorry, I can’t imagine what she’s going through.” He said and I decided it was time to talk with a sledge hammer.
“You know Simon, I feel a bit the same way.” He looked at me blankly. Dammit, I thought before continuing. “I feel there is always something you aren’t seeing. I’ve told you that I don’t want to be the ‘other’ woman and you insist I am not but every time we get close there is your ex-wife. Now I accepted, that she just happened to turn up on Sunday morning, it’s her house too, but parading those poor kids in front of my house was just too much.”
“I agree Kat.” he said but I didn’t let him interrupt.
“That makes me feel like the ‘other’ woman, not to mention how it makes your poor kids feel.”
“Yeah she’s been telling them how much she loves them and how I chose the divorce, which is true but she’s making it sound like I did it because I don’t love the kids, if that sounds right?”
It did sound like something that a vindictive person might try but I didn’t react I still had things I wanted to say.
“If we continue seeing each other I’d like your kids not to hate me, not to see me as the woman that stole their dad away. What if we decided to move in together, how would the kids react? Would you want the kids to stay with you or stay with here?”
“That wont be an issue for a long time because I’m not moving out.” He said before realizing exactly what he was saying and changing direction. “It’s my house Kat, I paid for it, I worked for it, she’s done very little to support it, especially in the last five years. I’m not moving out because it’s my house not because of her!”
“Can’t you see that is part of the problem Simon?” Obviously he was not interested in tailoring his plans with any of my concerns.
“So what are you saying? We can’t see each other unless it’s at your house?”
It was a knee jerk reaction and I instantly forgave him for it because he was thinking on his toes, but mainly because I really didn’t think he meant it the way it sounded.
“Look Simon, I really like you. I really like spending time with you, but your ex-wife has proven that even outside your house she’s going to make things difficult and I don’t know that I can, or even want to, handle that.”
“Do I get a say in it?” He asked.
“Of course you do Simon. But it’s my job to look after number one and I’m sorry but you need to convince me that she’s not going to be the problem she’s already made herself out to be before I can consider anything.”
“So I can’t even come to your place?”
I left the question hanging for a few seconds while I thought about the answer. “Not right now.” I eventually responded making it the three hardest words I had said in a long time.
“I don’t know.” I said sadly.
“Well how am I suppose to prove to you that she’s not going to be a problem? How am I going to convince you that we can have a relationship without her being an issue? You tell me Kat. Tell me what I can do to convince you because I just don’t know what I can do and I don’t want to loose you!”
His sentiments were heartfelt I knew that, but my mind wanted other answers.
“Simon the best I can offer you is to go home and think about things. I’m not asking you to move out, I’m not asking you to leave your kids, I am however asking you to think of things from my perspective. Think about how I feel every time she interferes in my life, whether it’s at your house , or even worse mine. Think about how you can stop that from happening and then talk to me because I just can’t cope with the situation as it is.”
Simon knew the conversation was over and to his credit he didn’t storm off, he simply stood up from the seat, walked up to me, kissed me on the forehead and before walking out the back of the shop said. “Good bye Katrina, you mean the world to me. I will do as you request and be in touch as soon as I figure things out. I hope that you’ll wait for me!”
I watched him walked away wondering when I would hear from him again, what his response would be, but above all, would I have been better off trying to solve Sonya’s love life than my own.