She had to look good today she thought to herself, as she gazed at her reflection in the free standing mirror by her bedroom window. She took her eyes off her reflection to let them wonder about her new surroundings. She had moved into her new apartment. Her first apartment, three weeks ago, and was already pleased with the results of her efforts, for it was starting to feel like home...her home.

"I love this place", she said out loud as she studied her features in the mirror. She stood back and straightened the two piece outfit that she had chosen, which was a pair of black slacks, and white long sleeved blouse. She evaluated herself. The figure looked good, no great...that she admitted proudly. But her face looked tired and a bit strained. More blush, that will do the trick, she thought to herself, as she reached for her make up bag. Now having done that, she decided on a bit more mascara to her beautiful hazel eyes. Once again she stared at her reflection. Passable now, she signed to herself. Well how was one supposed to look on the day of her "legal separation"?

She still couldn't believe all that had happened to her since she had moved to Baltimore, as a much married woman just seven short months ago. The whole situation had seemed like a nightmare that was finally coming to an end. So many unanswered questions in her when did Derek stop loving her? She'd thought that they would be together forever. And forever had been for twenty years...and now, days before their wedding anniversary, they were separating.

She thought back to last May, when they had passionately kissed good by, for he was leaving for Baltimore to head the new Sporting Goods Chain that his company owned. She was left to close on the house in Connecticut, and then join him in July, for the closing of their new "dream house" in Baltimore. She wondered when she knew...when things just didn't seem right. Was it when she picked him up at the airport to take him to the "going away party" that their close friends were throwing for them at Momma Mia's Restaurant? Friends had thought that he had acted strange, not himself that night. But she'd brushed it off, made excuses, he was tired. But that night they had made love, after he turned away and fell into a deep slumber. She remembered that she couldn't sleep. Her mind drifted...he'd called her every night, and told her how much he missed and loved her. And that he was keeping busy, going out with the guys etc. It had all sounded so normal and so innocent...So when dear God, when did our lives become so altered? When was my fate decided? When did I become the loser, and she the winner? And now was she enjoying her victory? She remembered how she had cried softly to herself until she had fallen asleep.

Now she was off to see the lawyers to draw up the papers, all the legal aspects, how monies would be divided. How their marriage would be divided.. The house, the dream house had been sold. They just had to sign the papers and legally they would be separated for a year and then the divorce would be granted. Her mind took her back to the summer, that horrible time of living in that house, that had turned into a nightmare for her. After the first week, she had begun to ask Derek what was wrong...He had been so cold and distant...But he had no answers, there were no answers.

It was tense in the lawyers office. The four of them sat at a square table. Derek and his lawyer on one side, and she with her lawyer, opposite them. She found herself staring at Derek as the lawyers spoke their legal jargon, occasionally laughing with one another, having their own private lawyer moments. Suddenly Derek looked like he wanted to cry, his eyes held tears. She hadn't seen him in a few months. For a Happy Man, he looked so solemn...and yes those were tears in his, she thought it must be the lights playing tricks. Damn him, why is he doing this? You don't want me, she thought to herself, as she remembered him telling her, oh so cruelly, he wanted to be married...just not to her. So who was the sympathy show for, the lawyers?

Finally to her relief it was drawing to an end. She and Derek each received a copy of the Settlement Agreement, which they both quickly signed, neither looking at the other. And then it was all over...and they went their separate ways. As she left the building, the snow was coming down, it was the day before Christmas. She smiled as she threw a few coins in the Salvation Army Pot. "Where can I buy a tree"? She asked. "Just down the block, Miss," he said pointing in that direction. She smiled and said "Thanks" as she headed down the block alone, to buy her first Christmas tree to put in her new home...The many of "firsts" she would do alone. But she had hope, and she knew her future would be bright, and there would be lots of new beginnings as well.

Comments 12 comments

breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 6 years ago

Well done. I have many friends who faced this exact moment and they came out of it stronger and happier. Voted up and awesome. You have a book in you.

b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 6 years ago Author

I always look forward to a visit from you breakfastpop. Your words of encouragement mean so much. And now I've got to join you for breakfast, see you soon!

richtwf profile image

richtwf 6 years ago

Great story and one which many will be able to relate to in a sad and unfortunate way. The dreaded 'D' event is the one which many married couples seem to think will not be the final one in their married journey. Sadly these days it's becoming more of a common occurrence.

Let's end on a positive I think! Excellent piece and enjoyable reading.

God bless and Merry Christmas to you!

b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 6 years ago Author

Thanks richtwf for coming by. You are so right about the "D" word, and when there are children involved it's devastating to them. But I wanted to show that there is always hope for a better tomorrow. Thanks for the compliment, always appreciated.

A very Merry Christmas to you and your lovely family.

epigramman profile image

epigramman 6 years ago

..Please keep writing my friend - I think short stories may just very well be your literary forte - you can say so much and tell a story very well in a short amount of space - and what a short amount of space it is too!!!

A sincere Merry Christmas to you and your family!!!!!

b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 6 years ago Author

I do enjoy writing "short stories". I am working on another one, I like to do surprise endings. Thanks for taking time today to comment...and my score for a change is staying steady...A Hub Christmas President??

A very Happy and Merry and Healthy, Christmas to you and your family.

epigramman profile image

epigramman 6 years ago

..well as you know I am the poetic master of surprise endings lol

b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 6 years ago Author

Oops...I spoke to soon there goes my score once more...Oh well. And yes YOU are the man, the poetic master man of surprise endings! LOL back at you!

acaetnna profile image

acaetnna 6 years ago from Guildford

Great writing and enjoyed reading your story. I feel sad that this is so true and it happens far too often. What are all the reasons for a marriage to fail I wonder? This has happened so often to my friends and family.

b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 6 years ago Author

I think "couples" after marriage, start to take one another for granted. If only we could treat each other the way we did when we were dating...I'm glad you enjoy Acaetnna, and keep (as if I have to tell you, with you love poems) the home fires burning!

Erin LeFey profile image

Erin LeFey 6 years ago from Maryland

As a divorced woman I might be qualified to answer, at least from one perspective....sometimes its not knowing how to make love last. Not knowing what to do. I think I come from that in between generation, there seems to be only a few of us out there who got caught in this, cause I've met others, who just don't know how to have a relationship. Its sad but true. Try and try as we might, its on both sides, if one doesn't sabotage it, the other will. You wouldn't believe on how many levels I could relate with your main character. Great article b., voted you up and awesome, love your short stories as well.

b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 6 years ago Author

Hey Erin, thanks so much for taking the time to read and make such heartfelt comments. And a big thank you for reading my "short stories". I too have enjoyed reading your work as well, it's always a rich and rewarding read.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article