Prompt: Does it Matter?

“I want out.”

A chill passed through Sarah’s body. A part of her expected this day to come, but her parents were still in their first marriage after 25 years and she’d always hoped to follow in their footsteps.

“Who is she,” she said quietly.

He’d made it clear fairly early after they’d married that she wasn’t exciting enough for him. Oh, he’d been enthusiastic enough during the honeymoon and even through her pregnancy as long as she’d been able.

But after the birth of her son it’d dipped down to once or twice a week, and that’s when she knew that the problems had begun. Because really, even her parents had more sex than that based on how quickly her father had to refill his Viagra prescription.

And she couldn’t tell herself it wasn’t the sex either. They still had congenial dinners, and could still talk on hours on end. Too bad he didn’t want to. That too had tapered along with the sex.

“Does it matter?” he asked blithely.

“I deserve to know,” she said, trying to keep the bitterness out of her voice.

“Mama!” Tristan’s voice high voice pierced the tension that had slowly built in the room through the child monitor.

“Go care for him,” he said tersely. Justin never did seem to take much interest in their son. In that way, she supposed, he really was like their parents.

“We’re not done talking,” she said as she left the room.

Even as she turned the knob on her the door of her son’s room, she wondered if that was even the case.

***

For all of the rich mahogany and imported leather couches that surrounded them, the lawyer’s office managed to feel even more cold and clinical than the even the room where she’d delivered Tristan.

The demitasse of espresso in her hands only served to warm her hands for none of it had made it to her mouth.

“I understand you are looking to annul your marriage.”

“That is correct,” she and Justin replied in tandem.

He wanted out of the marriage as quickly and cleanly as possible, so she set the terms.

An annulment and full collection of the adultery penalties as set-forth in their prenup agreement. Considering how heavy the penalties were, she was surprised at how quickly he’d acquiesced.

It was only another sign of how serious he was about ending it.

“Have you discussed custody arrangements?”

“We want joint legal custody, with me having full physical custody. He will have unlimited visitation as we can make it work.” She hoped that he and his family would remain a part of Tristan’s life, but her hopes weren’t very high at this point.

Their lawyer looked at Justin. “You realize what you’re giving up?”

“I suggested it.”

If it hadn’t been out of family obligation, he would have never had a child in a first place. She’d known that going into the marriage, but had hoped that Tristan’s birth might have gotten him to change his mind as it had hers.

“And child support?”

“I want enough to cover his schooling and medical expenses. I’ll handle the rest.”

Certainly between her personal wealth and the funds she would be getting from the annulment money would never be an issue and she didn’t want to be seen as dependent on him. She just wanted to make sure that he took some part in Tristan’s life and spending his money was one way to try and get him to do just that.

Their attorney glanced over at Justin who nodded.

“I’ll reimburse her for any medical costs. You can draw up whatever agreement you believe makes sense in regards to the schooling. I know that my son will only be going to the best schools, so prepare them appropriately.”

She was going to re-take her maiden name. Her son would be keeping his name. Of course only the best would suffice. If she suggested a public school she was pretty sure she could induce a heart attack. She mentally filed that away to try sometime.

“I’ll draw up the paperwork and give you a call when it has been ready.”

She set the now long-cold cup on the desk and stood.

“Thank you.” She tilted her head in her soon-to-be-ex’s directly. “Justin.”

She ignored both the receptionist and the tears streaming down her face as the office door shut behind her.

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