By Ivan Ashley
(Second of Two Excerpts)
Note: The following comes from Give Me Tomorrow, The Journey Back to Where It All Began (2011, Big Bridge Music, 221 pages), a novel about love and life, mostly in rural Canada, spanning the second half of the 20th century. Published with the author's permission, this excerpt is set in the 1980s when protagonist Ann Browning decides to end her marriage. For more information: Big Bridge Music, P.O. Box 55, Elmsdale, PEI, Canada, C0B 1K0.
It was now late afternoon but Ann was already home for awhile before Andre made his appearance. The first thing that he did was to try to explain things away but Ann wasn't listening. Every time he started to say something Ann would say, “Get your things packed and get out.”
Then Andre said, “You know, Ann, you can't make me leave if I decide that I want to stay.”
Ann answered, “Oh, yes, I can there, Buster. I've already talked to my lawyer and if you don't leave peacefully I soon can get a restraining order that will favor me over you. So, if you don't leave right away, my remaining option will be to call the police.”
That seemed to do it. Andre proceeded to get his things gathered up and by midnight he was ready leave. He seemed, now, to be quite reconciled to leave in a peaceful manner.
When he was ready to walk out the door and drive off with his truckload of stuff, he said, “There may be more things here, but I don't have room on the truck for anything else.”
Ann replied, “I'll not stop you from taking all your personal things. You can pick them up later; in fact, I'll gather up anything I see and set it inside the front door.”
Andre asked, “Are you not even interested in knowing where I'm going?”
Ann said, “Andre Brosseau, I really couldn't care less where you are going to dump your cheating carcass, but I presume it will likely be with your cheap painted-up Nina Gunter. You know, Andre, you and she will be just perfect for each other. I really do wish you both a very long, miserable life together.”
At Ann's last remark, Andre walked out the door and didn't say another word. It was just like he didn't want to give Ann any more opportunity or, even more so, satisfaction by giving her a chance to say anything else.
On the following evening, Andre called by and, instead of just walking in, he had to ring the doorbell to get a response.
When Ann answered the door, she said, “Hi, Andre. Here are the rest of your belongings and if you can think of anything else that you are missing, I'll be glad to try and find them for you. By the way, in case you happen to be interested, our son Raymond and daughter-in-law Louise are expecting a baby this coming January.”
Andre grunted something that sounded a bit like, “That's good”, and quickly picked up the bags of things and walked away. Ann just couldn't believe it and thought to herself, “I do this for him and he can't even speak to me. You'd almost think that this whole thing was my fault.”
As soon as her husband drove away, Ann phoned a nearby handyman who had done work for her before and asked him to pick up two exterior lock-sets and bring them over. The man was at her residence within an hour and quickly removed the original locks and replaced them with the new ones. She was not going to take any chances on Andre and what he might attempt to do.
Ann didn't see much of Andre for the next while and that was just perfect for her. She was now able to know a complete other side of her husband that she had never known before.
She also noticed a whole new side of herself. The new and improved Ann Browning was strong, brave and determined. If need be, she now could take on the big, bad world out there all by herself.