“Quinn, you can’t! My parents are still well thought of in the school community even though they both retired years ago. Having this come out would kill my mother.”
“I don’t give three twisting bitches about what may or may not kill your mother!”
“For our entire marriage, she’s smiled in my face; stuck her nose where it didn’t belong and tried to talk me into quitting my job just to be a full-time wife to you — a man who can’t keep his pants zipped! Then when you commit the ultimate betrayal, she helps you hide it. Honestly, Oscar — she can kiss my ass!”
“Shut up! Stop yelling my name and sign the damn papers! I’m done with this… and you!”
“Quinn, baby — don’t do this! We can work this out. I’m serious about the marriage counseling. It’s not too late. We can fix our marriage, baby”
“The marriage wasn’t the problem, Oscar — you were. Sign.”
“Baby, please. Let’s take a vacation… spend some time together, and talk this out. Just the two of us.”
“Sign… or my next stop is your boss’ office.”
Oscar reached out towards Quinn, and she leaned away from the table. “Quinn…please…?
She stared at him, her jaws set.
Defeated, Oscar nodded to his attorney and retook his seat.
Opening the ominous file folder that always laid in the center of the table during each meeting, the attorney glanced at Morris and Quinn, then addressed Oscar.
“Are you sure about this, Oscar?”
Oscar looked at his wife and for the first time, she saw real emotion.
Quinn almost felt sorry for him. Almost.
Nodding, Oscar took the document and signed in the three marked places then slid it back to his attorney who also signed before sliding it back to the center of the table.
Morris pulled it in front of Quinn, who signed quickly with a flourish.
Morris Dabney added his signature.
“I’ll file these with the court before the end of business today and make sure your office gets copies”, he directed to the other side of the table. He turned to Quinn. “The court will set a formal hearing date, and without any more objections”,
Morris looked pointedly at Oscar, “the marriage dissolution will be final in a few short months. Neither of you will have to appear at the formal hearing since the documents are signed.”
“Thank you, Morris.”
Quinn reached for her bag and headed for the door. She had to leave this room while she could keep her anger in check. She had so much more she wanted to say to her soon-to-be-ex-husband. Things she should have said. But, she knew it would all fall on deaf ears as Oscar felt his infidelities were mere lapses in judgments… mistakes.
Quinn reached for the doorknob when Oscar called out to her. She turned to face him.
“I’ve made some mistakes, but I do love you. My heart will always belong to you.”
Quinn left the conference, stalking towards the elevator, her jaws clenched so tightly, a dull ache radiated down to her neck.
Jabbing the call button, Quinn was grateful when the lift doors opened and equally grateful no one else boarded.
Quinn pressed the button for the parking garage level, then leaned against the wall.
It was over.
She was closing the book on nine years of her life and moving on. Quinn knew it wouldn’t be easy. She may be rid of Oscar Landon, but her family wasn’t going anywhere. Oscar would waste no time in telling them Quinn had BLACKMAILED him into signing the divorce papers.
She supposed she’d done just. But Quinn felt no guilt or regret. The mental and emotional duress Oscar put her through, not to mention the risks to her health and life, left Quinn feeling justified in doing whatever it took to secure her freedom.
Quinn knew her family, descended from generations of pious, self-righteous folk who didn’t believe in divorce, wouldn’t see it her way. Quinn was glad she’d moved out of the home she’d shared with Oscar long ago and into her own home, miles away from both sides of the family.
She had won the war, but the battles were just beginning.