I have no fucks left to give, and it feels glorious—so good that I’m ready to break out into a full-on Christmas mass Handel with its eighteen-syllable gloria.
“You know what, Karl?” I interrupt him as he continues going on about how much he and whatever-the-hell-her-name-is want a spring wedding and there are only a few more weeks of spring left to make that happen. “I will take as much time reading—and signing—the divorce papers as I would like. And there is not a goddamn thing you can do about that fact. You’ll get them when you get them, which might just be the first day of summer, the way I’m feeling right now.”
Karl starts making choking sounds about halfway into my diatribe, and I’d be lying if I said that didn’t feel damn good. Whereas the old me might have stopped and checked to make sure he’s okay, the new me doesn’t give two flying farts.
In fact, the new me ends the call while he’s still in mid-splutter, and then I down my nearly full glass of wine in one very unladylike and completely satisfying gulp.
I did it. I hung up on Karl.
I’m a new woman who is broke, yes, and in a world of shit, yes, but I’m a new woman. There’s only one thing to do in a situation like this, and Aunt Maggie must be looking down from above because it’s at that very moment that the record starts over and the needle hits “Come Together.” So I dance right there in the kitchen. All by myself. Drinking straight from the wine bottle. Practically floating on fermented grapes and freedom.
The new me decides to hell with money, to hell with repairs. I’m not selling this house. I’m not moving back in with my parents. And I’m sure as hell not signing the divorce papers until I have an equitable settlement that reflects all the work I put into building Karl’s law firm, not to mention paying for his law degree. The shock has worn off, and I’m no longer the little mouse who let that bastard lock her out of her own apartment without even a squeak of protest.
I fucking ROAR.
If he wants a quick divorce, he’s going to have to pay for it—with my share of what we saved and earned in our marriage.
I add find a killer divorce attorney to my to-do list for tomorrow. I have no idea how I’m going to pay for said divorce attorney, but that’s a problem for another day. As is Mikey’s construction bid and the piles and piles of junk I have to sort through in this house.
Tonight, I’m going to revel in the fact that for once, I’m on the offensive and Karl is the one who is going to have to scramble to make things right.
The thought cheers me up immeasurably—although, not going to lie, my newfound happiness might also have something to do with the amount of wine I consumed in a very short period of time.
Regardless, I drop my phone on the kitchen counter and open more wine. I meander back into the family room without even bothering with a glass.
I put on “Here Comes the Sun” at top volume and move the dance party from the kitchen to the living room with every ounce of energy and determination I have inside me.
It turns out that there’s a lot more than I thought there was, because I dance through half the album—“Because,” “You Never Give Me Your Money,” “Sun King,” “Mean Mr. Mustard,” and “Polythene Pam”—without taking a break longer than the few seconds it takes for me to swig another sip of wine.
But when “She Came in Through the Bathroom Window” comes on—my favorite song on the whole album—I stumble to a stop. Holding the wine bottle to my lips like a makeshift microphone, I belt out every word along with Paul, John, George, and Ringo as I twirl and twirl and twirl around the room with my eyes closed.
I don’t stop until the song does, and when it finally winds down, I take another sip of wine, push my now-wild hair out of my eyes, slowly open them, and see a man standing right outside my open patio door.
I scream, high and loud. Then an instinct I didn’t even know I had takes over and I send the wine bottle soaring straight at his head. And it would have been an impressive toss if not for the fact that I’m tipsy as hell and throw like my grandma.
It ends up just barely grazing his forehead, but he gives a satisfyingly surprised yelp and stumbles backward…at the exact same moment I realize that my late-night—and by late-night I meant nine o’clock—visitor is none other than Mr. You Need to Mow Your Grass.
I don’t mean to giggle—it isn’t like I planned to—but it just sort of happens. The kind of out-of-control fit that leaves you gasping for breath and unable to stop.
Maybe I should be ashamed of nearly clocking him in the head, but he’s the one skulking around my backyard, after all—probably looking for more HOA offenses he can complain about.
He isn’t complaining now, though. In fact, he looks stunned as cheap merlot drips down his forehead.
My giggles die an instantaneous death as he stumbles back, his hand going to his forehead and his jaw dropping.
His heel connects with one of Aunt Maggie’s many pet rocks at the edge of the small patio, and he goes down to the ground hard enough to jolt his entire body. And then he doesn’t move again. I freak out as I race across the room and down the steps. Did I hurt him? Concuss him? Kill him?
I drop to my knees by his head and try to see his face, but now that we’re on the grass, the light from the house is a lot dimmer, and I can’t get a good look at him.
I lean closer until my face is only inches from his, and I realize his eyes are closed—and he’s already developing a big, nasty-looking bruise on his forehead from where the wine bottle grazed him.
He groans a little, and I nearly weep with relief. “Oh my God! Are you all right?”
His eyes pop open.
Now that I’m this close, I can see that we have a massive problem.
“Don’t move!” I scream right in his face. “Your pupils are really dilated. That’s a sign of a concussion. I’m going to go call an ambu—”
His fingers curl around my wrist, cutting off the rest of my words.
“Dilated pupils are normal when it’s dark out,” he says, his voice deep and rich.
Thankfully, the wine bottle has boo-booed up his head and not his voice box.
“Still, don’t you think you should be checked out?” I move in extra close to see if his dilated pupils are the same size in both eyes but instead get distracted by how long his eyelashes are. Why? Because obviously I’m a horrible human being. “You got hit pretty hard.”
“One, it was a nearly empty bottle of wine. Two, you threw it,” he snarls as he sits up, still holding on to my wrist.
Okay, he isn’t slurring his speech, so that should reassure me. And it probably would have, except that he’s also making absolutely no move to get up off my grass or let me go, and the whole world is growing tingly and hot all of a sudden.