Mending Heart

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Chapter 12

All’s Fair in Love and Divorce

“Cry. Forgive. Learn. Move on. Let your tears water the seeds of your future happiness.” – Steve Maraboli


Cheating.

Lying scum.

Bastard.

I spent years thinking I was the problem. Feeling guilty for the way that I was feeling, only to find out that I wasn’t the problem at all and everything I was feeling was perfectly warranted.

Fucking asshole!

Still trying to get my breathing under control, I found the nearest bench and sat down to wait for Zoey.

The least he could have done was shown me the respect of telling me he was tired of me.

But no.

Instead, he waited until I ended it.

Why? So he wouldn’t feel guilty, and so he could save face?

I’ll show him guilty!

If our divorce hadn’t already been finalized, I would have taken him for everything he had.

Screw being civil – all’s fair in love and divorce.

“There you are!” Zoey snapped me out of my thoughts. “Did you get your shoes?”

Shoes? What the fuck is she talking about.

Sensing my confusion, she spoke again. “The pair of shoes you spent the entire car ride talking about?”

“Oh –” Realization overtook me. “No, they um... didn’t have my size.”

More like Justin ruined every desire I had for a new pair of shoes.

“You’re weird.” Zoey declared as she continued to eye me skeptically.

“You’re weird.” I retorted. “Now did you get everything you needed?”

“Yup.” She replied holding up the white Apple paper bag.

“Great.” I nodded, standing up. “You’re driving.” I shoved my keys into her hand before digging through my purse for the pair of sunglasses I knew I had shoved in there earlier.

It seems mother nature had picked up on my sour mood and was hell-bent on taunting me. The sun was shining even brighter than this morning - completely blinding me, and only adding to my irritation.

“Can we stop for tacos?” Zoey asked once we reached the car. “I’m starving.”

“Sure,” I muttered a reply, only half paying attention.

The real question is, do I have any wine at home?

..........

“The food smells so good!” Zoey exclaimed as she bounced into the kitchen and immediately began taking out the food. I, on the other hand, did not mirror her excitement. The tweet tangy smell of the steak tacos was certainly alluring, but I didn’t trust myself to keep any of it down.

On any other day, the spicy, marinated meat offset by the fresh parsley and enveloped in a fresh corn tortilla lightly smeared with salsa would make my mouth water and my stomach rumble.

However, not today.

Today, there was an unsettled feeling in the pit of my stomach.

By the time I finished taking off my shoes and putting my phone in the charger, Zoey had already devoured half of her food. She was in the middle of shoving a large handful of steak fries into her mouth when I walked into the kitchen and headed straight for the fridge.

“Aren’t you hungry?” She mumbled.

“No.” I continued to rummage through the fridge.

I know there should be a bottle of wine somewhere in here.

“Hey Kenz,” Zoey called out.

“Yes?”

Aha! Hiding behind a container of sour cream and mascarpone cheese, was a bottle of Castello Del Poggio Moscato.

“Are you okay?”

I slowly closed the fridge door behind me and turned to face her. “Of course I’m fine.” I forced a smile, trying to keep my voice as level as possible. The last thing I want is to worry her. “I’m just tired. It’s been a long week at work.”

“If you say so.” She nodded, munching on a French fry. However, her furrowed eyebrows told me she didn’t believe a word I just said.

“Anyway,” I reached into the cabinet above the sink for a wine glass. “I’m going to take a bath. Just shout if you need me.”

Shutting the bathroom door behind me, I set the bottle and wine glass on the edge of the tub. Reaching forward, I turned the knob on the tub’s faucet all the way to the left.

Waiting for the tub to fill, I slowly began undressing. As my eyes roamed around the room, I accidentally caught my reflection in the frameless mirror hanging off the door. Staring back at my reflection, I could barely recognize myself. My cheeks were slightly hallowed, my skin a nasty pale green, and my hair was matted in several places.

And my eyes?

All the life seems to have been sucked out of them. They were dark, and the light specks that used to shine through them are nothing but a forgotten memory.

As I continued to examine my reflection, I noticed my cheeks were wet and a new batch of fresh hot tears continued to fall of their own volition.

I know I shouldn’t care, but I do.

My reaction has nothing to do with the fact that Justin got some other girl pregnant, or that he had moved on – that I could care less about!

It’s the when that hurts.

The fact that he lied to me for however long, and sneaked around my back with her. He knew what he was doing and he knew it would hurt, but somehow that still didn’t convince him to keep it in his pants.

I know our marriage wasn’t perfect – and maybe I sound like a hypocrite considering I left him – but why cheat? What drives a person to do something so cruel?

Was I not good enough?

Did I not make him happy anymore?

Another convulsion rippled through my throat as I bit back another cry.

Continuing to stare at my reflection, I no longer recognized the girl staring back at me.

My reflection was pale – clammy. My eyes were tired and puffy, and I hated the way I looked. I hated that even now when he is completely out of my life, I’m allowing him to have this much control over me.

It was all too much.

I quickly averted my gaze and stepped back until my back hit the wall. My knees quickly gave out, causing me to sink onto the cold hard tile as my muffled sobs became increasingly more erratic.

Here I am, naked and crying over some asshole on the bathroom floor.

How pathetic.

When the hell did I become such a hot mess?

I used to be an ice queen – you could call me a bitch to my face, and I would thank you for the compliment.

Now, look at me.

I tried blinking away the tears, but it was pointless. Hot tears continued to stream down my already reddened cheeks. By now enough steam had also gathered that my reflection in the mirror had begun fading.

Good – I don’t think I could stand to look at myself much longer.

Pulling myself off the bathroom floor, I dragged my feet in the direction of the tub. Reaching into the cabinet above the sink, I wrapped my fingers around the first bath bomb I touched and dropped it in. As I watched it continue to fizz and the clear water turned a dark pink – the scalding hot water met my skin.

A welcome distraction from the numbness.

......

Three hours later and an empty bottle of wine, I was finally ready to leave the bathroom.

By the time I drank the last sip of wine from my glass, the water had cooled completely and my skin was pruned. It took a copious amount of energy and concentration for me to get out of the tub without slipping, but in the end, I managed.

On my way to my room, I spotted Zoey on the couch with a bowl of popcorn watching some rom-com on Netflix. “Does Colette still smoke weed?” I asked in passing.

Her head whipped in my direction. “What?”

“Does Co –”

“I heard you the first time!” She snapped, pressing pause on the movie. “What the hell do you need weed for?”

“What does anyone need weed for?”

To feel numb.

To forget.

To feel good.

“Have you gone completely insane?” She asks incredulously.

Maybe.

I chose to ignore her question. “If she does have some, can you go get me some? There’s cash in my wallet, and the car keys are by the door.” With that, I closed the bedroom door shut behind me.

Don’t all rush at once to give me the sister of the year award.

I don’t smoke weed or eat edibles very often, but when I do, I know that at least for a while I’ll be able to smile a genuine smile. One that isn’t forced and meant to throw everyone off.

You may be able to fake a smile, but you sure as hell can’t fake your feelings.

Pulling the covers back, I used whatever little energy I had left to climb in bed and get under the silky material.

Why am I the only one suffering?

Staring up at the dark ceiling, all I wanted to do was sleep. Sleep away the day, the interaction with Justin, Zoey’s concern – all of it.

A good night’s sleep may be just wishful thinking, but sleep is the closest thing to forgetting.

______________________________________________________________________

This was a pretty heavy chapter. What do you all think about Kenzie’s reaction to Justin?

On another note— who misses Ethan?😅🙋🏼‍♀️

He’ll be making an appearance in the next chapter☺️

A/N: I realize that this is an erotica romance, but this book is so much more than sex. If that’s not your type of book, feel free to stop reading☺️

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