“Mummy?” Charlotte says calling Harley.
“Hello Lottie. How are you love?” she asks smiling just hearing her daughter’s voice.
“I am doing so good mummy. Grampy and Granda’s house is amazing. I love them,” she says genuinely meaning it. Grampy was Mike and Granda was David. Those were the names Charlotte called Harley’s parents.
“Oh love, that is amazing,” Harley says leaning back. Charlotte was living with her parents for a while because Harley and Alex were still finalizing their divorce and the custody of Charlotte and in the mean while, Harley lived away in Manchester where as Alex stayed back in London.
“Yesterday mummy, we made pizza together and had so much fun. Today we went swimming, horse riding and we are now going to eat our dinner and then watch a movie outside,” Charlotte says excitedly.
“I wish I was with you guys,” she says missing home.
“Oh mummy, you’ll come back soon. Don’t worry. I miss you and I love you so so much mummy,” she says and blows her a kiss.
“I love you too my Lottie. Can I speak to Granda and Grampy?” she asks and the phone was handed to her parents.
“Harley! Honey! How are you?” David says answering first.
“I am doing very well dad. How are you and Papa?” she asks.
“Oh we are doing amazing sweetie,” Mike says and Harley was glad.
“How’s Manchester sweetie?” David asks.
“It’s amazing dad. It’s so much fun here,” she says and talks about Manchester for a while.
“Honey? Did you talk about Charlotte’s custody?” Mike asks after a while and Harley sighs.
“Yes Papa. I am going for a third week custody where I’ll get three weeks with her and he’ll get one or a full time custody of her where she can visit and stay with him whenever she wants to,” she says and they nod.
“What about him? What does he want?” David asks.
“He’s fine with it because he knows that Lottie wants to stay with me all the time and that she needs a mom now more than she needs a dad. She told him that she wants to stay with me,” Harley says and Mike was surprised.
“She told that to his face?” he asks laughing and Harley laughs too.
“Yes Papa. She told it the day I went back to our house and packed up my things and we moved out. I think he understands what Charlotte wants and what’s good for her,” Harley says.
“Is your divorce finalized?” he asks and Harley shakes her head.
“No. We still have to sign some documents and look at our assets being split. I’m fine with it though,” she says thinking about the time she will not be married to Alex legally anymore.
“I hope Lottie isn’t being too much of a trouble,” she says and David laughs.
“Harley, Lottie is such a sweet heart. She’s an angel,” David gushes over his granddaughter.
“Yes, she is lovely. We love her so much. She reminds us so much of you,” Mike says and Harley smiles.
“Listen Harley, let me give you some advice on divorce. I know what that feels like and I know that it’s not easy but you will have to stay strong because things will get hard. You will want to go back to him again because you miss him but remember why you asked for a divorce in the first place,” David says and Harley nods.
“Thank you dad,” she says.
“Honey? You are still attending your therapy sessions right? Don’t miss any of them,” Mike says and Harley laughs.
“Papa, I am not a little girl anymore. I am 30, with a daughter and I’m about to be divorced,” she says and Mike laughs at her.
“You silly girl, you are our little girl no matter how old and how many kids you have. You are our silly little girl,” he says and Harley smiles. It felt nice talking to them for a while. She just lies down on the bed after ending the call.
She did miss him terribly. More than she can even imagine. Things were tough because she didn’t like fighting with him or hating him because she loved him so much. She wished he felt the same way too.
What he earned would stay with him and what she earned would stay with her because they never had a joint account. It was always a separate one. Some assets they purchased jointly would be split equally and their houses and cars that they brought together would also be split.
The world always knew that they would get a divorce after his cheating scandals surfaced everywhere even after she spent a month away from him after she found out he cheated on her but they were devastated.
Harley was still close to his family because she loved them and what he did shouldn’t affect her relationship with them and they too were devastated because they knew that Harley was and will be the best thing that ever came into his life.
10 years of their lives they spent it together thinking they’ll have 10 more of those for the rest of their lives but it just came crashing down for the both of them.
“Harley, I’ve sent you the documents of the assets you are getting and what he’s getting. If that’s fine with you then we can go along with finalizing the divorce,” hew lawyer, Irina says calling her up.
“Sure,” she says ending the call and almost immediately her rented house’s door bell rang and some documents were handed to her. She still couldn’t believe that this was happening. Before she could open it she got a call from someone and she picked it up not checking the caller id.
“Hello,” she says and all she could hear was something breathing.
“H,” he says and her heart stops beating.
“Alex,” she says and leaves it there.
“Listen, can I come over? I know you are mad at me and that you hate me but please. We can figure this out. We can do this face to face,” he begs her and she sighs.
“Ok,” she says and ends the call, sending him her address. She knew that she shouldn’t do this but she was curious as to what he wanted.
She just looked in the mirror and saw herself dressed in her sweats and a hoodie. She had no makeup on and her hair was pulled up into a bun. Her eyes were red from crying all the time too and she looked pale.
Her door bell rings and she takes a deep breath before walking to the door and opening it. There he stood, dressed in his hoodie and black pants. His cologne was the first thing she noticed and she hated it because she liked it so much.
“Come in,” she says letting him in and closes the door behind her. He walked in and takes a look around the house. The house was pretty big and luxurious and neat too.
“I- you know how much I hate myself right?” he asks and she takes a deep breath and nods.
“I know Alex,” she says.
“H, I love you so much. You are the only woman I love so much in my life and I am willing to do anything for you. Please,” he says begging and she walks up to him.
“Alex, you are the first man I’ve loved so much and I fell for you instantly. I imagined the rest of our lives together with kids and pets with you travelling the world, touring and me designing outfits. You were the man of my dreams,” she says and he leans forward.
She lets him kiss her and she kisses him back before placing her hand on his chest and slowly pushes him away and moves away from him, leaving him confused and hurt.
“Alex I was willing to give up my whole world for you but not anymore. I used to love you more than myself but not anymore. I thought you were my life but not anymore, not after everything that’s happened. You aren’t the one for me,” she says looking at him with tears in her eyes.
“You-you don’t love me?” he asks and she shakes her head.
“I do love you Alex but not more than I love myself or Charlotte. I don’t want our daughter to see her parents like this and I can’t keep letting you hurt me. No matter how many times you promise me that you’ll change, I am tired of it. I know my worth Alex and I hope you do too,” she says and he wipes his own tears.
“I hope you know how much I loved you,” he says and she wipes his tears. She looked him straight in his eyes.
“I know,” she says smiling through her tears. Their foreheads touch and they stay like that as tears fall down their faces. They soon sit down and go through the documents and sign it together. Harley would have full custody of Charlotte would go to Alex’s when she wanted to or when he asked and only if Harley agreed and he was fine with it.
This was the final step of their separation and they knew it too. They knew that within a few days, their marriage would be legally over and that they would be over. They wouldn’t be a couple anymore. They would be friends or acquaintances.
“You are a good mother to Charlotte, the best to be honest and you were the perfect partner too,” he says looking into her ocean blue eyes that were red.
“You are a good father too Alex. Don’t doubt yourself,” she says smiling.
“I loved you so much H. I-,” Alex broke down again and she smiles.
“I know you did Alex but you just messed up, big time. I loved you too,” she says and he gives her a hug. He inhaled in her scent for the last time as being legally married and he moved away from her.
“Thank you for everything you’ve done for me H. For everything,” he says turning back and she nods.
“Thank you for being in my life. I wish we had more time,” she says.
“Me too,” he says before turning away and he walks to his car, already crying because he was leaving the woman of his dreams behind. He hated himself for even cheating on her and he wished he didn’t.
He could do nothing but wish her the best.
She went back in and cried because it was hard for her too because their 10 years of love dissolved into a pile of ash within a few weeks and her life seemed to be over. She knew her worth but she didn’t know if she was worth it or not.