The divorce finally went through yesterday. Even though my parents opposed this because they believed our two children would not have a complete home, I couldn’t bear it anymore.
I feel sorry for our children, but I will provide them with child support so they are not wanting. They will still carry on my family name, and that is good enough for me. The moment I walked out of the court, I was very happy. I could now smoke, go out and drink with friends, and stop listening to my wife’s nagging. I will no longer have to look at her ugly face.
To celebrate, I invited a few friends to go out and drink some beer. After a couple of rounds, they all said enviously: “You are free now!” Just then, one of them received a call from his wife, who wanted to know when he would be home. Another one received a text from his child asking him to get home to help him with his homework. Had I still been married, my wife would have also called me at times like this, asking me where I was and urging me to go home. Now, I am divorced. No one will control me, no one will ask me where I am, and my phone is silent.
At that moment, I had a sense of loss. I felt that the person who was always with me suddenly disappeared. This feeling of loss was gone quickly among the sound of clinking glasses. I planned to have fun with my friends tonight, and I would not go home until I was drunk. At one o’clock in the morning, I took a taxi back home. The entire house was dark, for no one left a light on. I habitually called out: “Honey, I’m home,” before remembering no one was there. Getting ready for bed, I was thirsty, but no one would get me a glass of water; I was going to take a bath, but I couldn’t find my pajamas. My dirty socks were on the floor; they were not washed. My wife usually washed them.
When I woke up the next morning, it was already 10 o’clock. When I opened my eyes, the room was quiet. No one told me breakfast was ready downstairs. I got up and went to the kitchen, but I didn’t know what to eat. There was beef and duck in the refrigerator, but no one was there to cook them. I had to eat a package of instant noodles. At least no nagging voice said: “Don’t eat that junk food,” but I suddenly felt that my home was very quiet and I was a little lonely.
After eating, I laid down on the sofa and stared at the ceiling for a while. I noticed a piece of paper between two magazines on the coffee table. I looked at it and recognized it as a report card from my second child. He was already in the fifth grade. It was signed by his mother. I realized my wife played many roles in this household.
I still live in my own house, but I feel like everything has become strange. I can’t find the clothes I want to wear, and I don’t remember where the nail clipper was placed. I need more toilet paper, but I don’t know where to find it. The stuff in the refrigerator needs to be cooked. The kitchen is quiet, and there is no clanging sound of pots and pans, and no smell of cooked food. The floor of the bedroom is a bit dirty, but I am too lazy to clean it.
Suddenly, I feel worthless. I cannot do anything except go to work, and I don’t bother to do any more than I have to either. It has only been 24 hours, but it feels like a week. I began to regret and miss the days when my wife was still here…
Now, I feel so stupid about myself. She had done so much for this family. Marriage is not strong when one partner acts selfishly — it is about give and take. I can no longer enjoy my free time after work; now, it is my time to feel the agony of my regret. I must beg for her forgiveness and ask for another chance to become a good husband.
Translated by Yi Ming