"Hey honey!" she smiled as her husband walked through the door.
The dogs were barking furiously in excitement as if they thought they weren't ever going to see him again when he left this morning. The 7- year old hurtled himself at his father and slid down his leg holding on as his father drug him across the floor. When he reached the kitchen island he unstrapped their daughter from her high chair and kissed her all over her face as she giggled and then he walked over and kissed her.
Lightly...on the mouth.
"Hey. Are you almost ready?"
"Yes. Christian is in the other room helping Marcus with his homework. Let me run up and get my bag."
And she wiped her wet hands on her jeans to dry them and ran upstairs to their bedroom.
On the way down she could hear the sounds of her husband giving everyone one last order of the rules of the game. Listen to Christian. One hour of television and it's Davey's time to choose. And...just because we're not here doesn't mean that bed time isn't the same time.
She kissed her three children while answering Davey's questions about what channels he could choose from and finally...they were out the door to date night.
Just the two of them.
"How was your day today?"
"It was good. We got the specs for that proposal I told you about last week so that's coming along."
"Oh...great. That was the thing for the county right?"
"Right. Did my mother call you about Saturday afternoon?"
"Yes. She is so cute. She knows good and well I don't have a problem with the kids going to church with her and for her to keep them all day Sunday too? Whew! We haven't had a Saturday night AND Sunday without the kids in so long I don't even know what to do with ourselves!"
"Yeah. Maybe we'll catch an independent movie or something down at the Landmark Theatre."
"That would be nice. Ooooooh...we could get ice cream from that little place next to it!"
"True. We haven't had that in a while."
"I heard this story on NPR about chicken being exported from Mississippi to Russia that was pretty fascinating. I'll have to find it and send it to you."
"I think I heard it on the way home. The one about how they changed the exporting rules and now they can export and they've made like $28 million since June."
"Yes! Can you believe one little law tweak could change the economics of chicken farming that drastically for them?"
"Just goes to show what dumb laws hinder."
And they pulled up to the building.
One of those buildings that had an exterior face lift that the interior hadn't caught up to yet except for the lobby. You walked in and it looked so nice and then when you got off the elevator...you were in a dumpy old corridor with tragic green carpet and beige wallpaper that was rolling at the seams. When you got to her office, however, you could tell that she'd made an effort to make her space warm and inviting using texture, colors and scents.
So her clients could feel better.
Judy White, LCMFT, LCPC.
It was some time before she got the answer from Mr. Google as to exactly what all of those initials really meant. A licensed marriage counselor and family therapist as well as a fancy counselor. Supposedly the best of the ones they could afford.
When they walked into the office through the reception area...it was small talk as usual and then...they were on the sofa. He on the left arm. She on the right. Same way they slept in bed.
Lots of space between them.
But at least it wasn't a kid.
"So...last week it was Meredith's turn to speak. This week it's yours. Start off with the most important thing you want to say and let's go from there."
"I don't love my wife anymore. I have no plans to leave her. She's a good mother, a good person, she's smart, she's funny...but no. I don't love her anymore and I haven't in over a year."
The words came out fast. In a hurry. As if he'd worked up the courage practicing in the mirror and then finally, finally...they were out.
Judy sat back in her seat and crossed her left leg over her right. She glanced at Meredith to see her reaction and what she saw there scared her...
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