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MILF Chronicles: The Sobbing Ex Husband

Story told to Gemma Clarke…

I wouldn’t normally go to Fridays. The pseudo-pretention really fucks me off. Boys put on a collared shirt and order a Peroni, and suddenly think they’re top shit. But I’d had no luck the previous weekend at my usual haunts, so figured I’d try somewhere different. By midnight, I’d circulated the venue several times without success. Fake tan and tits oozed out of teenage girls’ dresses as they blew champagne in my face and stumbled in their heels. They began to blur into one. I felt like I was on a carousel. I caught my friend’s eyes across the throng. He flashed me a dazzling grin and cocked his head back towards a girl. Not a girl; a woman. She was short, fit and hot as hell. He backed away as I walked over to her, cool as a cat, snatching my phone from my pocket to make a call. “I’m Michelle,” she announced. Her eyes were bright. She was too talkative. I could tell she’d annoy me. But it was late. I bought her a Martini. We made small talk until I could no longer feign interest. I asked her age.

“I’m 35,” she said. She worked at Myer. “How old are you?”
“25,” I lied, staring her square in the face.
“Bullshit,” she laughed, demanding to see my ID.
I handed it over. 24 September, 1991.
“You’re 20?” she asked. Her cheeks flushed. If anything, she looked excited. I shrugged.
“Do you wanna get out of here?”
She answered with a smile. So we left. I went to flag down a cab, but Michelle grabbed my arm.
“No – I’m driving,” she said. “I only had one drink.”
Her words were like a bullet through my boozy haze. This chick was driving?

We walked the few blocks to her car. Michelle babbled away, but my head was spinning, so I took nothing in. As we drew nearer, I realised a guy was sitting on a fold-out metal chair next to her silver Echo. He saw us and rose, striding over with his face crinkled up like an accordion. He’d been crying.  Fuck, I thought.

“Fuck off,” Michelle spat venomously, dodging him as she jingled her keys. “Leave me alone.”
“Michelle,” he whined, “I’m coming to get my stuff. You’ve ruined me.”

She ignored him. He muttered some bullshit to me about her carrying his child and them having been together forever. Then he stumbled off. He’d been drinking, but I couldn’t tell how much. I felt kind of sorry for him.

“I’m coming, Michelle!” he yelled miserably over his shoulder.
I got in the car anyway. Two minutes in, Michelle opened her mouth, wincing slightly.
“Um, I have a daughter. She’s 13.”

I threw my head back and sighed. Just keeps getting better. She assured me that her kid was at a sleepover at a friend’s house. I faked nonchalance. Nearly half an hour later, I realised I had no idea where we were. Ashgrove, maybe? We pulled into a driveway. The ex pulled in behind us, flashing his high beams. I felt really, really uncomfortable.

“Is he going to kill me?” I asked. I was bigger than him, but what if he had a knife? Michelle laughed.
“No, honey.”

As she inserted the keys into the front door, we both stood and watched her ex break through the double-hung window next to us. We entered the house as he fell onto the floorboards. He was crying again, and yelling abuse. He gathered up scattered piles of his stuff and snatched Michelle’s laptop with a sad whoop of delight. He then turned to me.

“Do you want a glass of water man?”

He wiped his nose on his sleeve. His eyes were red. I declined. I slid the rickety back door open and lit up a cigarette in an effort to sober up. Michelle joined me. I was so creeped out.

“Hey guys!”
I turned. A middle-aged couple had stumbled out of Michelle’s bedroom, wrapped in her sheets.
“They’re my friends,” Michelle explained as they closed the door giggling. “We’ll sleep in my daughter’s bed.”

I stripped down to my chinos and Michelle to her undies and bra. We squished into the single bed. She tasted of smoke. I looked around the room, taking in her daughter’s 13 years of life. A My Little Pony display sat on the chest of drawers. I closed my eyes. We didn’t have sex. The morning came quickly. At 8 o’clock, Michelle woke me up. She was already dressed: white shirt, black skirt and stockings. She looked like a mum.

“I don’t have a phone,” I said.
“Just come to the shops with me,” she replied. “You’ll be able to get a taxi from there.”
She downed a black coffee and we got back in the car. Outside Myer, we shared a cigarette.

“I’ll call you,” she said.  She kissed me goodbye. I walked around to the taxi rank. There were none – it was too early. I sat down on the side of the kerb, feeling helpless. A cab came eventually. I paid the driver cash, and he took me the five minute journey home.

______
Written by Gemma Clarke, the ex-Editor-In-Chief of Your Friend’s House. She currently runs an insanely cool website called Global Hobo. You can view her other articles here.

Categories: Short & Sharp
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