“Ummm, son? What are you doing?
“I see that. Why are you fixing it? Just buy another.”
“I was thinking, dad. I know we have plenty of money and replacing broken things is easier to do than fixing it, but just think about all the money we’ve spent on replacing all this stuff year after year. I mean, every time we replace this stereo it cost 940 simoleons. On this one thing, we probably spend like 10 or 20 grand a year! I think it’s time for us to be smarter with our money, so I’m gonna study handiness.”
“Ok! Carry on!”
Jayden was beyond proud. He knew the future generations of Pruetts were going to be brilliant because of Brandon. Speaking of future generations, upstairs, Jared and Asia were getting a private concert from Kolby.
“Good heavens, Jared! He’s soo good! I’m soo proud of him! Our little maestro!!”
Jayden made breakfast and was cleaning up when Maliyah came in the kitchen.
“Good morning, sweetheart. I made you some pancakes.”
She took a plate and started to go into the dining room but Jayden decided to speak with her once more.
“Maliyah,” he said sweetly, “when you finish eating, I would love to sit down and talk.”
“Don’t ruin it, babe. Tone that down.”
“I’m sorry. I’ll see you later then!”
Jayden was ecstatic. He just knew things were going to shape up and that giving Maliyah her space would work. After she was done eating, she invited him to come outside.
“Would you mind if I start,” she asked.
“Sure! By all means. Say what you need to say. I’m all ears.”
“Ok. We haven’t been on the same page for quite sometime, and I don’t think we ever will. We’ll just have to agree to disagree.”
“Absolutely. I can do that.”
“I know we can both do that. I’ve been doing that this whole marriage, but the crux of the matter is I make you miserable! I make everyone miserable. I’m not a good wife. I’m selfish. I do and say what I want. You deserve better than that! I’ve been thinking about this long and hard, and I just want you to know that it wasn’t an easy decision for me to make, but I think it’s best that I leave.”
“Leave? What are you saying?”
“I’m saying that I love you with all my heart…you are the absolute best person I’ve ever known, and I would love to spend the rest of my life with you, but I can’t keep putting you through this! I love you enough to let you go. I need you to let me go.”
“What the plumbob are you saying?? Pruetts don’t get divorced! We work it out, get counseling, and whatever it takes! You want to leave because you love me? What sense does that make? No, you want to leave because of YOU!”
“Ok! You’re right! How else was I supposed to put it? There’s no easy way to say it! I mean, how would you have reacted if I said that I feel like a hypocrite living here because I believe in the freedom of choice and not being forced to do things, but yet I live in an environment where people are told to live a certain way. Look at me!! I’ve had three children! I never wanted three, and now I have all this weight on me…it’s like a constant reminder that my life is not my own here!”
“Nobody is making you do…you know what? Just go. You want to leave your family? Leave!”
She wasn’t quite sure what to do or say next. He was a melting pot of emotion. He wanted to cry, scream, hide under his covers, and hit something all at the same time.
“I filed a few days ago, and I put the papers in your desk drawer. I just didn’t know how to bring it up.”
“How could you do this thing?! How could you do this to us?! After everything I’ve done for you! Everything I gave you! Is anything ever enough for you?? I know I wasn’t always available and I could have done things differently, but I thought we had the real thing! I thought we could make it work! So now I’m a fool?!”
Jayden vented for a half hour and went through every emotional state. But Maliyah listened. She understood what she had done. She let him say what he needed to say until he was a bit more rational.
“Ok….Maliyah…I still love you. I always will. You’ve obviously made up your mind, and I can’t change it. I wish you wouldn’t do this, but you’re doing it, so you take as long as you need. I forgive you.”
They were both in tears. She was amazed that even in his darkest hour, he still managed to make her feel special. For a split second she wanted to change her mind and work through it, but she had to go through with it or she would never forgive herself.
They were a miserable wreck all day. She packed her things and spent most of her time away from everyone. Jared had the day off, and Asia and Brittany both worked at night. Jayden, unfortunately, had to work that night as well.
Jasmine and Jayla came by. The voices had told Jasmine that something was wrong with Jayden, and so she called Jayla and rushed right over. Maliyah answered the door and was very nervous to see her. She wasn’t sure if Jayden had called her or what, so she tried to play it cool.
“Hey Jasmine. You’re still working out?”
“My brother. Where is my brother?”
She invited her in and got Jayden. She didn’t want to be anywhere near that conversation, so she stayed outside an tended to the garden. But everyone always loves when Jasmine came, so everyone gathered in the living room. The boys had since arrived home from school and joined the party.
Everyone was having such a good time he didn’t want to dampen the mood, but he was leaving for work soon and he wanted to explain before every saw Maliyah move out. He gathered up all the strength he had, but it wasn’t enough to get their attention.
“Everyone, I have something to say,” he said in a very sad, weak voice.
No one heard him.
“Please…I need to tell you something!”
They were still having their own conversations.
“Maliyah and I are getting divorced.”
Then he left for work.
“Daddy,” Kolby said, “what’s divorce?”
“Divorce? Where did you learn that word?”
“Uncle Jayden said it.”
“When? He’s not even here.”
“Just now. Before he left.”
“Oh god,” he whispered. “She did it.”
He went outside to confront Maliyah, but he didn’t really know what to say. He picked up a water can and was hoping she would think that he just wanted to help, but she knew better than that.
“I know what you came out here for.”
“What? I’m helping.”
“You’ve never gardened a day in your life, Jared.”
“Ok. You got me.”
“I’m going through with it, so don’t try to come out here and convince me otherwise.”
“I wasn’t going to.”
“Ok then. Let’s finish this up and not talk about it.”
Maliyah spent the rest of the night outside to avoid any confrontations. When Bianca and Brittany arrived home, they found her at the chess table.
“Hey mom,” Brittany said. “What are you doing out here?”
“I’m just chillin.”
“Do you want some company?”
“No, I’m fine, thanks dear. Please go inside.”
“Yeah,” Bianca chimed in. “Leave her out here. Maybe she’ll learn some manners or something.”
“Bianca,” Brittany yelled.
“Inside! Both of you, please,” Maliyah yelled.
Bianca’s comments hurt, but she understood. She knew the damage she had caused. Within an hour, Jayden was home.
“The girls just got home,” she said.
“I’ll take care of it.”
“Thank you. I’ll be gone before morning.”
She looked at him and watched him enter the house. She wished that she could be different and hadn’t treated him so unfairly all those years, but she couldn’t change that. Jayden was tired, hungry, and burdened down, but he had to talk to his daughters first. He spoke with them individually starting with the oldest, Brittany.
“Brittany…I have some terrible news….”
“Oh no, is it Aunt Jasmine??”
“No, Jasmine is fine.”
“Oh, thank god!”
“We’re getting divorced. Your mother has decided to leave us.”
“Oh no! Oh no. Oh, daddy, I’m soo sorry! That’s terrible. When is she leaving?”
“Very soon. Tonight.”
“I have to go with her! I can’t let her be alone. Can I go with her, daddy?”
“You’re an adult, Brittany. You can make your own decisions. Do what you feel you need to do.”
“Ok. I gotta go pack my things.”
“Fine. Send Bianca in here, please.”
He didn’t even have the strength and fortitude to contest such a request. He gave Bianca the same news, and of course she didn’t take it well at all. She said things I would rather not repeat in public.
As luck would have it, Bianca gained the mean trait on her young adult birthday which made her a lot more vocal in her displeasure with her mother despite her cheerfulness. Jayden attempted to calm her down, but she was too far gone. I’m afraid that this incident may have hardened her heart.