The familiar silver compact SUV pulls up in front of our home.
She gets out and walks up front walkway. Her hair glows auburn in the daylight.
It is the shade of auburn my hair used to be. A color that has now lost its appeal partly because of time and partly because of her.
I have been asked if I think she changed her haircolor to be more like me.
God I hope not.
That would be crazy.
I hear a soft knock on the glass window of the front door. She is mindful, as a mother herself, of The Mouse and that she could be napping this time of day.
I open the door to let her in.
How are you?
Smiles are guarded. Words awkward but polite.
We make idol chit chat in the livingroom as Cinderella puts on her shoes and coat.
Thanks for letting me borrow [hubby] last night.
I realize that everyone but me had advanced knowledge of his visit to help her tape a reality show that was once part of a Tuesday night ritual with Cinderella but that she will now have to tape in order to watch with her on one of her new visitation days.
I find myself growing increasing angry over hubby going to her house. He's trying to keep the peace for Cinderella's sake and I admire that but boundaries still must be set.
He is the only man in her life right now.
She has noone else to turn to for the stereotypical "man chores" like fixing a broken fax machine or teaching her how to use the VCR.
Too bad. He is not her husband anymore. She needs to find someone else for these things.
At least for now.
The wounds are too fresh.
Thanks for letting me borrow [Hubby] last night. I really appreciate it because I know for him to do that means taking time from you. I remember what that's like.
Like me she is searching for common ground and finds it in the form of my Husband.
He's a different man in so many ways since being married to her but he's so much the same.
We have frequently made jokes at his expense over the last several weeks in some desparate attempt at breaking the ice and opening some kind of dialogue.
My smiles and chuckles are forced. I quietly seethe with anger.
I am angry at her for the last 7 years. Angry at the lies, the manipulation, the recent threats and accusations.
Angry at her spiteful attempts at ruining him. Ruining us.
I'm angry at Hubby for letting her get away with it and not being more of a Man and putting his foot down to stop her.
Angry at him for not exercising his parental authority sooner.
Most of all I am angry at myself for not being more supportive and for putting up with it at the same time.
I must let go of my anger.
Stop looking at her as the enemy. Somehow reach out and learn to become her ally.