“I’m sorry, your position is being eliminated,” she said, handing me the divorce papers.
“Do you think I’ll just accept this lying down?” I asked.
She smiled, impartially, waiting.
“You’re not really eliminating my position,” I said. “If you were joining a nunnery then, yes, that would be eliminating my position. But you’re not joining a nunnery, are you?”
She continued smiling, always the professional, making a show of patience at the complaining customer.
“No,” I continued. “I didn’t think so. You’re not Ophelia off to the nunnery. I’ve been fired. I think you should reconsider. Sure, I’ve had a few bad performance reviews. Who hasn’t? But my job description changed to something very different from what I signed up for. Surely I deserve a second chance.”
“Sorry,” she said. “I’ve already begun interviewing applicants to replace you.”
“Ah,” I said. “That explains the little black dress and the alcohol on your breath. But what about our kids?”
“We might have a spot for you as a consultant,” she said.
“Oh, a consultant. Contracting out the heavy lifting, are we? I’ll pay child support. I’ll take the kids to Disneyland or whatever in the summer. I’ll pay the private school tuition. I’ll foot the bill for everything, but I don’t get benefits. Not that much different than marriage, is it? What about a severance package?”
“You’ll have the memories,” she said. “Those are portable.”
I exhaled heavily to show my disdain for her chutzpah and my exasperation at the injustice being shown me. I decided to play hardball.
“What if I sue you for discrimination?” I said, wiggling my eyebrows up and down in a significant and threatening manner. The tension left her face, and I knew I was toast.
“I’m sorry,” she said, smiling. “Faithful husband isn’t a protected class.”
Mike Wilson, a writer in Lexington, Kentucky, has had work published in small magazines including Appalachian Heritage, Solidago, The Seventh Wave, The Aurorean and The London Reader and will have work appearing in Fiction Southeast and Edify Fiction.
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