Sexy Jerk(4)By: Kim Karr
Slowly, I’d slipped out of the haze and realized I could do it again. The restaurant that is, not Ansel. This time it would be my way. Simple. Easy. No show. No glitz. No glam.
And I got my shit together.
I moved into my own place, a very affordable studio just west of the South Side. I haven’t unpacked, or bought furniture, but those are minor details. I’ve been busy getting started on my new quest.
Fiona thinks I’m crazy to attempt this alone. She says she knows a guy who would be perfect for me. “Why not settle down and buy a house with a white picket fence?” she has said over and over. I put an end to that crazy idea before she could even blurt the guy’s name out.
I’m not cut out for relationships.
I can never be what men want me to be.
I’ve proven that over and over.
Managing the restaurant made me feel like I mattered. Like I was in control. It made me feel like maybe that is who I am.
So, my answer is to be me. Or a version of me that seems closest to who I am, anyway.
That doesn’t make me crazy or unfit.
It just makes me closer to the me I think I could be. It seems I’ve moved away from that person over the years.
Besides, putting all of my woes aside, I had planned to watch Max for the two weeks Fiona and Ethan would be gone way before Ansel and I broke up and I moved back to Chicago. I was flying here to stay at her house. If I could handle it then, I could handle it now.
“His words, not mine,” Fiona states. “And you said you wouldn’t be mad.”
“I’m not mad, Fi, but you don’t think it’s a little late to start second guessing the person you both entrusted to take care of your son in the event of your death? His Godmother. His guardian,” I remind her.
“That’s what I told him,” she whisper yells.
“He said he’s having cold feet.”
I slam the steering wheel. “That’s bullshit. He’s going on a vacation, not getting married again. He’s just using me as an excuse to get out of it for his own reasons, and that is completely unacceptable. Now how about you get Max out of the tub, dry that hot little bikini of yours, and get packed. You are going on your honeymoon tomorrow as planned.”
She sighs yet again. “Tess, I don’t think I can change Ethan’s mind this time. He seems determined to postpone this trip.”
Switching lanes, I prepare to make a U-turn. The offices of Fitz, Graham, and Wheeler are only minutes away, and I am going to pay Ethan Miller a visit. “Fi, you might not be able to persuade him, but I guarantee I can.”
“Tess, what are you going to do?” she asks hesitantly.
My wheels skid on the black ice as I make the illegal turn. “Why, Fi, what all unstable, broken-hearted women like me do. Put him in his place.”
And that I say with a smile.
THE PRESTON SCHOOL in Lincoln Park is where Max spends three afternoons a week. Even though Fiona stays home, her and Ethan felt Max needed the socialization skills that accompanied attending preschool.
I don’t disagree that Max should attend preschool. My reason though is completely different—Fiona needs that time for herself.
Don’t get me wrong, the school is the best of the best, and besides, Max does need to be around other children his age.
But Fiona is having a hard time adjusting to staying home, still.
I know she misses her career, but there’s more to it. Something is missing from her life. Excitement. Fun. And I think she also misses the attention of a man. The attention of her husband.
Yes, she loves Max with all her heart, but the fact that her husband works all the time isn’t making her happy. His political aspirations that take even more of his time from her aren’t making her happy. Their non-existent sex life isn’t making her happy. Her battery-operated vibrator isn’t keeping her satisfied. She really wants this vacation for them. A little me time and we time with her husband to reignite their passion and get their relationship back on track.
And that is what I told Ethan.
To man up and take care of his wife’s needs.
I laid it all out on the table. He needed to know. Know his wife was feeling neglected, and not in a selfish way. She just wants a little bit of his attention. And she deserves it.