Contest RecapMidlife Collage sponsors a weekly contest of midlife short stories. U.S. citizens and legal residents age 40 and older may enter. The Editor selects five stories for publication on our website each week. Readers leave comments and Facebook thumbs-up likes urging the panel of Judges to choose a contest winner. Readers also send the Judges their opinions of the best story on our Closing Arguments page. The contest period is Monday through Sunday noon PT. The first-place story enters the Winner’s Circle and receives a cash prize of $50. Winners of a $50 cash prize are eliglble for a $100 contest, which we run quarterly. See the Submissions Page for the Contest Rules for details. ANYONE, worldwide, age 18 or older can comment on the stories in a contest.
That night my life fell apart. I had a notion that things weren’t all they should be, but I didn’t want to admit to myself that the atmosphere at home was changing.
My American wife, Meira, had brought our two boys and me from Scotland to live in North Carolina. Meira ran our household. She would tell me to jump and I would ask how high.
I found myself adapting to my new country well. We had been in the country for six weeks when we befriended another couple who lived nearby and had two boys. Our friends Stan and Sharon did everything with us and the children got on well.
That night I was sitting in our lounge holding a cup of coffee when Meira dropped the bombshell that changed my life.
“Michael, I’m going to leave you.”
“Yes, Stan and I are in love. But we don’t want you to leave us and go away. Not for another year or so until we are completely settled.”
I couldn’t take it all in. As I sat there, I tried to lift my coffee cup and take a sip but I couldn’t manage it. My hand was shaking so much my coffee kept spilling onto the floor. I wanted my hand to stop shaking, but it had a mind of its own. Meira stared at the coffee cup, the coffee swirling around and spilling onto the carpet. A slight smile was on her lips. I tried my hardest, without success, to stop my hand from shaking so violently.
I left the house and drove to Sharon’s. Stan was not there. Meira had probably phoned him to let him know I was on the way over.
I found Sharon in the kitchen with tears pouring down her cheeks. She told me she had a premonition of them in bed together. Sharon asked me through her tears if we were supposed to do the same thing.
“No, that wouldn’t make anything right.” I slept on her couch that night.
The following morning Sharon and I took a long drive to clear our heads. I had a car accident, which actually was not my fault, although I was in no mental condition to be driving. My car was totaled and we had to call Stan and Meira to pick us up. We were about fifty miles away and it took them over an hour to find us.
When they arrived, my son David was with them. He got out of the car and gave me a strange, scared look. He was only four years old, but somehow he knew something major had happened. I called to him to come and give me a hug, which he did; I could see the fear in his eyes.
On the way back home, I was sitting in the back of the car next to David and Sharon. Stan was driving with Meira sitting next to him.
I began to sing “Oh Flower of Scotland” quietly. Meira twisted her head round to look at Stan. It suddenly dawned on me that they figured out I would probably return to my home country, even though Meira said that they wanted me to stay.
I came to my senses and stopped singing. Meira may have directed my life based upon what she wanted, but no more. They are my children as much as hers.
I decided to stay in America and fight for my children. After some years, I fought for and gained custody of my two boys. Was it worth it? You bet.