Sometimes, the one you have been seeking for the entire life, is right in front of you. You just need to open your eyes and see it.
Sitting at the table, James looked at the signed divorce papers. He had served it to his wife Paige three days ago. He never expected her to sign it so quickly.
Her initials sat a few inches away from his. As a married couple, there are not many occasions when your signature sits beside that of your spouse.
It’s a formality reserved only for the most serious of matters, like buying a house, taking a mortgage, enacting a will, signing your marriage cert, and of course, the divorce papers.
James’ phone buzzed and he looked at the sender. It immediately put a smile on his face when he sees the profile picture of his secretary at work, Linda. The sweet 23 year old he has been banging for the past year.
Compared to his wife who just turned 43, Linda has the nicest pair of legs. Linda has a nice pair of firm boobs. It’s a healthy and bouncy C cup. One that can easily smolder him.
Just the thought of burying his face in those racks put a smile onto his face.
The sudden clatter of the ironing board made James jump. He looked at his the back view of his wife trying to fix the old ironing board. She has put on at least 10kg since they got married, while you can’t exactly say she is fat or out of shape, Paige is no longer the maiden she once was.
He got up and walked over to her.
James : It’s already so old. Why can’t you just change it?
Paige : It still can be fixed.
James : Why do you bother? It’s such a cheap thing.
James tried to help Paige with it but she rejected his help. With a few well practiced turn of the rope used to secure the ironing board, Paige put it back onto it’s feet and threw another shirt onto it.
He sighed and looked at his wife, along with the pile shirt she has yet to go through. She has already signed the papers, he don’t understand why she still bothers to iron his clothes.
James : Are we going to pretend that nothing is happening ? There’s no need for you to do this anymore!
Paige said nothing, she just continued to run the iron through his shirt quietly.
James : We are getting a divorce! Ironing my shirt will not do shit now!
James hoped for some kind of reaction from Paige but he didn’t get any. It might have made him feel better if she shouted, or made a fuss, but she didn’t.
Paige just went about her day as if everything is normal, like nothing is wrong.
James : Why are you doing this ? Why are you always avoiding the problem!
Paige’s phone rang and she immediately picked it up.
Paige : Hi teacher Marie. Yes. Yes. Oh dear. Ok. I’ll be there in 30 minutes.
James asked Paige what is wrong and was told that their daughter Felicia is having some tummy issues. The childcare need them to bring her back home to rest in case it’s a stomach flu or something.
James’ phone buzzed again. It was Linda again. She just teased him with a picture of her wearing this new bra he bought for her last week. He had taken a day off that day to go on a staycation with her.
Paige finished up the shirt on the ironing board before grabbing her phone and wallet to head out.
James : I have a meeting to go to. I can’t drive you to the child care.
Paige : It’s ok. I’ll pick her up.
James looked at the time and remarked.
James : Don’t you have to go to work ?
Paige : I’ll call in and apply for urgent leave.
She said before leaving the house.
James sighed and picked up his bag and car keys.
James : whatever.
He deliberately waited a couple of minutes more so he can avoid taking the same lift as Paige.
Entering the lift, he looked at his own reflection in the stainless steel door.
At 45, he is also a shadow of his formal self. Balding and with a beer belly, he turned his body sideways and tried to suck in his tummy.
He thought about Linda and the amazing sex he is going to have later.
The lift stopped at level three and a neighbour stepped in. A young man in his twenties with a gym bag texting away on his phone. He was smiling while he hit the sent button.
Compared to him, James looked like a wreck.
He don’t know what happened to him, to his body, to his life, to his marriage. It’s like he suddenly wakes up one day and realized the predicament he is in.
Middle age, with a wife that looks like an auntie. Never mind that she is the same women that got together with him since they were 18. The spark is long gone.
The papers are signed. He will not be contesting for Felicia’s custody. His daughter is still too young to understand. At 5 years old, it’s hard to explain to her. James tells himself he will do it when she grows up.
Surely, she will understand where he is coming from.
James stepped out from the lift and walked towards his car. Putting it into drive, he pulled out onto the road.
Eager to meet Linda at a nice boutique hotel in town, James failed to stop at the stop line at the junction.
When the looked right at the flashing lights and heard the blaring horn of the cement truck, it was too late.
The truck slammed into his vehicle, it T-boned his ride and caused it to flip several times over.
Everything just went black.
James could hear this buzzing in his ear, his vision is blurred. He could hear people shouting and talking but he could not make out a single word, nor could he understand them.
He blinked a couple of times then everything became crisp and clear. The joyful music, the jingle of arcade machines, the roar of a roller coaster overhead and the ringing of bells from a nearby games booth.
James : what the fuck…
James looked around the carnival. It’s set up right beside Bedok interchange. He knows that neighbourhood but it looked different.
It looked old.
He took a few steps before he saw a reflection of himself against a mirror outside a haunted house.
James : Fuck…what the fuck…
He touched his own face, he’s 18 again.
He reached for his phone but instead found a pager. A Motorola pager complete with a silver clip.
Paige : James…
He whirled around and came face to face with Paige.
An 18 year old Paige.