Chloe waited impatiently for her husband Vincent to come home for dinner to celebrate their daughter's 7th birthday, yet he was nowhere to be seen.
He promised Mackenzie, their daughter, that he would return home before 5pm. Mackenzie waited with wide-eyed anticipation that slowly turned into sad disappointment as the hours ticked by, and he still hadn't shown up.
Chloe had put her daughter to bed at 9, despite Mackenzie insisting on waiting for him. She made sure to be especially gentle and careful while taking care of Mackenzie, knowing that she was still upset at her Daddy breaking his promise to her.
She checked the clock and couldn't wait any longer. She went on her phone and called her husband.
Beep. Beep. Beep.
"Hello?" Vincent picked up the call, and the first thing she noticed was his heavy breathing, as if he was in the middle of an intense workout. God knew what kind of exercise he did before midnight.
But Chloe didn't show any reaction except a little disappointment, as this was something depressingly used to hear.
"Vincent, when will you return home?" she asked.
It was a simple question, but there was a long pause from him on the call. Chloe knew that wasn't a good sign.
She knew how much of a cheating bastard he was, but she didn't expect him to cheat on the day their daughter turned 7!
"You're fucking crazy, Vincent. Mackenzie's been waiting for you to return home for hours! All she wanted for her birthday was a beautiful cake with us by her side, and you can't even give that to her!" Chloe started yelling on the phone, frustrated at her cheating husband..
"Oh, shut up, Chloe! Just get her something from Amazon. I gave you my credit card so you can take care of her!" Vincent retorted. "Buy her something expensive, or things that she likes, I don't know. Whatever makes her happy!"
"You don't know—?!" Chloe was speechless, her mouth falling open in rage. She knew that her husband didn't care about her anymore. This marriage was doomed after 8 years of infidelity.
Yet, she didn't expect her husband to ignore their only daughter, the fruit of their passionate love.
"Vincent, who's on the phone? Is it your fat wife again?" A grating voice came from the other end of the line.
"Sshh!" Vincent tried to silence the woman he was with right now, but Chloe heard every foul word.
"Geez, Vincent, why do you need to hide it anyway? She literally caught us fucking in your office. She knows everything already," the woman snatched the phone from Vincent's hand and addressed Chloe nonchalantly.
"Hey, fat lady~ Vincent and I are in the hotel. We were having a loooot of fun~until you interrupted us with your stupid call!"
The woman realized that Chloe must've been so shocked right now, "Why the silence, blobby? I thought you've seen us plenty of times already. You should apologise for distracting us."
"So quiet? Oh well, I'm going to hang up now. Don't disturb us again!"
Chloe's body trembled. She clenched her phone so tightly her knuckles turned white, and bit her lower lip hard enough to draw blood. She couldn't burst into tears so late at night and wake Mackenzie up with her cries.
She didn't want her daughter to know about this rift between her Mom and Dad, but the more she tried to cover it, the more her heart hurt. It felt like someone plunged a knife straight into her heart. A tear dropped from the corner of her eyes, falling to the glass of white wine in her hand.
It was stupid to even think about it, but Chloe wanted to salvage her marriage. She wanted to mend things and work it out with Vincent, because they married out of love. Chloe always longed for a stable married life with her husband.
Vincent rarely came home these days, claiming that he was on business trips. Somehow, 'fucking his secretary in the office or a hotel' seemed to be on the itinerary.
She thought she could tolerate everything, endure the infidelity and the disrespect from him and his flings.
Then this happened. Her husband had disappointed Mackenzie once again, one too many times.
And that was the straw that broke the camel's back!
If he wasn't going to be a good father, she was done with him. She didn't want to tolerate his behavior any longer. She was sick and tired of everything!
It was time for her to break free from this unhappy marriage. Chloe drank the wine in one quick gulp, gathering her courage. She put the glass on the table, right beside the divorce document.
She had been looking at it for the past two hours, after she had put Mackenzie to bed.
If she signed it, she would be free of Vincent.
She would be a divorcée.
Her family would disapprove of her actions. They believed Vincent was their model son-in-law, a perfect father. Only she knew the truth.
Then she thought about poor Mackenzie.
She was more worried for Mackenzie than herself. She didn't know how Mackenzie would react, knowing that her parents would be separated. How would this affect her childhood and development?
Would Mackenzie hate her for making such a choice?
But… the thought of spending the rest of her life with Vincent was unbearable.
"I can't. I can't stay like this forever. I will go crazy if I let him torment me with his bullshit." Chloe decided, picking up a pen with a shaky hand, ready to sign her full name:
After she wrote her first name, she paused, and then changed her mind on the surname. She wasn't going to be Mrs Gray any longer. She was going to start a new life without Vincent.
A new name formed under her pen.