The Hunt for Brianna's Future
She couldn't believe that her husband was actually telling her about his affair. She couldn't believe that after fifteen years, the sorry son of a bitch was leaving her for another woman. She couldn't believe that the man who didn't want children was suddenly all excited because his whore was pregnant with his child. She couldn't believe that her marriage, which was the only thing in her life, was over.
Brianna Mullins was not an interesting person. She was a former cheerleader. She was a wife. She was a Colts fan. She liked to shop. She liked to watch Oprah. She liked to read Danielle Steele novels. She had taken the right path for her life. She'd married a man who had a great earning potential and would take care of her. She'd done everything that he'd ever asked her to. She'd made sure that his house was nice, that his appointments were scheduled, that his favorite foods were in the house, and that his laundry was done. Brianna had devoted her entire life to making her husband comfortable. She'd even overlooked his indiscretions, which had been many.
Brianna had barely graduated high school. That whole learning something and making something of herself had never appealed to her. She'd always wanted to find someone to take care of her so she didn't have to take care of herself. She had no interest in making the world a better place or making tons of money on her own. She hadn't wanted to be famous, or independently rich, or part of the jet set. She had wanted to have kids, but her idiot husband, Jake, had not been interested at all. Foolishly, Brianna had subjugated to her husband's wishes, and was now without husband or children to keep her company and care for her when she was sick.
As Jake talked about how he intended to provide for her after the divorce, and what he thought they should do with the condo and the cars, Brianna watched him and remembered the man that she'd married. When she'd married him, he was a young business major, just itching to get a start on Wall Street. He'd been driven, which she thought would be the perfect compliment to her being a blonde bombshell with no real talents. Brianna was smart enough to know that she was the perfect trophy wife. She'd spent twelve years supporting him and making him look good to his peers.
Brianna didn't know what to think. Jake had many casual lays over the years. He'd had affairs that had lasted up to six months. She'd never taken them seriously, because he was a money guy. Most money guys will just keep the girl on the side, because they don't want to lose a dime in a divorce. She wondered who the slut was that had actually made him consider parting with his millions. She must have been one great lay.
Brianna stared at Jake. She was tuning him out the way she often did. He rambled when he talked. It didn't matter what he was talking about, he still rambled. Sometimes he could make a five minute thought last for hours. If he got to talking about the market or an election, it could last for days. To be honest, Brianna sometimes dreaded going on vacations, because he would be talking for days about things that she couldn't possibly have cared less about. Maybe the whole divorce thing was for the best.
Brianna wondered for the first time ever what would have happened if she'd held out for love. She had never even considered it. Marriage was a business in her family. Her mother and grandmother had married well. Her sisters had both married well. It was what the w omen in her family did. They married well. There was no discussion of college degrees or careers in her family except for the men. That was the way it was. If she had decided to go to college and marry for love, her mother would have cut her off. Love had never been an option.
Somewhere in her thoughts, Jake's words invaded. He said that he realized that he'd never been in love until he'd met Tiffany. Brianna was suddenly yanked back into the conversation that she'd not spoken a word in until that point.
Brianna looked at Jake. He wasn't aging well. He'd never been that good looking. There'd been a time when he'd been proud to have Brianna on his arm. He'd said during the beginning of their relationship that he couldn't believe that he'd managed to get a girl as beautiful as her. He was rather short at five foot, nine inches. He had freckles which used to be cute with his red hair, but now looked like facial liver spots on his prematurely wrinkled face. He used to run and was in great shape. That all kind of went away when he discovered the fancy lunches and the cocktail parties after work. He'd probably gained almost fifty pounds since she'd married him, and none of it had been from her cooking. She didn't cook well, but her kitchen was always clean.
Brianna was the same as she'd always been. She was five feet five inches tall. She had beautiful flowing blonde hair, blue eyes, and a perfect figure. She weighed all of 120 pounds and most of it was perched on her chest. She was the perfect trophy wife, but now her husband said that he was looking for more. He said that he loved this Tiffany.
"Well, that's it," Jake said after telling her way more than she'd ever wanted to know about Tiffany. He stared at Brianna. "Say something, please."
Brianna stared over his shoulder at the plasma HDTV on the wall. As usual, it was tuned in to Bloomberg Television, so that Jake could monitor the market. Brianna found it amazing that even when he was telling her that he was leaving her after fifteen years for another woman named Tiffany, who was already pregnant with his child, he had to follow the damn market every minute.
"You said you didn't want to have kids," Brianna said, almost too choked up to utter the words.
"It wasn't planned. It just happened, and when Tiffany told me about it, it suddenly sounded way better than I thought it would. I was amazed that I was going to be a father. I give her a lot of credit for even telling me. She must have been scared, poor thing. I don't think that she thought that I would do the right thing."
Jake continued to talk about all of the wonderful traits that Tiffany had. Brianna didn't want to know them. Basically, the few that she listened to were simply traits that differed from hers. Basically, her husband didn't want her. That was the bottom line. It wasn't even that he wanted Tiffany. He just didn't want her. For the first time in Brianna's life, she was being completely rejected.
As Jake talked about Tiffany and babies and his newly remolded plans for his future, Brianna wondered what would be in her future. She didn't really have any friends any more. She'd been so busy being the perfect wife and having no children, that she'd lost touch with her old friends. Living in Jake's world of high finance, she hadn't made any new friends either. Her mother would blame her for not being a good enough wife. Her sisters would blame her for not fighting to hang onto a failed marriage. Suddenly, her life made no sense. Her family would blame her for letting her husband get away, but she'd been so submissive throughout the entire marriage that her husband didn't respect her enough to keep some of the sordid details of his relationship with his tramp from her.
She was amazed. She was shocked. She wasn't at all sure what to do. She had no job. She had no education. She had no skills. For most of her life, she'd accepted the fact that she was not smart enough to do anything on her own. She'd been raised to understand that she was nothing more than a blonde cheerleader who needed someone to take care of her. Her mother had told her that survival would never be her strong suit. Well, what now?
What had she even wanted to do as a child? She couldn't remember. She wanted to travel. She remembered that. She wanted to be an airline stewardess for a while, but she lost interest in that the way she lost interest in everything else in her life. Travel was the only thing that she remembered loving. She'd thought that when Jake had made some good money that they would have time to travel, especially since he didn't want to have kids. That never happened though. Jake ended up getting two time shares, one on Cape Cod and one in South Beach. That was where they had spent all of their vacations.
Brianna suddenly realized that not only had she not done anything, but she also hadn't gone anywhere. Maybe this divorce thing wasn't all that bad. She'd lived her whole life in a void. She'd just been there to be something to other people. She'd never taken the opportunity to be anything for herself. Maybe she needed that. Maybe, if she could just figure out what on Earth to do with herself she would be happy. She'd never been happy. She'd been taken care of. She suddenly thought that maybe she would like to be happy.
Brianna had never really thought about the meaning of life, but since Jake had brought it up, she was now thinking. Maybe it would feel good to do something for herself besides shop. Maybe it would feel good to have standards and not to be a door mat anymore. Maybe she would go to school and study something and get a life. She'd never even dreamed of that before. Maybe she would get revenge on her selfish bastard of a husband by becoming someone that he could only dream of having. Living well is the best revenge. Maybe she would contact one of his attorney friends that were always hitting on her at parties and take him for every dime he'd earned. Maybe she would sue him for some of his future earnings too. Hit him where it hurts. Hit him in the wallet. Then he'll have to take a real look at Tiffany. Brianna hoped that the little slut was worth it.
Brianna felt better after her little side trip into her own little world. When she actually looked at Jake again, he was still talking about Tiffany as though she'd been listening. Brianna thought that maybe her husband was really obtuse enough to think that she cared about his little hooker. Brianna had never seen him in that light before. He actually disrespected her so much that he didn't even realize how much something like this would hurt her. Wow.
"So, you see, it won't be that bad," Jake finally concluded whatever he'd been talking about. "I bet that someday, we'll all be friends."
"What?" Brianna asked.
"I said that someday, you and Tiffany and me will all be friends. You'll see. She's a terrific woman," Jake said.
"Well, she's obviously a better woman than I am," Brianna responded.
Jake took a step toward her. He outstretched his arms, like he was going to give her a hug. "Come here. You poor thing. I'll make it all right. You'll see."
Maybe it was the condescending tone. Maybe it was the idea that he intended to touch her after telling her that he was leaving her for another woman who was pregnant with his child. Maybe it was the fact that she suddenly realized that he didn't think much of her at all. Maybe it was the awakening of a person who always should have been inside her but wasn't. Maybe it was that neat little move that she learned in self defense class. Brianna brought her knee up into Jake's groin as he tried to give her a hug. When he doubled over in pain, she hit him with an upper cut that sent him three feet through the air and landed him on his derrière. He sat up, gaping at her in disbelief.
"You hit me!" He yelled.
Brianna smiled. It wasn't the fake smile that she used most of the time. It was a real smile. It was a smile that she felt all the way down to her toes. Brianna had emerged after a lifetime of servitude. She was for that moment, strong and confident. She was also really mad.
Brianna looked at her fist and back to Jake. "Yes, I hit you."
"What did you do that for?" Jake asked.
"How hard did I hit you?" she replied.
"It's not like you to use force," he said.
"That's because you're used to me being a god damn door mat. You actually think that after fifteen years that I'm going to be best friends with you and your pregnant whore? Have you lost your fucking mind? Do you really believe that I'm so vapid that I would put up with that? Somewhere along the way you forgot that I chose you. You didn't choose me. I wasn't some desperate woman who couldn't get a date. I chose you. Until now, I didn't feel stupid for that. How dare you treat me like a piece of furniture. Thanks for the years of service, but I'm moving on to something better. Cheaters cheat my husband. When your little whore cheats on you, I'll be laughing. When you come running back to me, I won't be there. I hope that when the little slut does to you what you've done to me that it hurts."
"She wouldn't do that," he objected, still lying on the floor, holding his groin.
"Yeah, you keep telling yourself that," she replied. "Now, get up and get out. Your services are no longer required. Maybe I can take some time to find a real man now."
"I'm all man, baby," he said.
"Maybe you should wait and see if your fragile balls heal before you go bragging about that."
"Why are you being such a bitch?"
"Why?" Brianna was in a rage now. She walked over to the mantel where she kept her wedding picture in a tasteful frame. She picked it up and walked back to where Jake was now standing, holding his groin. She threw it at his head. He ducked and it barely missed him, knocking over a floor lamp and crashing to the floor behind him. "That's why!" she screamed.
Then followed an awkward silence. Jake picked up the wedding photo from the broken frame and looked at it. Brianna was so mad that she couldn't look at him. They'd been locked in this conversation for hours. Brianna was so tired of hearing about Tiffany that she wanted to puke. She was angry that he was going to move on with his life and she had no idea what to do. She was angry that he'd made his fortune and had everything he wanted, and she had nothing of that sort. Jake was huge on Wall Street. He was a real mover and shaker. He had everything on Wall Street, and his portfolio was constantly building. He was getting richer and richer as the market rose steadily. Now he was going to have love and family too.
Why couldn't something happen to him? Just kicking him in the groin wouldn't make things even. If only he could lose something that he really cared about. If only he would feel the pain that she was feeling. Then she noticed it. He had been so involved in Tiffany that he hadn't looked at his precious Bloomberg Television one time all day. She saw the headlines streaming across the screen. "Markets crash around the world. Wall Street is looking like it did in 1929."
Brianna watched Jake brushing the glass off of their wedding picture. She smiled.
"You know, someday you'll want this. Maybe when I'm a rich tycoon like Warren Buffet, you'll be able to sell it on E-Bay," Jake snapped at her.
"I don't think you'll ever by a tycoon like Warren Buffet," Brianna replied.
"You're just angry," he said.
"Yes, I'm angry, but that's not why I say that." Brianna pointed to the television that Jake had had his back to all day. "You precious stock market just crashed."