Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Telling the Ex
Jon, Stevie's ex-husband, had another harrowing day on the high school campus. He had talked two girls out of slashing each other with razor blades and called in the cops on another kid who had been suspended but refused to leave the campus. Drugs, weapons, and gang activity on campus injured kids every week. Jon sometimes thought about changing his resume to read "prison guard" instead of "school counselor." He was just leaving his office when the phone rang. There was no greeting, just, "I messed up, Jon. I really messed up." “What do you mean, Stevie?” Jon asked. His ex-wife, who was clearly upset but thankfully not hysterical, took a breath and summarized Rik's messages, including samples of his vulgarity. Jon felt his skin flush with anger and the anger turned to bitter bile in the pit of his stomach. Self-control was one of his strengths, but he realized that this jerk named Rik was lucky not to be alone in the same room with him at that moment. Jon's disappointment congealed into an impromptu prayer. Dear Jesus, how could my little girl get involved with a creep like Rik? Where is this foul language coming from? What else does she know about love and sex? What has she actually experienced? She's only fourteen.