white picket fence
It was the white picket fence kind of life, the kind of life some folks only dream of. The white picket fence, two kids, a wife that loves you and takes care of you. It was picture perfect. Nothing in his life had ever been this perfect before and he should have relished in it. From the moment he met her, he should have just accepted that she was it for him and move on. It was a done deal and nothing else would ever live up to her.

There was one problem, that wasn’t the case. From the moment he proposed to her, he had a sinking suspicion that something was not quite right. He had gotten down on one knee on Christmas Day; it was picture perfect and the trees covered in snow were a perfect setting. She looked like an angel, dressed in her best church outfit and life was supposed to be good. Even if none of his family would be at the ceremony and only a select and few friends, he had hit the jackpot. Nothing could ever compete with her; raven hair, blue eyes, she was a woman only made in dreams. Now, he was planning a wedding and calling her wife. Two years later, just after wrapping up his graduate degree, he’d welcome a son, who he would aptly name after himself, of course. Then three years later, a daughter would arrive. It was so perfect.

Except, nothing was perfect. He was a man who worked long hours, seeing clients whenever he could to keep everything afloat. Money was at a premium, of course, because there were children who needed to be tended to. Not to mention the fact that children were absolute germ factories, often bringing home their viruses from school or otherwise, and he couldn’t stand it. He needed to stay away because he was how they made their money. In his young naivety, he had assumed his wife would work, they had met at school, of course, but he was wrong. She had opted to stay home and raise their children. Even after they were at the age where it was acceptable to return to work, she had decided she liked the life she was living and she wasn’t going to give it up, even after argument after argument with her husband.

The white picket fence was a lie. The white picket fence was fucking bullshit.

She had even grown apart from him physically, claiming that the day had made her so very tired. He knew for a fact that she had done nothing all day long except sit on social media, hanging out with the fellow housewives, drinking their wine and bitching about their husbands. It was insane to him that she would think he wouldn’t catch on. He had a degree in psychology and could see through every lie, every deceit. If she had kept up with her studies or had done any research at all, she would have been able to see through his as well, though he was certainly glad that she hadn’t.

The job that he had made it so easy to find someone to have an affair with. All they needed was a place that was quiet and was private and he had that all day long. It wasn’t as though he was teaching students and they would need to sneak into rooms after hours. He had a couch in his office, which was a necessity for what he did for a living and he was in a position of power. Ever the manipulator, he would be able to have any woman that he wanted; young, attractive, perhaps slightly crazy but it wasn’t any crazier than the life that he dealt with at home. It was practically perfect.

Over the years, woman had come and gone. It was par for the course, really. Half of them didn’t even know he was married. He never wore a ring, there were no photos of his wife or children decorated in his office. It was all part of the manipulation and god, was he good at that. It was his forte and he would play on fear; making a woman feel vulnerable and he would make them think they needed him to protect them. That was, of course, until he had his way with them and he would slowly use his position to sway them elsewhere, until they were gone completely. It was perfect, really.

Commitment was never really a thing that he had wanted, at least not with these women, and really not with his wife either. When he had married her, he thought he was getting a woman who knew what she wanted and she’d never waiver from that. Instead, he got a woman who was much more content in spending his money and doing god knows what else when he didn’t come home night after night. If he had cared in the slightest he’d be worried that she was having an affair of her own but he didn’t even give it the slightest of thoughts because it mattered that little to them. If it was a marriage of convenience, for them and their awful children who, he had come to realize, were just awful versions of his wife in small person form, he would have never proposed. In retrospect, he never should have.

When he would go home, it was argument after argument about how she needed this or needed that. All it was nagging and he could never be bothered with such things. Instead, he would tune her out, like he should have done with his grandmother all those years ago. Perhaps if he had grown up and not experienced the abuse that he had received at home, things would be different. He would have never settled for a life that was less than he deserved.

It wasn’t all bad, of course, the woman he had been seducing in his office, a beautiful red head, had fulfilled him just fine and he could manage just fine now that she was around. The nagging of his wife or children didn’t even bother him much anymore. The white picket fence might have been nice for some, but Jason Carew wasn’t destined for this kind of life.