It was a day that I intend to forget, but I doubt I'll be able to. I just came across the photos that I took the night my ex moved out without warning. The events of the past 18 months or so haunt me from time to time. Especially the weekends she takes the boys.
I had just returned from Minneapolis, and it was getting pretty late. As I pulled into the driveway of the duplex, I noticed it looked different, but I couldn't put my finger on it.
Originally it was supposed to be a getaway weekend, where my supposed fiancée and I could spend a bit of time together without interruption. We were supposed to go Milwaukee, and I had even made reservations at Sybaris, which is by no means cheap. She had been down at her sister's for quite a while, but didn't give an indication that anything was wrong.
Towards the end of the week I ended up canceling the plans; apparently she didn't want to go. Since I had taken a few days off the following week, I at least wanted to do something. My buddy Tim was moving to Minneapolis, so I offered to help him.
After I finished pulling the car into the garage, I opened the connecting door and found mayhem. Stuff was everywhere, it looked almost as if we had been robbed.
In the living room, things started to make sense. Some stuff was missing, but other stuff wasn't. The expensive things, television, stereo equipment, was all there. But lots of other stuff wasn't there. Her stuff. She took everything she may have owned. She even took down her new curtain rods, leaving the curtains in the corner and all of my belongings completely visible from the road.
As I canvassed the rest of the house, it quickly became clear that she had moved out. And she took the boys with her. No note, no indication that something had happened. She was just gone... and took my life with her.
The worst was seeing the room the boys used to sleep in. Virtually empty. The entire house was like a tomb, so very quiet... but it wasn't peaceful. As I looked through the rooms I noticed that she had even picked through the toys, only leaving the ones that either I or my parents had purchased for the boys. I couldn't believe my eyes. Of course, people go through this kind of stuff all the time. She and I had been having a rough time, and I had spent far too much time at work on a big project. But was it really worth destroying a family? I hadn't expected it to happen, that's for sure.
I called my landlord to close out the lease the next day. Regardless of what happened, even if it could be fixed, I knew I couldn't live there any longer.