LeavingMrs Zen has the phone and she's saying, do you want to talk to your sister, she has your family there, and Zenella has been talking to them about how much money she will get when she lands in the UK.
Because everyone has promised her ten pounds when she gets there, but she won't get there.
So my mum is on the phone and I ask her how she's going, because she has just recently had an op, and I am asking how that is, she says she is getting there, and are you okay? And I say, no I am not okay, I am leaving Mrs Zen. And I can feel my mum's shock across ten thousand miles. Oh I'm sorry, she says. I'm not, I say, I feel good about it.
I do feel good about it. I mean, I feel good for me. So long as I only think about myself, I feel relieved and happy about it.
But I can hear Zenella playing on her recorder, playing the song she has been writing, it sounds a bit like one of my songs that I play on my iPod. And I couldn't make Zenella English. I just wasn't man enough. I tried but I failed and what am I even worth? What am I worth that I couldn't stand Mrs Zen's shit for her sake? That I couldn't stand my own life being worthless and ruined so that I could get her to England where she could become herself?
What good am I that I chose my own hope of salvation over my children? Please don't write and tell me I did the right thing. I don't have a right thing to do. I can only choose which very wrong thing I break my heart over. God why did she do this to me? She only had to love me and I would never have stopped loving her.
I couldn't stand it any more. She sulked all week because I wrote an email. She said, I've been hurt because you were writing to your women. It doesn't matter that the email that upset her was to my boss, who knows I am online a lot and writes to me at night sometimes with work things. It could have been to K, or S, or P or A. They are the women she means. They don't seem like anything dirty to me. They seem like the people who have sustained me and I write to them because it makes me happy. Mrs Zen would rob me of my small measure of happiness for the sake of what? I don't even know what I am supposed to get in exchange. Years of the cold shoulder, manufactured hurt, spitefulness, inattention.
And my beautiful children. Who will now live the rest of their childhoods in her dad's house, strangled in suburbia, slowly becoming strangers to me. It should be her that is leaving. I had love enough for everyone. She had none to spare for anyone but herself.