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The First 60 Seconds of Divorce

Fiona watched her precious grandchildren play, and she wondered what it would’ve been like to have felt this joy with him. It took her back to that day, that first 60 seconds.

As the judge slammed his gavel down, the sound waves of the impact echoed through the room. The middle-aged man next to Fiona seemed to crumple into the bench. She stared at him, confused. Who was this man? Why was he here, now? She could almost hear his heart imploding inside him, then shattering violently outward. In these first thirty seconds, time slowed. She watched him with a hardened face. She’d been numb a long time.

The next 30 seconds began.

She still couldn’t take her eyes off him. She watched curiously as his tears poured onto the floor. Slowly, he began lifting his gaze toward her. The effort looked painful. When their eyes finally locked, she lost her breath. She was flooded with memories.

Fiona remembered — this was him. She had needed this man for so very long. This was the man she loved, the one she’d married. She gasped for air. The memories came out in tears. But her heart didn’t break. Hers had shattered slowly over the course of twenty years, a little fracture day by day.

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