Family Law

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short story about the humdrum of daily life and routine

Submitted: April 15, 2019

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Submitted: April 15, 2019



Family Law:

Stacks and Stacks of papers were piled on his desk, pointless papers, outlining a divorce settlement, where it had stopped being about a fair division of a couples belongings and simply about who could cost who more. It hurt him to know that this is what the institution of marriage could come to, and he wondered how. This particular couple had only been married for 7 months, and they had both become so bitter, his firm was representing the husband, who was in his opinion which truly didn't matter when it came to his ability to be an effective lawyer, was a complete twit.

The wife, it seemed was not much better, he gathered from his dealings with her lawyer, many settlements had been agreed upon only to be torn up at the last minute and totally redrawn. This was the third time he'd written out the final terms, it was mindless work, and while his firm was certainly making a tidy sum of money, and the partners were happy. He was not, he didn't get into this business to make money, of course he did, but he always thought he'd also get to help people, to fight injustice, but what they don't tell you until after you've paid the exorbitant fees is that if you want to fight injustice with your law degree, then you better be content with scraping by, because there is rarely money in it. No, the real money comes from the soulless work of drawing up contracts and binding clients with red tape to draw out the issue they came to you to solve. He hated it.

But with one child and another on the way, he couldn't afford to not do it, and that's not even considering his gigantic law school debts that hung forever over his head like a dark cloud that never bursts. He feels as though everyday he grows a little further from his home and a little closer, however unwillingly to his work, he can feel himself getting jaded, he can feel his cynicism grow, from a seed to a sapling to a tree, a tree which he fears will never be destumped. His mind is filled with things like 'billable hours' or 'settlement negotiation' he comes home and for forgets all the things that should be on his mind like his wife and unborn child or his current child whom he feels he hasn't seen for weeks, because by the time he's home she's sleeping and by the time he wakes up he showers then gets in the car all the while thinking about how much he dreads going to work...

Staring at a line of the settlement with barely mustered enthusiasm he tried to continue. He'd gotten less than a paragraph before he pulled out his phone, booked a 3 night stay at a swanky beach resort for his family and himself, stood up and walked out. One moment of solace he found was the drive home, because he'd been leaving so late there was never much traffic and as the monotonous journey and lights passed him by a smile crept on his face. This wouldn't give me true solace but it would remind him why he does what he does. When he got home, a note on the table read 'lasagna in the fridge reheat for 3 minutes in the microwave, x' she was such a good woman, he could tell that the long hours had been effecting her as well, with a pregnancy belly and a toddler running around it was hard to maintain order in the house, but she managed.

He realised she needed this trip as much as he did. He went up stairs and watch his child sleep for a moment before crawling into bed with his wife, gently placing his arm over her sleeping shoulders. When they awoke he told her where they were heading, she said she'd get the bags packed and the kids ready after breakfast while he went to the doctor's office with a mystery ailment. At breakfast he thought to himself, this is what matters, as he smiled at his Daughter and Wife, they smiled back at him, and all the stress of the pointless papers slowly faded away...

© Copyright 2019 C. Edwards. All rights reserved.

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