Listen to "Wings" by Birdy on repeat while reading:
Jackson: The Surprise
The entire flight I could only think about getting home to my wife and two children. It’s been two months since I last seen them; the longest I ever went. The moment I touched down I couldn’t help but smile to myself. The flight was already delayed because of the rain. My driver was waiting for me to arrive. Immediately, I grabbed my bag and got in the car.
Megan’s going to be so surprised to see me home early. She expected me to come home next week but it was a lie I told her and the kids to surprise them. They’ve missed me so much and it breaks my heart every time my baby girl cries over a video chat begging me to come home to her. She’s only five so she doesn’t fully understand why daddy isn’t home every day the way other fathers are. My son takes it much better but lately he’s been getting into trouble at school. It’s time for me to put my career on hold and focus on my home life.
When we pull up to my estate I give Martin, my driver a huge tip. It’s the middle of the night and he has a family he should get home to also so it’s the least I can do. He tells me to take care and I reply for him to do the same. As he pulls off I quietly unlock the door and push it open. I set my bag down at the entrance because I want free hands when Megan jumps into my arms. I plan on asking no questions and just taking her right there. We don’t get a lot of time together but I love my wife just as much as a man who sees his every day…distance doesn’t change a thing for me.
I silently rush up the stairs and head straight to our bedroom. The light is on which means she’s still up. I find it strange because she’s usually so exhausted from the kids she’s out by ten the latest. It only makes me more excited knowing that she’s wide awake…maybe we can spend a couple more hours together before we both crash.
I turn the knob and push open the door only to be stopped dead in my tracks. She was surprised alright…they both were. Initially, I don’t know how to react, I watch as she scrambles to put her clothes on. I keep thinking, ‘this is the wife I couldn’t wait to come home to’. It takes a while before I can even get angry. I just feel hurt…all over.
“Jack! Oh my God! I can- I can explain,” she says trying to put her clothes on. “You weren’t supposed to be home yet.”
She says it like that’s supposed to make a difference. Like it makes it okay that I found her in bed with another man. If she knew I was coming, he wouldn’t be here…but that means whenever I’m not around he’s with her. My mind is trying to make sense of what’s in front of me. I don’t answer. I turn away and walk out.
I head down the stairs unsure of what I’m going to do next. I almost walk out of the front door until I realize this is my house. Everything that’s here is because of me. I lean against the door with a blank expression. That’s when he comes running down the stairs and stops when he sees me.
“Did you know?” I ask calmly.
“Know what?” he asks in a nervous tone.
“That she was married…did you know that she had a husband?” I reiterate.
“I didn’t know that you were her husband…she just said-“ I cut him off with a blow to the face.
“Who gives a fuck if you knew I was her husband or not?! You knew she was a married woman you sorry son of a bitch!” I yell as I give him hit after hit.
Megan rushes down the stairs at full speed pushing me off him. He gets up and walks out as fast as he can.
“Jackson listen to me! I’m so sorry! You have to let me explain!” she says frantically while holding onto me.
I push her away from me and walk back up the stairs. She follows me while begging and pleading but nothing changes for me. I still have the same look on my face, my body language is all the same.
I make my way to our bedroom and open the door to her walk in closet. I grab a bunch of her clothes not caring if I’m picking up complete outfits or not.
“Jack, what are you doing?! What are you doing with my stuff?!” she yells with tears streaming down her face. It almost makes me feel sorry for her looking at her brown eyes grow darker.
“I want you out tonight. You can’t stay here,” I say as calmly as I know how.
I’m walking down the stairs and to the front door. She’s only inches behind me.
“Tonight? No, can we talk about this? Give it some time!” she begs.
“How long has this been happening?” I ask not really caring what her answer would be. My decision will remain the same.
“About a year…but you don’t understand you were never here!”
I laugh a little. “Well that justifies it,” I say sarcastically. “I gave you everything! The car you drive, the house you live in…our kids! I did all of that you ungrateful slut!”
She shutters at the harshness of my words. I can tell it took her by surprise.
“Where are the kids?” I ask.
She takes a deep breath so she can speak clearly. She’s still crying nonstop. “In their rooms. I swear they never saw him…they don’t know anything.”
“I want you out of my house Megan.” I open the door and throw her clothes out into the pouring rain.
“Jackson, please don’t…I love you!”
“No Megan, love is when you come home early to surprise your wife and kids not when you sleep with another man because your husband is out making a living for his family,” I reply.
I grab her by her arms and push her towards the door. She’s only wearing a pair of short and a large t-shirt. She doesn’t even have shoes on.
“Jack no! No!” she begs. “I have nowhere to go.”
I pull out my wallet and take out a couple of hundred dollar bills. “I’m sure you can find a decent hotel for the night with that.”
“What about the kids?” she asks trying to pull my grip off of her arm.
“I’ll tell them that mommy is a cheating whore who had to go away for a while. Don’t worry, I won’t keep you away from your kids but you can’t stay here!” I forcefully push her out the door. She lands on her knees, I’m sure causing them to scrape. I don’t even care enough to care. I slam the door and lock it. I leave her out there without a cell phone, keys, or a jacket. I’m that angry.
I walk away from the door while hearing her bang over and over. She’s crying and begging but I don’t care. I spend some time in the guest room before I think about my actions. After about thirty minutes of her standing out in the rain without any decent clothes, I let her back in. She’s sobbing and shivering.
“You stay in the bedroom and I’ll be in one of the other rooms. You can have the house and we’ll split custody. You’ll have them majority of the time since I’m always on tour or working on an album. They’re my family and I will put them first but you’re nothing to me. You never will mean anything to me ever again,” I say.
“Jack, you’re just hurt,” she replies as her voice cracks. She tries to touch me but I move her away.
“No, I mean it. This is it for us. I don’t want to fight you for anything. I just want out. It hurt me to be away from you too but I never touched another woman. I’m done here.”
I leave her standing there dripping from the rain. She’ll probably cry the entire night but I don’t care. This is the beginning of the end for us…
Find out more about Jackson in the RED Tragedies Series here. Jackson appears in A Tragic Heart, RED, & What Could've Been.