Grandma to the rescue!
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“Sorry, there was a line for ice-cream”, I say while handing an ice-cream to Laura while Rose does the same for Ella.  Laura just smiles and says that it’s alright, but I can see the look that Ella casts first at me and then at Rose.  Yup, busted.

My little girl is smart enough not to comment in front of her grandma, but she glances at me before covering the top of the ice-cream with her open lips, then biting the top off cleanly.  I involuntarily gulp and fight off the urge to cross my legs, but my expression probably says a lot, as she smiles more naturally at me before gulping and swallowing her “load” of ice-cream.  This girl, really…

Done with our refreshments, we head home, where we find the bitch waiting for us with a scowling expression.  As soon as we get in the house, she starts scolding me for not waiting at home for her, for taking the girls out, and so on.  I endure the barrage of nagging and insults even though I would like nothing more than twisting her neck like a chicken, but before I lose my patience, Laura blows her top and starts scolding and berating her daughter.   My bitchy wife, long used to me accepting passively her actions and words, is at loss for how to defend herself against her furious mom, so she just stands there with her head lowered while Laura enumerates all her failures as a wife, as a mother, and as a host.  Man, this is so liberating!  Even though I know that I will have to pay for it in the long run, as the bitch is not somebody willing to forgive and forget, it is totally worth it!  After the scolding ends, I head to the kitchen to fix lunch while the girls squirrel away to Ella’s room.  Ella knows that it is in her mom’s character to blame others for her faults, so she grabbed the first opportunity to drag Rose away from the ongoing “soap opera” so as to shield her from the bitch.  The bitch went to her room to unpack, while a still quite pissed-off Laura joins me in the kitchen to help with the cooking.  We work harmoniously together, both purposely avoiding mentioning the previous fiasco, and soon we have a small feast ready.  The bitch would probably have loved skipping lunch and remaining in her room, but dares not offer her mom any more ammunition. Thus, we enjoy a quiet if awkward lunch before I have to drive Laura home.  I leave the girls at home on purpose, as I can feel that Laura needs to vent herself a bit.  True to my prediction, as soon as we drive away from the house Laura starts swearing.  She goes on for ten minutes non-stop without even once repeating herself!  Even if her swear words are on the mild side, this is not exactly what I expected.

“Damn, Laura, color me impressed”, I say as she winds down.

“I am sorry you had to witness this, Carl.  I haven’t felt so angry in a long time.  How can my daughter treat you like that and why would you let her?  And in front of guests, no less!”.

I take my right hand from the wheel to pat her own left hand in her lap.

“As long as she doesn’t take it out on Ella, I don’t care about her words”, I lie.  I DO care, but I can’t fuck up my plans just for the satisfaction of slapping my wife’s bitchy face.

My words fuel her fury, but with a visible effort she keeps her calm.  I can feel that she saw through my lie, and her next words prove it.

“Carl, she is my daughter and I love her, but if you decide to get a divorce, you will have my full support!”.

Her words freeze my brain.  I slow down and park at the side of the road before turning on my seat to look at her.

“Do you mean that, Laura?”, I ask.

She nods with a sad face, before explaining herself.

“I have seen how she treats you those lasts years whenever you visited us, but I never realized that the situation at home is much worse.  As it is, she is unfit to raise my grand-daughter and is unfit to be your wife”.

This was unexpected.  When I invited Laura to stay with us for the weekend, I never expected to gather this kind of support from her.  Yet, I must remain careful.  She is after all, Jack’s wife.

“I thought that the church is against divorce”, I probe gently.

“Fuck the church!  My grand-daughter is more important!”, she spits out while scowling.

I stare at her with my eyes wide open and my jaw dropping to the floor.  It takes me a minute to regain my composure, then I stretch my arm to envelop her shoulders and I tilt her toward me, before kissing the crown o her hair gently.

“Thank you, Laura.  You have no idea what your words mean to me.  But for the moment, I will ask you to forget everything.  It is still too early to talk about divorce.  Unless I am 100% sure that I will retain Ella’s custody, I will not do anything.”.

Laura nods in understanding.

“As you wish, but from now on you will see me quite often.”

I smile at her,

“that will make both me and Ella happy”.

We smile at each other like elementary kids with a shared secret, and then I start the car again and continue our drive to her house.  What a day…