Jameson Fox

By: Nina Levine

I’ve been labeled a bitch in the years since my divorce. By both men and women. Apparently, insisting on strong boundaries and refusing to be treated badly means a woman is a bitch. I’ve learned not to listen. I’ve also learned to stand the fuck up for myself, and Jameson has a long year ahead of him if he thinks that I’ll just lie down and accept his dismissal of the things I have to say.

I spend fifteen minutes in the bathroom, moisturizing my body and gathering the strength to go on without doing harm to the man I have to share a bed with. When I walk back into the bedroom, I find him showered and sitting on the bed reading a paperback.

Trying to distract myself from him, I sit on the bed and gaze out the window at Manhattan while taking some breaths. Jameson’s master suite is sumptuous with its luxury finishes and furnishings, and is easily the largest bedroom I’ve ever seen. It includes a sitting room, dual walk-through closets that take you to separate bathrooms, each complete with spectacular views. The space is open and light with a smattering of darker gray accents.

Without glancing at me, he asks, “Have you calmed down?”

I peel the bed covers back and slip under them while keeping my emotions in check as best I can. I’ve never met a man who provokes me like Jameson does. “I’ve calmed down as much as you’ve stopped being an asshole.”

Still not giving me even a sideways glance, he says, “Are you anticipating this will last long?”

“Yes. My best projection is twelve months.”

That catches his attention.

Closing his book and placing it down, he finally looks at me. “This is all because I told you that Ian isn’t someone you need to worry about? Or because I stepped in and told him to fuck off tonight?”

“I see now why you’re an unmarried man. You really are clueless about women.”

He eyes me with his bored look. The one I want to do serious damage to. “Which one is it, Adeline? I don’t intend on spending the entire night getting to the bottom of this.”

“You know what? It’s not my job to educate you on how to be a better person. And quite honestly, I doubt you’d even listen to me if I enlightened you. My projection still stands. You’re looking at a year of this if you can’t figure out your own shit.” With that, I switch my light off, pull the covers over me, and lie on my side. I face away from him and ensure I’m as far from him as possible. Thank God this is an Alaskan King bed. I’d have to insist on replacing it if it was anything smaller.

Jameson uses his brain for the first time tonight and doesn’t speak to me again. He goes back to reading and allows me the space to go to sleep.

I’m just as tired tonight as I was last night, however sleep eludes me. I’m still awake when Jameson turns his light out. And I’m still awake hours later at 4:00 a.m. when he leaves the bedroom. I fall asleep soon after that, grateful to have the bed to myself. How I’m going to make it through a year of sleeping next to this man, I have no idea.

Waking up to find photos of your mother half-naked while supposedly getting drunk and high with random men isn’t a great way to wake up. It’s also not a great way to begin a week. Or a marriage, especially one in which you’re spending almost all your energy to make it look real. When you have little energy because you only got two hours of sleep, you don’t have much available for any of this bullshit.

This is how my Monday begins.

It’s not a good sign that the day is going to go well.

I spend my first half hour messaging with my team about it, which is something I don’t like to do. I work a lot, but I try to keep the time just after I wake free. It angers me that I have to skip my morning workout for this.

It’s lies. All of it. Well, not the bits about Mom sleeping with a lot of different men, but everything else is a lie.

My mother doesn’t take drugs or drink alcohol. Her parents were alcoholics who beat her often as a child. She’s completely against all substances.

Sex, though, is her drug of choice. I have no doubt the photos published across social media and in the tabloids are all real. It’s only the words printed with them that are manufactured.

Top Books