It's funny to think about this now but back then I remember I felt devastated. “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” — said Leo Tolstoy. There is little solace in being unique but at least I hope this glimpse into my story will be entertaining for you. \tI remember how the thought about divorce first stunned me. It happened almost ten years ago when my wife Cynthia learned that 'children should not stop you from being active woman' and got determined to take all of us - me, her and our one year old daughter Susie on her first birthday - to the nightclub where we met three years ago. This had to be very romantic… and all her friends had to see she is not knocked out and feels great and her stomach is flat and we'll all enjoy and see all the old friends.\n \tTo me the idea sounded utterly crazy - not only because taking a one year old baby to a nightclub was at least stupid, but also the nightclub was nothing more than a dirty den for local losers of all sorts. By that time we already had quite a few brawls under our belts and all were related to our child. So by looking at my face Cynthia already knew that I was going to object after she conveyed her plans in soft and even voice. And even before I had a chance to say a word she attacked slightly toned up:\n \t“If you're going to lock me down at home I'll just take my daughter and move away”\n It was well prepared weapon used now in cold blood. And I must admit it had stunning effect - I sat paralyzed trying to keep myself from crying at a thought that my little sweetie will be missing her daddy. The scene of Cynthia and Susie leaving our house appearing again and again in my mind during this and similar clashes. And it was always raining and when the door was shut there was a small puddle of water on the floor. But all this remained in my dreams and never become reality.\n \tAnd here I'm now - ten years later, divorced and happy. On my way to what used to be our home where my ex wife lives with her new friend and our daughter. I remember that it was almost physically painful to think about another man taking my place. Now I just don't care. Why? No idea. The best explanation I can find is that I got tired. Or just worn out. When I was dating Cynthia I perfectly understood that she was not the nicest woman to talk to. So many times her sharp tongue was hitting my nerves making them thinner and thinner until only bare holes were left.\n \t“Oh, Garry, can't you see what you're doing?” - that's when I stepped into a piece of dog's poop on a sidewalk - I was talking to a friend and missed it. \n \t“Don't you know how to put on your sweater?” - that's when I put it arsy-versy hurrying for a bus.\n \t“I knew you're not kind of a man who can fix something, but that tab in our bathroom what a kid could do”\n \tAnd all this even before we got married. Yeah, I was young and naive, I was sure I loved her and could withstand all acrimony she's been endowing me with.\n \tI pricked my ears and rang the doorbell, waited few minutes and rang again. The bell, an antique bulb acquired together with the house, seemed to be silent. Fixing it was one of my weekend duties giving me an hour or two of relax from neverending nagging and grumbling. Apparently the bell was broken again and I've called Cynthia on her mobile to let me in. Today was my time to see Susie and we agreed that we can stay at home preparing her New Year carnival suit while my ex wife with her new boyfriend Bill would go out somewhere. They live together for about a month and he is almost a complete copy of me - same age, same height, same a bit fatty belly, bold hair and I've already heard Cynthia summoning him in a painfully familiar disgruntled voice:\n \t“Dear, why can't you move a bit more quickly!”\n What a pleasure it is to understand that it's not for me and then seeing Bill jumping up with one of his shoes unlaced.\n \tIt's for the first time when I get into the house after divorce. Couple of times I met Susie in a local cafe on Saturdays, once or twice we were in a park or were simply walking around our small town. And always it was damn boring - I didn't know what can I talk to her. She didn't want to share with me any news from school and I didn't want to ask about things at home so we just walked and ate ice cream. \n\n \tCynthia finally opened at let me in. Susie already was sitting behind sewing machine spreading pied fabric around. Kitchen table was scattered with picnic stuff and shiny new portable grill stood beneath. \n \t“Are you going for a picnic?” I couldn't help asking - getting out to the most inappropriate places in the most unfit times was one of her subduing tactics. It seemed that she actually didn't care where and when to go but wanted to be worshiped, wanted a sacrifice in her sake by tormenting her subjects, forcing us to drag full packs of beach belongings hundreds of feet under host to the spot she finds perfect for swimming or plodding in ski boots through a village to a slide she suddenly thought was the best.\n \tShe doesn't answer my question and quickly disappears upstairs. \n \tI'm taking a chair close to Susie to see what kind of suit there is and start talking to make situation not so awkward. \n \t“Hi, how're you doing? Did you decide on fashion?”\n Susie mumbles something indistinctly and I notice that she's playing a game on her mobile.\n \t“Do you already know what kind of costume do you want?”\n \t“Wait a minute. Don't you see I'm busy now?” she definitely learned a lot from her mother. \n \t“Of course, I'm sorry” said I as amicable as possible and she continued playing.\n \tTen minutes we sat in silence and I had enough time to examine the the changes happened in the house since I left it. To my relief nothing significant - new curtains, must be Cynthia's idea, new kitchen tap, that must be already Bill's work, new door mat. But why would I care? I felt abject catching myself thinking about it and started acting. Finally even if it's not my house anymore, Susie is still my daughter and I'm here to care about her. \n \t“Dear,” I said, “could you please put aside your phone and we'll see how we can make your costume to be greatest ever made. Who's it gonna be? Looks like cinderella?”\n \tSusie looked at me with a mild annoyance but fortunately didn't have a chance to answer because entrance door opened and Bill drenched and panting tumbled into. Having heard him inside Cynthia promptly rushed downstairs and chirped charmingly: \n \t“Honey, I'm ready, let's go” it was clear that she didn't want him to come in and wasn't able to help herself from adding “you had to call me, remember?”\n \tBill seemed to be hesitating a bit but kept dragging off raincoat. When he finally made it Cynthia was already in front of him and looked nervous. \n \t“It's raining damn heavily, honey,” started Bill carefully, apparently he already learned Cynthia good enough, “it's certainly not a best day for a picnic. And I've left the car in the service until at least Monday, they're not yet finished with it”.\n \t“Watch out, you fool, you're doomed” I thought. Depriving Cynthia from the promised entertainment is dangerous to your life and those around you! You're destined to being ignored for weeks! You won't have sex and will have to cook, clean house and wash clothes. \n \t“Ok,” she said in a steel-cold voice, “then I'll have a walk”, glanced at Susie and rushed out of the house in a moment. According to our unspoken rules I, or rather Bill this time, had to follow Cynthia, preferably without a coat, to express his sheer remorse and commitment to never let it happen again. So I even twitched but but fortunately stopped fast enough so that Bill didn't notice. He gazed shortly at slammed door, apparently estimating what he is supposed to do but to my surprise instead of following Cynthia he wiped his face and got a beer from the fridge. \n \t“Yeah” he said flatly “ I hope she enjoys her walk” and went upstairs with his beer. Unheard of arrogance. \n \tSusie kept sitting behind sewing machine and playing on her phone. The costume was a simple ready-to-make set so I thought I can quickly fix it and gently pushed her down to the sofa. She slid keeping playing. \n “Honey, you should not play so much,” tried I, “there are so many interesting things around, let's sew your costume together”\n \t“Yeah, you can do it” murmured she, apparently hadn't understood what I said. \n \tSo I took her place behind sewing machine. Finally if I'm already here, I should at least do something useful. The manual was quite simple so I easily figured out what parts should be sewed together. Getting a thread into the machine was not that difficult either so I thought I'd get it done in a moment but when I pushed the pedal the damn thing started to stitch so fast that my finger was immediately pierced with the needle. The howl I produced must had been spooky enough so Bill vaulted down and was scared more than I. He helped to take my finger out of the machine and swathe it. It was terribly painful and quite embarrassing too so I didn't notice when Cynthia returned and I flinched when she said in her most slaying voice:\n \t“Don't you see your took wrong piece? Even didn't bother to read the guide”\n