Cora took good care of her little stash. She went to the bank and made sure their loan was current. She looked through the books to be certain the accounts got caught up. She let James know when she needed grocery money. He always made sure his family was fed. She held on to any spare cash.
At night, after the kids were asleep, while James was out doing whatever it was he did, she lay in bed and ran through all of her responsibilities and virtues. She compared them to his total lack of responsibility. Clenching her jaw, she relished the home movie in her head where she let him have it with the cast iron skillet. She imagined his distress when he realized she was gone and he didn’t know how to run the washing machine. He’d have to go to his good, god-fearing parents’ house to ask his mommy to do his laundry. In the decade they’d been married, Cora had never once put herself before her family. She was indescribably angry that James expected her to shoulder all of the burden that was half his.
She was not going to spend the next 40 or 50 years of her life taking care of a broken-down drunk. She didn’t care about the market, James, the kids, or her family. She cared about her own damn self because it was increasingly obvious that nobody else did.