The Ringer

Vote by December 15, 2013!


In Episode 3, readers voted for Clay to reveal he wants to have a child.

Episode 4

Scarlett and Clay finished eating as it got dark outside. Afterwards, Clay led her to the couch where they talked about his favorite episodes of shows and drank wine. Of course, Clay had been gushing that he had a wonderful idea he wanted to share with her all day so knowing he was talking about those other things just to torture her was driving her damn near crazy.

“Clay! Tell me your big idea! You know you’re just being cruel stalling this way, ha ha” Scarlett said playfully tugging at his collar as if demanding information.

“OK! Ok… Now I know we said before we got married that we were going to wait a few years to try and have children but, after that gun threat escapade with your crazy ex, it just made me realize that there will always be a reason not to do it, but I don’t want to die one day too soon knowing we never had kids.”

Scarlett had to set her glass of wine down to focus on stopping her head spinning. Children! He wanted children now?! If anything, the death threat made her want to wait even longer to have kids! Will’s appearance was a swift, powerful reminder of all the danger and evil that exists in the world. She explained this to Clay, continuing by telling him, “You are not thinking about this clearly Clay. We cannot have a child right now! I think work has got your mind all scrambled. You’re just still feeling it from Will’s stunt at the barbecue and –“

Before she could continue any further, Clay interrupted her. Raising his voice he shouted, “Will you STOP always telling me how I think and feel? I am my own man Scarlett and I’m sick of you always correcting me like I don’t know what I’m talking about!”

“Clay, I –“

“No! Don’t try and say you don’t do it. You do it all the time! I KNOW why I want to have a child and thought you would be excited about this with me, Scarlett. A baby! That’s what married people do. They have children!”

“I just don’t think it’s the right time Clay! I never said I don’t want children ever but you really thought a death threat from my ex-boyfriend towards my husband was going to make me want kids now?!”

“You’ve always been like this Scarlett. It’s never the right time for YOU. Who cares what I want or what we should be accomplishing as a couple if it doesn’t feel right for you!”

“That’s not fai –“

“Yes, it is! It’s not the right time to go back to school. It’s not the right time to choose a damn career path! It’s not the right time to actually DO something with my life!” He continued, putting his hands mockingly in the air. “You know what? We probably shouldn’t bring kids into the world anyways because your indecisiveness would make you a TERRIBLE mother and what’s worse? IT’LL NEVER BE THE RIGHT TIME ANYWAYS! You’re just going to spend the rest of your life deciding what to do with yourself although I’m sure by the time you make a damn decision you’re whole life will have passed by and I’ll just be sitting there wondering why I married a perpetual adolescent. Great. Good to know.”

Scarlett just stood there as tears filled her eyes. Even though they were having a rough time lately, she never knew he thought these things of her or that he could be so hurtful. He put his head in his hands and with a cracked voice she finally got up the nerve to respond.

“Things haven’t been the greatest lately, and I know that, I do.” She felt herself unraveling. “But we used to swear nothing could tear us apart and… I’m not sure when exactly who I already am stopped being enough for you…”

Clay sighed, resting his forearms on the counter still clearly upset and said only two words that sealed their fate, “Me either.”

Scarlett used every reservoir of strength she had maintaining herself long enough to grab her purse and keys to walk out the door. As she sat in the car, she sobbed harder than she had ever thought she could, a piece of her hoping all the while that Clay would realize she hadn’t left yet and attempt to stop her from doing so.  But Clay never came; only more tears did. She could have been in there minutes or hours, she didn’t know. But when she finally stopped long enough to gather a thought, she turned the key in the ignition and started to drive, not having yet chosen a direction, she just knew she had to leave.

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