A Pre-Dinner Surprise

‘Uh… honey?’

‘Ya?’ my wife poked her head around the corner, the sound of dinner cooking coming from behind her. ‘What’s up?’

‘Have you seen this?’ I asked, brandishing the opened envelope I’d found on our hall table.

         ‘Oh yeah, I meant to show that to you,’ she smiled, stirring a bowl in her hands. ‘It’s cool, isn’t it?’

         ‘You spent five thousand dollars on a dress?!’

         ‘Whoops,’ she chuckled, setting the bowl down and rushing over to me. She snatched the envelope out of my hands and replaced it with the other one that had been sitting on the table.

         ‘Solar power!’ she grinned at me. ‘It’s amazing how much money we could be saving.’

         I gaped at her like a stunned fish, the credit card statement still seared into my mind. She rolled her eyes at me.

         ‘Look,’ she pulled out her phone and showed it to me. ‘I plugged our house into this residential solar power calculator. Look at that number!’

         My eyes slowly narrowed in on her and she smiled sheepishly at me.

         ‘Not convinced, huh?’

         ‘Where are we going to get that kind of money?’ I threw my hands up, furious. ‘We’re supposed to be saving!’

         ‘That’s what the solar is for, silly,’ she chuckled, sauntering back to the kitchen. ‘We’ll be rich in no time!’

         ‘I don’t think you understand how–’ I cut myself off with a deep breath, closing my eyes and recentering myself. 

‘Whatever. Look, we need to have a serious conversation about–’

         ‘Small business incentives?’ she interrupted me, peeking around the corner, bowl in hand again.


         She motioned for me to flip the letter over. I did, with a sigh.

         ‘What’s this?’

         ‘Small business grants!’ she cheered.

What solar energy grants do they have for small businesses in Melbourne?’ I asked, begrudgingly playing along. My eyes skipped down the page and I frowned slightly.

‘What is it?’ my wife asked.

‘Nothing,’ I sighed, folding the paper up and putting it to the side. ‘It’s just…’

‘Better than you expected?’

‘I want a divorce.’

She dropped the bowl.