It’s what you’re used to

She asked him to move in. They’d known each other a week. She was bored at home, tied to the kid; he had debts and no job. It seemed like the best solution. Someone would be home, she could go play.

But then he got boring. He didn’t want a job. Or he said he did, but he wouldn’t make a resume, he wouldn’t make phone calls. He’d sit at home playing world of warcraft.

She guessed his passwords to snoop on him. But then she didn’t know how, and when she asked at work about it, they asked her why.

She gave one ultimatum, then another. She didn’t like being the bad guy, so she couldn’t follow through; but it felt good to draw a line. If the kid hadn’t liked him, maybe.

But then: it turned out his mother needed a property manager. Typical: getting bailed out by Mom. She offered him the job. But shouldn’t I get it; I have references, I’m responsible. It would be perfect: I could watch the kid myself.

He was happy to have her off his back while she worked on his mom. Who was also pliable. She was happy for her son.

Then they moved, she quit her job, and no more threats. He didn’t want to change. Why should he listen to her? Empty words are dangerous.

They broke up. But she couldn’t make him leave: he got along so well with her kid! The two of them were soulmates.