Things were not going well for Casey and Derek lately. Things were not going well at all for a very long time, but it all came to a head the last few months.
Considering their teenage years, that was really saying something. During college, having to share an apartment, being alone together, they grew closer and their relationship turned romantic. As soon as they graduated, Derek proposed, and they married as soon as they arrived in Edmonton, where he was drafted.
Nine months later, almost to the date, and Casey gave birth to Lucas, who was six months old now. He was definitively not planned.
The fact remained that both Derek and Casey married young, and they were young parents. Most of their high school classmates were out and about, living life, and they were home, they had heavy responsibilities to carry.
However, Derek had been especially lax. He and a few Oilers teammates had been going out to a club quite regularly, almost every night. Edmonton has not that many interesting places.
At first, he had always asked her to come with him, however that was absolutely impracticable, having a freaking newborn at home and all. Derek is a social person, and Casey gets it, she was all for having a few friends over every other week, but seeing as though Derek wanted to find out how the Edmonton nightlife was, a few of his teammates made it their mission to show him how much fun it was.
At the beginning, she really did not mind that he went out with his friends but after a while, he went out almost every free weekend, on a few free weekdays as well and it slowly started to bother her.
If Casey is honest with herself, her bother about the nights out were mostly out of jealousy. She could not find any friends in Alberta, and neither could she find a job to get out of the house. It annoyed her when he went out and left her behind to hold down the fort alone, but she grits her teeth and take it like a woman. She was committed to make her marriage work, and she knew that making a scandal of every little bad feeling she had was the shortest path to a bitter divorce.
However, her patience soon wore thin when she found out what Derek did during his outings. The media is a band of vultures, and they did not live in that big of a city. It did not take long for pictures to be uploaded onto Instagram, showing her boyfriend next to the other boys but also next to different girls. People knew that Derek and her were in a relationship, and Casey could tell that these girls at the club did not care about their relationship status.
She felt humiliated. Everyone and their mother warned her against marrying Derek, but she insisted, she defended him, she assured them he was a good, responsible man, and there he was, making a fool out of her. To all of Canada to see.
Finally, Casey had enough. When she hears him coming down the stairs, well-dressed and reeking of perfume, she stops him. "Where do you think you're going?"
Derek just got back from a match, only quickly changing into something more appropriate as he stood in front of you.
"Out with the boys." He said nonchalantly as he sat down next to her and tried to put on his shoes.
"Again? Weren't you out with them a few days ago? I thought we could spend some time together tonight. I feel like I haven't seen you in forever." She explained, trying to stay calm as she looked at him.
"I promised to meet them at the club after the match. Why don't you come with us?" Derek asked Casey as he looked up, a smile on his face.
She shook your head in disbelief. "And what do you expect me to do with Lucas? Bring him along too?"
"We'll call a nanny to stay with him." He responded, still unconcerned.
"Do you ever listen to what I say?!" She raises her voice. "Every time you say that, and every time I have to explain I can't trust any woman out of the street to take care of my baby! You know I am breastfeeding! You know I can't drink! You know I goddamn hate clubs!" She takes a breath, and then lowers her voice again. "But I guess it means nothing to you."
Feeling shaky, Casey got up from the sofa and made her way into the kitchen to get some water to drink and calm her nerves. She felt emotional and tears seemed to prickle on her eyes, but she refused to cry.
"What is up with you?" Derek asked you after he followed you into the kitchen, a confused look on his face. "I'm inviting you out! I'm including you! And then you come out at me like I'm the bad guy?!"
"What is up with me? What is up with you! You've been going out nonstop these last couple of months and I get it, you want to know how it's like to have your own age, but we're not, Der." Her voice cracked. "It's difficult for me, too, but we won't make it like this. I need your help, please."
"Case, cut out the drama, for God's sake. I'm just going out for a party. I'm not leaving." He insisted, holding down her arms. "I do plenty around the house, I do everything you ask of me, I provide for us. It's hard work. I just want some time for myself, is it too much to ask?"
The young wife shrugged his arms away. "Yes, it is. When Lucas was born, he didn't come with a vacation punch card. When we got married, we didn't promise to stick together three out of four seasons of the year. This, Derek, is a full-time job."
It was then he turned angry. "What do you want to say, Casey?! Come on, tell it to my face! Say it, you think I'm a bad father, a bad husband."
The woman smiles sadly and kisses his cheek. "Answer me this, when the music gets so loud and the girls are all around, do you think about us? Do you think about me when you're in the club, surrounded by all these other girls? Do you think about what I could be doing at that moment?"
"What does that have to do with anything, Casey?" He asks, frustrated about his wife pulling away from him.
"Well, it appears you don't." She answered her own question for him. "Have fun with your boys, live out your twenties the way God intended, but please sleep on the sofa when you get back. If you come back." She said to him as she pushed past him and made her way up the stairs and into their bedroom.
For just a second, Casey allowed herself to think he would follow her into the bedroom, but as soon as she heard the front door shut, she could not help but let the tears out. She could not believe that he would just go out, anyway, but perhaps she should not expect any different.
She jumped back into her feet and walked into her son's nursery. The little boy slept soundly through the commotion, blissfully unaware about everything around him.
"Sleep tight, baby." She whispers to him. "Mommy is just going to pick some stuff up."