“We’re here today with our guest to talk about how he’s handling his divorce with his estranged wife. Brody,” Talk-Show Shrink turns to the gentleman on his right. “Can you tell how you’ve been handling things since your estranged wife left you two months ago?”
Brody shrugs his shoulders. “Okay, I guess.”
Becca squirms at the sound of his voice. His subtle lisp, which she once felt was cute, is now metal scraping metal.
“It’s been hard,” Brody continues, “moving on that is. I’m not really sure what to do.”
“Tell us some of the things you’ve done to try and move on.”
“Well,” Brody’s eyes appear glazed over as he stares off in the distance, not focusing on anyone in particular. “I spent a ton of money on things she would never let me have to try to get over her.”
“For example?” Talk-Show Shrink gestures with his hands, encouraging Brody to elaborate.
“Well, I bought several monitors to set up a gaming area in our – my – apartment. And I also bought a brand new television – a smart t.v. In total, I spent about $5000. It felt good to spend that kind of money knowing it would irritate her.”
“Now Brody,” Talk-Show Shrink adjusts himself in his seat. “Let’s get down to the nitty gritty here and start talking about some of the harder things you don’t necessarily want to talk about.”
Brody clears his throat, nodding. “Like what?”
“Well, you’ve been telling people that she bailed on you? Is that correct?”
“Yeah.” Brody nods. “She did leave; I didn’t. I took vows and those vows meant something to me. Apparently more to me than to her.”
The audience members gaze across the stage. Their faces are flat and emotionless. Multiple audience members are seen fiddling with their cell phones. A handful of audience members are caught on camera, asleep; one is seen snoring with drool drizzling down his face. Talk-Show Shrink knows he has to do something to get them interested – and fast. His ratings can’t afford to get any lower than they are now.
“What if I told you that I spoke at length with Becca about your divorce and even convinced her to come here today?”
Brody’s eyes shot wide open. Rubbing his neck, he stares hard into the audience, looking for Becca. He even glances in the corners behind him, expecting to see her there.
“What if I told you,” Talk-Show Shrink continues, “That Becca cast some light onto the mystery surrounding your divorce and that after she speaks about your side of things, you might not look so sympathetic to the audience members?”
“I don’t see how I could look bad to anyone. I’m the victim; I’m the one who got hurt. Becca walked away, never looking back. She bailed on me when I needed her the most.” Brody’s voice transitions from frail to sharp in a matter of seconds.
Talk-Show Shrink purses his lips, nodding. “All right then. Let’s get Becca out here and get this settled.”
Prompters around the room instruct the audience to clap. But the instructions catch many of audience members off guard as their imaginations have them in far more interesting places than this episode. Becca’s greeting isn’t as warm as it should have been. Only a small fraction of the audience members clap in time.
Becca scurries onto the stage, trying to ignore the lack of enthusiasm. She sits on the opposite side of Talk-Show Shrink.
“Becca,” Talk-Show Shrink cuts to the chase. “Tell us about your divorce to Brody.”
“Best thing I ever did!” Her callous response gains the attention of many of the audience members –some of whom put their cell phones away.
It was the response Talk-Show Shrink was waiting for. He knows Becca’s bitchy, matter-of-fact nature would do the trick. Albeit, the information she was about to share would not help Brody’s case at all. The ratings, on the other hand, would soar after today’s episode.
Brody’s mouth trembles. He clenches his mouth, pursing his lips as he speaks, trying not to lose it in front of everyone. “How can you be so cold?”
“It’s called honesty, Brody. You should try it some time.”
Brody tries to counter but Talk-Show Shrink interrupts, trying to gain control of the situation.
“Tell us about the last few months of your marriage.”
“He went out of his way to make my life miserable.” Becca keeps her focus on Talk-Show Shrink, avoiding any eye contact with Brody. The thought of looking at him makes her sick.
“How so?” Talk-Show Shrink asks.
“It started with his job. Six months before we relocated to Pennsylvania for my job, he was up for a promotion with his company. He was supposed to come home from work and take me out to dinner to celebrate but he never came home.”
“Never came home?”
Becca shakes her head. “Nope. I called him 12 times over the course of 8 hours. Every time his phone went straight to voicemail. I called his friends, trying to find him. No one answered.”
“I take it Brody eventually came home.”
“He stumbled into our apartment at 3:00 a.m., drunk and reeking of cigarette smoke. The stupid jerk actually expected sex.”
Talk-Show Shrink turns to Brody. “You expected sex from her? After you stood her up and ignored her phone calls?”
Brody shrugs. “She’s my wife. It’s her job to keep me happy.”
The audience lets out an almost simultaneous gasp. Finally this show was worth their attention.
“Uh huh.” Talk-Show Shrink scratches his head. “How’d that work out for you?”
“We got into a huge fight that night. I was so upset with her, I stormed out of there. The next morning, I woke up in my car.”
“Is that when the accident happened?”
Brody nods. “I don’t even remember it. Somehow, I managed to slam my car into my boss’s brand new Lincoln. The damage was pretty bad.”
“So that’s how you lost your job?” Talk-Show Shrink asks.
“And he’s blamed me ever since.” Becca shakes her head. “He never bothered trying to find a job after he lost that one and made it very clear to me the only thing I was good for was sex and a paycheck. So when I tell you that leaving him was the best thing I ever did, I mean it!”
“If you hadn’t started that fight with me, I’d still have a job!”
“If you’d picked up your cell phone to tell me you went out with your co-workers, you’d still have wife!”
Bags of popcorn pass through the audience, each member takes a handful. This is possibly the best show of the last three seasons.
“I don’t have to tell you anything!” Brody stands up, pointing his finger down on Becca. “I’m your husband! You do what I tell you to do!”
Becca bolts out of her chair. “Really? Let me know how that works out for you, you pathetic jerk! I can’t even believe I’m here. Seriously? You tell everyone you spent $5000 on stupid shit to get over me. You know what I did? I spent ten bucks on a vibrator and let me tell you something, if I’d known sex was supposed to be that good, I never would’ve married you!”
Talk-Show Shrink stands up, putting himself in between Becca and Brody. “All right. Well, I think it’s time for a break. Let’s hear a word or two from our sponsors. We’ll be right back!”
The audience claps.