A little while back, my mother’s second husband used to set little fires and blame them on me. Curtains. Carpet. Mother’s dresses. He would light tissues and drop them, to see if they could burn up before they hit the ground. He would do it outside in the dry season, once everyone was convinced I was the one who was doing it, so that no matter what, if a fire sprung up, it was me that caused it. Hell, I was almost convinced, myself.
My mother finally divorced him when she caught him in her underwear, getting fucked by the mailman.
She started giving me extra dessert every day I didn’t set another fire, assuming I was traumatized by his discovery and the divorce, and that I was somehow scared onto the straight-and-narrow. I hadn’t set fires in the first place, so it was the easiest thing in the world to just nod and smile and promise to be good, and capitalize on the loss of her second husband.
Don’t know if she’ll get a third one, but I wouldn’t mind third desserts, if it came to that.