I took a deep breath and walked into the office. I had nothing to lose and everything to gain. I was placing my fate and the outcome of my life from that moment on, into the hands of someone who had nothing to gain by ruling in my favor. I sat quietly and answered her questions. Casually glancing in the direction of the man I have come to hate with every fiber of my being. He was so cocky. So arrogant. He was convinced this meeting was a waste of time and he was going to win. One more victory for him, and one more step backwards for me.
I held my breath while she quietly did her calculations. After what seemed like an eternity she finally turned and spoke. “Rose, even though a full 40 hour week is not a guarantee for you, we still have to rate you at 40 hours.” My heart stopped. This was it. My life was about to ripped away from me, after I fought so hard to change it. I have worked so hard to fix myself and make up for my past mistakes. I have come so far from where I used to be and now, it’s about to be ripped away from me. Another victory for him. I hated him. I fantasized about stabbing him in the throat with my pen. That would certainly remove the smug look from his face. The silence after that single statement seemed to stretch on for an hour. And then, finally, she spoke again.
“Due to the current income levels, there will be a change in the monthly support.” I couldn’t breathe. The walls were closing in. “There has been a recent change in state regulations. The self-support reserve has been increased and will increase again on August 9th. Due to the current income levels, and the current level of the self-support reserve, the current support level is going to change from $375 a month, to $303 a month. On August 9th, it will automatically change again. It will go from $303 a month to $254 a month.“
Wait… What? Did I hear that correctly? The support level is going to decrease??? This has to be a dream. Can you repeat that please? I think I had something in my ear. I don’t believe I heard you correctly. But the look on his face said it all. Shock, disbelief, anger. I waited for the fireworks. Surely he would not let this injustice stand. When he realized that she really made the decision she just made, he finally boiled over. There was a string of incoherent rambling arguments about why it was the wrong choice. Why couldn’t I just get a second job? Clearly there was nothing wrong with me busting my ass day in and day out to bring home $50 at the end of the week, and for them to feel that I am entitled to more than that is just ludicrous. I sat in stunned happy silence as he let his true colors show. He showed himself for what he truly is. A greedy, money hungry, worthless little man with a Napoleon complex. Finally, someone else could see that he cares more about the money, than what is best for our children.
I walked in that room with nothing to lose, and in an instant my life changed. Now I have a fighting chance. A chance to finally turn my life around. To finally provide my children with the life they deserve. A final fuck you that was seven years in the making. My life is mine and you will never control it again. I have taken the power away from you, and now, your world is going to crumble.