My life had been in chaos. The only thing I could do was to "man up" and make things right. So I did. At 20 years old, I'd stumbled through a trades apprenticeship, killed my weekends drinking and partying, and managed to knock up my estranged girlfriend Beth. My parents never shamed me outright, but I could feel their deep concern. Beth's family on the other hand hated my guts, and the only way to repair things with her folks was with a ring. I proposed to her with balloons and a smattering of friends capturing the moment on social media- the wedding itself was a negotiation with her parents, a quick city hall ceremony, but performed by a minister. As a wedding gift, our families had cobbled together a down payment on a house in the burbs, one town over from Beth's parents. Best case scenario in a no-win situation for me I guess. Goddamned cock. Looking at our engagement photos, you'd think we were the happiest kids in town. I was like a teenaged newscast