Lesson 3 – MasterCard – Conflict in dialogue
Mark waved the envelope in the air.
“Amy, is this what I think it is?” he asked.
Amy’s heart sank as she saw the familiar MasterCard logo. She had been so careful. How could she have missed this one? She took a deep breath.
“Mark, I’m sorry,” she began.
She stopped as he ripped open the envelope and shuffled through the pages.
“More than five thousand dollars, Amy. More than five thousand dollars! That’s more than I make in a month. What were you thinking?” he shouted.
“I don’t know,” Amy said, tears coming to her eyes. “I just …”
“Wait a minute,” Mark said. “This isn’t our MasterCard number. I don’t recognize this account.”
He looked at the bill again, puzzled. Amy watched his expression slowly become clear as he realized what she had done.
“You signed up for your own credit card, didn’t you? You’re doing it again, aren’t you? How much this time, Amy? Thousands? Tens of thousands? The last bankruptcy wasn’t enough?”
Guilt flooded through her. Mark was right. She was losing control again. The truth was, Amy didn’t know why she felt such a desperate need to buy everything in sight. She hated it when the urge came over her, but she couldn’t stop. It didn’t matter what it was – clothes, books, food, shoes. She simply bought and bought and bought until the pounding in her head and pressure in her chest went away.
“What is it you need so desperately that I’m not providing?” Mark went on, sarcastic now. “Let’s see, $500 at Maxie’s Shoes. Couldn’t live without five more pair of shoes, right, Amy? And here’s $250 at the hardware. How many light bulbs did you think we needed? How about $379 at the grocery? Is there a famine predicted that I didn’t know about?
“Mark, please,” Amy sobbed.
“I’ve had it!” he yelled. “I’m not going to live like this. I’m not going to work 60 hours a week and watch you squander it all. It took us six years to get back on our feet after we lost everything the last time.”
“I’ll stop,” Amy pleaded. “I promise, Mark, I’ll stop.”
“No, Amy, you won’t stop,” he said. “You won’t stop even knowing it means everything to us. You need more help than I can give you. Amy, I don’t think I can stay married to you.”