Divorce and Future - PassedbyStangStar06©
Hi Folks, Thanks for the reaction to last week's piece, both positive and negative. Whether you realize it or not we really are trying to improve and are listening to your comments and views. This time out I had an idea in mind, but I also wanted to see if I could bring it in with fewer pages. I had to cut out a lot of the things I wanted to do, but I think it still turned out okay. As usual please let us know what you think of it and also tell us what you liked or didn't like so we'll know when we're on the right track. Some of you won't like the ending here and others will but that's normal by now, right? And lastly but by no means least I'd like to give thanks and credit to the incredible Mikothebaby for editing this story. She really makes what I do easy. all I have to do is jot down whatever pops into my head in a somewhat legible fashion and she takes it from there.SS06
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Getting over a divorce is always rough. In terms of emotional stress, they say that it's the equal of actually having your spouse die. I actually think that it's worse. I'm not a psychiatrist or any kind of professional counselor but I'm sure I'm right. Let's compare the two. When your spouse dies, you lose the person that you've lived with, loved and been emotionally attached to for whatever period of time.
After a divorce, the exact same parameters are in effect. The difference is, when a spouse dies, whether it's due to illness, accident or even foul play, you aren't left with the paralyzing self-doubt that a divorce brings. You don't spend months or even years wondering why you weren't enough or good enough for her. You don't spend a long period of time afraid to try with someone else purely out of fear that the same thing will happen.
There's also the fact that when your spouse dies, you don't have the pain of wandering into your favorite restaurant and seeing them with someone else. If you really loved that person, seeing that has to be one of the worst feelings you'll ever have.
Anyway, my name is Jake Reed and I'm just beginning to get over my divorce. First, I should tell you that my divorce wasn't one of those bitter drawn out things with both parties scratching and clawing for dominance and a bigger share of the marital assets.
My divorce was the kind that you don't very often hear about. It was warm and caring and filled with a lot of love. I didn't divorce Sarah because I wanted to. I divorced her because she broke my heart and left me no other choice.
Sarah also seemed to truly regret cheating on me, but she knew the kind of person I am. I value loyalty above everything else and her betrayal was the end. As much as I loved her, I still need to be able to look myself in the mirror every morning and respect the face I see looking back at me. So when she fucked her boss, she also screwed up any chance of us staying together. The child that resulted from their union only made it worse.
Sarah, who refused to marry the bastard after their affair and barely has anything to do with him, doesn't have a great life. That isn't my fault. I pay my child support on time and I'm actually a few months ahead of schedule. In my profession, your reputation means a lot so I can't afford to be labeled a deadbeat dad.
Sarah is also very liberal about visitation rights. She never tried to block me from having access to our daughter who is three years old now. She allows me to visit my daughter whenever I want to see her. It's still very hard for me to go to Sarah's apartment though. Every time I see her, I'm reminded of how much I love her and how special she was to me. There's also the problem that no matter how cordial we are to each other, everyone always assumes that I'm the bad guy here. Even people who know what really happened seem to think that this is my fault. I guess I was supposed to simply look the other way and pretend it never happened.
Almost everyone I know seems to think that if your spouse only cheated once that it's acceptable. I'm supposed to just say, "Okay babe, you've burned your get out of jail free card. Now you have to actually honor the promises you made to me."
But, if you can let it go once, why can't you live with it twice? Maybe three times should be the limit. And then for some people with extenuating circumstances there really needs to be a bigger range, right? Nope, that's not what I signed up for. I never once cheated on Sarah and I never would have. So, as much as I miss her and as much as I still love her deep down inside of my heart, I had to say goodbye.
In the end, it was her actions, not my refusal to accept them that tore our family apart. I still buy her a present at Christmas and her birthday without fail and she does the same. She also buys me a present for Father's day, but I'm unable to reciprocate. Mother's day is just so hard for me because her new kid just reminds me of what I lost and what we could have had.
The worst thing of all happened when I picked Tina, our daughter, up to take her to the zoo a couple of months ago. Sarah's kid follows my daughter around all over the place. I guess that's to be expected as he is her half brother. Anyway, Tina came over to me and hugged me and wanted to be picked up. "Daddy, pick me up," she said. The little boy, following her, came right up behind her and called me Daddy too. I almost lost it.
I hate leaving him behind when I take Tina out and though Sarah understands, it's hard on her. I'm still hearing from our mutual friends that she misses me and that she occasionally cries about our breakup even though it's been over a year. For some reason, she also named her son Jake, after me. She said it was her way of getting back at his father and it had nothing to do with me. But it ended up working out the other way. Her ex-boss just sends a check every once in a while and pretty much has nothing to do with the kid.
I guess the bleeding hearts out there are thinking that the kid had nothing to do with breaking Sarah and I up, but every time I look at him, I see the son I always wanted with Sarah and now will never have. What can I say, it's a truly fucked up situation.
Over the past few weeks, I've realized that I have to get my head out of my ass and move on with my life. No matter how much I loved Sarah, there is no going back there. But also I figured it would be a good move for her too. If she saw me starting to date and get out, maybe she would too.
Tonight had been pleasant but strange. My date for the evening, Mildred Henderson, is a beautiful woman. She has those classic features and that beautiful mane of blonde hair. She's very fit and very petite but I found myself comparing her to Sarah all night. I also found her losing in every category. On paper, Mildred is more attractive than Sarah, but to me she's nowhere close.
Even when I considered the date over, she was ready to go into extra innings. Surprisingly, it was me who wasn't ready to pull the trigger tonight.
I was sure that it would take a while before I was ready to have sex with someone other than Sarah, but it would happen eventually. I just had to get myself ready. That was what I had on my mind as I drove my 2012 Mustang GT back to my condo. I loved the car's low growl and I loved the view through the hood with its power tower partially obscuring my vision.
I also loved the fact that the car had so much power that I was always just one toe twitch away from a speeding ticket and an astronomical increase in my insurance rate. Driving a Mustang has always been a little bit like being Spiderman. Every time you get into the car you remember that, "With great power comes great responsibility."
Actually, buying this Mustang after my divorce had been one of the things that I did to restore my sense of confidence. I've had others but this one is the most powerful. There are only two things I can name that make me smile every time I see them. One is this car and the other is my daughter.
I locked the car and headed for my condo. Hearing the reassuring sound of the alarm system arming itself let me know that my baby would be safe from most of the dangers she'd face while we were separated.
Suddenly, a shadowy figure separated itself from the potted trees around the entrance to my building.
"That car is a fucking beast!" she said. In the shadows I couldn't make out her features. I could tell that she didn't mean to scare the shit out of me but she did anyway.
"I guess I really didn't remember it being so visceral and so powerful," she said. "You are really not going to like this at all."
I was immediately on my guard. I stepped away from her. I wasn't stupid enough to think that just because she was a female that I'd be able to beat her. For all I knew she could have a gun or a taser. I wanted to keep some distance between us, just in case.
As I stepped back, she moved forward.
"And that woman you were with tonight," she continued. "That bitch wants you badly, but it's never going to work so you may as well call her and dump her."
"She's a really nice lady," I said. "The problem was with me. I'm probably just not ready to get back into the dating pool yet."
"The problem is that there's only one woman that you're ever going to be comfortable with," she said.
"Look lady," I snapped. "Maybe you should let me handle my own life."
"Maybe I can't do that," she said. "Maybe I know better than you do what's good for you."
I started laughing and told her good night.
"Can we go inside and talk about this?" she asked. "This really isn't the way I foresaw this. Really, I'd imagined that we'd be hugging by now or you'd be really in shock."
"Are you out of your mind?" I asked. "I'm not letting some strange woman into my home. How stupid do you think I am?"
"Very," she said. She stepped out of the darkness and in the moonlight I was able to distinguish her features for the first time. I really couldn't tell much about her body shape. She was on the shorter side and maybe just a bit chunky, but that could have been the clothes.
I looked at her features and gestures. She bit her lower lip in a gesture I'd seen a million times. My ex-wife does that and though I've never told her, it was one of the sexiest things on earth to me. This woman had a lot of my ex-wife's features but she was older than Sarah. Sarah is going to turn thirty two on her next birthday. This woman was probably no younger than thirty five or forty.
There were also other problems. Sarah has green eyes. This woman has brown eyes that are somehow familiar to me though I've never seen this woman before. Her hair color isn't like Sarah's deep auburn either. Her hair is brown but that could be dye.
Her nose is also wrong, but somehow still familiar. Her mouth, though, from the lips to the way she moves it is one hundred percent Sarah. I was sure I knew this girl. I started trying to remember
Sarah's cousins. I knew that Sarah only had one sister and she too was far younger than this woman.
"Jeezus Daddy," she said. "What's taking you so long?"
I looked at her again and the first thought that went through my mind was that the woman was crazy. My daughter, Tina, is only three years old. I'm thirty three. This woman is at least thirty five or forty. That means I was born when she was seven or eight. There is no way possible for me to be her father.
"I'm not your father," I snapped.
"Holy shit," she said. "You have no idea how badly that hurts. That has to be why Jake is so screwed up. Daddy, look me right in the eye and tell me who I am.
I got closer to her though I was still afraid that she was planning something. I looked at her and she smiled. I took her hand and looked at it.
"That's cheating," she said. Tina has a small birthmark on her left wrist and there it was. But it was more than the birthmark, it was the way she stood. The way she smiled, her eyes, her lips, everything told me that this woman was somehow my three year old daughter all grown up.
My heart started beating much faster. I thought that I was going to pass out. For a few moments, I thought that perhaps I was going crazy. Maybe this was all just a dream. Maybe the idea of fucking some other woman had knocked me out and I was imagining this whole thing.
But she just stood there in front of me, smiling. Then she reached out and just grabbed me. I guess she had taken me so unawares with her revelation that my shock overcame my preparedness. But she didn't attack me. She just wrapped her arms around me and hugged me.
"God Daddy, do you know how much I've missed that? We haven't done that in a very long time," she said. "I'll need you to do that a lot more times before I die."
"Tina, what do you mean before you die?" I asked. "What is all of this about, who are you?"
"Daddy, can't we please go into your house and talk?" she asked. I slowly nodded. I knew that by everything I knew about life in general that there was no way I should be taking some strange woman into my condo, but somehow it just felt like the right thing to do.
Once we got settled, she quickly jumped up and ran into my kitchen and grabbed two bottles of soda and a bag of chips. "Can we sit on your balcony?" she asked. I nodded and we moved outside.
"The air is so weird," she said. "It's still natural air isn't it?" I looked at her bizarrely and started to rethink my decision to let her in.
She twisted off the cap of her soda and took a sip. Her entire body shivered. I smiled. I always had the same reaction to a sip of Pepsi.
"Oh my God," she said. "I can't believe this shit is still legal here. Daddy, don't let me drink too much of this. I don't need to be high while I'm trying to reason with you."
Again, I just shook my head and smiled.
"Okay, first off, I have to tell you that you are not going to believe most of what I'm going to tell you," she said. "But all you have to do is take one look at me and you'll know. You already know in your heart who I am. But I have to convince you to do the right thing. I'll only be here for a very short time. Maybe twelve hours at the most. And I'd really like to see Mommy too, and myself and Jakey as well."
"Daddy, if you haven't figured things out yet; I am your daughter. I am Tina Elizabeth Reed. I'm your daughter with your wife, Sarah Jane Reed. The only thing is that I'm from forty years in the future. A lot of things have changed in my time. Daddy, throughout history there are several people who were pivotal in making sure that things in the world didn't get out of hand. In my time we are facing the end of humanity."
"Hold it stop. Wait just a fucking moment," I said. "I've seen this movie a hundred God damned times and it never ends well. This is the point where you hit me up for a donation to help you create a time machine or some shit to save the world right?"
"No Daddy," she smiled. "I already have that."
"You have a time machine?" I asked.
"Of course," she said. "Well, it's not really a time machine. It's an iPhone app."
I looked at her like she was crazy. "They still have iPhones forty years into the future?" I asked.
"Daddy, ever since the 50th president back in 2036 it was decided that since corporations have all of the legal status and rights of individuals that a corporation should be able to run for president. Apple became president in 2040 and ever since then, every US citizen is issued an iPhone implant at birth. Anyway, the time machine app is, of course, illegal and you have to jailbreak your iPhone to install it. Jakey invented it. That's part of the problem and it's also why you're the only one who can fix this."
"Tina, if you are my daughter," I said. "Please don't bring that boy up."
"Daddy, there are some things that you really need to know," she said.
"Can you start out with the point about how you're dying?" I asked.
She smiled. "You really do care about me don't you?"
"If you are Tina, I care more about you than anyone else in the world," I said.
"Then why the hell did you desert us?" she asked.
"Tina, are you crazy?" I asked. "I visit you at least once a week if not more."
"You do in this time period," she said. "Later on in life you're going to be very different. Can I get back to this?"
"Anyway, in my time there are a lot of things that are different. Shit, Daddy, I don't have time for this. I'm just going to show you," she said. She grabbed my hand and dragged me, the soda and the chips back inside my condo and then outside. She led us over to my Mustang.
"Perfect," she said.
"Wait, let me guess. You're going to use my Mustang as a time machine like that Delorian in back to the future, right."
"That De whosis in what?" she asked.
"You know in the movie back to the future they used that Delorian sports car to go fast enough to slip into the time stream?" She was looking at me like I was crazy when she was the one talking about fucking time machines.
"I figure that Delorian did zero to sixty in about nine seconds. My Mustang does zero to sixty in under five seconds so the initial acceleration should get us into the time stream much faster."
"Daddy, time travel isn't about velocity, it's about the correct application of tachyon particles," she said. "Besides I'm not going to actually take you into the future. I'm going to project 3-d video holograms onto your windshield so you'll be able to see what my time line is like."
"Shit," I said loudly.
"What's wrong Daddy?" she asked.
"I really wanted to get a glimpse of the 2052 Mustang," I said. She screwed up her face curiously.
"Okay," she said. "Before we do this, take me to see myself."
"Tina, it's almost midnight," I said. "And isn't there some kind of law about different aspects of the same person being in the same place at the same time setting up some kind of time paradox and destroying the space time continuum?"
"Daddy, you have got to stop watching all of those old sci-fi movies. That is the biggest crock of horseshit I've ever heard. I've actually gone back and spoken to myself several times. I even gave myself a hug once, when I thought that I really needed it. What you're telling me is that whole bunch of crap about two instances of the same physical matter being in close proximity at the same time destroying the world, right?"
"Well, uhm right," I said. "They said that in Star..."
"No Daddy, it's just not true. Anyway, I want to see myself as a baby, so let's go. But I'll tell you what. If there are any seismic disturbances or the weather changes as we get closer, I'll back off."
We got into my car and I had to put her seat belt on for her. She smiled at me.
"Oh yeah, you guys don't have inertial dampeners yet do you?" she smiled. "This is so cool."
Her smile evaporated when the car took off. She gripped the seat as if her life depended on it. As we went down the ramp to the freeway traffic was light so I hit a button and my radar detector came up. I shifted gear and put my foot in it.
"Daddy, why are we going so fast?" she screeched. "Isn't this illegal? What is that thing on your dashboard? Can you please slow down?"
"Sweetie, we're barely doing a hundred," I said. "We haven't really opened her up yet."
"Daddy, I don't want to die yet," she said. "Please slow down. I feel like my face is going to come off. And I'm being pushed back against my seat."
"Yep," I said. "Don't you love it?"
"No," she said. So I slowed down to seventy miles per hour. She still didn't look very happy.
"Tina, am I still driving too fast?" I asked.
"Yes Daddy," she said. "This vehicle isn't even computer controlled. You're piloting it yourself manually. What if something happens or you get distracted?"
"Sweetie, how fast do you drive in your time?" I asked.
"During President Obama's second term all manual vehicles were limited to forty miles per hour," she said.