Hutch's Property Ch. 02bybucksilver©
I stand corrected on a gross error in chapter one that definitely should have been caught in proof reading. Hutch's football position in college was a fullback, not a linebacker. I have watched enough football in my life to have known the difference.
To the other comments - Truth is always stranger than fiction. Yes, Hutch could have nipped it in the bud. However, he knew his wife well enough to wait. The results have proven to be much more desirable. Basic Behavior Science tells us that values control attitudes and behaviors. What Ken did to Lorna and was trying to do to Kathy, was what men have been doing to women since the beginning of recorded history. He first managed to instill a temporary change of values. He would have made those changes permanent had he been allowed to continue.
Two AM Sunday morning - Third week.
A slight hangover beginning to set in and guilt rampaging through her heart and mind, Lorna slipped on a full length, quilted robe with matching booties. She then stumbled into the master bath for some Alka-Seltzer. Feeling much better, she went into one of the bedrooms that faced the front yard. Noting that there were two police cars, she was able to count three police officers and two media vans across the street. Now quite sober and very wide awake, she descended the stairs, thinking, "Don't those media people have better things to do then pester us?"
In the kitchen, Lorna started the thirty cup coffee maker. While it did its thing, she went into the cupboard and found a cake mix aptly called "coffee cake." Reading the instructions, she determined that her conviction air oven would have the cake finished about the time the coffee was ready. With the cake in the oven, she drew out two pump canisters and a picnic basket.
Two canisters of coffee in one hand and the picnic basket full of cake, cups, cream and sugar, in the other hand, Lorna walked down the drive way to join the officers, not noticing her son, Randy's car parked on the far side of the garages. He had arrived from West Point after Lorna and Ken had gone up to the master bedroom and before the changing of the police guard. So, the current shift of officers were unaware of exactly whose car it was parked by the garages. She approached the group of officers, noticing one was female, and announced, "Lady and gentlemen? I bring coffee and goodies." She glanced across the street and breathed a sigh of relief when she noticed no activity among the media vans.
Once they all had a cup of coffee and a piece of cake in hand, Steve Jenkins, the corporal in charge, asked, "How's it going, Missus Hutchinson?"
Recognizing him, Lorna answered with, "Oh Steve, you can call me Lorna. Ah, to answer your question, like shit, Steve, like shit... Over the last few weeks I have said and done all the wrong things at the wrong time and for the totally wrong reasons. I'm afraid that I have managed to make a mess of our twenty five year marriage. I don't think I even know who I am, for sure, anymore. Ah, I've made such a mess of things, I don't even know where to start to fix it."
Steve stepped a little closer to Lorna and said in a gentle but authoritarian tone, "Lorna? I've known you and Hutch for quite a few years, now and it's not hard to tell that you two belong together. So, I'd be willing to bet that if you'll eat a little crow and step to the center, well, I'll just bet that he'd eat some, too and meet you there."
Lorna took a big draw on her coffee, then said, "Yeah Steve, I think you are right about that. I'll give what you said some serious thought." It was becoming very clear to her that filing for divorce was a rash, ill-conceived decision. She changed the subject, going on to talk to the officers about their wives, girl friend and boy friend. Then about three am she left the remaining coffee with the officers and went back to bed in the guest bedroom. She had taken the first step back to Hutch by getting the focus off of herself. However, for Lorna, the very worst of it all was yet to come in that new and dawning week.
Later on Sunday morning - Third week
About eight thirty that morning, after a couple of hours of sleep and a long shower, Lorna made her way down the stairs toward the kitchen to make some coffee and start breakfast. The first thing she noticed when entering the kitchen was that someone had already made the coffee. She looked toward the breakfast nook in the bay windows of the house's turret and found someone she would rather not face right then, her second child. "Randy!?! What are you doing here???"
Dressed in his cadet uniform, Randy stood up and said in the same posture and tone as his father, "I talked to dad, then Kathy and did not like what I heard. So, I came home to see for myself. Tim couldn't get away, or he would be here, also. What's going on mom? What the hell made you want to file for divorce?"
"You.., ah...You just don't understand, Randy..ah..." stammered Lorna.
"Mahm!! I am not a little boy anymore. I am in my third year at West Point, carrying a three point eight grade average and now a cadet captain. I have finished my first season on the Army varsity football team. I have lived for the last two and a half years or so under a strict code of conduct. I had parents who instilled a value system in us so I could be what I am today and what I intend to be in the future. Mahm? I think I understand, So, tell me, why the divorce?!?"
"Oh Randy. It seems Like I was a single parent so often, Your dad missed Kathy's last open house, she ah, had a lot to see there. He ah..."
"Mahm? There is no doubt in my mind that you were the better parent in a lot of ways, even dad admits that. You were always there at our open houses and other events. But, when we needed him, he was always there for us. Who taught Tim and I how to throw a block, catch a pass or make a tackle? Who taught all three of us how to drive? Then took the time to be there with us when we took our driving test?"
Knowing that she did not have the patience or internal fortitude to teach anyone how to drive and beginning to fold, Lorna said meekly, "But, but, I just felt like I was doing it all by myself. I ah..."
"Mother?!? When I was fourteen I sat out there in the living room and listened to the Army recruiter talk to and you and Tim about West Point. I decided then that the Point was where I wanted to go to school and an Army officer was what I wanted to become. The next day, I rode my bike to dad's office. What? Five or six miles, at that time? His secretary told me that he was in a very critical deposition, but she would let him know that I was in the office. He followed her out of the room and ask me how I got there. I told him that I rode my bike. He said it must be very important to me and led me into his office. I told him what I wanted to do in life. So, he made a call and put it on speaker phone. It was the commander of the State's National Guard, himself a West Point grad. Dad was there with me all the way in preparing my winning application. Over thirty thousand people applied for about twelve hundred openings at the Point that year. Dad's still there for me and Tim. You know very well that dad was instrumental in clearing the way for Tim to get into the Harvard MBA program. His influence put Kathy into Harvard Law. And mother? You know he's always been there for you when it made a difference."
Before Lorna could respond, Kathy strolled into the kitchen area, She was wearing her string bikini with a pool shirt, unbuttoned. "Good morning mom. How's breakfast coming? Do I have time for a swim?" Then she noticed her brother, "Randy?!? How long have you been here?"
Now standing with hands on his hips, Randy answered his sister, "I arrived about one this morning." Then turning his attention back to Lorna, "Mother?? Dad's gone a few of days and you are allowing your daughter to dress like that?!? Her bikini doesn't cover a damn thing! Kathy? Why don't you just do without? Skinny dip like most sluts?"
"Randall?!? Do not talk about your sister like that!!" Lorna exclaimed, realizing that it was Ken that talked her into letting Kathy buy the bikini at Victoria's Secret the previous morning.
Before anything else could be said by any of the three, Ken strolled in and whined, "Ya got anything for a rotten hangover?"
The breakfast nook being raised six or eight inches made the broad shouldered, six foot three Army linebacker look like a giant to the one hundred fifty pound, five foot eleven, Ken. A couple of drinks and a puffed ego allowed Ken to step between Randy's father and mother at the school district's party. However, today he had a huge hangover and his ego was damaged again by failing to complete his conquest of Lorna. He was in no condition the face any kind of confrontation, especially from the giant West Point cadet glaring down at him.
After looking Ken over , Randy said, "So mother? Is this who you have been fucking? Now in your marital bed??"
"Randall!!" Lorna screamed "We don't use language like that around here and you know it!! And, especially when we have guests..."
"Mother!!" Randy responded, raising his voice slightly, "Sluts fuck and get fucked. I am simply using the proper terms for the situation. Kind of robbing the cradle, aren't you?" He looked over Ken, again, "You've spent the last twenty five years feasting on steak. Now, you've chosen to settle for a fast food burger. That's a slut as far as I am concerned."
Kathy shot back, "Randy! Don't talk about our mother like that!!!"
Randy glared at his sister, and his mother. Then in the tone of a pissed off Army officer, "It is a historical fact that she is our mother. However, only sluts fuck other men in their marital bed. And, you dear sister are certainly dressed like one. Our code of conduct prevents me from hanging around sluts. So, I'll gather my gear and head back to the Point." He then stepped out of the nook and exited to go to his room.
Lorna placed her elbows on the breakfast bar, buried her face in her hands and began to sob. Ken turned to Kathy and said, "I think I should go. Could you run me home?" He checked his pocket and realized that he had his wallet and keys. He looked toward Lorna, "Ah Lorna? I'll call ya in a couple of days." No response from the sobbing woman. Her son had brought it all home to roost. Randy's comments had hit Lorna's ego like a torpedo. His actions pierced her like a arrow deep into her heart.
Kathy grabbed her purse, slipped on some sandals and a full length coat. Then said to Ken, "OK, come on. You can come back and get your things later." She realized that the best thing she could do at the time was to get Ken out of their home.
A few minutes later Lorna began to recover some of her composure. She realized that she was alone in the house, so she changed into a one piece swim suit and did what she usually did in case of stress overload, swim laps.
Monday morning - Third week
Lorna rose early after a lonely, sleepless night. The highlight of her night was to take a jug of coffee and donuts down to the two officers at about two in the morning. Dragging herself into the shower, she mentally reviewed her schedule for the day. A team had been working on the revamping of a major portion of the elementary curriculum and she was to present their proposal to Paul Allen at eight am. So, she wanted to get in a little early to review the proposal before presenting it. Such an important day needed to be started early, so she left the house before Kathy was out of bed.
Sitting in the superintendent's office, Lorna watched as he read her presentation. Paul closed the booklet and looked at her, "Lorna? I can't present this to the Board tonight. It has some problems. It is better that I give it back to you now, than to have the Board throw it back at both of us. I'll tell you what I'll do, here. I'll itemize my concerns and get it back to you this afternoon. Then you will have two weeks to revise your proposal. Ah, Lorna? I realize that things are strained in your personal life right now. However, I had hoped that you could separate work from problems at home. Ah, this presentation tells me that very possibly, you haven't. What's going on with you and Ken Burns?"
Lorna sat up straight in her chair, "That's over, Paul. I let things go much further than they should have. But as of yesterday, it's over. I do not know what I am going to do about the divorce. However, I will keep you posted. And Paul, I will try to keep home problems at home and work problems at work."
"OK Lorna, I appreciate that. I'll get this presentation back to you as soon as I can."
Standing up, Lorna said, "Ah, I really thought we had covered everything. Ah, Well OK. We'll get right on it..." As she left Paul's office, her cell phone rang. It was her daughter's high school. Until two months previous, she was one of the vice principals at the same school. It was her former office phone number that came up on her phone. She answered, "Lorna Hutchinson!"
"Ahh, Lorna?" said a familiar voice. It was Clair Jensen, Lorna's former secretary.
"Yes, Clair. How can I help you?"
"Ah, Lorna? We have Kathy here in the office..."
"Why?!? Is she hurt? What's wrong???"
"Umm, her first period teacher, Missus Shaffer sent her here because she doesn't meet the dress code. Can you come and get her?"
"Lorna? You have to see it to believe it. If you can get here in the next half hour, we can keep this off the record." replied Clair.
Lorna sighed, "I'm on my way."
Entering the high school, Lorna thought about how she had been on the panel that tightened up the dress code for students, teachers and administrators. Entering the vice principal's outer office, she found her daughter standing against the wall. Kathy was dressed in short shorts and a sleeveless pullover that exposed her navel. Lorna placed her hands on her hips and almost screamed, "What the...? Katherine?? What do you call this?? Was your brother right?!?" Kathy blushed and looked at the floor.
Clair rose from her desk, "Ah, Lorna? Your replacement, George Brown is in a meeting. If you can get her out of here now, then back properly dressed and into class, Judy Shaffer has agreed to help me keep this off the record., this time..."
Noticing that Kathy had a mid-thigh length jacket, Lorna snapped, "Young lady? Get that jacket on and let's get out of here, right now!!" Then turning to Clair, "Thanks, I owe you and Judy one..."
Clair smiled, "It's OK Lorna. You know that I've been where you are right now. But, that's not all. Our usually four point oh student here, blew all her mid-terms last week. She is currently at a one point nine maybe two point oh..."
"What?!?" Lorna screamed. This was becoming a little to much to take. She turned to Kathy, "Get your little ass out to the car. You have some real explaining to do, young lady!!"
In the car, they rode in silence for a few blocks. Then Lorna demanded, "Well?? Tell me why you came to school in that git-up? You know the dress code. You also know that your mother helped write it!"
"Ah, well mom, ah, when you let me get the bikini, Ken said I should lighten up on what I wear. That I dressed to conservative and looked up tight. I ah, well, you let me buy that bikini and you let him in your bed, did it with him there too., I ah..."
"Oh, good God." thought Lorna, "Ken again. On and on it goes. I have made a total mess out of my family." She glanced over at Kathy, " Damn, Ken again... And, the mid-terms? You know that your father pulled a lot of strings to get you into Harvard Law."
"Ahh mom, all the shit that's been goin' down in the last couple o' weeks, well, I just didn't feel like studying."
Lorna swerved into her driveway, waived at the police and came to a screeching halt in the garages. She turned to Kathy, "After the events of yesterday morning, I just cannot believe that you would do something like this." She waived her hand at Kathy's clothes, "That, gawd that git-up. Now, get your ass upstairs and into something decent and make it quick. We still might get you back before the end of first period. I'll be here, waiting!" As she waited, Lorna thought about what she had said to Kathy about her father's help in getting her into one of the finest law schools in the nation. It became very clear to her that if she really wanted to get back together with her husband, she would have to eat a lot of her own words.
Driving home that afternoon, Lorna thought almost out load, "Well, at least the meeting with the coaches went well. I'm glad this day is over and I hope the rest of the week gets better." No such luck, Lorna. It would only get much worse before it became any better. Later in the afternoon, Lorna called her daughter, "Where are you?"
"Ah, three of my teachers will let me take the mid-terms over and the others gave me extra credit. So now, I'm at the public library outlining how I'm going to do the extra credit."
"Oh, OK Kathy. Good girl. Umm, about dinner. Pick up something on your way home for both of us. Anything you want and not too much for me..."
"OK mom. Ah and I'm sorry about Randy, what he said and did..."
"Ah Kathy, don't be sorry about that. You and I both know he was right. I have to fix this and get your father back home. But sweetheart, right now, I don't have the slight idea how..."
"It'll work out mom. You'll see. I'll be back home in about an hour or so..."
"OK Kathy, See you later." With that Lorna collected Kathy's bikini and the skimpy two piece swim suit she had bought at the same time and tossed them into the box for "Goodwill." With a little smile, she stood there for awhile thinking about the attention she and Kathy drew as they tried on the swim suits. She then changed into a one piece swim suit, thinking as she walked to the pool, "Well anyway, at least it covers the stretch marks on my tummy and gives better support to my sagging, 43 year old boobs."
While waiting in the drive up line at KFC, Kathy called her father, "Daddy?"
"Hi precious. What's up?"
"Have you talked to Randy?"
"Ohhh yeah. He had just cleared the driveway going back to West Point when he called, mad as a wet hen and extremely disappointed in his mother and sister." Hutch did not tell his daughter that Freddie had brought in a disk that morning of Ken and her mother on Saturday night and the scene with Randy, Sunday morning.
"I'm so sorry, daddy. An' I got something else to tell you. Something stupid that I did this morning at school. I know mom will never tell you. But, somebody else might, at the wrong time..."
"What's that, Kathy?" Hutch asked, elated that his daughter was willing to confide in him. If her mother had done the same, they may have avoided all of the events of the last month. Kathy went on to tell her dad how she dressed for school that morning and that she had blown her mid-terms. But, that her mother straighten her out about the clothes and her teachers where all helping her recover. "OK precious, sounds like you just got caught up in this whole mess. It appears that you are taking care of your grades and getting them back up where they need to be. How's your mom doing?"
"Oh daddy? Especially since Sunday morning with Randy, she is not doing well. I don't think she slept at all last night. I know she takes coffee down to the police in front of the house at around two every morning. She says she wants to fix things between you and her, but she doesn't know how or where to start..."
"Well precious, hang in there. It should be all over very soon. Just remember that I love you and I still love your mother, too."
"I love you too, daddy. Talk to you later."
Tuesday morning - Third week
Shortly after arriving at work, Lorna called Jennifer Baker, and asked her to meet for lunch. Since Jenny was a flexible, stay home mom, they agreed on a café rear Lorna's work. She then went on to busy herself with work, especially the presentation and addressing Paul's concerns. Then she went on to meet Jenny for lunch. Both women were born in Georgia, into affluent families. So, when they got together, they spoke in the smooth vernacular of a southern belle.