I kind of expected it, but I wasn't as emotionally prepared as I thought.

The slights, the disrespect, the absolute refusal when it came to any kind of intimacy, all pointed to the same thing.

She was either having an affair, thinking about having an affair, or just tired of being my wife. I had kind of resolved myself to losing her, she had made it easier to accept over the last few months. What I didn't understand is why she didn't just leave. I mean, why drag it out? Just say goodbye and get on with your life.

I didn't move money around because we didn't have a lot. We lived in a debt free house, but only because it had belonged to my grandmother and we moved in after she had passed away.

I was seeing signs I didn't like even then, so I talked to my folks, and they agreed to keep the house in their names for at least a year, just to be sure.

We had owned our own home, well, us and the bank. We lived there six years before Sandy had a little too much wine one night and dozed off, leaving a dozen candles burning, one a little too close to the drapes.. The alarms woke her and she managed to get out, but the whole living room was up in flames by then. The firemen got there just about the same time I did, preparing to fight the blaze, when I told them about the gun collection and all the ammunition I had stored.

About that time a few rounds popped, so they pulled back a safe distance and let it burn. One of my best friends was the Captain of that particular station, and he wrote it up as being too far gone when they arrived, to help with insurance.

Apparently the insurance policy didn't have a stupidity clause, because they payed off, leaving us with a net of about thirty grand. It was more than I thought we'd get, so we took it and moved into Gram's house. We still had about twenty grand, and she'd get half of that, enough to start her in a decent apartment. I'd stay right where I was.

I'd done a few more odds and ends, if we split she was going to be pretty disappointed.


Like I said, I expected it, I just didn't expect the coldblooded way it went down.

I worked a different shift, my hours were later than hers. It was winter time, and got dark pretty early in my region. I noticed her car wasn't in the garage, and the porch light wasn't on.

I came in, calling her name. She didn't answer, and I found her at her vanity, putting on her makeup. She had on an LBD, not the one I was used to, a brand new one, with a higher hem and a lower neckline. I watched her for a few minutes as she ignored me.

"We going somewhere?"

"No, I am. I've got a date."

She waited for the explosion that didn't come. I just stared at her until she got nervous. "Did you hear me? I said I have a date. I'm going out with another man."



"I said no. No means no means no. You can go out, see anyone you want, fuck anyone you want, as soon as you move out. I'll file the papers as soon as I can. But, YOU WILL NOT do it while we live under the same roof. Why don't you pack a few things, stay somewhere else for a few days. Give me time to get everything lined up, then we'll talk about how to split everything up."

Her laugh seemed almost a crow somehow. "I'm not leaving. You are. I like this house, and when it's mine I'll decorate it just the way I like. If you prove to be an ass, at the very least I'll get most of the money when we're forced to sell. Do us both a favor, move back in with your folks until this is over."

"No. You need to leave."

"Oh, I'm going to, in about thirty minutes. Don't be here when I get back or I'll call the cops. I'm sure I can think of something to get you tossed out. I hear they keep you for forty-eight hours for domestic abuse. I think I can get the locks changed and the restraining order by then."

It shook her a little when I smiled.

"Whatever you're thinking, don't do it. I mean it Henry! This is a done deal. You're gonna get screwed. Life's a bitch, and then another one fucks you over. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to get this lipstick just right. This bright red should be the perfect color, he should be able to see the ring around the base of his dick pretty well, don't you think?"

I just smiled and left the bedroom. I knew she didn't have the nerve to have him pick her up, which meant she was going to meet him.

I went through the garage, picking up the aluminum baseball bat I used in the summertime. Four good swings took care of her headlights and tail lights. She wouldn't be leaving in that car. I walked back in and saw her purse sitting on the counter. I opened it up, noticing the six pack of condoms as I pulled out her phone. Not wanting to make a mess, I took it out into the garage, took out the battery, put it on my workbench and grabbed a hammer and smashed it into three pieces. I put the phone back together sans battery and dropped it back into the purse. I almost put pin pricks in the condoms, but stopped, thinking she would claim it was mine.

She came into the kitchen as I was pouring a cup of coffee, carrying the highest heels I'd ever seen. She frowned when she saw me. "Out!," she screamed, pointing at the door.

I just smiled and sipped my coffee.

She sighed. "All right, if that's the way you want to be. Look for the cops here shortly. Might want to call your Dad so you'll have the bail money when You can get out."

I took another sip of coffee. "Why would the cops come? I haven't threatened you, haven't laid a hand on you, all I've done is refuse to let you drive me from my home."

"That's not what I'll tell the cops. You threatened me when I asked for a divorce, got verbally abusive. I fear for my life. They always believe the woman. I'm not kidding Henry, you got about thirty minutes until I make the call."

She stomped out, as well as she could in those heels. Five minutes later you could hear her screaming through the door. She burst in, and the look on her face made me a little nervous.

"You bastard! What have you done to my car?"

"What makes you think I hurt your car? You shouldn't leave it parked on the street like that."

She just stared for a second. "Never mind. I'll just call him to pick me up. I'll even let you see me kiss him when I get in. Don't be surprised if you don't see my head as we pull off."

It was my turn to make her nervous when I grinned. "By all means, call him. It'll give us a chance to get acquainted. I can tell him what a crazy bitch you can be. I hope he doesn't have long term plans, after all, you're proving to him that marriage vows don't matter all that much to you."

She went up several decibels when she found out her phone didn't work. Stomping off, she came back wearing sneakers, carrying her heels. "Have a pleasant evening, now," I said, grinning.

"FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU! YOU'LL GET YOURS, MOTHERFUCKER!" I could still hear her cursing as she went down the street. It was almost too much when I saw her knock on the first door, and not be allowed in. She must have repeated it half a block until she realized no one was going to help her. Thank you, Mom. I had called her when I came outside, and she called all the neighbors. I grew up on that street, everyone knew me, and everyone liked me. Her, not so much.

I knew she would get to a phone soon, so I sat back down, and waited.


It took the cops about twenty minutes to respond. I didn't know it then, but she had walked back, staying in the shadows, waiting for the cops to arrive.

I knew one of the cops, a girl I graduated with. I invited them in, offered them a cup of coffee. They seemed nervous. "Let me guess. You came on a domestic disturbance call. See any broken furniture? See any abrasions on my knuckles, any torn clothing?"

They shook their heads. "Then what makes you think there was any disturbance?

"She said you threatened her, Henry. Told her you were going to mess her up when she told you she was leaving you. I'm sorry Henry, but the law is clear. We have to take you in."

"Gee, that sounds serious. How serious is filing a false report?"

The man spoke for the first time. "If you've got any proof of that, now would be a good time to show us."

So I showed them the video I had made with both a camera and my cell phone. Both cops frowned.

"Well now. This gives you a lot of options, Henry. Filing a false report is out of your hands, that's up to us. However, you can use the tape to get a restraining order, you can plainly hear her say 'you'll get yours', a definite threat if we ever heard one. It sounds like you guys do not need to be in close proximity with each other right now. You can file tomorrow, and give our names as backup. In the meantime, if you have any way of securing the house so she can't get back in, it might be a good idea. If she does come back, call us. And Henry, I remember how cute you can get when someone wrongs you, so don't, all right? Let it ride out in court and walk away. You hearing what I'm saying?"

"Yes ma'am, Sgt. Sweet Cheeks. Oops, sorry, I know no one's called you that since high school, especially since you started carrying a gun. Old habits, you know? You can't hide it under that uniform, that's still a world class ass. Whoever you have in your life right now is a lucky man, Heather."

She went bright red and stomped out. Seems I've suddenly developed the ability to piss off any woman I come in contact with. The guy grinned.

"Sweet Cheeks, huh? You're right, that's a world class rump, but no one is getting to see it right now. She just went through a nasty divorce, you're not the only one with a spouse who wants to date. Please don't make us come back tonight."


They didn't have to come back. While I was talking to the cops my loving wife had slipped into the garage with the bright idea to take my car. The drawback to that plan was she'd thrown her keys on the kitchen counter, and couldn't come in with the cops there. Then she saw them. I always kept a set on the workbench, the keys to the Monster. That's what she'd called it the first time she'd seen it. It was old, but in perfect shape, a 1989 full size four wheel drive Suburban. I think you could have fit both our other cars in it. It was only driven when I need to haul something on my trailer, to pull a friend's pontoon two or three times a summer to fish, and as a snow vehicle. If you paid attention, you'd never get stuck.

What she didn't factor in was me disconnecting the chain to the garage opener, in case this very thing happened, and to keep her out. She fired up the Beast, the noise tremendously loud in the small space, hit the garage opener, and waited until she thought it was up, and floored it, thinking to get away as quickly as possible. She should have turned on the lights, if she had she would have seen the garage didn't open.

The garage door was no match for the horsepower that 454 put out, or the traction the low gearing gave the Beast. She went blasting out backwards to the sound of screeching sheet metal, right into the front of the police car. She had enough momentum to knock the car back several feet, causing extensive damage to the front end.

Heather was reaching for the car door when the Beast hurtled out of the garage. Another five seconds and it could have been very bad. Her partner wasn't so lucky, he had the door open and was about to get in when she hit the cruiser, and the door knocked him about ten feet down the drive.

Heather was a redhead, and I knew well she had the temper to match the hair. While I rushed up to check on Officer Johns, she was dragging my loving wife out of the Monster by her hair, screaming the whole time.

"On the ground, bitch! NOW!'" My loving wife(Ginger by the way, if anyone gives a shit about her name)was pretty much out of it, and only moaned. Once she was cuffed, Heather rushed back to her car and got on the radio. "Officer down! Officer down! Roll wagons and backup to 411 Elm Drive, now!"

Officer Johns was out cold. His face had caught most of the impact of the door, and it was pretty plain to see his nose was broken. I was cradling his head carefully in case of spinal injuries, to keep him from choking on his own blood. I must have held his head for twenty minutes before the first ambulance pulled up. Ten minutes later it looked like a cop convention, every officer on duty was there. Heather rode with Officer Johns to the hospital, since her car was out of commission, after giving her statement to the investigating officer and referring him to me.

Ginger got a free ride in an ambulance too, ending up with bruises, a few contusions from the air bag, and a pretty good case of whiplash.

I went over the whole thing four different times before they were satisfied. Being a small town, I knew a couple more of the cops, including the man in charge, the father of a friend. He had been our baseball coach when we were in junior high. "Any word on Officer Johns, Coach?" It didn't matter what rank he held, he would always be Coach to me.

"Nothing definite, Henry. So far though, it doesn't look too bad. They'll know more when the MRI and X rays are examined." I thanked him and was walking off when he called out.

"Just so you know, your wife seems to be fine, if being charged with all the things we can think of can be called fine."

"Any way you can charge her with Extreme Stupidity? No? Too bad."


Here's the aftermath.

Ginger got out on bond, hitting the bank and taking out nineteen thousand, leaving me a grand. She needed it to pay her parents back for bail and to hire a good lawyer. I still had the restraining order in effect, so we talked through our lawyers.

Our first meeting went spectacularly bad for her. I had my parents along with my lawyer, because their input was pertinent to the case.

Her lawyer listed her demands. "She wants the house, or at least half it's value." I knew she had lined a realtor friend up to buy it for her, then sell it back using her half of the proceeds for the down payment. She knew I would never agree to sell it to her.

My lawyer pulled a paper out of his briefcase and passed it over. He seemed surprised, and Ginger screamed. "WHAT?"

Her lawyer explained it to her. "His father owns the house, his name is nowhere on the deed. You can't get half of something you don't own."

She was still fuming when he named the next demand. "My client wants all the new furnishings in the house, the living room suite, the dining suite, the furniture from all the bedrooms, the silver service, and the new kitchen appliances.'

My lawyer responded with more paperwork. Everything we had purchased was paid for by check. From my father's account. We would go pick something out, I'd take her home and get Dad and his truck, he'd write the check and I'd give him cash. "All the furniture in the rental is owned by the landlord, I'm afraid. None of it is community property, but he did agree to let you pick out one of the bedroom suites, for nostalgia, I believe."

In the end, almost everything we'd owned was out of her reach. I fixed her car the next weekend, delivering it to her parent's house when I knew they were out, trying to make bail for their daughter. She could have it, as well as the last ten payments.

The Judge called me and my lawyer into his chambers during the divorce, looking over the papers. He tried to hide the grin but couldn't. "Real cute there, boy. You cut the legs right out from under her. You knew this was going to happen, didn't you?"

I shrugged. "I didn't exactly envision this scenario, but I knew it wasn't going to end well. I was just protecting myself. By all rights, she owes me nine grand from the money she took, but if she'll just sign the papers we'll call it even."He grunted. "Fair enough."

Back out in the courtroom he told Ginger that everything was documented and legitimate, and there was nothing he could do about it, but I had agreed to let her keep all the money she took if she would just agree to the divorce. If not, then I would go after that too.

She was furious, but she had no choice. The Judge slammed his gavel down and I was a free man.

She had to forget about me and focus on her other problems. Filing a false police report. Assaulting an officer by vehicle. They tacked on a lot of trivial shit that got thrown out, because they were pissed at her over Officer Johns. She got lucky, and ended up on probation for a year.

I ran into her a month later, at Walmart of all places. She wanted to talk, so we ordered drinks at the Subway and sat down.

It took her a minute to get her voice. "Why were you so cruel to me?"

"I could ask the same question. When exactly, did you decide to check out of our marriage? You could have made a clean break, you know, not made the last few months so miserable. And what was the reasoning behind shoving your date in my face? You lived with me long enough to know I wouldn't just roll over."

She sat for a minute before speaking. "I wasn't happy, and hadn't been for a long time. I hated our house burning down, hated the move here, hated leaving our friends. I guess that's what started it. Looking back, I knew you were a nice guy, and I should have just talked to you."

"That's about the dumbest thing I've ever heard you say. I wasn't keen on moving back home either. I liked where we lived. If you'd have given me the least idea you wanted to stay, we would have taken the insurance money and bought something else. Even after we moved, we could have still moved back. I think that may have been some of it, but the truth was you wanted out. Why the big song and dance at the end?"

"I know it wasn't all your fault, but I blamed you for everything. I wasn't really interested in anyone else, I just wanted to hurt you. I'm sorry for the way I acted. You were right, we should have just talked it out and parted on as good a terms as we could."

I got up, done. "Well, that was enlightening. You need to see someone, Ginger, you're pretty fucked up. I hear you're moving back home, so I doubt I'll see you again. Try to live a decent life, and if you fall in love with someone else, use our experience as a learning tool."

I didn't say goodbye, just walked away. I saw her four years later when I went back for the funeral of a friend. She looked pretty much the same, maybe five pounds heavier, with longer hair. She saw me and smiled, but we never spoke. That suited me, best to leave the past in the past.

About two years after the whole mess, I ran into Sgt. Sweet Cheeks at the gun range. She was in jeans, and still had the killer ass. We talked, and I found out she was engaged to Officer Johns, who had made a full recovery. He got a pretty good settlement from my auto insurance, and they were planning to use it for a down payment on a house.

Eighteen months later, I saw her again and asked how she liked wedded bliss. She snorted.

"It seems he didn't think as highly of my ass as you do. I caught him with another ass, hooked to it by his dick. And the ass belonged to a man. We did not part on the best of terms."

"I'd like to say I'm sorry, but I''m not."

She seemed surprised. "Why not?"

"Because now you're a free agent again, I hope. I never got a crack at that sweet ass in high school, this might be my chance. And just so you know, even if it is a world class ass, I like everything that's hooked to it, including that brain of yours. I hear you're a detective now. Can you use that superior brain power to deduce what I'm thinking?"

She colored a little before laughing. "If it's what I think you're thinking, I'd have to lock you up. Anal sex is still illegal in nine states."

It was my turn to glow, but I was smiling. "Is this one of those states?"

"No, you got lucky. If you really like this superior ass and are willing to treat me like I deserve to be treated, you might find I may be inclined to share that I actually like it, with the right man. Pick me up at seven, wear a suit, and don't say anything stupid. Now, shut up and shoot."

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