A Sad Story Ch. 02bySlirpuff©
I was going to leave the story open ended, but I guess everyone wants me to finish it, one way or another. Well after thinking about it, a lot, I came up with the only logical ending to the story. I hope you agree.
It's been almost four months since the day I caught Vicki and Dan doing the horizontal mambo in my guest bedroom. Jim and Vicki are now officially divorced and he has become one bitter individual.
How are Carol and I doing? Well, we're still living together, but are more like brother and sister, than husband and wife. We still have sex, once in a while, but that's all it is, sex, not love making. We still argue about that day, and I still don't think she sees why I'm still angry.
Jim and I still go out together, but he hasn't been to our house since the divorce. Last week, Jim told me that he has forgiven Carol. "If it hadn't been at your house, Vicki and Dan would have probably rented a damn motel room; she was such a slut," he told me.
When I got home Wednesday from work, I found Carol sitting in the living room. "Are you ok?" I asked.
"You going out with Jim again tonight?"
"We usually go to the sports bar on Wednesday's, why do you ask?" I replied.
"Just wondering if I needed to even bother making any dinner for you," she said downing the last of her glass of wine. "Ken, are we ever going to get back, to where we were before all this happened?"
"I don't know Carol, I just don't know," I told her.
"Wrong answer," is all Carol said as she got up, and walked out the front door.
"What the hell was that all about?" I asked myself.
I met Jim at our local hangout. He was about three beers ahead of me, and pulling away fast. "Hey good buddy," he greeted me, as he motioned the bartender for another round. "To friendship," Jim said raising his beer.
"You should probably slow down, you don't need a D.W.I. tonight," I told him.
"That's why they have cabs," Jim replied. "And how's your lovely wife," he asked.
"Same as the last time you asked," I said trying to change the subject.
"I use to have a loving wife, but that prick Dan ruined it for me," Jim said starting to slur his words. "I guess I didn't do it for Vicki anymore, or she wouldn't have gone out looking for some strange stuff. I never thought Vicki would cheat on me, did you?" he asked.
"Who knows what women think, when they decide to cheat," I told him.
We talked about women, work, sports, and finally back to cheating wife's before I poured him into a cab, to take him home. Jim was still hurting, and it made me feel bad, that I'd had something to do with his current situation.
After stopping off to grab a quick bite to eat, I headed home. When I got there, Carol's car still wasn't in the driveway. "She must have gone over to one of her girl friends," I thought as I went in and got ready for bed.
I was still sleeping in the guest room, and except on a rare occasion, when Carol came in for sex, I was sleeping alone. I felt bad, but I guess not bad enough to move back into our bedroom. At about 11:00 I turned off the light and tried to get some sleep, which was a rarity lately.
Thursday night I noticed the smell as soon as I walked through the kitchen door. Going into the livening room, I saw something smoldering in the fireplace. Bending down, I recognized the remains of a shoe and a buckle from a belt. I got up and went into the kitchen; they were gone.
The black dress with the silver buckle, the pair of black high heels, the box of chocolate and the dead rose were all gone; and I now knew what was in the fireplace.
I had left them, on the far kitchen counter, since that day. It had almost become a shrine, to what had died between us that day. "Why in the hell didn't she just return the dress and shoes, they had cost me a bundle," I said to myself. I figured I'd ask Carol when she came home tonight; but she didn't come home at all Thursday night.
I was just coming back from lunch when my receptionist said I had a visitor in the lobby. "Hi, I'm Ken Moore, can I help you?" I greeted the tall man.
"Mr. Moore, you've been served," was all he said handing me a large envelope. "Have a nice day."
I went back to my office and opened it up. "Damn," was all I could say. Carol was divorcing me and the grounds for divorce was alienation of affection and she named Jim Peterson as the responsible party. "She's finally gone off the deep end," I thought to myself.
However, the next document was no laughing matter either. It was a restraining order forbidding me from contacting Carol by, as it stated, "direct or indirect means." I was not allowed within 250 feet of her and barred from my current residence. It went on to state that my personal effects were now in a storage locker, key enclosed, and that she had removed 50% of the funds from our savings and checking account. Carol had been busy.
I got out my phone and tried to call her. "I'm sorry, that number is no longer in service," the recording told me. Damn, now what do I do.
The next day I was sitting in the office of our corporate attorney as he reviewed the documents. "This is just Carol over reacting," I told him. "If I can just talk to her, I know I can get this all resolved," I told him.
"Ken, don't even think about it. If you so much as try to contact her, she can throw you in jail," he informed me. "Someone's done their homework on this one, it's very detailed and complete; this my friend wasn't done overnight," he told me.
After three hours he summarized it for me. "She wants the house, $2,000.00 in monthly alimony and 50% of your 401K," he told me. "The rest is just mickey mouse junk about the contents of the house and personal effects."
"How about if I just rip my heart out, and give her that too, because she's asking for everything else. What about this damn restraining order?" I asked.
"It seems, about four months ago, it seems you threatened to shoot two of your neighbors?" he asked.
"They were screwing in my guest room for Christ's sake," I yelled.
"No matter, did you or did you not threaten to kill them?" he asked.
"If you put it that way, I guess I did, but the gun wasn't even loaded," I told him.
"Doesn't make any difference at this point Ken. Right now, she's got you dead to nuts, we can only work on the splitting up of your assets, and right now, she's asking for about 75% of them," he told me. "You must have really pissed this woman off Ken. Usually we seen a 50/50% split, but it looks like your wife is going for a pound of your flesh also."
"Bitch," Jim, said when I told him about Carol filing for divorce. "You should have dumped her when I kicked Vicki out," he told me.
"Carol didn't cheat, she just used bad judgment, that's all," I replied. "I guess we should have talked before it got this far," I told him. But like always, all women were cheating whores in Jim's eyes, and none could be trusted. I got tired of his advise, and made my way to my new home, the Holiday Inn.
For the next three months all discussions went through our lawyers. I asked her attorney to have Carol call me, but she refused saying, "you had your chance."
Both of us were digging in our heels, and it was costing us both a fortune in legal fees. I was coming out of the Holiday Inn when I saw Vicki getting in a cab. I jumped in the back seat with her and told cabbie to drive.
"I know I'm not one of your favorite people right now, but I need to talk to Carol," I told her.
"She doesn't want to talk to you Ken. She said she gave you four months to get your head out of your ass, so she's decided to move on with her life. I see her all the time, now that she's away from you. I told her how sorry I was for screwing up her marriage, but she said that you put your marriage in the toilet. Any way Ken, she's moved on. You know she's dating one of the lawyers from her office. I guess for the last four months he was her sounding board, for all the shit you put her through. I think they went out the second day after Carol left you, and have been an item ever since. I may have screwed up my own marriage, but you did it to your own, all by yourself. So if you don't mind, I have a date this evening, and I'm running a bit late.
With that, I got out of the cab and watched her drive off.
I got completely hammered that night and woke up with the biggest hang over I'd ever had, but through the fog, I had come up with a plan.
"What do you mean stop everything?" my lawyer asked.
"You don't exchange e-mails, phone calls, nothing," I told him. "If they want to meet with you, you tell them you'll get back to them. All I want you to do for the next month is nothing."
"You can't stall forever," he replied.
"I just need a month to try something," I told him. "If it doesn't work, well I gave it my best shot, and we can go on from that point," I told him.
"You know you still can't contact her," he reminded me.
"I know, but I think I've found a way to get her attention."
You see, the other night when I was really drunk, I kind of ended up at Carol's office building. I had this grand idea to wait in my car until she arrived, in the morning, and force her to listen to me. Thank God I finally started to sober up enough to get that idea out of my head. However, I did notice one thing outside her office; bill boards. To be exact, two of them, side by side. The wheels started turning and by the time I woke up, I had a plan.
Carol had just come into the office Tuesday when she saw it outside her window.
"Carol, will you talk to me?" the billboard read. "To respond, fax your answer to 387-6621."
"What the hell is he up to?" Carol thought. She wrote her response down, and faxed it to the number listed.
The next day, the billboard next to mine had her response, "Why?"
I sent my fax into the sign company, and like her, it appeared the next day. "Because I miss you."
For the next three days, our messages went back and forth, displayed for all to see.
"Not good enough," Carol replied.
"I luv U," I responded.
"I can't hear you," was her reply.
"What the hell does she mean, she can't hear me," I wondered. So I wrote, "I LOVE YOU," in bold and underline type.
"Too late," was Carol's reply.
"Why?" I sent back. "Why doesn't see just pick up the damn phone and talk to me," I wondered. This back and forth is costing me a fortune.
One thing happened though; a local news station picked up on it. They called me and asked for a meeting.
I told them my story, and said this was my last effort to save my marriage. "Ken, we have a deal for you if you're interested. If you give us exclusive coverage, and let us print your story, we'll pickup the tab for the billboards," they told me.
"What do I have to lose?" I told them. "Gentlemen you have a deal." That's when every thing went up a notch.
Carol's response of, " I'm seeing someone else," was televised on the 10:00 news.
My response of, "are you sleeping with him," brought a flood of calls to the network. I wasn't prepared for her reply though.
"Yes," was how she responded.
I was crushed. The network called and asked if I'd seen her reply, and I told yes and to leave me alone for a few days. My marriage was done and it had finally sunk in; she no longer wanted me.
The network was now taking calls on the air, of what people thought about our situation. The calls were running about 75/25% for me to, "dump the bitch." And women were saying on line that if Carol didn't want me, they would be more than happy to have my shoes under their bed. A few said I was to blame for not talking to her, but most thought Carol was at fault for letting Vicki and Dan screw around in our house.
Even though the network didn't give out our names, a couple of people figured it out, Vicki for one.
"What the hell do you think you're doing?" she yelled at me in my office. "You're making me out to be a damn harlot, in the press," she told me.
"Wait a minute, I wasn't the one screwing Dan in my house, and cheating on Jim," I yelled right back at her. "You made your bed, and now you can sleep in it," I told her. "I asked for your help and you shot me down, well sweetheart, now everyone knows what a slut you are," I told a flabbergasted Vicki. "So if you don't mind, I've got a meeting to go to," I said walking away from her. If nothing else, I got my pound of flesh from Vicki.
It was three days later, and I was about to call my attorney and tell him to go forward with the divorce paperwork, when the station called me.
"She sent you another message," was all they said.
I flipped on the 10:00 news and there it was in all its glory, " I lied," she had written.
"Why?" was my response back to her.
"To hurt you." Carol wrote back.
"Did it make you feel better?" I shot back the same day.
"No," is how she answered.
Trying to get it to move along, I wrote again, "I LOVE YOU!"
It was two days before Carol came back to me. "I know you do, but is it enough?"
It was finally time to ask the $10,000.00 question. "Carol, what do you want?" I asked.
It was another two days before I received an answer. The station was asking me what I was going to do, and that we were the hottest things on the airwaves as our story had made the national news. "Great, that's what I needed, more people watching my every word."
I was hoping for the best when I got her response. "You, not Jim and you, only you," it read.
"I shot back, "Then, no Vicki and no boy friends then," I responded back.
"Agreed," Carol finally wrote.
For the first time, I felt we really had a chance. I needed to see her, but with all the publicity, everywhere I went, I had people following me. It was kind of neat at first, but it got old real fast.
"We need to meet, somewhere private," I wrote.
"I have just the place," she wrote back.
Then there was nothing, for almost four days. I was a wreck. Did she change her mind? Was she hurt? A million things went through my mind as I waited for her to get back to me. Finally on the fifth day, a messenger dropped off an envelope; it was from Carol. In it, was an airline ticket, keys to a car rental and a map with directions.
I told the station I was going away for a few days and to let me know if something came up. I went to the airport, got on the plane, took the rental car and followed her directions to a remote cabin in the mountains.
Carol was sitting by the fire; wine in hand wearing the black dress and shoes I'd purchase for her, the day my nightmare started. I ran over to her, kissed her and almost broke her ribs as I hugged her.
"Shall we try this night again?" she said handing me a glass of wine.
We made tender love for the next two days. The cabin was stocked so we never had to leave or even get dressed if didn't want to. We talked for the first time in months and came to the conclusion; we were in trouble long before the Vicki incident. We made a pact to put the other first, ahead of work, friends and even the kids; in the end, we were married to each other, not anyone else.
I move back into my house the following week to the delight of everyone. There were however two final messages on the billboard that week.
"Carol, will you marry me, again?"
The response, "YES." That's how it all ended.