Dancin' For The Groceries Ch. 01bysweeteuphoria©
A note from the author:
I would like to thank everyone who assisted me with this story; emap, mona, corsetlvr, carnevil9 and last but not least, ThePhoenixMan. Your ideas, suggestions and comments are greatly appreciated. I couldn't have done it without you.
A special thank you to my ever-patient editors on this story, michchick98 and ThePhoenixMan.
For my readers-
The sex is slow to start so please be patient. I hope you enjoy reading this story as much as I enjoyed writing it. It was a fun adventure! Thanks for reading me and don't forget to vote! Gentle feedback is appreciated.
"Jeremy, Madison, have you two finished your homework yet? It's time to go to grandma's house. I've got to get ready for work." Elizabeth rushed around the small apartment trying to get her children ready.
"Yes mommy," Madison answered after she packed up her favorite baby doll and followed her big brother out of the kitchen; the only room with a table for the kids to work at.
Their apartment building, located just outside the inner city, was nearly a slum. The door of the refrigerator was held shut by a chair propped against it because the magnets were missing. The cabinets resembled shelves more than actual cabinets with doors. Lastly, the tile was cracked, peeling and very worn, which was the cause of many stumbles and occasionally snagged socks if feet were placed incorrectly.
The remainder of the dwelling wasn't any better. As much as she hated to come home every night it was better than living out on the streets. She wasn't about to go running home to a mother who told her not to marry that son of a bitch husband in the first place.
Elizabeth knew she was in love with the man she would soon call her husband. He entered her life when she needed someone the most, after the death of her father, and he swept her off her feet. His promise to give her everything she ever dreamed of and then some dazzled her. "Oh baby, just you wait. I'm gonna give you the world, if you marry me." That was his proposal as he presented a velvet box, which held a heart shaped diamond ring.
Elizabeth didn't hesitate when she saw the ring, "Oh yes, I will marry you, David," she cried and he placed the ring on her finger.
That was thirteen years ago. Now, in one horrible moment she learned the truth about her husband. "Hey Liz, I want to talk to you. Do you have a few minutes?" Helen pulled Elizabeth by the arm at the grocery store.
"I guess. The kids won't be home for another two hours. What's up?"
"Was David home last weekend?"
"Actually, no. He said there was an emergency at the plant in Chicago. He left Wednesday afternoon and didn't come home until the middle of this week. Why?"
"Oh God, I told my husband that it was David, but he didn't believe me. He said David wouldn't do such a thing to you and the kids."
"Do what? What are you talking about?"
"Well, when Steve and I were in Chicago last weekend on a spur of the moment get away, we stayed at a hotel on the waterfront. Friday night I could have sworn I saw David in the bar sitting beside this young blonde. What caught my eye to the couple in the first place were their actions, right there in front of everybody! It was disgusting. I pointed them out to Steve and mentioned how much the man resembled David. I swear Liz. It was David. Steve pulled me away when I started to approach, he said I was embarrassing myself, not to mention him."
"Do you remember what was he wearing?"
"Yeah, he had a sweater, jeans and loafers. The sweater was a salmon color with dark green stripes; at least they looked green from where I stood and I'll let you know, I was close enough to see the birthmark on the back of his neck, just like David has. Now that I think back, I'd have to say Steve knew as well, but was afraid to get involved."
"Well, that explains where all our money is going if it was him. That also explains why the children are wearing mended clothes to school and have had the same shoes for almost six months and you know how hard they are on their shoes. I'm not worried about me. I just think he should take care of his children before he goes spending money on another woman. Well, thanks for saying something to me about this, Helen. I'll confront him about it when he gets home tonight, I guarantee it."
Elizabeth finished her shopping quickly so she'd be home when the kids arrived from school. She hated for them to be home alone even though her son was almost thirteen years old and very responsible for that age.
"Thanks for the information Helen," Liz said as she pushed her cart to her car. "I'll call you tomorrow," she added when she pulled away, Helen continued unloading her cart.
Elizabeth made it home with barely minutes to spare before the kids walked into the door. "Hi mom, we're home," her son said and headed to his room; his sister followed.
"What's wrong with mommy?" Madison asked when she got to her brother's room. She sat on his bed with her backpack still attached around her tiny arms. "She looked mad."
"I don't know, but I think we should just stay in here and do our homework. I'll help ya if you need it," Jeremy said and helped Madison with her backpack.
Elizabeth tried to hide her anger from the children and realized that when they'd come home she didn't say anything to them. She tossed the dishrag into the sink and went to Jeremy's room. "Hey guys, how was school?" she asked when she hugged her daughter, who just turned seven years old two weeks prior.
"Are you mad, mommy?" Madison asked as she returned the hug.
"Oh sweetheart, nothing for you to worry about. Mommy's fine, just a little cranky today. Well, I'd better finish dinner before your dad gets home," she said then walked back to the kitchen.
As she turned the corner from Jeremy's room she heard him say, "I'm gonna help Maddie with her homework in here so we don't bother you."
I got such good kids, she thought to herself as she returned to the kitchen to finish dinner and clear the table from their rushed breakfast. Just as she put the last of the dishes in the cupboard, her husband walked through the door. He didn't say anything to her or the kids, just walked toward the bathroom. This behavior wasn't typical of him. He'd usually give her a kiss and ask the children about school, but this day was different.
Elizabeth knew something was up then because of the silent treatment. "Hi, Helen. David's home and things don't look good. Can you pick up the kids and take them to dinner? I don't want'em hearing what I have to say and they don't need to hear anymore arguing, they don't deserve that."
"Sure, Steve has to work late tonight anyway, so it's no problem. I'll be right there," Helen said then ended the call as she grabbed her purse and coat then headed over to Liz's.
When Helen arrived, Liz had the children ready and waiting at the door. The moment Madison saw Helen she began to jump up and down screaming "pizza, pizza!" Madison's smile illuminated her face and Jeremy knew there wasn't any chance of hamburgers for dinner.
Helen often treated Liz and the kids to lunch or dinner if her husband had to work late; she enjoyed their company. Nine times out of ten, they would end up at a pizza parlor, as it was one of their favorite foods.
"I guess she wants pizza," Helen said with a laugh as she opened the car door for the children, making sure they were fastened in seatbelts before she returned to her seat, waved goodbye to Liz then pulled away.
Elizabeth closed the main door to the building, pushing hard to make certain it had locked. She checked the mail slot then ran up the stairs to her own apartment on the third floor. David settled at the dinner table upon his return from the bathroom. He still hadn't spoken a word to his wife and her anger intensified "So, I never did ask you, did you get everything worked out with that problem in Chicago last weekend?" she asked when she brought the food to the table, throwing him a fake smile.
"What probl ---" David started, pausing in mid sentence as his memory of that weekend flashed back to him and answered, "Oh yeah, the problem. Yeah, everything went perfect," lying through his teeth and she knew it. Elizabeth could tell by the way he'd acted since his return from Chicago; he was distant and avoided direct eye contact with her and the kids. She confronted him about what she'd heard from Helen.
"Don't' lie to me anymore, David. I know you didn't go to Chicago for work. Helen and Steve were at the same hotel as you that weekend. She said you weren't alone either, and you were making a scene at the bar with some young blonde."
David didn't say a word. He didn't even finish his dinner. Silently he stood, cleared his plate and walked into the bathroom once again. Elizabeth heard the shower running and then was distracted by the children's arrival.
Helen had a key to the building for emergencies and used it to gain entrance. The children stood cautiously behind her as instructed. Quietly, Helen knocked after listening carefully for signs of commotion inside the apartment. "I know I should've called first, but the battery on my phone died, and I figured since I was closer to here than home I'd take the chance. I didn't hear any noise from the hall, so I figured it was safe to bring the kids home. Are you all right?" she asked Elizabeth when the apartment door opened.
"Oh I'm fine. David didn't say a word, he just went back into the bathroom and shut the door." Liz whispered then told the kids to get ready for bed.
"I'd better leave before he comes out. I don't want to start anything else, especially with him."
After a comforting hug, Liz closed the apartment door and headed back into the kitchen to finish cleaning up from dinner. David was still in the bathroom, so the kids just went to bed. "I didn't get to brush my teeth, mommy." Madison said sadly as her mom tucked the blanket around her then kissed her forehead. "Leave the door open," she added as her mother stood to exit.
Before she turned out the light she told her daughter, "You can brush extra good after breakfast tomorrow. Your teeth will be okay tonight, you only missed one brushing."
Elizabeth chuckled to herself as she left her daughter's room and checked on her son, who appeared to be asleep already. That didn't stop her from walking to his bedside and tucking him in though. She kissed his forehead as she did with Maddie then turned to leave, flicking the light switch on her way out.
Confirming that her children were okay she headed to her bedroom, only to find David already asleep. "Perfect," she said with a sigh then changed into her pajamas and got under the covers on her side of the bed; falling asleep soon after her head hit the pillow.
Elizabeth woke as usual to make coffee for David before he left for work, but this morning he was gone already. She thought it strange because normally he'd sleep for at least thirty minutes longer than she did. She noticed the closet door ajar and upon closer inspection, the suitcases were also gone; not to mention all his clothes in the closet opposite the one she had looked in.
"That son of a bitch," she said under her breath. Upon further investigation she noticed other things he'd taken with him when he left during the night. Her ring was gone from the glass jar on the dresser, not to mention the new laptop computer she'd gotten the kids for Christmas. "Damn him! I just saved enough money to get that out of lay-away three days ago. What a prick, to take something that belonged to the kids," she added and the more she observed, the madder she'd become.
Thoughts of her life with David surfaced and everything began to make sense to her now. He never wanted me to work. He'd repeatedly told me my job was to care for our home, the children and him as well as my mother. I didn't want to disappoint him in any way, so I never argued the matter. I'm wondering now, if his reasoning for this was to keep me dependent on him? Well I'll show him.
She immediately called his cell phone, not thinking through what exactly she'd say to him, but that didn't matter because instead of speaking to him she'd gotten the voice mail. Flustered, she hung up only to call a second time. This time she did leave a message.
"Thanks for the confirmation of my suspicions you prick, but the real reason for my call is to inform you I've called a lawyer and filed for divorce! Oh yeah don't try to take any money out of the bank because I reported our bankcard missing and they have issued another one with a different account number. So you might as well just shred the one you have."
"Oh and I wanted to thank you for not putting my name on your credit card account, so the responsibility of payment is all up to you. Have fun with your new plaything. Since I don't know where you're staying I will have the divorce papers delivered to your job as soon as the lawyer has drawn them up."
In the middle of her rant, she heard the beep that signaled the end of the message, but she didn't let that stop her. With a slide of her thumb, she pressed the redial button and continued where she'd left off.
"That damn phone!" she voiced angrily, "They need to give more time for detailed messages. Anyway as I was saying, I guess the only things I really wanted to thank you for are those two adorable children you gave me. Now, goodbye and good riddance; I'll see you in court, you bastard!"
Elizabeth ended the call just before the voicemail would have signaled the end of the message for the second time. She threw the phone at the sofa. Infuriated with her husband, she was at a loss of what to do next. "Hi Helen. Well I did it," she started, her voice trembling.
"I confronted him last night and when I awoke this morning to make coffee as I usually do, the son of a bitch was gone; bags and all. He even had the nerve to take my wedding ring and the new laptop I'd gotten the kids for Christmas."
"Oh no! What did you do then?"
"I called the bank and told them my bankcard had been stolen so they're changing the account and sending me a new card. I hope it's all right that I gave them your address to have the new card sent to, just in case that bastard gets any funny ideas of checking my mail."
"Oh Liz, I feel so bad for you. What are you gonna do now? I'd be furious and Steve would never live it down if he ever did that to me."
"Well first thing is finding a good lawyer. Do you or Steve happen to know of one that isn't too awful expensive? Remember, David never added me to the credit card account so I only have what was left in the bank account to get me through this until I find a job."
"Oh girl, you're in luck. Steve's cousin is a lawyer. I'm not sure what kind, but if he can't help you, I'm certain he'd find someone for you. He still owes us for helping him through some rough times financially. I'll tell him we need the services pro bono. Let me make a few calls and I'll get back to ya okay? In the meantime, you hang in there girl and for heaven sake don't turn into a disgruntled wife and do something crazy."
"Okay, I promise, besides, I've got the kids to think about. They come first, above David and everything else. They don't deserve this and I want to make it as easy on them as possible." Elizabeth ended the call after one last sincere thank you to Helen for her help.
When the children arrived home from school Elizabeth called them into the living room and with one child on each knee she told them what was going on between her and their dad. She didn't give any real explanation as to why he left, or why things had to change, but she did reassure her children that she'd never leave them.
Madison was just sad that her daddy wasn't coming home, but Jeremy, as wise as he was at his age, had thoughts of his own as to why his dad left. I bet that other girl had something to do with this, he thought to himself; not letting on to his mom that he knew his dad was spending time with another woman. The kids hugged their mom and then she scooted them off her lap so she could start supper.
"Here mom," Jeremy walked into the kitchen holding his Superman bank.
"What's this?" she asked holding back tears.
"I figured if dad's not coming back home you'd need some money for food and stuff for me and Maddie. I got some money in here and you can use it if you need to." He set the bank on the table, hugged his mom and then somberly walked away. When he was half way down the hall she heard him once again, "And you don't have to pay me back, ever. I guess I'm the man of the family now."
That act of selflessness by her son touched her heart and she began to sob, silently. Elizabeth couldn't believe how much her life had changed the past few years. She tried diligently to keep her emotions in check today, but with one look at the food burning on the stove then the bank on the counter as well as the expression on her daughter's face when she said she missed her daddy; she lost it.
Elizabeth didn't want her children to see her cry like that, she turned off the burner and headed to Jeremy's room. She didn't enter. Through the slightly open door she merely asked her son to get the both of them a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or some cereal and milk for supper then went to her room and closed the door behind her.
When she'd lain on the bed she rolled over and hugged the pillow her husband once used and sobbed all over again. She just wanted to fall asleep for hours or even days for that matter, but she knew she couldn't because of her children. They needed her to be there for them now more than ever. Elizabeth had lain quietly for some time until thoughts of everything she needed to do in the upcoming days invaded her mind.
Unable to take anymore, she rolled off the bed and listened for the children in the kitchen. No longer hearing them she remembered the bank on the kitchen counter and her son's thoughtful act. I can't let him do that, she thought and headed back to the kitchen to retrieve it. She picked up the heavy bank and padded to Jeremy's room. When Elizabeth returned to her son's room he was awake.
"Is everything okay, mom?" Jeremy asked and rubbed his eyes.
"Oh honey, things aren't too good right now, but I promise they'll get better."
When she placed the bank back on Jeremy's dresser, he questioned her actions. "Don't you think you'll need the money, mom?"
"Oh kiddo, you're such a brave young man. Thanks for the offer, but I want you to keep your money. I'll get a job so we don't run out of anything. I don't want you to worry about this."
"So what's going on with dad? Is he on another business trip or something?"
"Oh I don't know what's going on with him. He's not happy with me anymore, I guess. He's changed, or I've changed and we just aren't getting along anymore."
Elizabeth didn't tell her son the entire story about the infidelity and all the lies, but she did tell him she was going to file for a divorce because none of them deserved to live like this any longer. "We all deserve to be happy and I think not living with your dad is the best place to start."
"It's okay mom, you don't have to pretend with me. I know about the other girls; I saw them at the park a couple weeks ago, but I didn't say anything and dad didn't see me. How can he do that to us right out in front of the whole world, mom?" Jeremy asked, confused and frightened. "I guess he doesn't love us anymore and that's okay 'cuz after what he did to you, I hate him!"
Elizabeth never dreamed she would hear her son say those things about his dad. She wanted to tell him he shouldn't talk like that but she knew exactly how he felt and he deserved his own opinion.