The Black Velcro Choker ReduxbyQ_L_P©
For those of you who haven't read it, this little tale is a "redux" of the ending of "The Black Velcro Choker" by Murphy621. And in this "redux", well let's just say the outcome is a bit different...) I changed the ending more than a wee bit in keeping with my sense of justice. )) We pick up where Mary is telling us about the divorce attorney her lover recommended...
Miles told me that Alma Jablonski was a divorce attorney "extraordinaire." So, by the end of the week I expected to be back in the house with my children, who at fourteen and sixteen were still minors, By the time the divorce was final I expected Charlie would be paying alimony, child support and maintenance on the home while he had to live elsewhere. Poor Charlie, I felt badly because I was the one who had 'done him wrong' but not badly enough (at least in my mind) to refuse what I expected the court would give me! After all, I could really put on the 'water works' for the divorce judge as needed and except for my one-time-only one week "vacation", I had been nothing short of the completely devoted stay at home mother and wife. I would just tell the court I needed a little break by myself on a cruise and my unreasonable, controlling husband went berserk, locking me out of the house when I got back!
So I met Alma and told her of the situation (as it really happened.) As expected, Alma seemed to have no concern for the inequity I had heaped upon my husband and children but rather looked like a hungry animal who had just spotted fresh meat when she picked up the phone to call Charlie. I sat back and gloated as Alma spoke to Charlie in a very intimidating voice. Alma just launched right in! I'm glad she was on my side!. "Mr. Caldwell," Alma began, "I am Alma Jablonski, an attorney who is representing your poor mistreated wife. I don't know what you were thinking locking your poor saint of a wife out of her own home....." That was as far as my "attorney extraordinaire" got. Hanging up the phone, Alma huffed "He hung up on me! NO ONE hangs up on me and gets away with it! I guess I am going to have to teach this asshole some manners!"
That day Alma had Charlie served at work with "ex parte" court papers and two days after that Alma and I were sitting in court for what I thought was going to be one of the first of Charlie's many comeuppances. When our case was called, Charlie, Alma and I all left the gallery and sat at two tables in front of the judge. Alma turned to me and said "what a dumb ass! He doesn't even have a lawyer representing him! Your husband has no clue that he is about to have his head handed to him rather unpleasantly via his ass!" At that moment the judge asked for "appearances" and Alma stated her name and that she was representing me! Charlie was SO toast!!
Just as I started to gleefully settle further back into my chair, a commanding voice spoke up from behind us, "John Steele for the defendant, your honor." I could see Alma visibly slump in her chair, obviously shaken! Next, the judge said "Thank you for your appearance here today, Mr. Steele. You're a long way from home. I have to say I am more than a little surprised. I thought you were in the middle of that high profile celebrity divorce." To this Steele replied, "I am your honor. But when my old college roommate Charlie here called me up and told me what was happening, I knew I had to be here for him." If it wasn't for Charlie doing the heimlich on me back in college when I choked on a piece of steak, I doubt I would be standing in front of you here today.
The judge continued, "Mr. Steele, according to the moving party's papers, your client wrongfully and without cause locked his devoted wife out of her own home when she returned from a short, one week vacation she had to take to calm her nerves from the stress of the abuse he heaps on her while she devotes her life to him and their two children. It further states your client has closed their joint bank and credit accounts and left her penniless as well as homeless. As a result, the moving party seeks to be readmitted to her home, your client removed, given temporary sole custody of the parties' two children, as well as temporary support payments for herself and the couple's two children until the matter can either be resolved through a family mediator or divorce."
Steele smiled at Alma and she sunk a little further in her chair before he replied. "Interesting tale, your honor. Too bad virtually none of it is true. Your honor, it is true that the locks of what used to be my client's sole and separate property, the house in question, have been changed. They were changed by the new owners, however, not by my client. I have here true and certified copies of the deed showing sole ownership of the house in question in the name of only my client, as well as proof that the house was paid for prior to the parties' marriage, as well as proof that the house was sold by my client to an unrelated third party while his less-than "devoted" wife was on her vacation last week relieving her so-called "stress."
All of a sudden, Alma was on her feet and looking like she was ready to attack! "I object, your honor, to Mr. Steele's viciously impugning the good name and character of my client, this selfless, saintly devoted woman who has tried to be everything within her power to be the perfect wife and mother! I demand Mr. Steele take back...."
At which time, Steele cut her off and said "your honor, in the courtroom today is Bob Smith. Mr. Smith could you please stand? Your honor, Mr. Smith is a private investigator my client had follow his wife while she got her so-called "stress relieved." I have in my possession one photo of many that Mr. Smith will state he took of my client's wife last week while she was on her cruise. The photo shows my client's wife less than faithfully getting her "stress relieved" on the deck on the cruise ship she and her lover shared. And all the time while she had no concern for the mental or physical welfare of either my client or her own children, who were unfortunately aware of her dalliances by virtue of the moving party's lack of even minimal discretion." Alma slumped even further in her chair as Steele handed her and the judge a copy of the large photo which clearly showed me as the unfaithful slut I had become. "Your honor", Steele continued, "if counsel would like Mr. Smith to testify as to the authenticity as well as the detailed and lurid circumstances surrounding this photo...." Alma cut him off and simply stated "moving party is willing to stipulate to the photo's authenticity." The kids knew! Charlie had me followed! There were even photos! This was not looking good....
At this point the judge said "well, I am getting a little better picture of what the true facts are here. But Mr. Steele, it appears to the court that the parties have been married quite a long time and the moving party alleges she is homeless, penniless and without any means to support herself." Alma smiled and I realized that even though I had shit on my husband, the good old "justice system" would still take care of me!
But Steele was for some reason unfazed! "Your honor, to cut to the chase, so to speak, here's where we are at. Charlie partly used the proceeds from the sale of the house to pay off the parties' other joint debts. Charlie has no other assets besides his car which he needs to get to work and transport the kids, nor does he have a pension with a cash value. The money that remained from the sale of the house my client used to partly fund both kids' college funds. The local college has a program where money can be irrevocably given to the college now as tuition and dorm credit. At this time, both of the kids first two years of college are paid for. A small amount remained which my client used to pay for the first month's rent and deposit on a house for himself and the kids. The rental agreement is in Charlie's name, not his wife's name. While the court could in theory order my client to move from the house, the court has no power to let his wife reside in the rented house. That is in the sole discretion of the landlords of the property. However, the landlords know Charlie's wife and refuse to rent to her."
Steele continued knowing he was unstoppable. "Unfortunately, your honor" Steele continued, "because my client now has housing costs that he previously did not have, if this court orders Charlie to provide his wife with support payments, the children's' standard of living will be reduced to less than it has previously been, although the children are, of course, blameless in this whole matter. Furthermore, moving party's complete disregard for her family has caused my client extreme stress. The photo that I showed the court is indelibly etched into Charlie's mind and seeing it over and over again in his mind while he is at work has caused his work performance to suffer significantly. As a result, Charlie's employer has given him written warning that if his work performance does not quickly resume as before, Charlie will be terminated from his employment and the children's' sole source of financial support will immediately cease. Ms. Ross, could you please stand? Your honor, Ms. Ross is a psychologist licensed in this state and is prepared to testify that she has spent many hours discussing this situation with Charlie. She is further prepared to testify that if this court should order my client to support his heartless, unfaithful wife so that she can, at my client's expense, continue to "entertain" her lover in premises at Charlie's expense, that she is 100% certain in her professional judgment that Charlie's mental condition will quickly further deteriorate so significantly that she is completely certain that Charlie will lose his job and become virtually unemployable by nature of his psychological state. Your honor, it is in the clear best interests of the minor children of this marriage that their sole means of support not be endangered." Mary's mind went numb as Ms. Ross was sworn and affirmed what Steele had said. Mary was beginning to see that she had gone from a fantastic cruise to being up a creek without a paddle.
"As to being homeless and penniless," Steele continued, "my client suggests that his soon-to-be ex wife move back home with her parents or continue to reside with her lover who completely paid for her cruise. And your honor, I noticed the McDonalds next to the courthouse has a "help wanted" sign in its window...."
The judge interrupted and said "Mr. Steele, I am sorry to have to cause you the inconvenience of having to defend against this matter. Mrs. Cadwell, I mean Caldwell, your motion is denied. Mr. Caldwell, take care of your kids. They need you now. When you are ready, I am sure that you will have no trouble finding a loving woman who will see in you the good qualities that your wife seems to have forgotten." Right then both kids ran up and hugged Charlie tightly. The three of them then left the courthouse, not once looking even in my direction as a young girl handed me papers saying "Mary Caldwell, you have been served.".
After a few days of pimping me out to his friends, Miles took back everything he gave me including the black choker and kicked me out of his place. One of his friends gave me a gift that keeps on giving on both sets of my lips. Some time later, I heard that Miles was in the hospital, having had both of his balls crushed. Charlie and the kids were away visiting his folks when it happened. Now, instead of perfume, I wear the smell of french fries, hamburgers and toilet bowl cleaner and share a small run-down apartment with an obnoxious roommate who steals anything of mine she can turn into quick cash for booze or smokes. I still see my kids sometimes when they come into McDonalds, but my conversation with them is usually limited to "would you like fries with that order?" before Charlie and they walk away, all four happy. The fourth one being the hot young cutie hanging on to Charlie for dear life and who smiles back at me while they walk away and shakes her head.