The Fourth Wife Ch. 02byRealDoc©
This will make no sense unless you read part one.
This is entirely fiction. It contains no sexually explicit descriptions but does include some violence.
In Part One I told of my wife's infidelity and our subsequent break up.
I was off to the bank, to a realtor, to a divorce lawyer then to my parent's house. I was going to retrieve something only I knew about that was stored in their attic. I had business to conduct, contacts to make, plans to refine, justice to administer and then a new life to make for myself.
I drove to corporate headquarters and got the apartment for two months. I was free at last. I hated it but freedom comes with a high price. Crossing me the way Henry did was going to prove costly for him also.
The next day was a flurry of new activities. I closed my bank account and savings account; moving everything to new accounts opened at another bank in the big city. Our credit card was cancelled. I applied for a new one. I found a divorce lawyer in the city and arranged to see him the next afternoon. My boss knew of my marital troubles and offered whatever corporate assistance I might need. I told him all I needed was to send my paycheck to my new account and give me a couple of weeks off. If Susan called the secretaries, they should give Susan my new phone number at the apartment and I would handle her calls. That used up one whole day.
The next day I drove down to my former home. Susan was not at home. I retrieved the tape recorder and the stack of tapes that still lay on the table. I retrieved the rest of my books, files, clothes, tools, pictures, personal items and my cello. I called the Realtor to give them my new address and phone number. They told me that they could not list my house for sale without Susan's signature also. Well, she could live there. Let her pay the mortgage payments, mow the lawn and fix the bathroom toilet that tended to stop up and run over at the most inconvenient time.
I left Susan a note as to where I was with my new temporary phone number. She had my cell phone number if she wanted to contact me. I figured she would not want to talk to me. I told her I wanted to talk to her. I was not interested in discussing our pending divorce. It was about Henry and his daily activities that I wanted to talk to her about. The more one knows about the enemy, the more likely a successful strategy can be devised. I was a man on a mission now to see that Henry got his due for his part in breaking up my marriage. My focus on dispensing justice seemed to empower me with the energy I needed.
The note was an impassioned plea for us to meet. I really did need her help in understanding Henry's mind set and daily activities to the minutest detail. While doing this, I had to treat her as part of the enemy camp. She was going to become the unwitting spy that would tell me everything I needed to know.
The next stop was back to the city to see the divorce lawyer.
Armed with the tapes and the computer discs from her computer, I told the lawyer what had happened. I told him I would not engage in any pre-divorce counseling. I was willing to talk to her but not to a counselor. I wanted to split the estate 50/50 including the deposit money Susan had plus half the future proceeds from any publishing she did as a result of her time with her research community. I would not agree to alimony or child support. I demanded that she give up her married name of Allen and that the child would not be named neither Ethan nor Allen. She would not sully my name.
I wrote out a hefty check off my new bank account. I didn't care that much. I knew freedom would be costly but freedom is what I coveted. Freedom from Susan, freedom from the marriage and freedom from hate. What I needed was a clear mind so my entire efforts to effect justice on Henry would be a total success. Time was not urgent to me. Success was important.
That night I got a call from Susan. She also wanted to talk. We arranged to meet for lunch at a diner in our former hometown the next day. That night I slept well for the first time in months. I had focus, inner strength, determination and a plan. Susan was history only.
I packed enough for several days as I was going to visit my parents and her mother after seeing Susan. Susan and I met the next day at the diner. She was dressed in a modern prenatal dress. She wore a little make up. She glowed like pregnant women do. She looked really good. I wished things had been different and the child had been mine. She looked so much better than the previous 5'months. Her cheek was badly bruised still. The waitress seated us at a table in a corner. The café was not crowded at lunch time so we had time before my planned drive east to her mothers place and then on to my parents house in Colorado.
I was very careful in my approach to Susan. I complimented her on coming back to the twenty first century. Why she had done so was of no real interest to me. We were through as a couple.
"Ethan," she began after we were seated and had ordered. " I want to apologize for the way I said things the other day."
"Susan," I replied "How you said it was about as gentle as you could be. The things you did, not the way you reported them, is the cause of our impending divorce. I'm sure you know I can't live with what you have done. You will be receiving the divorce petition within the next few days. I believe you will agree to the terms. The divorce will give you the legal freedom to return to Henry or to live as a single mom. The divorce also will free me of any legal obligations to you and to Henry's child you will have. I can never absolve you or forgive you of the infidelity you have engaged in. What I want you to know is that I am trying hard not to hate you. There were mitigating circumstances. You were a prisoner but you didn't try to get free or to fight him physically. Perhaps it is best you didn't fight him but his first sex with you was not entirely like a rape from a stranger who would then flee after killing you. My heart and mind is in confusion about what you told me. I want you to forgive me for the hateful things I said and for striking you that morning. I let my emotions get entirely out of hand and I ask for your forgiveness for that strike. I see your face is still bruised badly but most of the swelling has gone down."
Continuing before she could speak, "The reason I came hear is to let you help me understand the life you led while you were there. I don't want to hear about sex. I want to hear about what time you got up, when you went to bed, where is the house you lived in, what type work Henry does and where. I want to know the name of the community and its location. I have no interest in any of your intimate dealings with Henry or his other three wives."
The waitress served us and we ate in silence until Susan finished. She took a drink of water, looked at me, and said, "Ethan, I plan to go back to Henry within then next few days and see just what my situation is there. You actually scared me into thinking that Henry might actually beat me physically and emotionally. I don't think he will do that but I need to talk to him about the terms of my return, should I choose to do that. I also need to know if our marriage, that is you and me, is really beyond repair. My heart is still divided between you, and Henry."
She knew how to punch my anger button.
"Susan, I told you our marriage is over. Your heart divided heart crushed mine. Your even considering another man is enough to break us up forever. Perhaps some day you will comprehend how deeply you have hurt me. Infidelity is not just sexual. Perhaps some day you will experience the abyss of infidelity in its purest form. I don't wish that on anyone, even you. Your ignorance is your bliss. I had exclusive rights to you. You trashed that in your quest for an academic degree and some wild sex. I guess you forgot that you had promised me your loyalty in front of your mother, my family, our friends and God. You can be sure that I, Ethan Allen, am no longer part of your future. I will do everything I can to see to that. This is not what I want to talk about.
I wanted this time with you to learn of your activities, how you lived were you lived, who you shared out side duties with; things like that. Our relationship is not going to be part of this time we share today, or ever again. Any discussion related to you and me as a couple has to go through my lawyer."
"Ethan," she tightened her rigid lips, "You don't have to be hateful. There is plenty of hate in this outside world to go around many times over."
"Lets get on with your telling me about the things I asked about, please?"
With that she told me when they got up and went to bed; who in the family did what and when. I asked about daily schedules for the wives, children and Henry.
She really did tell me everything I wanted to know. I think I did not arouse any suspicions as to my plans for Henry. I certainly did not want Henry to become paranoid. That of course was ridiculous of me to even think. He was much to egotistical, arrogant and domineering to even think of some wimp outsider coming after him. My mission in life, at this point was exactly that.
I learned that Henry was very religious. He read his holy scriptures daily yet he was also superstitious. He believed in angels, visions and visitations from heavenly beings. He was a proud man. He had sex frequently, more than once a day usually. Sometimes he would have two or three of his wives in one evening.
Susan said she loved trying to keep up with him. I think she said that to goad me and humiliate me. She succeeded but I didn't comment.
Henry was a town leader and the other men held him in high esteem for his aggressive sexual ways and domination of his family and wives. He hated men who were not dominant in their own families but tolerated no interference in his own life or family. He was a control freak to me. I wondered what he thought of me. I dismissed that thought as it made no difference what he thought. He was just a pile of horse manure to me so why should I care what he thought.
I thought to myself that the high and mighty Henry had a hard fall coming. I remembered a scripture verse from my childhood. "Pride comes before a fall." Certainly Henry was full of pride and I was going to enjoy seeing his balloon deflated.
I told Susan good-bye and wished her well with her talks with Henry. I did not offer my hand in parting.
I had a six hour drive ahead of myself and would have to stay overnight somewhere.
My first stop was to Susan's mother's house an hours drive away. She was home from her school teaching job.
She and I were on good terms although not particularly close. She invited me in and was surprised to see me but also seemed happy.
I had her sit at her kitchen table with some fruit and water to snack upon. I told her Susan was pregnant. She smiled and congratulated us for starting a family. The sad news then came out as I told her from beginning to end of Susan's activities over the past six months. Susan's mom had been told nothing by Susan. She knew Susan had gone on a research project but knew nothing of where or what it was all about. She was appalled and cried to learn of Susan's decisions. She was most upset that Susan would even consider visiting her hometown much less be enthralled with it's culture. Susan's mother considered her escape like the Jews who escaped Auschwitz
At great emotional price she and Susan had fled once before. Now, Susan, was not just playing with fire but had been burned severely yet going back for more. Her mom was beside herself in anger, disgust, fear and the pain of seeing her only child make such a fool of herself and her marriage. I had never seen a person in such distress before. My own agony had found a soul mate.
We hugged for the longest time. Each of us feeling the loss of a loved one, the same loved one. I cried. We cried together. We shared our loss and drew strength from the other. I felt as if her mother was taking Susan's emotional place in me for the moment. I felt comforted.
The sun was setting. The long shadows of night threw their arms around us. We stood embraced for what seemed like an hour. Her tears wet my shirt and mine moistened her hair. Finally, our emotions spent, we broke apart. I was invited to stay overnight and continue my journey the next day. I was emotionally spent and accepted the gracious offer with thanks.
After breakfast and some real coffee, I was again on the road for the five hour drive to my parents. I promised to stay in contact with Susan's mom. She really was a beautiful person physically and emotionally. I recognized how much Susan was, or had been, like her mother until Henry. My hate for him grew.
I called my parents on my cell while on the road crossing the Colorado Utah state line. No one answered at home. I tried dad's cell phone and he answered. He and mom were visiting my brother so I decided to extend my trip on to see my brother and his wife. The reunion would help bring some stability to my new life now that I was without Susan.
I took a motel before driving the last mile on to the apartment my brother and his wife had. My brother was recently back states side from Afghanistan where he had served as a company commander of an Infantry unity.
After the usual hugs and handshakes and slaps on the back and a kiss on the cheek from mom, I asked them to have a family time together with me in the front room. Since it was again getting along in the day, I suggested we order Pizza delivered along with salads and soft drinks. The order was placed and we gathered as family. The only ones absent was my other brother and his wife.
I told them I had sad news concerning my marriage. Susan and I were divorcing. Mother cried. Dad asked if there was any chance of reconciliation. The whole story had to come out so I began at the beginning with Susan's research project and my trip as a part of my job.
We were interrupted as the Pizza super was delivered. During supper, I continued with the details of Susan's changes. How she had worked on her thesis and her pending degree. Then I told of her pregnancy and how it occurred and how she was ambivalent about her relationship with me and our future. The pain welled up again inside me as the anger and pain conflicted me. Mom cried more and clung to dad. Dad was also emotional but showed it less but his hands trembled and his eyes moistened.
My brother became silent. He sat rigid moving slightly in a stiffened fashion. I could see his military academy and battle field experience attitude taking control. He stood up and walked around in deep thought.
Finally I finished my story. I had left out nothing. The only question came from my brother in the form of a statement.
"Ethan," he said with quiet but gentle authority, "You and I need some time together. Let's just you and me take a walk." With that he took my hand, pulling me off the couch and we excused ourselves.
It was early evening so we drove to my motel. There we called the family to tell them where we were and that we would be back in an hour or so.
"Ethan, you are in a war and likely unprepared. I want to tell you how to conduct this battle." My brother took control of the conversation. "There are rules of war to follow if you plan on winning. I know you are going to lose Susan but you don't have to lose the war. Henry is your enemy and he has to be destroyed without your suffering heavy casualties. I don't know what you have planned and frankly don't want to know now. After the war is won, you can tell me."
Continuing his lecture on the conduct of war, "First is to know your enemy. Know his strengths and his weaknesses. Carefully evaluate your own strengths and weaknesses. It is important that you match your strengths to his weaknesses. Do not allow him use of his strengths nor allow him to exploit your weaknesses. Next, you pick the time and place to do battle. Remember the element of surprise is very important. If you can, do what is called a 'surgical strike'. Limit the collateral damage. You don't want innocent people injured. Plan carefully. Keep your plans secret. Cover your steps in preparation. Do not allow emotions to dictate your actions. What you do and how you do it must be done in as short a period of time as possible. Do not get into a protracted battle. Think carefully, plan carefully, have more than enough resources to accomplish success."
He smiled, "I know you already have some ideas. Don't depend on someone else, or for the civil authorities to do your work. Good luck and be very careful. Now, keep this talk private between us, just you and me. Don't tell even mom or dad anything. You are already in the battle so remember these guidelines. Now let's get out of here and back to my place."
The next morning we had breakfast together then mom and dad left to go home. I followed them as I had something hidden in their attic that even they didn't know about. I wanted to retrieve it for future use.
I stayed at home several days, sleeping in my old bedroom and bed from high school days. Mom was recovering. Dad and I had several long talks about my future. Nothing was said about my plans for justice. We just had a few days as family. Then it was time for me to get on with my life.
Mom and dad went to Walmart to pick up some things and I went to the attic, found what I wanted and loaded it into my big SUV. The next day I was on the road again headed home, well not home but back to my apartment.
My boss had been after me to go on another expedition and I had told him I would go. Being shed of Susan made the trip easier to accept and plan. I told my parents of my impending two month trip back to the equatorial Atlantic off Africa. My trip was not scheduled until I had all my unused accumulated leave time used up. I had up to three months before I had to go.
Returning to Utah, I put the gun, still in the boxes, in short term storage. I knew there were satellites watching all of us, so I picked up some furniture from my former residence to put into storage along with the boxes with the gun in it. I gained access to Satellite topographical maps of the area of and surrounding the town where Henry lived. These I studied intently.
I wanted him. I wanted to kill him but first he needed a lesson in humility. I also wanted not to go to jail or hang. The more I thought of it, I thought that killing him was to good. He would suddenly just disappear, his light would go out and he would not suffer. I thought of putting the bullet on his penis. I knew I could do that even at a mile but the one shot could kill him. Just a couple of inches and it would and he might bleed to death. Bleeding to death would be a better death for him than just blowing his head off. He would suffer some before dying but I didn't want to kill him yet. Justice had to be applied so that his family and friends knew he had been humiliated and degraded. That was better than any death especially by a head shot.
Still, he might not fully realize that the shot was from an adversary. I wanted him to know that Susan's husband had done him in. Still, there had to be no way it could ever be proved. I smiled. I had Henry on my mind and soon in my sights.
I was not going to let Susan off without some justice either. This meant contacting a plaintiff's lawyer. I wanted the meanest son-of-a-bitch possible. There were plenty available. My boss recommended one to me.
I told him I wanted him to threaten the University with a huge law suit for agreeing with Susan's research and the way she did it. I was angry that they had condoned her immoral behavior. I didn't know the law and didn't really care. What I wanted to do was get the attention of the Board of Trustees and President. I figured bad publicity and lots of it would be just what they didn't want. He was a typical lawyer. For a fee he would do almost anything. Anyone can file suit against anybody for any reason in this free country of ours. I had enough money to buy his attention.