I appreciate your interest in the stories from my recent past. It is nice to see a few of your de-lurking and leaving comments. For those of you who haven't read the first two parts you can scroll down, or click here (part 1
) and here (part 2
). Any of you who have read me from the beginnings of my old blog know that I went over all this briefly in the early blogging days. What I have tried to do here is give the story a little more detail. I don't know if it is necessary to mention this, but everything is certainly true.
We hung up with each other and I drove home, arriving around 4:00 in the afternoon. I was totally not expecting to find what was waiting for me when I got home. My life had, unbeknownst to me, just taken a drastic turn. I would never, in a million years, have imagined the shocking changes that awaited me when I arrived...
My wife and I had made plans that morning for me to get our daughter T, once she got home from the school bus, and take her shopping at the mall for jeans. I was going to do this because my wife wouldn't be getting off from her job till 6pm. This way we could be back from the store, have picked the boy up from daycare, and we could all reconvene here at the house for dinner.
On my way from the oil change place I had tried to call home and speak with my daughter. There was no answer. I assumed that she was out side with a friend or maybe the bus had run a little late. No matter, I would be home within fifteen minutes after her anyway. It would be okay for her to stay by herself for a few minutes.
When I walked in the front door I hollered for T. There was no answer. I looked in the spot in the foyer where she usually leaves her back pack and it wasn't there. I hollered again, walking up the stairs as I did so. Still no answer. Looking in her room I see she is not there and nothing seems to appear out of order. Maybe the wife, FA, had got off early and had already taken T to the mall. Odd that she wouldn't call, but maybe there was a note in the kitchen. There was no note in the kitchen. Now I am starting to worry. I take my phone and try to call the wife. It rings and goes to voice mail. I hang up and try again 30 seconds later. Still no answer. This time I leave a message asking what was up, where was T and letting her know she should have told me if she had changed the afternoon plans. I walk back into the kitchen to make myself a drink and suddenly a thought occurs to me. A thought that stops me cold and sends a shiver of fear down my spine.
She has taken the kids and left me. Could she really have?
I make my way back through the house again, looking in drawers and the closets to see if anything seems to be missing. No, I can't really tell. My son's drawers look a little bit disorganized, but he could have done that himself. Then I notice two of the suit cases missing from their usual spots in the walk in closet in the master bedroom. I take the steps two at a time and go up to my office. I survey the room. Everything looks like its normal disorganized state. Papers and files piled up on my desk. My work laptop flashing my company logo screen saver, my personal lap top, the one I use to chat on and surf the web is.....missing. I walk around my desk and also notice my file cabinet open. It would appear that the hanging files where I keep personal information, like our credit card and phone/cell bills, tax returns, etc are missing too. It then dongs on me, she has
taken the kids and left and she took anything relating to our finances with her, as well as my personal lap top computer.
I head back down the stairs trying her cell number again. No answer, voice mail, I leave a frantic message,
"FA, listen I don't know what's wrong or what's going on but I am concerned. I am concerned about T
(I wouldn't confess completely that I suspected/knew she had left) and I want you to call me ASAP
I leave the house, get in my car and head to my son, L's, school. I walk into his class and the teacher tells me that my wife had picked L up around 1pm. Does she know where they went? I ask, stupidly as if she would have told the teacher. No she tells me, asking if everything is okay. I tell her I don't know. I leave and head towards the nearest interstate exit with hotels. I continue to try to call my wife. She never would answer and my messages would get more frantic with each call. Driving through the hotel and motel parking lots I never find the new, purchased three days prior, red Nissan Xterra. I head back home, still trying her on her cell phone over and over.
By the time I return home it is dark, probably around 6pm. I walk back up the stairs and collapse onto the top step. I sit there staring down the stairs at the dark house, and soon put my head in my hands and begin to cry. I cry like a baby for only the second time in my adult life. The only other time I cried like that was on the day my daughter was born and the doctor had told me she was very ill and could possibly not make it. I sat there for a good while and sobbed, not because of the potential loss of my marriage, but for my kids. It was my worst fear that for some reason I would have my children, the only things that truly mattered, taken away from me. I then remembered my computer. She had taken it, she must know about the yahoo chats, and other activity I had used the computer for. She must know about the women I had chatted with and the one I had driven to Tuscaloosa, more than four weeks back, to meet. She had told me several times in the past two years to get a girlfriend, but I had always kept it semi clean, restricting my activity, most often, to the internet. I thought more and more about this and my tears dried up and were replaced by intense anger. The BITCH! How dare she take my kids and go God knows where without my knowledge. I stood up and headed back down the stairs, taking my phone from my belt as I went.
I got her voice mail again.
"Okay I am sick of your shit. You had better call me back right now or I am calling the cops and reporting you all as missing. CALL ME BACK NOW
!!" I spit into the phone.
I then called my parents, got my Dad, and told him everything. This was a difficult call. I told him about the on-line activity and about how terrible my marriage had been. I told him about FA's insistence I find a girlfriend and how she didn't love me, nor I her. He was very concerned, but not mad as I had feared. He said to call me as soon as I hear anything and that they would head down here from Tennessee the next day if necessary.
Suddenly I remembered the credit card and other files that were missing and I opened my wallet to look for a certain Visa card. About four years before, I was promoted in my previous job, to district manager. In this position I was required to travel and entertain. I had been going through a particular bad period credit wise at the time and couldn't qualify for a credit card with more than a couple thousand dollar limit. My Dad had my name put on one of his cards and had given me authorization to use it for purchases. In the years that had passed I had been able to improve my credit and qualified for my own cards, but I had always held on to his in case there were ever an emergency that I needed it for. He knew I still had it and had even had me use it recently to purchase some stuff for him from the Internet. The Visa card was missing, it wasn't there in it's usual place in my wallet. I told my Dad he should call and report it stolen and close it. I was willing to bet it was in the possession of my run away wife.
That night, as I sat by the phone, I made three calls. The first to a couple who were our friends a year ago and who lived within two hours of where we lived now. The husband, George, told me that he knew nothing of FA and the kids whereabouts, but that he and his wife were aware that we were having troubles. The second call was to my Father-In-Law and his wife. The wife answered and told me that they also had no idea where FA had gone. Finally I called Susan...
She was happy to hear from me, but could quickly tell that something wasn't right. How to tell her? As far as she knew I was already divorced. I was also worried that my cell may be monitored and since my bills were gone I could only assume that FA was aware of every call I had made in the past year, whether business or pleasure. Including those made to this incredible woman who I felt like I could love, but had only known for a couple weeks. I told Susan that it might be a while till I could call her again. That something was wrong, that FA had taken my kids, and that I had no idea what was going on. I let her know that it might be in both our best interests that I not call her for a few days. She seemed confused but made me promise I would call her as soon as I could and tell her what was wrong. I thanked her for understanding and fought the urge to tell her I loved her as I hung up the phone. I did not tell her the complete truth though. Had I screwed things up with the only woman I had cared anything for in years?
Finally, around 11pm, I get a call from Bo Snagley. I could tell, as soon as I answered, that he wasn't very happy.
"FA called me. She wanted me to tell you that she and the kids were out of town. That she knows everything you have done and doesn't know when they will be back. She said to tell you to stop calling her friends and family."
He went on to say that he was very pissed off that she would call him and get him involved in all this. As I had done with my Dad I went ahead and told Bo everything that had been going on, and he wasn't judgmental in the least. He said he hoped everything would be okay and that we would get together soon.
While I was talking to Bo my phone beeped. Caller ID showed it was an area code from North Alabama, Huntsville. I answered and it was her.
"Stop calling everybody. Leave me alone."
"Where are you, FA? Where are the kids?"
"We are at a hotel in Huntsville. I have had you followed. I know about your "secret life". You are being served divorce papers tomorrow. My lawyer thought it best I not be there when it happens."
"Come home. Bring my kids home. I am sorry, lets talk this out. Please?"
"No, it's over. You fucked up and I am taking you for everything you got. Don't try to call anymore. I want you out of the house when I get home."
"That's not going to happen, I will never leave my kids. I am concerned for them. Bring them home, or stay there and I will come and get them. You're in Huntsville right?"
"Leave us alone.....I will call you tomorrow."
That was it. She hung up and I sat there for the rest of the night thinking about everything. In shock. What has happened? Over the past two years now she had told me she didn't love me, told me to go out to strip clubs, massage parlors, find someone to screw...on at least two occasions that I could remember she had actually said, and I quote, "Do what ever you want. Just don't bring home any diseases and don't get too attached to anyone." That had never happened, but even if it did, why would she care? This couldn't be happening. Could it all have been a big set up?
Suddenly a thought occurred to me. For two years she had begged for us to move back to the part of Alabama where we went to college. She had said how happy she would be if only we lived there. I suddenly remembered her urging me to take this promotion. A promotion that would just so happen to bring us from Oklahoma right to the back yard of the place we went to college. Then, as soon as we get here she joins a gym, begins to lose what would end up being 50 lbs. Gets accepted to college and begs me for a new, cooler car. Then I remembered how we hadn't had sex since November 26th of the previous year, on my birthday, three months before. How every time I tried to get close to her she would turn away. I also remembered how there had been a few instances in the past month where she would suddenly want to go out by herself at night. Or I would find her sitting in the drive way, in the car, talking on the phone for long periods. Or she would go work out, but end up being gone for a much longer time than it would take to use a treadmill at the gym. I began to wonder....could this all have been an elaborate set up on her part? Is she smart enough to pull something like that off? Could there be someone else in her life?
The next morning, at 8:30 am, having never slept, I found myself looking through the yellow pages for attorneys. I called a couple and left messages with secretaries to have the lawyer call me back. At nine I headed to our bank. I had just received my sales bonus, $12,000 after taxes, and I wanted to see what it would take to close the account and/or freeze the monies. All together with savings and checking we had about $14,000 in the bank.
My stomach quickly turned and I thought I would puke right there in the bank lobby when I found that I only had $200 in my account. On the day I got my bonus, the day we went out to dinner with Bo and Jo, Valentines Day, she had withdrawn with an official check, $12,006. The six dollars was for the fee for the check. She had somehow burned up the other $1800 on various other charges and withdrawals.
When I returned home there was a message on the answering machine. My mortgage company had not been paid since December and they wanted the two month payment (plus late fees), or $2,800 within the week. With a heavy heart and a stomach growing more and more sick I call everyone else, the six credit card companies, (all maxed out and not paid in two months), the utilities, (not paid in a month and needing payment or service would be interrupted). All had sent letters, none had been contacted in return. The last call I make is to the city post office. I was told the mail had been placed on hold over a month ago and FA had been picking up the mail daily from the post office. I hung up from this last call and barely made it to the bathroom before I vomited what little food I had left over from lunch the day before.
I had been such an idiot. Not only had I been stupid enough to trust her with being the one to handle all finances, but it was obvious she had been planning this for months. I had been played, I had been punk'd, I had been railroaded. What kind of future did I have now? I sat down on the couch, thinking about all this shit, how it had hit the fan in the worst way, about my kids and their future, about Susan. I sat there getting more and more mad and waited for an attorney to call me back.
To be continued...