Wednesday, April 20, 2005
Seperated Yet Living Together....
On the drive back home from that first trip to Knoxville, I was happy. It felt weird to be happy after six days of confusion and worry, but I was. My kids were watching some Disney movie on the TV in the back seat and I watched the miles tick off while thinking of the weekend that was just now ending.
I had a good time with my Mom, Dad, sister and Uncle. There just happened to be a surprise visit from my Dad's younger brother while I was home. Seeing as he has been divorced twice, and is currently in his third marriage, my Uncle was a wealth of information. He shared with me what I could expect, getting divorced when there were children involved, and what to say and not to say in all aspects of the divorce. He also told me how I should learn to be a spy.
I continued to be amazed, and thankful at how supportive my parents were about this whole thing. Even knowing the truth as they did, I still worried that they may look negatively on me, my marriage and the whole situation. But surprisingly they did not. I say surprisingly because my parents are devout Southern Baptists. My Dad is a deacon at their church. I was sure I would get many lectures about the state of our marital situation and my being an internet chat whore. I didn't get the lectures, all I got from Dad was a short talk about how he hoped I realized that living my life this way wasn't right. I quickly agreed.
I did receive a call from FA early on Sunday morning. She called my cell phone and I could tell right off the bat that she had been crying. I asked what was wrong and she began by asking what my parents and sister had been saying about her. I lied and said they had said nothing and she began to cry even more. She told me, through her tears, that she was worried that she had made a mistake. That maybe she shouldn't have been so quick to take the step towards divorce. I listened to her talk and cry until she said,
"Why did you have to do it?"
"Do what? What are you talking about FA?"
"Fuck that other woman?" She yelled.
"FA, I haven't done anything. (got to keep the story straight) Besides if I had, why would you care? You have practically pushed me out the door many times." I responded.
She began to cry even harder.
"FA, what is wrong? I know you aren't this upset about us." I said with a degree of sarcasm.
After a good 30 seconds of crying she said,
"He is married! And his wife is pregnant!"
"Who? What are you talking about?"
"Gabe, you know...the guy who served you the papers. We met up last night and he told me he was married and that his wife was pregnant and he felt bad about seeing me. He said we had to end it."
With that last statement I suddenly became aware of two things. The first was that she had no hopes or plans of us reuniting, and the second was that she had been having an affair with this guy. She had found out that he had been lying to her and it was even worse once she found out he was to be a Father soon.
After another minute she composed herself and said how she didn't know why she would tell me that stuff. She apologized, then asked when we were coming home. I told her that no matter what happened with us, she could always talk to me. Little did I know at the time that she would hold me to that many, many times in the future.
As I drove home down Interstate 75 into Chattanooga and beyond, my cell phone rang. It was Susan. I immediately thought about how I had told her incoming calls don't show up on my cell bill, so she could call anytime she wanted. Thanks to her offer of the calling card I could call her anytime I wanted as well, and not have to worry about anything but an 800 number showing up on the bill as an out going call. I answered...
"Hey, how's the drive?" She asked.
"Hey Susan, it's going good. The kids are busy watching a movie and I have been thinking about you."
"Wow, same here!"
We continued to talk about random stuff. She wanted to know when I was coming back to Tennessee again. I told her that I would be coming up there, most likely, every other weekend, if not every one. There wasn't much to keep me in Alabama on the weekends and I would much rather spend the time with family. She wondered out loud if I would be coming back next weekend. I told her that there was a good chance, and I would be letting her know. She made me promise that I would use the calling card and call her everyday, several times a day, and I did not hesitate to make that promise. We chatted a little longer then hung up, and I drove the rest of the way with thoughts of Susan foremost on my mind.
Arriving home was uneventful. FA wasn't home when we arrived so the kids and I unloaded the car and settled back into the house. Earlier, during the past week when my parents had been here, my Dad and I had installed a dead lock on my office door. This was done so I could have a degree of privacy and not have to worry about FA barging in on me during the night. I only kept it locked when I was gone from the house. At night I always kept it open so I could be available to the kids if they needed me, and so I could hear any activity FA might be up to. I went upstairs and unlocked my office/bedroom and was happy to see that nothing seemed out of place.
I busied myself with getting some dinner for the kids and was surprised when I heard the garage door open and close. FA had returned. She greeted the kids then came into the kitchen where I stood at the stove. She was covered in sweat and wearing her work out clothes. She had obviously been to the gym. She said hello and asked what was for dinner. I told her that I wasn't eating and was making pot pies for the kids. She smiled and excused herself to the shower. She certainly was acting smug, I thought. Definitely not the same humble FA I had talked to on the phone 24 hours before.
Later that night, once the kids were in bed, I knocked on her (our) bedroom door. She yelled for me to come in and I walked over and sat down on the edge of the dresser. She was in the process of getting ready to go out. I sat there for a minute watching her mess with her hair and finally asked her if everything was okay. She stopped and looked at me and asked why I would think something was wrong. I responded that she seemed awfully upset yesterday on the phone when she told me about Gabe. She paused for a minute, almost seeming to attempt to replay the conversation in her mind, then told me in a rather matter of fact manner that everything was fine and she was going out to meet a friend. I stood up and said I hoped she was careful. She assured me that she would be, and I left the room.
Three hours later I was still up reading in my office when I heard her stumble through the door. My curiosity got the better of me and I walked down stairs to get a drink of water, hoping she would hear me and want to talk. I did not have to hope too hard, as I walked through the living room I noticed that the door to the master bedroom was open, the room alight, and she was sitting on the edge of the bed. I kept on walking by till I heard her call my name. I responded,
"Can you come in here for a minute?" She asked.
I turned around and went into the bedroom. She was sitting there still, on the edge of the bed, and appeared to be a bit on the intoxicated side.
"I am so fucking pissed off." She said. "I need to talk to someone, and since I am so used to talking to you, would you come and listen to me? You are like my only real friend." With that she threw herself down on the bed and said, "I want to talk to you about this dick head!"
Turning my back to her for a brief moment I reached my right hand into my shirt pocket and pushed record on the mini digital recorder I had hidden and said,
"Sure, we can talk. Tell me what is on your mind. What is going on with this "dick head", it's Gabe, right?"
As she began to talk I silently thanked my, twice divorced, Uncle and his advice about getting a tape recorder. That trip to Radio Shack could prove to be the best $60 I had ever spent. Time would tell.
To be continued....