#Darkness – #JusJoJan 2018

13A2427B-123D-4C63-B819-338D243369AC

After she first ran from the situation with her husband, she was afraid of the dark. She hadn’t ever been afraid of the dark before or not to her recollection. She had always been a night owl. Darkness had been her friend. She had worked in the dark. Driven alone all across the country in the dark. When the world was asleep, she was in her prime. Suddenly, the first night that she found out he was not coming home again, she was afraid of the dark.

As the days passed and each day became shorter as the winter solstice neared, the thought of the impending darkness sat upon her like a heavy blanket. She was not a good sleeper and she was awake during all those hours of darkness. Terrified. Alone. She felt like she was the only person in the world in the cold of the winter. When she finally went to bed at night, she had to leave the lights on. She prayed for daylight.

She tried to determine what had happened to her to make her so fearful. The last months with him had been dark. He had said some terrible things to her and she had always been a sensitive person. Those things had hurt her deeply. She felt she had seen the darkness of her husband’s soul. He never smiled. He seldom spoke unless it was to belittle her. When she thought back, it seemed as if darkness surrounded them both. She didn’t see the darkness while she was immersed in it. She could see it when she looked back.

She was starting to see light again and she thought that maybe, just maybe, she was not quite so afraid of the dark now. She realized what good friends she really had. If one of them didn’t call her, email her, message her, another one did. They saved her life those first horrible weeks. They were still saving her life. They all knew, maybe better than she did, that there was still a long road ahead of her in order for her to untangle her from this situation. That the darkness would still come and go and threaten to strangle her. They were there for her. She loved them all for that.

He was out there too, somewhere. In the dark.

 

This post is part of Linda G. Hill’s #JusJoJan’s 2018 Challenge.

Advertisements

Contemplation – #JusJoJan 2018

13A2427B-123D-4C63-B819-338D243369AC

She found herself in a contemplative mood today. Not just about her marriage. About the state of being married as well. She doesn’t feel like she knows much about marriage. She’s been married to only one man. Married to him twice, but just to him.  They were divorced for 14 years in between. A long time and there were other relationships, but not other marriages. She had read somewhere that only two percent of second marriages to the same person work. She was certainly not going to be in that two percent. Made sense to her. People simply don’t change that much.

She knows that she needs to accept her part in the demise of their marriage. She didn’t ever trust him after the events of their first marriage and contentious divorce. She tried to trust him, but he gave her little reason. When they got back together, he seemed like himself. By the beginning of their second year together, he either revealed his true self, which was quite changed, or he had grown into someone different in just a year. They should have spent more private time together, but the years apart had changed them and they had almost nothing in common now. He was resistant to developing common interests. Their one common interest, their beautiful island in the south, turned out to be the destruction of them. That, perhaps, broke her heart the most.

She knew that she would never marry again. Never even consider it. She would like to think that there was still a relationship out there for her. A nice guy, perhaps an intellectual, but a fun one. Someone gentle and kind. Someone she would enjoy talking to. Being with.

Her contemplation complete, she knows that time is short for her. Not that many good years left.

Was it possible?

 

This post is part of Linda G. Hill’s #JusJoJan 2018 Challenge.

Ultimatum – #JusJoJan 2018

13A2427B-123D-4C63-B819-338D243369AC

She didn’t believe in ultimatums. She thought they were too confrontational and just brought out the bad qualities in people. Before she took the next step, she felt that she had to try to have a conversation with him. She realized she was probably being foolish. Being too nice. She wasn’t at all hopeful. She felt she was being fair even though he had not been fair to her. She was trying to take the high road. What she had to say would amount to an ultimatum, but he had left her with no choice.

There was only one way to try to reach him since he had changed his telephone number. Before that, he wouldn’t answer her calls. She didn’t know why. All she knew is that he had said he would never be home again. She could call his sister-in-law, his only remaining family who still talked to him. She made the call and only got her voice mail. She left her message. A message that simply said she had something important to talk to him about and would she give him the message.

Two days passed before her appointment with the attorney. No call. No contact. For her, that made her final decision. He must know that without any contact, this is the decision she would make. The next step on their road. She drove to town, parked at the attorney’s office, and met her new divorce lawyer. As she left the office an hour later, she knew she liked her very much.

She had a sense of finality. She had started down the road to the end. It was time and past time.

 

This post is part of Linda G. Hill’s JusJoJan 2018 Challenge. The prompt is brought to you by Itinerary Planner. Take a look at their site!

Part 2: The Silver and the Divorce

img_0329

The Introduction to The Silver and the Divorce can be read HERE. Now for the next installment:

Ana did not sleep very well that night. Not after the incident when Walter was supposed to just be mowing the yard. Instead, he lied his way into the house and tried to steal her silver. She tossed and turned all night as she occasionally woke to hear the sound of Walter’s motorcycle outside her house. She was up by 6 a.m. even though she did not have to go to work the next day.

When Ana got up, there sat her sister, Marcia, at the kitchen table, drinking coffee. Ana instantly felt terrible. Marcia was staying with her during her divorce so she wouldn’t have to be alone. Now Walter and his ridiculous actions had kept Marcia up all night.

“Sis, are you OK? Have you been up all night?” Ana asked.

“No,” Marcia replied. “There was a knock at the door around 5 a.m. It was Walter. I didn’t go to the door. I didn’t even consider letting him come in. What do you suppose he wanted?”

“Just to harass me some more, I would imagine. I’m so sorry you had to deal with that.”

Marcia said, “I didn’t deal with anything. I ignored the knock at the door. But, isn’t he under a restraining order not to come within 500 feet of you? He was certainly closer than that, Ana! He is not respecting the restraining order at all. That’s scary. I’m also glad neither of us are working right now.”

Ana and Marcia were teachers in their large city school system. Ana taught English in the high school, usually junior and senior English and English literature. Marcia taught Geometry in high school almost exclusively. It was summer and school was out. Their break was brief, but Ana felt fortunate she could deal with this divorce on the break. Marcia could stay with Ana this summer rather than in her own home because she had never been married, had no children, and she just locked up her house and left. She checked on her home frequently.

Ana sat down to have morning coffee with her sister. She was, indeed, concerned about Walter having such blatant disregard for the restraining order. She had to get a restraining order against Walter in the first place because he went so crazy when she asked him for a divorce. They had grown so far apart over the past several years of their marriage that Ana couldn’t believe he was even surprised. If he wasn’t, he surely did put on a good act.

Walter had gotten a small apartment nearby after the judge awarded Ana the house on a temporary basis. She had no intention of living there permanently. She had always hated that big house. They had bought it when Walter’s mother was alive in order to have a place large enough to care for her. She had passed away almost a  year ago now. Ana hoped they could amicably sell the house and divide the proceeds. She knew this was going to be a problem. Walter did not want to leave the neighborhood they had lived in for so long and, frankly, Ana could understand that.

“Marcia,” Ana said, “What should I do about this house in the divorce settlement?”

“You’re going to have to do what your lawyer says. Isn’t that to sell the house and divide the money you get from it?”

“Yes,” Ana said. “That’s what the lawyer says to do. But, I don’t necessarily feel that is the right thing to do. I’m the one that wants a divorce. Is it right that I should make Walter leave the neighborhood we’ve lived in for almost 20 years? These neighbors are like family to him. As you know, he has no family.”

“The only other option is for him to buy you out.”

“Marcia, you know he does not have the savings or the income coming in to do that. He can’t qualify on his own for that kind of loan. It seems to me the only other option is to give him my equity in the house and try to make it up somewhere else in the property settlement.”

“Ana, please,” Marcia says. “Walter checked out of this marriage a long time ago with his drinking and gambling. Do you think he would be half as kind to you?”

“No, of course he wouldn’t. But, shouldn’t I try to take the high road. After all, I’m the one who had the affair.”

Ana had been deeply unhappy in her marriage for many years out of the 20 years she and Walter had been married. Several years ago, she met a man, through mutual friends, and was tempted into an affair. That affair last three full years before Ana and the man involved called it off, realizing it wasn’t going anywhere. Unfortunately, Walter found out about the affair right before Ana ended it.

Walter went absolutely crazy after he found out about the affair. Instead of dealing with it with Ana, he told all their friends and neighbors, literally running up and down their street talking to everyone about it. He embarrassed Ana with everyone as much as possible until she finally had to throw him out of the house and file for the restraining order. She had become afraid of him. He started digging up their credit card bills to try to find out if she had spent any money while having this affair, vowing to make her pay it back to him as part of the property settlement.

Walter even said that he was going to take everything from her – the house, contents, money, and leave her destitute. Ana was so upset at the time that she couldn’t think enough to realize that her state was a no-fault divorce state. Instead of acting like a man and assuming any blame for the state of their marriage, Walter was high and mighty and blamed Ana for everything.

The funny thing was that Walter did not want the divorce. He wanted he and Ana to reconcile, even while trashing her to friends and neighbors and even her family. When he learned that Ana was serious about the divorce and was moving ahead with it, he became even more distraught. He threatened her in every way he possibly could while begging her to come back to him and not go through with the divorce. He could not seem to see that this was not the way to win Ana, or any woman, back.

“An affair,” Marcia scoffed. “Had I been you, I would have had 10 affairs. When Walter wasn’t laying on the couch, he was drinking or putting your money down slot machines. What in the hell was the big deal about an affair? You’re just feeling guilty.”

“Marcia, I’m afraid that, in an open court hearing, he will try to ruin my reputation and I am a teacher. I could lose my job. Maybe I should have tried harder to save my marriage.”

For God’s sake, Ana,” Marcia cried, “You did try. Remember that disastrous trip to Las Vegas you took with Walter a few months ago?”

A few month’s after their marriage blew up, Walter talked Ana into taking a trip with other couples in his company to Las Vegas for a few days. It was the most disastrous trip Ana had ever taken and really sealed their fate. When they got to their room in Las Vegas, Walter wanted to have sex immediately. Ana complied but it was a terrible experience. Then, Walter wanted them both to go to one of the casinos. So, they did. At the casino, Walter completely vanished – for hours. Ana shopped, played a little blackjack, stopped by the sports book. Walter was no where to be found. She walked alone back to the hotel. Walter did not show up until the middle of the night – very drunk.

The next day, Ana got a plane ticket and flew home while Walter was passed out.

“Oh, Marcia, I’ll never forget that horrible trip to Las Vegas,” Ana said. “I was foolish to take it. I don’t think I’ll ever have the stomach to go back to Las Vegas again.”

“I think you need to talk to your lawyer and start getting some advice about the property settlement. You’ve really avoided it up to now. I know you and Walter have discussed it, but he is acting too crazy to be logical. You’re going to have to get your lawyer to draw up something and just present it to his lawyer.”

Ana replied that she would think about it.

That afternoon, there was a knock at the door. It was Walter. He was nicely dressed. Ana answered the door. Walter asked if she would come outside and talk to him. So she did. He seemed calm and ready to talk. Ana knew she should have an attorney present, but this was her husband of 20 years. Surely, they could have a conversation.

Walter wanted to tell Ana one more time that he would like for them to get back together but if they could not, he wanted the house. He went on to say that she could have everything else, meaning the contents. He would take over the house payments. Ana got out a piece of paper and they started making a list. She told him she would take that list to Jack, her attorney, as soon as she could get an appointment. Ana knew she would be stuck with any debt they had since she made much more money than Walter. They ended the night on a conciliatory note.

Ana shared the list with Marcia who was absolutely against Ana and Walter making up their own property settlement. The divorce so far had been filled with such animosity and vitriol on Walter’s part. Marcia just did not think it would work. Also, where in the world would Ana live?

Ana shared with Marcia that she had quietly been looking at small homes on the other side of town. All she wanted was something small in a nice neighborhood as that was all she could take care of by herself. Ana and Marcia knew that, soon, they would have their own mother to take care of and they planned to share that responsibility. Ana was looking for a small home, possibly with mother-in-law quarters.She had not found anything suitable yet but she was optimistic.

Ana decided to take the list she and Walter made to Jack, her attorney, tomorrow and see what he thought. She felt pretty good about it. She felt she was more than fair to Walter and that she would be able to leave the marriage with a clear conscience.

Ana and Marcia talked some more and tonight, there was no motorcycle circling the house. But, unfortunately, Ana had no idea what was to come. #divorce #romance #blogging #amwriting #amblogging #writing

*Stay Tuned for Part 3, The Silver and the Divorce

@Copyright Rosemary Carlson 2016

The Silver and the Divorce

image

Waiting on this divorce was so hard. Ana couldn’t wait until the property settlement was worked out and it was all finally in motion. That hadn’t happened yet. Now her soon-to-be ex-husband was outside mowing the yard. He was not really supposed to be on the property and now, on top of that, someone was knocking at the door. Ana went to the door. Her husband was standing there.

“Ana, I need to come in, cool off, and get a drink of water. It’s hot out here,” Walter said, her husband. Ana, being a kind soul, lets Walter inside. Instead of walking into the kitchen to get a glass of water, Walter walked straight to the living room and the silver chest. He reached in, took the small silver chest out, and started to walk outside.

“What in the hell are you doing?” Ana cried.

“What does it look like?” Walter said.

While he was distracted, Ana grabbed the silver chest out of his hands before he could get out the door. She thought he was going to hit her.

“Give that back to me,” Walter said.

Ana said, “Walter, I inherited that silver. That is not yours. Don’t you dare think you can remove that from this house.” Walter tried to grab it from her again.

Ana’s sister was temporarily living with her during her divorce as they didn’t feel, even before this incident, they could trust Walter. Marcia was standing in the living room, getting ready to dial 911 on the phone.

Marcia said, “Walter, I’m calling the police if you don’t get out of this house immediately.”

Walter didn’t leave. Instead, he started taunting the two women. Calling Ana names. Saying terrible things. Marcia immediately called the police and they didn’t take long to show up. There must have been a cruiser in the area.

A male and female police officer exited the cruiser and Ana went outside and told the officers what had happened, over Walter’s screams and insults. Ana felt her temper about to explode as she had been through a lot with Walter already, during the course of the separation. She was trying to keep her emotions in check and having a hard time doing it.

The male officer took Walter aside to talk to him as the female officer talked to Ana. There was a restraining order against Walter. He wasn’t even supposed to be there, let alone removing property from the house. The officer’s told Walter to leave and Ana to go inside the house. Before Walter left, he continued to scream insults at Ana. Ana was about to explode and the female officer could tell. She had her hand on Ana’s arm.

Finally, Walter said the wrong thing before the officer’s could get him off the property. He screamed insults about Ana’s family and the fact she had inherited a number of items from them. This was a sensitive subject between them as Ana’s family had always been good to Walter and loved him. It was enough to cause Ana’s temper to finally blow.

Suddenly, Ana did not care that two police officers were standing in the yard with she and Walter. She saw the metal gas can on the lawn right next to her and she picked it up and swung it at Walter’s head. Not once, but twice. Had Walter not ducked, she would have hit him with it. All the while, Ana was returning the screaming insults at Walter as he began to call her a crazy whore. He had pushed her too far.

The action was almost too fast for the police officers but as Walter came toward Ana, the male police officer grabbed Walter as the female police officer just kept her hand on Ana’s arm and quietly told her to shut up right now. Walter had clearly violated the restraining order but Ana had also tried to assault him, even though she did it to protect herself, her sister, and her property.

Walter was sent away with a warning not to come back on the property while he was under the restraining order. Ana was warned, by a giggling female police officer, not to assault her husband no matter how tempting it was. Everyone went to their respective corners.

As Ana and Marcia tried to relax that evening by reading and watching television, they could hear Walter’s motorcycle circling and circling the block. Ana thought of her silver and decided to sleep with it under her bed. #amwriting #amblogging #writing #romance #divorce #blogpropellant

Read Part 2, The Silver and the Divorce HERE

@Copyright Rosemary Carlson 2016