This is a sequel to the story Jail Breaking. When you disregard all the well justified criticism of my punctuation and spelling in that effort, the majority of the numerous and overly generous comments relate to the ending or lack thereof. Technically as a short story it is complete, but I admit not in an entirely satisfying way. I also notice in the comments that most readers did not see the various characters the way I do. Again my fault for not giving enough back story. I have great sympathy for the women in my story and less for my protagonist who in a very dishonest person. As the comments came in, I saw a sequel develop that would please some but not all readers. However, this story holds true to the one rule I try to keep. A character cannot step out of character no matter how absurd the situation. They must be true to themselves. Keep this rule in mind as you read the sequel.
You will notice the improvement in the grammar. You have Vickietern to thank. It is still not perfect, but she did a great job with what I gave her. I would also like to thank Jerry S who has been slaving away on my latest opus and for which I am stuck for an ending.
I was seated on the back porch, watching the sun set over the western Catskills. The cabin -- you could not call it a house -- was just one large room and the rather spacious screened-in back porch. That room contained a small kitchen and a sleeping loft, and a small bath with a shower stuck out the far side.
This part of the Catskills is in the main undeveloped. There is no industry, farming is near impossible, and there is nothing to mine. The tourist spots are all to the south and east. It's a good place to go if you want to be alone and close to nature.
"Ein cent for your thoughts," she says.
"Save your money, I don't have any," I reply.
She is Annette Malene Grafin von Kabchreuth. I met her in Montreux on Lake Geneva – she more or less picked me up. I was eating in one of the overpriced café restaurants that seem to populate all of Switzerland.
"Is this chair taken?" she had said.
"No, feel free."
But she didn't take the chair to another table as I expected. She sat right down. To my quizzical look, she responded.
"I wish to practice my English."
"How did you know I spoke English?"
"Most Americans do," she said with the laugh that has become so familiar to me. It is a laugh that says all Americans are a bit simple, and, for this reason, quite amusing in their immature ways.
That was the start of it. She had no great difficulty seducing me -- why she wanted to at first falls somewhere between amusing and kinky. I am convinced she truly enjoys sex and plenty of it, but only on her terms. She is easily bored and perpetually in motion. Since we arrived in the Catskills, she has hiked every trail, gone swimming in every body of water, and found all sorts of amusements I never knew were there. The locals love her. Why not? She loves to spend my money, and she is beautiful.
She is not what I would call sexy. She is tall at five eleven, and thin. She has a beautiful oval face that has a mop of blond hair and clear blue eyes. She is as flat chested as a boy with a tiny waist and a cute little bottom. The boy-girls in Bangkok have more feminine curves than Annette, but her smile is to die for. I could easily love her but for her baggage.
Annette is thirty, married with three kids. The children all girls are in school. The Graf, that's a kind of Count, is usually off on a business trip with one of his mistresses. Annette plays while he is away, and is the authoress of many travel books. But she tells me it's all business when they are at home together. Apparently a lot of effort goes into being a German aristocrat.
She is a blood relative of her husband, a kind of cousin. It was a quasi-arranged marriage, though she tells me they are very much in love. I know after six weeks together that her idea of love and mine have little in common.
"You left your wife after nineteen years because she took a lover just once?" she asked, appalled at my shocking conduct.
"I didn't love her."
She burst into laughter. "You were married too long to use that excuse. It is more than that – you are lying, mostly to yourself. Your anger is not sufficient to cover the pain you caused. It is hard to lose a husband, father, and son. The reasons must be greater than you give."
"I wasn't going to let them walk over me."
"Nonsense. That might bring on a separation or a divorce possibly, but a complete break with your entire family because of a little sex? No, I think you are one of those hopeless romantics. You seek what you will never find because it is only exists in films and books. In real life we take what we can get and are grateful."
"How could I live with what she did?" I asked.
She gave that infuriating laugh of hers. "Because you cannot live without her, nor without those other women from whom you also run. You can't even face them, so you hide. You are afraid that you will go back to them because you have no life without them."
She is unfortunately right, at least emotionally. I had been living a lonely and purposeless existence until Annette came along. It's surprising the things that you miss. The way your daughter's laughs. The kiss your wife gives you first thing in the morning. The once a week call from your mother with all the family news, knowing she is only calling to see how you are doing. It's all a trap. Give in to it and they will tie you up so tight you will never get free. Annette has it correct – I didn't leave, I ran away. I can't go back, for I may never possess the will to leave again.
"I'm here with you -- this is my life," I said.
"I am on vacation. Soon I will return to life. My true life, and you will be no more than a pleasant memory," she said as she stroked my face with her hand.
"I guess that tells me where I stand."
"Stop being a spoiled little boy. Go back to your wife. You have punished her enough for her little sin."
We saw things so opposite. I could not blame her, we were from different worlds. Oddly I knew my mother would agree with her, but I had to keep searching. Even if I failed to find what I sought, I promised myself a good time trying. I left my wife and family last New Year's. I spent the first several months touring the Far East. I made my way across Asia, ending in Europe, Switzerland to be precise. During this time, I never suffered for female companionship, but every last one wanted something. Annette was different. Oh, she wanted something, but it was just a good time. She had managed to dampen the pain in my chest. It is hard to be alone and hard to shake feelings that have built over a lifetime. You don't choose your family, but you still love them.
"It is nice to watch the sunset. I am glad I came. The Swiss were so stuck up," she said as she seated herself on my lap.
She weighs almost nothing, but I knew where her being naked on my lap was going. When we were alone, she rarely wore clothing. I had no neighbors to see, and I was myself only in a pair of running shorts.
"Can we wait until the sun goes down?" I ask.
"You watch," she says pulling down my shorts.
My cock is hard and ready, and she slips in into her as easy as can be. She has small breasts but large nipples. They are very sensitive and she moans as I tweak them. She is not tight in the vagina, but she has developed her muscles there. She uses them to caress my dick. She always takes the top position, and she does all the work. It is a slow but intense ride. As light fades, she picks up the pace, her kisses become more forceful. Her tongue is fucking my mouth. One hand slips down to her clit. I work her nipples with my own hands.
I can feel her orgasm – they come in a kind of wave. You can feel her rise into it, and then it crests, and she slides down the back side. There will be yet another wave and then another.
"Don't cum! Not yet. I think I have another," she says.
When I finally get there, she pinches my little nipples with her long nails. It's like sending an electric shock through me, and I send everything I have into her. She puts her forehead on mine and her eyes look right at me. It is all but dark – only the dim light from the cabin's interior lights the porch.
"Now was that bad? Did it hurt my husband or your wife? And if it did don't they both deserve it?"
I have no comeback. She is right.
"How rich are you? I think very," she said.
"Does it matter?"
"Yes it does. You are very rich like my grandfather. He hid his wealth too, but then as with you grandfather made it dishonestly, trading western goods on the black market in East Germany with my father," she said.
"You think I am a crook," I said.
"But of course, and a smart one because you have not been caught."
"This doesn't bother you?"
"I am a woman who married a man because her father needed the respectability that came with her husband's title. How can I criticize you?"
"Yet you say you love your husband."
"Why not? He may have married me for Grand Papa's money, but it was a bargain we both made."
"What about love?"
"How silly you are. The love comes after, as you struggle together, sacrifice for each other, bring your children into the world and raise them together."
"You are here with me and he is somewhere else with another woman."
She shrugged and said, "Sometimes ... you need to feel romantic with a silly American who is lost and lonely because he believes in fairytales." She leaned in, and the kiss was as soft and sweet as night in the mountains.
At that moment, my cell phone rang. It was the contractor on the 27 Division Street Building in Shamont.
"I have gone through this place, it's a mess," he said
"So clean it up and fix what's broken as we agreed," I said.
"But nothing is standard and nothing makes sense. All these hidden spaces and an underground exit into the carriage lane. What good is this space? You can't rent it, and only a fool would buy it."
"That's my business. I am paying you to restore the building. I don't care that it has no modern purpose, it's not meant to," I said and hung up on the idiot. My anger had gotten the best of me. I am so annoyed by ignorance!
"What?" I said as she gave me a knowing look.
"You are just like my grandfather, always chasing the gelt."
"I happen to like the building! My grandfather used to walk me past it when we went for ice cream. He had an interesting story about it," I said.
"He had a story and now you have a scheme. It is always so with men like you. Never play fair, always cheat," She said and pressed her lips to mine once again, but nothing soft this time. Annette had a habit of taking what she wanted.
Elizabeth Parker looked the exact opposite of her boss, State Senator Maria Consuela Ruis. The first-term Democrat from the Bronx was a short, plump woman with dark brown skin reflecting her Hispanic and African ancestry. Maria wore her black hair short, and her dresses long, as befit a forty-seven year old good Catholic mother of three.
At five feet eleven inches, the twenty-seven-year old Liz Parker towered above her boss. The younger woman was a white Anglo-Saxon Protestant. At first glance, they were an unlikely team. But in the view of the political bosses "they went together like white rice and beans."
Their bodies and backgrounds were different, but they shared a common set of beliefs. As a team, they were a one-two punch. Maria was not a pretty woman by any standard, but she had a personality that could win over the coldest fish and a talent for saying things that others could never get away with. Somehow coming from Maria the cruelest insult sounded almost a compliment.
Liz was the opposite – she grated on people, especially men, but she had good looks that could not be denied. She could easily have carried another ten pounds and still be called slim. Maria could lose forty and still be plump. These women burned with ambition and their life experiences complemented each other.
Maria had grown up in a political clubhouse in the Bronx, the Daughter of a ward captain father and the female Democratic club leader. Married at twenty-two straight from City College, to Salvatore Ruis, an established business man of forty. She then expected to live a quiet life.
She'd had two children before she became convinced that Sally, as he was known, would never be able to keep it in his pants. His infidelities only increased through the course of their marriage. Her third pregnancy was an accident resulting from the combined families' insistence that she give him just one more chance. Divorced at thirty and estranged technically from her church, she was forced somehow to make a new life for herself.
Sally paid Maria alimony in addition to child support. She used that and a scholarship to get a law degree from Columbia. Her political resume describes her as a practicing attorney, but she never had a law office or a paying client. She worked in the family Court as a law guardian and an assigned counsel, and her election to the State Senate was a fortuitous accident. The former holder of the office was thought unbeatable. Her primary challenge was a mere formally meant to help force her appointment to a Family Court Judge's chair. If you don't give me the nod, I will conduct an expensive, time-consuming primary. Who could have known at the time that the Federal Prosecutor had already prepared a grand jury indictment of the incumbent, and an unbeatable case. So there was no primary. Then she had no opponent, and no opposition in the general election.
Maria came to Albany, a shrewd and capable politician in need of the skills required of a good legislator. Liz on the other hand had worked in the State Senate as a legislative assistant to the majority all through her college years at Russell Sage College. She continued to work full time while in Law School. She made her one false step on graduating by taking a position at the State Attorney General's office. After six months, she quit to work for a senior Republican legislator. Liz met Maria by accident in the Legislative dining room – the two literally ran into each other. When they had recovered their spilled salad plates, Maria invited the younger woman to dine with her. Forty-five minutes later a coalition was born. Liz became the Senior Aide to Senator Ruis.
"What you got for me?" Maria asked Liz.
"Well, David P. Landon, Jr.," Liz said.
"Now who is he?"
"I believe he is the key to Stuyvesant, Ltd," Liz said grinning like the cat that swallowed the canary.
Maria had to smile in spite of herself. When she had been growing up in the Bronx, the borough was largely a slum. A man named Robert Moses had used an instrument known as Eminent Domain to slice the Bronx into pieces with interstate highways. Whole neighbors were obliterated. Those that remained were bisected by impassable roadways. Stores were on one side and homes on the other of the limited access roads. What had been a series of middle-class neighborhoods was rendered New York's worst slum overnight.
When Maria was still in City College, a professor had encouraged her to read Robert Caro's biography of Moses titled, The Power Broker. If Maria could accomplish one thing as a legislator she, intended that to be a reform of the State's Eminent Domain practices. She had in her first weeks in office stumbled onto a rumor about some entity called Stuyvesant that was somehow gaming the system. It had all the makings of a scandal that could in turn cause real reform.
Liz slid Landon's file across the table to Maria.
"He's forty-six, married twenty years, the father of twin daughters both at Wesley—" Liz said.
"Wife comes from money. He has what appears to be a small Eminent Domain practice in a minor firm. But of the condemnations that Stuyvesant limited has exploited he was the lead attorney for the landowners at least ninety percent of the time."
"Could it be a coincidence?" Maria asked.
"Rather a consistent coincidence, and if you look at all the Stuyvesant purchase and sales agreements, you can see that no attorney representing Stuyvesant ever appears. An agent out of Wyoming does all the signing. Now how could they operate without a New York attorney?"
"So what we think is that attorney Landon is connected to Stuyvesant."
"They somehow get advance notice and then they buy surrounding properties. While the proceedings pend, Landon is privy to everything that is happening. They can't lose."
"You think this Landon will talk?" Maria asked.
"Why not. He's a lawyer. If we call him before the committee he knows we will give him immunity – then he is forced to talk or go to jail. He has nothing to gain by shielding his accomplices."
"But he may have a problem with the United States Attorney," Maria said.
"So he does a few years in minimum security at club fed. He's earned it."
Doris Landon was cuddled next to her lover. Mark was a tall, well-built man. As a lover, Mark was aggressive and dominant. He knew women were attracted to him, and he enjoyed pleasing them. All in all, Doris thought him a very satisfactory lover, and their affair was exceeding stimulating. If only her husband David had been more understanding.
Things had gone very bad with David since he walked out on her at New Year's some eight months ago. He apparently had discovered the affair, and despite everyone in the family trying to reassure him it was nothing to be concerned about, he had stormed off to parts unknown.
Doris was terribly worried. She loved the big jerk. He was the man she had married and the one she intended to grow old with. All she was after with Mark was a bit of romance, some harmless fun, and those feelings you get when you are young and in love. David should be able to see that, but of course he didn't. To put it bluntly, David was dull, always was and always would be. He was an attorney for God's sakes, and as if that was not bad enough he did only condemnation work. Doris had no idea what his work involved, but knew it was immensely boring.
Mark was exciting, different, and well hung. He was everything she had given up for a good home and family. She did not love him, of course. Did not believe that she ever could. He was an interlude, as in a British movie where the wife meets the handsome guy in the train station they have a torrid affair, and then she goes home to her dull as dirt husband. But in the movies the husband understands. They're together in the end, the man and wife.
David was gone, and frankly she did not believe he could take care of himself. He had left his law practice. He had taken no money, just his clothes and his beat-up old Honda Civic. She was worried. David had never actually been on his own. Doris had married him while they were at school together, and in the early years she'd supplemented his income with her family money. David never made much. His best year he brought in $90,000, the same year she had earned $130,000 plus benefits as a full professor. She had their health insurance -- on his own David could not even afford to get sick. Where was he and what was he doing? She was overwhelmed with guilt and worry.
Everyone in the family said he would be back. He would cool down and come back -- after all what else could he do? As his own mother said, he had no life that didn't involve the family. He loved his daughters so much, and now he was not speaking to them for taking their mother's side. Her mother had been right when she said Doris had waited too long to take a lover. David would never have left her if the girls were still in need of him. With the girls in college he could leave. He was the kind of man who would always put his duty as a father first. He must come back and be a good husband. But it had been eight months without a word.
"You're thinking about him again," Mark said, sliding his arm around her.
"Sorry, can't help myself. Guess I have been married too long," she said as she turned into her lover for a kiss.
"Usually the wife is worried about the husband finding out, not the guy himself. It's a bit of a blow to my ego."
"Just how many married women have you been with mister," she said with mock outrage.
"A few. It's exciting, wicked, forbidden and so sexy, but not really sad. The woman usually isn't lying next to you worrying about her missing husband."
Mark did not say that part of his fun was knowing that he was making the husband a cuckold. Taking the husband's woman, and there was nothing that husband could do about it. David had killed part of the fun. The guy just walked out and disappeared. Mark had never met him but had understood the man was under his rich wife's thumb. David may not have cooperated, but still Doris was fine pussy, and while she was only Assistant Department Head at the moment everyone knew she was going to replace the Department Chair during the coming Christmas break. He was due to step down at year-end. That would be good for a non-tenured Assistant Professor who was tapping the fine pussy of the new Chairwoman.
"Sorry," Doris said.
She reached down for his flaccid cock and began to stroke it, "How about I give you my full attention."
Liz was stumped. It had all seemed so easy. Get this middle-aged family man in front of the committee and offer him immunity in return for his testimony. Simple and risk-free on their side. If he refuses to talk, he gets held in contempt and that makes good publicity for the Senator. If he lies, he gets prosecuted -- again good publicity for the Senator. But if he tells the truth they get the scandal they want, and the Senator has a hot issue to ride.
Trouble was, no David Landon. She had started looking in the obvious place, his work. But he had simply called in last January 2 and said he was through. No one had seen him since he quit, and more troubling, all his work had been completed before he left. No one had noticed, but apparently he'd planned to leave for some time. So how to find a man who had decided to skip?
The Shamont Bank Labor Day picnic was a big affair, held not on Labor Day but the week before. Employees, family, and friends gathered in the Lamp Lighter picnic grounds for a big day of food and amusements, over five hundred people in all. The Shamont family were the hosts, like medieval Princelings feasting the serfs. Liz had no problem getting an invitation. Lots of pols attend to glad hand. She was but one of the crowd of supplicants at the Shamont family table. The Shamonts included the Boswells, the Landons and several other branches of the extended family.
Liz figured the picnic might be a good place to pick up a line on what had happened to David Landon. His daughters were certainly there. You could not miss the Landon girls in the brief halter tops and Daisy Duke Shorts. They were two hot looking women. They seemed to enjoy turning the guys on, but they were also two responsible young women. They organized all the kids and ran all the games, exhibiting an energy and dedication to purpose that was tiring to watch. Parents could relax and party because the Landon girls were taking care of the kids. Of course, many a young male was happy to help out. Liz had to laugh at the young and some not-so-young men falling over themselves to help take care of the little ones and leer at the Landon twins in the skimpy attire.
Liz wandered the site and tried to glad hand as many people as she could while unobtrusively asking about David Landon. The official story seemed to be that he was away on a trip. But no one seemed to know where. Rumor had it that he'd had a mid-life breakdown and the family had shipped him off for a rest cure.
Eventually, she found herself walking towards a group of tables that were clearly the Shamonts' immediate court. A tall blond man, rather good looking though a bit on the heavy side, was directing the barbecue crew. As she approached, he was looking over to smile and wave at an attractive young woman who was holding her own court among what could have been a group of suitors. Liz had already identified most of the Landons and Boswells by asking around. The blond man was Lawrence Boswell, Jr., and the woman was his wife, Anne. She had something of a reputation as Liz had learned. Boswell seemed to be enjoying himself and seemed unconcerned by the obvious flirting his wife was engaged in.
"Excuse me aren't you Lawrence Boswell?" Liz said on approaching Larry.
"Yes but everyone calls me Larry. Lawrence is my father," Larry replied.
"I've wanted to meet you. I am Elizabeth Parker, an Aide to State Senator—"
"Ruis. Yes, I know. I saw you at the Senate hearings on the downtown renewal. It's a project very close to Dad's heart. I think he sees it as his legacy to the region," Larry said.
Liz was familiar with the proposed project a substantial redevelopment of the City Center in the old Shamont downtown commercial district. A lot of stores and homes would be displaced by Eminent Domain. The rumor around the Capitol building was that it was a done deal, but one that had divided father and son. Larry junior was against the project, believing it displaced too many small business and families. For this, he was viewed as some kind of weak sister.
Larry had handed Liz the opening she needed by mentioning the project.
"Well, I guess you consulted with your brother-in-law David Landon about the land acquisition issues," Liz said, watching for a response.
Larry frowned, "Dave is not available right now, took a bit of leave from life."
Liz was fed up with the company line. "Look, to be up front about it, the Senator feels that using Eminent Domain to displace so many homes and business has a significant downside. She would like to call some expert witnesses to discuss the issues. In this regard, we tried to reach Mr. Landon, but he seems to have disappeared. Might you be able to tell me how to reach him?"
Larry now looked very uncomfortable, but before he could speak a woman with stunning good looks broke into the conversation.
"My husband has left me—thank you, Larry, but the time for hiding the truth needs to come to an end. We do not know where he is or even if he is still alive," the woman said, who Liz now knew was Doris Landon.
Doris looked like a woman in deep mourning, and Liz's heart went out to her.
"I'm sorry Mrs. Landon, I didn't mean to pry into your personal affairs, but we have been looking to consult with your husband. Forgive me and let me say I see where your daughters get their good looks from."
Liz began to walk away, but Doris grabbed her arm.
"Please, if you find my husband tell him — tell him — I beg him to come home."
Liz felt like a twit, realizing that these people had no idea that the man they saw as a loving husband and father was in actual fact a criminal. How could a man do that to his family, and why? These people had money, he didn't need to steal. She could not help but think that David Landon was a heartless man.
Annette had returned home to live her middle-class life and to write her latest travel book. Rupert Von Kabchreuth was home from his latest business trip. As usual it had not gone as well as his father-in-law demanded. He was a disappointment to that old crook. However, something had changed. The old man was mellower this time, or as mellow as a man who had been taken and tortured by the Stasi in his youth could be. You had to respect that the man never talked about it and that legend said he had never given out a single name. Count Rupert knew he wasn't in that league – it took more than courage to play there. It took an iron nerve and a Cracker Jack criminal brain. Rupert knew he would never accomplish what the old man expected, not on his own.
He did sense that something was wrong with his wife. He cared for Annette. They were distant cousins, and the marriage had been arranged, but he would not have married her if he didn't like her. And he believed her affection for him was true and deep.
"What's the problem? You have not been yourself since you returned from America," he said looking across the kitchen table.
"Nothing really, except, do you ever wonder what it would be like to find ... Love. I mean as in the romances."
Rupert studiously refused to laugh, "I think you let your naïve American get to you," he said.
They did not hide their affairs from each other. They kept them discreetly hidden from the public, but they had promised each other when they married to be honest and remain friends no matter what. Rupert was the actual aristocrat, but the title brought no money. Annette's Grandfather had the money, but her father was a nameless East German. It wasn't a love match more a like match.
So far, they had kept their promises to each other, but Rupert hated that she slept with other men. This was selfish he knew, because he loved women and was not going to limit himself to just one. But he always felt that Annette was special. She had always been discreet and rather sparing with her sexual favors. As wives go, Rupert considered her to be at the top of the class or even in a class by herself. This American was another matter. He had evidently gone where those before had not.
"Made you think, did he?"
"Not so much think as feel ... like maybe there could be something more," she said. Then jumped up, came around the table, and grabbed her husband for a kiss.
"Komm mein Mann. Make me forget him," she said drawing Rupert towards the bedroom.
"This is an exceptional place, how did you find it?" Sheila Morgan said to Liz Parker.
They were having brunch in the Ilium Café in Troy. It was a pleasant informal sort of place with a broad breakfast menu.
"Little things the locals know," Liz said.
It was Sunday of Labor Day weekend. The Senator had gone home to the Bronx to press the flesh as the saying goes. Liz was off duty when she ran into her old school friend Sheila, who was touring Colleges with her daughter Paula. Mother and daughter had visited a number of schools while coming up the Hudson Valley. In Troy, they'd looked at Liz's alma mater Russell Sage, an all girl's school, and Rensselaer Polytech, a big well-endowed school. Paula was only a high school sophomore, but the trend was to start looking and planning early.
"I still can't believe how big you've gotten," Liz said to Paula.
"Well, maybe you can convince my mom as a big girl that I don't need a chaperone every minute."
"That is exactly why you do need your Mom looking out for you," Sheila said and hugged her daughter affectionately.
"Oh, look, isn't that the English Professor who gave the talk yesterday?" Paula said.
Liz had been sitting with her back to the door. But now she turned to see Doris Landon enter with a tall good looking black man. He had his arm around her waist and as the two took a corner table they discretely kissed. It was a brief kiss but it had an aspect of long familiarity about it.
"Yes I believe it is, now what was her name—"Sheila said.
"Doris Langdon, Mrs., and that is not her husband," Liz said unable to keep the disapproval out of her voice.
"Don't judge, Elizabeth, we can't know all the facts. You need to get over Edward some time," Sheila said.
"Who's Edward?" Paula asked.
"Just your average snake that wears pants," Liz said.
Sheila laughed and told her daughter she was too young to hear that tale.
It was in fact not all that much of a story, though it hurt like hell, that's for sure, even all these years later. Edward Ryan was the best looking guy in his graduating class at SUNY Albany. They were going to get married after their first year in law school. That is, until Liz had a class unexpectedly canceled one afternoon. As in every bad story, she returned to the apartment they shared to find Ed in their bed with another woman.
The story only got worse from there. She ran out crying. She had no place to go so she ran to her friend Sheila's. Sheila and her husband and their two children had a matchbox sized house in Kingston. They were a good decade older than Liz. He was a teacher, as was Sheila until she decided to return to school and get her law degree. They lived modestly, but they had a couch she could sleep on.
Two weeks went by, and she decided that she had to forgive Edward. He had made a mistake. She called him and asked to meet at a grungy little bar called the Elbow Room near the law school. When he arrived, Edward appeared contrite, but when she tried to patch things up—
"I've something ... oh this is hard..." he said.
"Well, it's like this—I'm in love."
"You bastard. Are you breaking our engagement?"
"I guess so—"
"You either know or you don't."
"Please don't be angry, I can't help how I feel."
"I suppose you want the ring back."
"Here take it," she said, throwing the little diamond ring at him. I'll come by on the weekend to get my stuff."
"Don't bother – Nancy and I are going to California next week."
"But what about school?"
"I'm quitting – it's not what I want any more."
"I co-signed your school loans. If you drop out, they'll come due. How are you going to pay them?"
"I'm not. We are going to live off the grid. Nancy says you don't know what life is like until you get back to basics."
"Listen you idiot, if you don't pay those loans they will come looking for me."
"I can't help that. I have to be going," he said, and walked out on her.
After that law school became a struggle. She ended up very deep in debt, although she worked full time all through school. She was still trying to dig her way out, but she had learned a lesson: MOST MEN SUCK.
"That looks like a very hot relationship," Sheila said referring to Mrs. Landon and her paramour.
"I wonder how long it's been going on," Liz said.
"I would guess a while. They don't act like it's a new thing."
"Her husband left her," Liz said.
"Well, he seems to have been replaced," Sheila said.
"But she says she wants her husband back."
"Could well be – can't see that relationship working," Sheila mused.
"Maybe she wants both," Paula said with a smirk.
"Watch it young lady. All you are doing is leaning me towards an all girl's school," Sheila said, but you could tell she was not serious.
The bottom line was Liz might have to reevaluate the whole David Landon story.
Agnes Landon was at the end of a hard day. As the head nurse at the medical center, her job had become chiefly administrative. But these times of tight budgets and endless bureaucracy made hers a difficult job. Nevertheless, what was bothering her was the worry and anger she felt about her son, David Landon, Jr. She had always been exceedingly close to her son. He had always been the best of boys. Honest, loyal, and loving were just some of his good points. He had some bad points as well, he was stubborn and a wee bit lazy. But what had always troubled his mother most was the almost profound sadness he displayed. As a child for days on end he never smiled, and he was ever so quiet. A good day for her was when she could make him smile and just maybe hear his laugh. Those were very few and very far between.
Doris Boswell was a dream come true. She had brains, looks, and money. More important still, she was one of those people that always wore a smile and worked hard to see that everyone else did as well. When he was with Doris, his mother knew that David, Jr. was happy too. The icing on the cake was that Doris's mother was Margret Boswell, who was Agnes's BFF. As children Angie and Meg had sworn a sacred oath to be friends forever. Both families were thrilled that the kids had found each other. Agnes however always knew that it was Doris who had married David. He was a passive man but a bit of a romantic, a stubborn impractical dreamer who would have thrown his life away looking for what you can never find in this life.
Agnes knew her son and where he had gotten his silly notions of how life should be. As a young girl, she too had been a romantic. She had married David, Sr. as a young nursing student only seventeen years old. Her friend Meg married Larry Boswell a year later. David and Larry had met Angie and Meg on a double date arranged by friends. They were setting up the rich Shamont girl, Meg, with the equally well-to-do Boswell boy, Larry. Both girls had believed in love at first sight, and their romantic beliefs lasted just a few years into the respective marriages. The honeymoons were over when the women found out their husbands were cheaters.
Dave and Larry had become good buddies due to their wives' friendship. It was only natural that they should take a few male bonding trips together. When Meg came to Agnes with proof that the only fishing that took place on the fishing trips was trolling for female companions, poor Angie was devastated.
Meg was a Shamont, and there was a lot of money and prestige on the line. Besides, as a good Catholic girl divorce was not an option you chose if it could be avoided. Angie's situation was far worse. She was never the sophisticate Meg was, and she hadn't been using birth control. Little David was a year old, and she had just found out she was pregnant again when Meg dropped the news about David Senior's infidelity.
From her own point of view, Angie had no choice but to stick it out in the marriage. Staying is what you did for the sake of the kids. At that time, there was only little Dave, who had become the center of his mother's life. After all, David, Sr. was not a bad man, he was a loving husband most of the time and a good father. He just strayed a bit. Angie would get past it, but the romance had died, replaced by bitterness and hurt.
Dr. Suparmanputra was tall for an Indonesian, new to the hospital, and apparently unattached. Like most doctors who flirt with nurses, he was not out for a meaningful relationship, just a bit of fun. Angie was a surgical nurse at the time, busting her butt to make the family budget work and trying to deal with her husband's infidelity. Doctor Soup, as he was known to the nurses, was attentive and generous to the tall blond nurse with the very American figure. Had things been different at home Angie would not have succumbed to his advances. But she needed a bit of help in the form of a man's shoulder to cry on. She needed to feel that she was desirable. She needed her self-respect back.