Two years ago I thought my life was near perfect. At that time Patty, my wife of five years, was six months pregnant and we were both very excited about the coming event. I had a good job with a large electronics firm in San Jose and Patty was enjoying her job at a day care center. On top of that we were shopping for our first house. Then, without warning our happy life was turned upside down.
First the company I worked for was bought by another company which immediately reorganized our company which really means they fired the old management staff. So here I was out of work and my wife pregnant.
Luckily I had managed to save quite a bit of money, for the purchase of our house, and the severance package I was given was quite generous. That meant we would be all right financially until I could find a new job, but we would have to put off the purchase of a house indefinitely.
While Patty and I were dealing with these problems the next test of our ability to cope was thrown at us. While I was out on job interviews I got a call from Patty. As soon as I answered I could tell something was wrong. I could hear it in her voice when she asked, "Can you come get me right now?"
I asked her what the problem was and she said, "Something is terribly wrong with me. I just went to the bathroom I found blood in my panties."
I immediately drove over to the day care center where Patty worked and took her to the emergency room. Two hours later the doctor told me that they had to take the baby and it was still born. It was left up to me to tell the woman I loved that she lost her baby. That was the hardest thing I have ever done.
They kept Patty at the hospital overnight as a precaution and I brought her home the next morning. We very awkward together. Neither of us seemed to know what to say. I felt terrible, not only because of our loss but also because I knew how much Patty wanted to have a baby. I needed to talk to her about it but I didn't know how.
Over the next several weeks Patty got stronger and was able to resume her normal activities and she returned to work but there was something between us. We didn't talk about our loss, but it was there with us almost like a living entity. I so much wanted to hold and love Patty but she seemed too fragile and I guessed she needed more time before she would be ready to be intimate. I wanted to talk to her about it and let here know I was there for her whenever she needed me but I never felt it was the right time for that conversation.
Six months after we lost the baby Patty made an unexpected announcement to me. She said, "I want to get out of here."
I said, "You want to go away for the weekend?"
She said "No. I want to leave San Jose. This doesn't feel like home to me any more."
"Where would we go?"
"Anywhere. Just away from here."
I thought that she might be right. We might both be happier somewhere else. I began looking in trade magazines for job opportunities in other cities. After several days of searching I saw an ad the caught my attention. It was an ad for the sale of an electronics store in the Atlanta area.
The idea of running my own business appealed to me so I sat down with Patty and we talked it over. Patty said she thought it might be a good move for both of us. So, three days later I was on a plane to Atlanta. I spent four days negotiating with the owner of the store and we agreed on a price for his store and the current inventory. Then I went to a bank and applied for a small business loan. A week later the bank notified me that my loan was approved and a month later Patty and I moved to Atlanta.
The cost of housing in Atlanta was so much lower than in San Jose that we were able to buy a house in a very nice neighborhood north of Atlanta. The day we moved in several of the neighbors stopped by to welcome us. I could see this had a very positive effect on Patty. One of the people we met that day was George. George was a tall, distinguished man with silver streaks in his otherwise dark hair. He looked to be in his mid fifties. As it turned out George was actually almost sixty. George had such a warm and friendly personality that you couldn't help but like him. As he walked in the open front door of our house he said, "Hello, I'm George Lewis and I guess that you are Willard and Patty Bradley."
I said, "Yes we are and it's nice to meet you," as we shook hands. Then I added, "But my friends call me Will."
We had a nice friendly conversation during which I asked George what he did for a living and he said, " I retired from a large technology company five years ago. Now I work at the day care center just up the street from here.
I asked George, "How long have you been working at the day care center?"
"Just the past three years. My wife died four years ago. After that I couldn't spend all my time alone in the house so I took the job at the day care center. Working around those young kids makes me feel younger."
I said, "Patty was working at a day care center in San Jose before moved here."
George looked at Patty and asked, "Would you be interested and going back to work? I know we are looking for a couple more people for our staff."
Patty said, "I'd love to go back to work after I get this house settled."
George told Patty where the center was and as it turns out it was only about a half mile from our house. After that George said, "I can see that you two have lots of work to do so I'll get out of your way." As he went out the door he said, "Hope to see a lot more of the two of you."
While Patty stayed home and worked at finishing the unpacking I went down to my store to begin preparations for the change of ownership. The deal I worked out with the current owner was that on the upcoming weekend he would close the store and we would do a complete inventory. Then on Monday we would sit down with the lawyers and finalize the purchase and I would reopen the store on Tuesday. Also negotiated in the deal was my right to keep the store's name North Atlanta Electronics. I felt it would help me getting started if customers didn't know the store had changed ownership.
During the inventory I found a large number of surveillance cameras on shelves in the warehouse.
I asked Bob, the current owner, about them and he said, "We bought those about a year ago. I had an idea for selling home security systems but as it turned out we didn't really know enough about designing home security systems to sell any."
I said, "In my former job I did a lot of design work and I have a pretty good understanding of security systems. Maybe I can do something with all those cameras."
On Monday the store became mine and on Tuesday I opened the doors on my own business for the first time. At the end of my first week I could see that the store would do a good enough business to make a good living for Patty and me and if I could add some additional services such as home security systems I could be extremely successful.
I'd had the store opened about two weeks when Patty told me that she had applied for and was given a job at the day care center where George worked. I could see that this made her happy which made me happy. I was getting more hopeful about our future all of the time. I felt that the time might be right to try and start adding romance or should I say sex, back into our marriage.
The next day I called Patty from work with the idea of suggesting we go out for a romantic dinner while hoping to make love to her afterward. When I asked her about going out for a nice dinner, Patty hesitated before saying, "No, I... I can't tonight. I have to go to the day care center for an orientation meeting for new employees."
I wasn't sure but the feeling I got was that Patty still wasn't ready and maybe never would be ready to resume a normal sex life. I love Patty but I was becoming a little frustrated. When I came out of my office Jill, a very attractive red head that worked as a cashier looked at me and smiled and for the first time since I met Patty I thought about having sex with another woman.
To avoid the temptation I buried myself in my work. One of the things I did to keep myself busy was to design a home security system for my own house. I brought three of the cameras home from the store and mounted one over the front door, one over the garage door and one over the back door. I manage to install the cameras in such a way that no one would even know they were there. I ran the cables from the cameras to a workshop I had set up in my basement and connected them to a computer so that I could remotely control the cameras. Using the computer I could select a camera view and display it on my monitor with the ability to zoom and focus or I could have all three views displayed at the same time. I could also digitally record the camera views.
I equipped the cameras with motion detectors so that they would only turn on if something moved within fifty feet of any of the cameras. At that distance anyone coming onto my property would activate the nearest camera. The video system was also tied into an alarm system, which would detect anyone trying to break into the house and would automatically dial 911 and notify the police. The last thing I did was to set up dial in capabilities so that I could check the security form anywhere that I had access to a computer and a telephone line. I must say I was really pleased with the way it turned out.
.... There is more of this story ...