"Objection to form."
Sean puzzles for a second at the objection but his years of litigation experience keep his face a mask to the witness, the ten other attorneys and the court reporter all packed into the opulent conference room at Smith Hightower overlooking Lake Erie.
"I will repeat the question, or rephrase it for the witness," Sean says with an intentional hint of annoyance in his voice.
"Mr. Penoyer, you knew the safety guard was off of the machine prior to using it correct."
Once again from across the table Sean hears "objection, misleading." Sean is pissed.
Trying to keep his composure he directs his chocolate brown eyes to the intermingler in what should have been a simple discovery deposition. The "objector" is sitting directly across from him on the other side of the elegant mahogany conference room table around which the participants of the deposition are seated. The objector glares back at him.
Sean quickly appraises his adversary of the moment. She is young. At least younger than him by all appearances. She is blonde. Natural from the looks of her neatly trimmed eyebrows. He recalls that when she walked into the conference room she was petite, about 5'1," wearing high heels appropriate for a day in court or a night on the town. She has on a neatly tailored blue two piece suit. Her white shirt under her jacket is smartly pressed and devoid of frills. She is wearing makeup, but not a lot; just enough to enhance her striking hazel eyes. Her hair is curly and tied back with just two cascading strands framing her lightly golden tan face. The look on her face is serious and gives no hint of fear or hesitation.
For some reason he notices her hands. At present they are tightly gripping a Cross pen as if at any moment she will lunge across the table and jab it into his neck. They are petite, devoid of jewelry and have a french manicured look to them.
After what must have seemed like hours to all of the other participants in the room, Sean begins to speak. First he alerts the court reporter that what he is about to say is to be "off the record." "Miss... ," he pauses realizing he does not even know her name. "Meyers, Baillee Meyers," she says with a hint of southern drawl. "Miss Meyers, I am not sure how you all do things down in Texas but you're in Pennsylvania now. This is a discovery deposition. If you open your mouth to spout out some stupid objection again I am going to get the judge on the phone and we will let her decide what punishment is appropriate for you. Do you even have a clue as to what you are objecting too? Maybe your firm should send someone more qualified next time to handle its depositions," Sean says with as much condescending attitude as he can muster.
There is silence. A nervous clearing of the throat comes from somewhere at the other end of the conference table. Miss Meyers, continues to glare at him.
Sean waits a moment to see if she will respond. She does not. Satisfied that he has asserted his dominance, he takes a moment to scan his notes.
Just as he is about to ask his next question, Miss Meyers begins to speak in a clear and firm voice: "Sir, I do not appreciate your treatment of me in this room. I don't know how you conduct your depositions up here, but down in Texas we don't waste time asking stupid questions with obvious answers. If you want to keep wasting my time, my client's time and the time of all of these nice people go ahead. Ask your questions. I will object. Move on. Otherwise, we are through for today and I will permit you to question my witness tomorrow after you have had a chance to prepare properly for this deposition which I need not remind you was scheduled three months ago."
Sean is boiling. He can feel redness spreading up his neck and onto his face. "Who the fuck does this little bitch think she is?," he thinks to himself.
"Miss Meyers, I think we are through for today. It is late, we have the next two days blocked off. I don't want to create a scene. Maybe we all need a chance to unwind," Sean says with more than a trace of irritation in his voice.
"That will be fine, sir," Miss Meyers says with a note of satisfaction.
Quickly Sean gathers his notes up, throws them into his trial bag and slams through the oak panel conference room doors. He needs fresh air.
As he rides the elevator from the 5th floor down to the main lobby his anger does not diminish. "What the hell is the matter with me," he utters aloud to no one else but himself. "I used to eat young pups like that for breakfast," he says with a sigh. He cannot help his mind from wandering to the events of the last year.
Life had been good for Sean. He was a successful civil litigator. He had several large insurance companies and corporations as his own personal clients, and his progress to the top of his firm was almost a sure thing. He was fast tracking to becoming senior partner in the local office and taking a huge step up in money and prestige within the firm. Then it all came crashing down while idly searching on-line at home one lazy Saturday afternoon.
Tina had been out shopping with her girlfriends. Being home alone was relaxing. The yard work was done and he was enjoying a frosted mug full of his favorite lager, Molson Canadian. He randomly began to search through various innocuous sites. Boring quickly, he decided to explore the history folder to see what new things Tina had been checking out on-line. Suddenly, his eyes were drawn to an address for a website called authorserotica. Sean at first was puzzled but assumed that Tina had been bored and had stumbled on something that caught her fancy.
Sean thought a second about clicking on the link to see what it was about but hesitated. "Should he intrude and spy on Tina?," he wondered to himself. They had been married for 4 years and he had to be honest, things were better now than they had ever been. He stood up and actually left the office for ten minutes but his relentless curiosity drove him back before the monitor.
Slowly he clicked on the web site. Little did he know how fateful this step would be in his life.
Tina had been posting messages to various authors and visitors on the website. Utilizing his well-developed skills at finding people and information, he quickly established that Tina had been visiting authorserotica for quite some time. As fate would have it, Tina had not logged out when she last visited the site at 4:50 am the night previous. He quickly searched through all of her postings. While most were innocent and even playful, one name kept appearing in her posts - Miguel.
As the elevator gently eased to a stop at ground level, Sean caught a quick glimpse of himself in the glass walls of the elevator. He was not happy with what he saw staring back at him. While his sturdy, athletic 5'7" frame and neat navy blue pin stripe suit portrayed a confident power, the specks of grey in his short, neatly trimmed hair and in his goatee, told a far more telling story on how hard this year had been on his physical, mental and emotional state. He was far too young to be going grey. He was only 32 for Christ's sake!
Easing behind the steering wheel of his rented Lexus, Sean's mind wanders once again to the events of the last year.
Sean's instincts as a lawyer took over in a never ending quest to locate the story of Miguel and explore just how far things had gone. He quickly located Tina's e-mail account through the website. After overcoming his initial shock at the fact that she had a secret e-mail account, he set to work at breaking into the account. With each keystroke the sense of pending doom tied his stomach into seemingly never-ending knots. He had to know. He was caught now in that horrible place between the fear of knowing and the fear of not knowing.
It took him some time but he eventually lucked out on Tina's e-mail password. As the discussions played out before his frozen eyes it was clear that Tina's fascination with Miguel, while initially innocent and playful, had evolved into a full blown affair of the mind and soul. Her vivid descriptions of her need to seduce and fuck Miguel sent Sean into a rage. A few thousand dollars in damage later, he once again sat down before he computer. What to do? With trepidation he checked the last e-mail and his world changed forever in an instant. She was with Miguel today to finally physically consummate their theretofore affair of the mind, heart and soul.
He lost everything in an instant. To this day Sean could not recall all of his actions for the rest of that fateful Saturday. When Tina arrived home, his confrontation of her was neither pleasant nor understanding. His rage was beyond measure. Tina rationalized her conduct on his never being home from work and his lack of attention to her needs. Bullshit. It was all bullshit.
After throwing most of her belongings out the front window of their opulent townhome he called his friend Trish and set to work destroying the love of his life. The divorce was quick. The result was satisfactory. In the end justice was served. Last he had heard, Tina was on her own. Apparently, Miguel was not one of the characters from his stories as Tina was foolishly led to believe. Miguel was having to much fun seducing and fucking married women to be tied down to a broken down divorce'. Now that was justice in the complete sense of the word. His only regret was that he was never afforded the opportunity to kick the shit out of Miguel for ruining his life.
.... There is more of this story ...