Edited by 'Techsan'
It was the worst of times. It was the best of times. Boy, how many times have I heard that in my lifetime. Came from some book somewhere. Now a lot of the movies like to use that quote. For most people the statement is true. Only for me I seem to be getting more of the worst of times lately. My marriage of twenty-two years is ending in a not-so-good manner. Because of it, I might quit my job on the police force. So here I am at the old watering hole doing what I do best.
Police work is a hard job. A lot of people think that all we do is drive around and harass people and eat donuts. If that's your opinion, then you are in never, never land. Every time a cop makes a domestic call he puts his life on the line. That doesn't even begin to talk about car chases, robberies, rapes in progress or something as simple as serving a warrant. I have been shot at a lot more times than I've shot my weapon. You see, I have to watch when I shoot. The criminal doesn't. They just shoot away hoping to hit a cop. But now that might be all in my past.
My marriage was very unsteady. We had our good days but they were mostly in the past. Our four kids are either adults or almost adult. Only one still lived at home but you wouldn't know it. We never see him. Some days we might see his dirty laundry but that was about it. He was a stay-at-home college kid. So any free time he had he was out studying or with friends or both. I trusted him; he was a good kid as were our other kids. Two were married and the other away at college. We were lucky to see them at all.
That brings me to Beverly, my once wonderful wife. We had puppy love when we first got married. I guess you could call it rabbit love. The young sex was so great. We just did it, anything, anytime and anywhere we wanted to. Damn, those were some good years. But as the years went by and the kids start being born, our sex life was one of the first things to decrease. I guess that's the way it is with most marriages.
I'm sitting here at the Old Mill bar just wondering what went wrong. We loved each other. I know we did. I know we both loved our kids. We were always there for them. They were first in our lives. Unfortunately we didn't put each other at least second. I don't know what happened. We argued about bills, never enough money. Argued about who was suppose to do what. Shit, we even argued about what damn toilet paper to use and how it should be on the roller, such petty things that eventually separated us. Maybe we were just too proud to blame ourselves.
We didn't seek counseling. I couldn't have some man or woman tell me how to live my life. Maybe it was a mistake. But our lives are full of them.
I came home one day and Beverly was yelling about finances. I was a full-time police officer and she worked part-time in the local market besides having the kids to raise. I told her I found some extra part-time work. I was to be a security guard at conventions, ball parks, races and even at the big theaters where all the stars played. The money was really good and I could do it as often as I liked. They preferred off duty officers and worked with our flexible schedules. Well, Bev was happy. She figured this would solve our financial woes.
She was right. Financially we did well. We lived within our means but our home life sucked. For over five years I did the part-time stints. Our marriage grew further and further apart. It was either me being home or the money. Bev stopped arguing with me because if I quit the jobs she couldn't have some of the luxuries to which she had become accustomed. I was lucky if we had sex once a month. Other than shooting my rocks off, I felt no love from Bev. Maybe I wasn't giving any love either but I guess maybe I didn't see it that way at the time.
In my career as a cop, I'm not going to say I didn't get a little on the side now and then. It did happen. Whenever I got home and my wife wanted nothing to do with me, I usually got pissed off, got back in my car, went to the local watering hole and sometimes found someone as lonely as me. The first couple of times I really felt bad about it. But after awhile it was just a fuck, a way to release the pressures a cop deals with. I knew I wouldn't get any at home. Believe it or not the women meant nothing to me. Maybe I was trying to get even with Bev in some odd way for not having sex with me. I haven't had sex with anyone since our separation. The moods weren't there anymore. Sure is hard to figure out why.
The way divorce came about was I had been doing a stint at the theater. It was about twenty miles from where I lived. I was on my way home when a call came across my CB saying a fight was in progress at one of the bars in the area I was in, so I called dispatch and told them I would meet the patrolman there. I arrived seconds after the patrol car and showed my badge. We all rushed in and stopped the fight that was still in progress. I looked around the bar and spotted my wife Beverly with a strange man. She saw me and tried to hide. It was too late.
I walked over to their booth as Beverly screamed, "My God, David!"
The son of a bitch with her went to stand up and I pushed him back down. He drew a knife on me. That was all I needed. I pulled him out of the booth and took my baton and started beating the son of a bitch. All the time my wife was screaming, "Please, David, don't, please, don't hurt him."
That was all I needed to hear. I kicked him one more time and then the other police officers pulled me off of him. They took me outside. By then I was cooling off a little. You just don't know how it feels to come across your wife with another man and then hearing the words, "Please don't hurt him."
The officers went back in to talk to the man. He said he was going to file police brutality charges against me. The officers informed him that he did pull a knife on an officer and they could write that up also. He still wanted me arrested so they went through all the trouble of filling out all the paper work.They let me go home but told me that they contacted my commanding officer and he wanted to see me first thing in the morning.
I told them to go back and tell my wife that I suggest she doesn't come home tonight. I will pack a few suitcases and will be out in the morning and she could return, that she would be contacted by my attorney within a few days.
I went home. It's hard to say how I felt - mad, numb, disgusted and even embarrassed. I did pack some of my everyday belongings into whatever suitcases I could find. I had no idea what else I wanted in personal items. I just wanted out of there.
I drove to a little rooming house that I knew of on the beat. I had my own room and bath. I could eat there at an additional cost but didn't take them up on it. I had no idea what home cooked meals were like anymore since Bev rarely cooked for me not knowing when I would get home. I set up an agreement to pay them weekly with a week in advance and a deposit. I went to my room and just sat there wondering what all went wrong.
The next day I showed up in uniform. My commanding officer called me in knowing all the facts from the night before. "Dave, I'm sorry, I really don't have much leeway here. This Joe Walters has filed brutality charges against you. No one can blame you for what you did but I have to follow protocol and give you two weeks suspension until an investigation is complete. I'm sorry but I have no choice."
"I understand Bill as long as the paperwork shows he pulled a knife on me before I ever hit him. I told the son of a bitch to sit back down so I could address my wife about what was going on. Then the bastard pulls a knife on me and I lost it. He was lucky I didn't blow his fucking nuts off."
"I know. I understand, Dave, and the report has it all in there. We are pretty sure that he will be charged with pulling a concealed weapon and that you acted with restrain with the other officers backing you up. But I still have to ask for your gun and badge."
I told Bill I could use the time off especially since it was with pay. I had a lot of personal things to take care of. I gave him my cell phone number so he could reach me. I no longer had a home phone number. Hell, I didn't even have a home.
I contacted my attorney and he said that my wife had called and asked him if he would represent her. She needed his help. He told her that I was one of his best friends and would probably be my attorney in this case. I thanked him and started in on the whole God damn story. It hurt to think about it, let alone talk about it. I'm glad Roger, my attorney, was my friend. It made it a lot easier to talk to him rather than some stranger.
He told me he wasn't at all worried about the abuse charge. Due to the knife incident, he knew all charges would be dropped against me. On the personal side, he said it was still going to cost me dearly. There was no way around it even though she was the cheater. About the best I could do was a fifty-fifty split of all assets. I would still have to pay child support for my one son at home for another year. He was hoping for no alimony and thought I should win on that count. He would do his best to keep my retirement out of the settlement.
I told him I didn't want to see her again. Twenty-two years and she didn't have the decency to at least tell me. I wanted all dealings with her to go through him.
He stated that I should help keep up the house payment till the divorce was final but all the credit cards should be paid off. We had enough savings to cover them. He called Bev and explained the bill situation and they took care of it.
After the investigation was finish the commander called me into his office. He told me the charges against me were dropped and I was given my job back. Joe Walters dropped his allegations and received a suspended sentence on his concealed weapons charge. He was put on two years probation. The Walters guy wanted Bev to vouch for him in his law suit against me. Bill, the Commander, told me that she told him no way would she say anything bad about me. Guess she must have felt a little something for me.
That all happened about three months ago. I got a call from Roger. He said the divorce was stalled. Roger said Bev was fighting it tooth and nail. I asked Roger what the hell she wanted, wasn't a fifty-fifty split fair?
"Dave, I talked to her this morning. You told me that you wanted me to handle all conversations with her. Well, you may have to talk to her. You see, she doesn't want a divorce. She wants you back."
"What? You've got to be kidding. I don't get it. I offered her her freedom and half of everything we own and she turns it down."
Beverly had tried to call me on the cell phone at least fifty or sixty times. She wasn't allowed to see me at the job. I told our receptionist not to forward any calls from her I was a hard ass. She told my attorney, Roger, to have me please call her. She wrote at least twenty letters and gave them to the kids or to Roger to give to me. At the beginning I really didn't care what she had to say. When anyone handed me a letter from her, I ripped it up in front of them. I have not talked to Beverly since I walked out on her that night in the restaurant.
I was at a loss, I told Roger to hold tight and I would get back with him. I had to give this some more thought. I think it was time to face Bev.
Funny I remember my wife yelled out how she didn't want him hurt but their relationship went nowhere after that day. Probably because she wouldn't back him in his lawsuit.
Our kids heard the story from their mother. I'm not sure exactly what she told them. They were really pissed at her but she was their mother and they stuck by her. After losing her husband and then her lover all she had left was the kids. I kept in contact with them but they were closer to their mother than to me because I spent all my time working while they grew up. I did still have an open line of communication with them. After all they were my kids even though they were grown up. The only thing I would not discuss with any of them was their mother. If any of them brought up the subject I just hung up.
I quit my part-time jobs. Money wasn't important to me anymore. After going back on patrol I even thought of quitting the force. I simply didn't have the "protect and serve" attitude anymore. I did like my job and it did give me something to do and I was good at it.
As I sat there at the bar I had to wonder what my true feelings were for Bev. I mean I spent twenty-two plus years with her. Did I love her? God, I know I did. Did I hate her? I hate what she did to me. Was I happier without her? Boy, that was an easy one to answer. After twenty-two years together I missed her deeply, in spite of our having grown apart. Believe me I thought about it all. I think I could have made it past even the cheating and maybe reconciled with her sometime. But the words, "Don't hurt him," would not leave my brain. He pulled a knife on me but she was worried about her lover.