Thanks to the Knee Doctor for editing help.
Seems like I worked my whole life to make my wife happy and it was a waste of time. It really hurts a guy to know that all one's efforts and intentions were for nothing. After twenty-three years of marriage, I now realize that I didn't know the mother of my children. She always wanted something better. No matter how hard I worked it was never good enough. She made me feel like I was a good provider and I always felt good when I was able to give her something but she always wanted more.
Sharon and I married right out of high school. Sharon had dark hair and wore it short. She was pretty and had a great shape. Our sex life was always good, up until recently, and I had little reason to doubt her fidelity.
I started out fixing engines and today I am a heavy equipment mechanic. I make damn good money, or at least I think I do. Our early life was fairly typical. Our first house was small and as the kids came, we traded up, twice. Now the two kids are gone. Our daughter, Sarah, married, and our son, Jonah, joined the Air Force. The house was now bigger than we needed but she still didn't seem to be happy. My parents had both died in a car accident years ago.
With the kids gone Sharon said she needed something to do and of course that is where the problems started. She got a job working for a property management firm. Other than a few secretarial type employees it was basically a one man firm with Glenn Sebastian her boss. Of course I got to meet the guy, didn't like him and he ended up having an affair with my wife even though he was married.
It was at this point I just decided to give up. What was the purpose of going on? My kids were grown and my wife was cheating on me.
I gave it one last shot.
"Sharon, since the kids are gone I'd like to sell the house and move to Florida. How do you feel about that? I can get a job down there and we can live the good life in the warm Florida sun."
"I am going to pretend I didn't hear that."
She didn't even look up from her morning paper. Our conversations were getting less civilized every day. Of course the problem was mine. I do not have a way with words, I cannot convince anybody of anything because I just do not have the language skills I need to do it. Sharon put up with it because she was used to it. Glenn Sebastian was just the opposite. He always knew just the right words to say and how to say them. It was easy to see how he got my wife into his bed.
"I guess what I am trying to say Sharon is I would like to get you away from Glenn Sebastian so I could get my life back."
"Charlie, Glenn is not going to disappear and we have no life to get back to. I am going to continue working and you are going to continue working and we are not moving. End of discussion."
Although I had proof of the cheating I never confronted Sharon about it. She was going about her daily routines thinking that I was too dumb to understand what was going on. Two thousand dollars out of my fishing boat fund got me a detectives report and photos of everything that was going on.
Sharon was still reading the paper when I left for work. I quit work that day.
Sharon was a lot of fun when we first got married. We went fishing together and I went to a few concerts for her enjoyment. We would do little things to make each other happy. The children complicated our lives but we still always found time to entertain our selves. As the kids got older I seemed to be working harder. I guess that is when we started growing apart. I wanted to get a nest egg together for our retirement. Sharon wanted to enjoy the good life. She insisted on driving a BMW that I didn't feel we could afford. It was easier to get it for her than to argue about it. As hard as I tried, I still couldn't keep her out of Glenn Sebastian's bed. I loved her but I didn't love the way she was treating me. Therefore, I gave up.
Seymour Schlamp, my favorite lawyer, got the next two grand from my boat fund. I gave him the detective report and the pictures. I signed some blank forms, included a real estate power of attorney, and told him to serve the papers the next Monday.
Today was a motel day for Sharon and Glenn. They went to the same motel, to the same room, at the same time, on the same days of the week. What Sharon found exciting about that was beyond me. They usually checked in about eleven and out at two. I still had a few hours to get ready.
The Sebastian Holding Company had a lot of smaller buildings that they leased out but the main income came from two older warehouses. Glenn picked them up for pennies on the dollar when the previous owners refused to bring the buildings up to code. Nobody worked in the warehouses, they were just used to store merchandise and such for various local concerns. I was betting that Glenn didn't bring them up to code either. I spent thirty minutes at each warehouse, setting things up, and then left for the bank.
I cleaned out the savings account, checking account and money market account. After canceling the credit cards I took all the money and put it in a locker at the bus station.
The time had come to start things rolling. It was a simple plan, commit mass destruction and go to jail. I didn't see how any thing could go wrong. I pulled into the Deska Motel parking lot just as the fire trucks went speeding down the street. There were two large warehouse fires on the other side of town and all the fire departments were responding to them. Sharon's BMW was parked right along side of Glenn's Mercedes. I parked my F 150 at the rear of the lot and removed the tools of my new trade from the back: an emergency glass hammer, an aluminum baseball bat and a pair of side cutting pliers.
Precision and timing were important. Any moment now, Glenn would be getting a phone call telling him his warehouses were on fire. I had to hurry. I lit the towel I had soaked in gas and stuck into the gas tank of my truck. I had to run like hell because it only took a few seconds for the Ford to erupt into flames. It wasn't a loud blast like in the movies but sort of a muffled whoosh. Seems odd to destroy my own truck but I didn't need it any more.
It took less than a minute to snip the valve stems off the eight tires. I took my time and walked around each vehicle breaking every window and lens cover with the emergency hammer. It did a good job. The only problem was the first swipe set off Glenn's car alarm. Before he realized what was going on, I had started on the BMW with the baseball bat. Each and every panel got a good smash to start with. The hotel staff, and several of the people staying there, were in the parking lot by this time and it seemed like every one of them had a cell phone on their ear. I was standing on top of the Mercedes when Glenn finally came out of the room, pulling up his pants. He was yelling something at me but I couldn't make out what he was saying. I think he wanted me to stop beating in the roof of his car but I wasn't sure. I had gone back over to the Beemer and started beating it a little more when the police finally arrived. The fire trucks were all across town at the massive double warehouse fire so they had to just leave my poor truck burn to the ground.
As the cops put me into the squad car I could see Sharon looking out the window of the motel room. I was booked, printed and photographed within the hour. The photographer was mad because I refused to take the shit-eating grin off my face. It felt good to finally sit in my cell and relax.
Since I pleaded guilty to everything that happened at the motel there was no need for any lengthy courtroom drama like on TV. They mentioned something about the warehouses a few times. I told them I didn't know anything about that and they soon dropped it. I am sure they would put it all together later but right now they didn't have a good connection. Once the word got around the station about what I did and why I did it, things seemed to get a little more comfortable.
The next morning Sharon was there with my bail. There was no money in the account so the only place she could get it was from Glenn or a second mortgage. I was pretty certain that Glenn did not want to put up ten percent of four hundred thousand dollars. I could see Sharon through the glass partitions in back of the booking counter. She looked was really pissed. I knew she knew that the accounts had been cleaned out. They gave me back my watch, wallet, shoelaces and money. I dreaded going out through the lobby so I ask one of the guards if there was another exit to avoid hostile wives. He snickered a little, took me to the fire exit, held the door alarm switch closed with his nightstick and let me out into the back alley. Free at last, free at last.
After getting my cash out of the locker, I bought a bus ticket to Chicago. I didn't have any place in mind but there was an express bus going there. I had a lot of time to think while I watched the farmland pass by the window. I was a lot worse off now than I was before, but I no longer had a cheating wife humiliating me. I had enough cash with me to last a couple years, with my lifestyle, but I knew I would eventually have to find some kind of work to keep from going crazy. I had no idea what I would do about income taxes and social security. I didn't even know how I was going to get a drivers license and I knew I would have to, eventually. After Chicago I picked up some smaller routes that seemed to stop at every little one-horse town in the mid-west. We were cruising through the middle of South Dakota when I found a newspaper somebody left. I was bored out of my skull so I began reading every line in the paper. When I hit the classifieds I found myself reading the same ad four times.
"Heavy farm equipment mechanic needed. Live in position. Room, board and salary based on experience. Contact Leroy Summer."
I never even heard of Mitchell, South Dakota. Even though it was late summer it felt cold. The sky was gray and the earth wasn't much more attractive. It looked like the perfect place to wallow in my misery. Fairfax Equipment Repair was located in a large steel warehouse type building that resembled an aircraft hangar. The sliding doors were actually big enough to bring in the biggest pieces of farm equipment. I never found out where the name came from, I guess the previous owner. I had no trouble getting the job. The living facilities were on the upper level of the maintenance building. It was stark and not the least bit homey. The pay was not good for the type of work and the reference to 'board' meant that there was a kitchenette in the room. The best part of the whole deal was my new roommate, Jorge.
Jorge Toledo was born in El Paso so he was not an illegal. He was a little older than me but we had the same build and appearance. He wore his hair long with a ponytail and had a big moustache that drooped at the ends like Poncho Villa. I was clean-shaven, with short hair and glasses. I liked Jorge as soon as I saw him. Jorge worked hydraulics and mechanicals and he was looking forward to an engine man like myself hiring on. It was a perfect team. He also had a Mazda truck that I haven't seen in many a year. I think they stopped making them in the seventies but this one was still going with over two hundred thousand miles on it. After a few weeks I was settled in and enjoying my new life.
We were both lousy cooks so we spent a lot of time a lot of time eating out, mostly fast food and diner crap. Jorge was an alcoholic. Leroy did not run a tight ship. We could come and go as we pleased as look as the work got done. Leroy handled all the money and customer contacts so all Jorge and I had to do was fix the broken equipment. We liked to go to the interstate truck stops and get breakfast late at night. Life was good.
Four months had passed. I was coming back from making a delivery and Leroy and Jorge were waiting in the lot. They were both sort of laughing as I parked the delivery rig.
"What the hell is so funny?" I tried to add some seriousness to the situation.
"Well you had a visitor today. A private detective from Philadelphia was looking for Charlie Terrell." Leroy seemed to be enjoying himself. While Jorge and I were pretty close our relation with Leroy was kept on a professional level. We were all congenial but Leroy took great pains to keep from getting too friendly with the help. It was easier for him to crack the whip if he stayed distant.
"Oh shit, I was afraid that was going to happen. Was he from my wife or the bail bond company?"
"He never said. Didn't say how he traced you here either."
"Well I guess I better get moving on. Where is he right now."
Jorge was starting to laugh about now and Leroy's snickering seemed spur him on. Jorge was drunk again.
"What the hell is going on? What is so funny about this?"
Jorge couldn't stand it any more. "Leroy told the guy that I was Charlie Terrell. The guy looked at a picture and shook his head. We talked for a while and I told him that I was an illegal and bought the social security number and drivers license from a guy in Denver. He got really pissed off but the idiot never asked to see ID or anything. After about twenty minutes he got in his car and left."
"You guys make a good team. Its fun just having you around." Leroy was still snickering as he walked back to his office
It was getting colder. A lot of the work was servicing instead of repairs now. There was no rush on anything and we were able to work at a nice pace. The nights were getting longer and colder. The days were gray and depressing. I loved it. Jorge was drinking more. That weekend I got a break.
As Jorge and I slid into a booth at the Four Corners Truck stop I noticed a cell phone on the seat. Now normally I would have just turned it into the waitress and went on my way but today I had another idea. I told Jorge to order for me and went out side. I decided to call Sarah first.
"Dad. What the hell are you doing in Tulsa?"
"I thought I would give you a call and let you know everything was OK."
"That's great. We were worried and Mom is going out of her mind. What brought all this on? Everybody said you went nuts?"
"What did your mother tell you?"
"Just that you were mad about her working and when she refused to quit you went berserk and destroyed her car and her bosses car."
"Is that it? That's all she told you?"
"Yes. After she posted bail she said you just disappeared. She hired a detective but he couldn't find you. Cost her a bundle of money I think."
"Next time you see her ask for a better explanation. She owes you that. She is not telling the whole story."
"What are you doing in Tulsa? The calling ID says Tulsa."
"I'm not in Tulsa but I think the guy who is letting me use his phone must be from there. Next time you talk to Jordan let him know everything is good. How is your mother?"