Note: I am not a lawyer and all references to legal stuff are strictly imaginary. Please enjoy the story and don't critique my legal expertise.
This is a repost of an older story so there will be no voting.
My wife, Marcie, was in London again, shopping. She has been spending more time away from home every year. We no longer have a marriage but I cannot afford to give her a divorce and she has no desire to apply for one. In the last five years my software company has taken off, For over ten years, I was struggling just to keep our head above water, and than the hardware technology caught up with my software package and things went sky high. Three of the big companies had expressed interest and I was just waiting for the right one to grab it. The actually value now was well over ten million, mostly in stock, which I held.
About eight years ago Marcie was working for a legal firm in Reading. The paycheck was a big help at the time. Her hours were long and she ended up making several over night trips for the firm, even thought she was just a paralegal. I was tied up with the new software so I didn't give a lot of thought to her absences. Up until that time everything was OK between us. Our sex life was great and we seemed to spend a lot of time doing things together and enjoying each other company, even with my erratic work habits. After she was with the law firm about a year, the sex dropped off to almost nothing and our life together became barely platonic. I was unhappy with the situation but I was sure it was just a phase she was going though. We had two sons who were both in high school. They pretty much took care of them selves. Bradley was getting ready for Penn State and Scott was looking forward to the Marines.
Marcie's boss, at Berks Legal, was Robert Logan. I met him and his wife a few times at company functions and he seemed like an OK guy. One day Marcie came home very upset and told me that Robert was dead, shot by his wife. She didn't go into any other details but shortly afterwards she quit, and never worked again.
Our marriage did not improve. She became surly and argumentative. I would like to say she had some redeeming features or good traits but I can't. I would try to avoid her as much as possible, but it was difficult. To make matter worst she was pregnant. I was hoping the new baby would improve our home situation but it didn't. Marcie named our new daughter Glenda. She adored the girl and fussed about her constantly but our relationship continued to get worse.
As Glenda got older Marcie started to spend more time away from home. The company was making money so we ended up in a new house with servants. Marcie had a live in nanny for Glenda and took full advantage of it. I never asked where she went or why. All I knew was there were a lot of expenses. Luckily, I was making the money faster than she could spend it, but I was upset never the less.
I tried to talk to her and find out what happen between us, but she refused. Of course the separate bedrooms didn't help. I had no idea what I did wrong and so I had no idea how to fix it. I finally just gave up.
A divorce would cost me a couple million dollars and probably ruined the new company. I was upset with myself for letting it go this far. I had my own legal staff on retainer, but still could not see a good way out.
Glenda was growing into a fine young lady. I spent as much time with her as I could. Marcie usually kept us apart, but since she was gone so often, Glenda and I became good friends without her knowing. It was our secret and Glenda enjoyed it. She was in third grade now and doing well. I got to go to the PTA meetings and the teacher conferences. Marcie was usually busy with other important things. Bradley and Scott were both on their own and doing great. My marriage sucked but my kids made up for it.
Then one day I got lucky.
Janet Logan was sitting in my office waiting for me. I was surprised because I thought she was in jail for killing her husband. She had aged well. Her hair was shoulder length and was a smooth mixture of gray, silver and a little black. She had on very little make up and her skin seemed to have a gentle smoothness without being soft. Her eyebrows were natural and fit her face perfectly. She appeared to be hard and feminine at the same time.
"Janet, this is a surprise to say the least. You look good."
"Thanks Grady. I wasn't sure you would remember me. It's been eight years and I was certain I would be a forgotten person by now."
"Would you like some coffee?"
"Black would be great."
"Janet, I am in a very embarrassing spot here. I am, of course, aware of your situation and don't want to say anything to upset you. If I say or do anything that might be inappropriate please feel free to correct me."
"I have been in jail for the last eight years, Grady. I am pretty well calloused about the whole thing. Don't worry about my feelings. By the way, how is Mrs. Stevens?"
"Not something I want to talk about. Shall we just say that things could be better?"
"Sorry, but that is the reason I came to see you. I have to talk to you about Marcie. I am not being vindictive or revengeful but there are some things that I feel need closure."
I placed the cup of coffee in front of her but sat in the chair aside of my desk rather than behind it. I wanted to hear what she had to say and I wanted her to feel comfortable while she was doing it. I hit the intercom button and instructed my secretary not to interrupt us.
"Grady, did you follow the trial at all?"
"No. Marcie mentioned what had happened but I didn't have any particular interest in it myself. I was busy with the business start up and she wasn't very talkative at the time. I guess she was upset at his death."
"More so that you would imagine I guess. It appears that you have no clue about what was going on so a lot of this will come as a shock to you. You said you didn't want to get me upset, well I feel the same way. I am going to explain things to you that are not pleasant to hear. If it becomes to difficult, just tell me and I will stop."
"Maybe we should have had some scotch instead of the coffee."
There was a little half laugh from both of us.
"On the day that I shot Robert he was planning on leaving me and running away with Marcie. Robert had stopped by the house just long enough to present me with divorce papers. Your wife was waiting in the car. They were going to come see you after they finished with me. I had been aware of their affair for sometime and had documentation and a few pictures. The fact that he was asking for a divorce didn't bother me because I was planning the same thing."
"Janet, I had no idea. I was living in my own little world at the time. I guess it was my fault in a way that the whole thing happened. I am sorry that my poor performance as a husband contributed to your marital problems."
"There was more, Grady. Robert had always wanted a family and we were never able to have children. He was constantly complaining about my shortcomings as a wife and blamed the entire thing on me. When he handed me the divorce papers he told me that Marcie was pregnant with his child and that she was going to provide him with the family he always wanted. I turned and started to walk away from him, but he continued to insult me and call me all sorts of demeaning names. It was not enough that he was leaving and divorcing me, he insisted on making me feel as if I was less that a person. It seemed like he was never going to stop berating me and finally I snapped, reached into the buffet drawer and pulled out the revolver. I don't remember shooting him."
"Do you mean to tell me that my daughter, Glenda is Robert's?"
"Glenda is not Roberts daughter but I would imagine that Marcie thinks she is."
"Can you explain that?"
"I had myself checked several times. The doctors never found anything wrong with me. I finally got a sample of Roberts sperm checked and he was totally sterile. I never told him. By the way, Glenda is the name of Roberts mother. I assume that was the name they agreed on when Marcie found out she was pregnant."
"Marcie picked out the name, but I had no idea where she had gotten it from. I think you are right though, she believes that Glenda is Robert's child. Knowing that, explains a lot of things. Would you like some more coffee?"
"No but I have some more things to discuss. Are you sure you have the time?"
"We are fine. Don't worry about a thing. That's the nice thing about being the boss."
"When I went to prison all of the things in the house went into storage. Roberts' briefcase was included. I was going though it last week and found this."
Janet handed me the original divorce papers that Marcie was going to give to me the day that Robert got shot. The papers were signed, dated and notarized. Robert and Marcie worked for a law firm so the terms of the divorce were very precisely spelled out.
"Is this still good?"
Janet laughed. "I have no idea. I'm not a lawyer. Check out paragraph seven."
"She is giving me completed custody of all children. Wow, this would really piss her off if she found out I could get Glenda. Of course the boys are long gone but if I got custody of her little angel she would go bonkers. Can I have this so my legal people can look it over?"
"It's yours' Grady. It has no value to me. I wish you well with it. Here are some more things you might or might not be interested in."
Janet handed me two manila envelopes. "The pictures that my detective took are in the small envelope. They are very sexual in nature. I have no use for them but maybe they will be of value to you. The large envelope contains the investigation results that my PI gave me and some other interesting papers. You can look them over and decide what is important to you."
"Thank you. I really don't want to look at them but I will give them to the lawyer with the papers."
We both sat and looked at each other of a few moments. She was a very impressive women and I was glad she came to see me.
"I better go and let you get back to work. Thanks for seeing me. I feel better getting these loose ends wrapped up. By the way, you don't have any job openings for an ex-con do you?"
Seymour Schlamp, my personal and favorite lawyer, was all excited about the eight year old divorce papers with no expiration date. He was like a kid in a candy store and could not wait to get started. Marcie had not asked for percentages of anything but for hard figures. She wanted fourteen thousand dollars from the checking and savings accounts. That was about half of the total eight years ago but next to nothing today. All the other items were similar. There was only one gotcha; she wanted the 1995 Volvo station wagon that she had at the time. I sold it about five years ago. I had to find that car.
Janet Logan started work in the software testing division of the company. It was an entry-level job but I felt she would be comfortable with it. It also gave me a chance to see her on a regular basis. I liked Janet and hoped to get to know her better.
Glenda and I kept our DNA tests secret from Marcie. It would be a few weeks until the results came back, but Seymour needed the time to make sure there were no loopholes in the divorce papers. I felt confident that the results would show Glenda was mine.
With a little bit of help from friends at the DMV I was able to locate the Volvo wagon at State College. The frat boy was happy to let me have it at twice what he paid for it. A week later I had the new title with Marcie's name on it.
Seymour explained to me that as long as nothing was changed on the original request for divorce it could go through as written. We were not able to find anything serious enough to make us want to change it. Marcie's signature was notarized and still legal even after eight years. I signed in my place and Seymour's notary put the seal on it. Now all we had to do was wait.
Time passed very slowly. My relationship with my wife did not improve. My relationship with my daughter grew stronger every day. My relationship with Janet Logan grew stronger every day. After about a month I convinced Janet to have lunch with me, on a non working day. It was pleasant, with no strings attached and I assured her that I would do nothing that would indicate to the other employees that I was interested in her. She replied that her relationship with me was more important than her job. I had a feeling that things would improve but I was not going to rush anything.