In my previous story CW- Hello Walls, we left Alan as he said goodbye to his ex-wife Kate. She'd been taken in by a devious "friend" who had stolen her away from Alan and taken everything Alan had worked for. The friend, Aaron, had set Alan up to be fired from his job, tried as a traitor to his country, and basically stripped Alan of his very humanity.
Alan had hit bottom as a drunken failure living in a shabby hotel room in Portland Oregon. He'd been sent to rehab because of continuing run- ins with the law when he drank himself into a stupor trying to forget all of his hurt, and painful memories. There he had run into a man who got him straightened out and gave him back his self respect. He became wealthy and determined to seek his revenge on his nemesis, Aaron.
A carefully orchestrated plan led to the eventual death of Aaron and his ex-wife being sent to her own private hell. Alan had stripped her of income and taken custody of their son away from her. He'd left her with her daughter conceived with Aaron while she and Alan had still been married.
We now pick up Alan's life five years after his revenge.
Alan sat in his recliner working on a paper for the EPA where he was now employed as a key member of the toxic dumps task force. He was readying for a field trip to Germantown Maryland where a development of single family homes appeared to have been built over a toxic waste site not previously known.
His ears suddenly picked up on the song playing on the radio. It was Eddy Arnold crooning an old classic. Alan stopped what he was doing and listened to the words.
Too bad what's happened to our good love
Too bad what's happened to our good love
Sometimes our best isn't quite good enough
And the last word in lonesome is "me"
All of the memories came flooding back to Alan as that last stanza of the song rang in his ears. He had gotten his revenge. But he was the "me" in the song. He still thought about Kate at least once a day. She had been duped by that asshole and he had done a real number on her playing to her fears, and personal principles. The asshole had turned those principles around on her and eventually made her his slut.
Alex had adapted to living with his father after several months. Aaron had done a great job of brainwashing the boy against Alan. Whatever Aaron had told him about Alan was confirmed by Kate. That hurt Alan more than the original infidelity and compromise of their marriage by Kate. It was obvious that Aaron had been a master at mind fucking people.
Alan wasn't a wimp, but he did still care about Kate. He had his PI check on her at least once a month. She had led a hard life since Alan had sprung his revenge on Aaron. She and her young daughter were living in an efficiency apartment in a pretty poor section of the west side of Gaithersburg.
Two years ago Kate had been laid off her minimum wage job and was threatened with eviction. At the same time her daughter became seriously ill with a virile infection that ran rampant through her system. She was in the Shady Grove Hospital fighting for her life.
Alan received the report from his PI who contacted him immediately after finding out the circumstances. Alan had thought long and hard for the next few hours and arrived at a decision.
He had boarded a flight to Washington DC, rented a car and drove to the hospital where the PI said Kate was almost living twenty four hours a day.
He was directed to the girl's room and he'd gently knocked on the door and waited for Kate to open it. She showed shock at seeing Alan standing there. "Alan! What are you doing here? Are you here to gloat or heap more misery on me? I can't take any more! Go way! Please, just go away!"
She started to push the door closed and Alan stuck his foot at the bottom to keep it open. "Kate, hear me out. Yes, I'm still hurt about what you and Aaron did to me. I'm still hurt about you listening to him over me. But I can't see an innocent little girl who did nothing more than be born into this world suffer for her mother's errors. So let me help you. Can I come in? Please? For just five minutes. If you don't want me to stay after that, I'll leave."
She looked very confused but after several seconds, she opened the door and gestured for him to enter.
He saw a beautiful little girl with flushed face apparently sleeping in the bed drawing quick shallow breathes. She looked so tiny laying there on the crisp white sheets of her sick bed. But she was beautiful. She looked like a little version of her mother. Right down to the little dimple in her right cheek.
He turned to Kate. "How is she?"
Kate's eyes began tearing and her voice choked, "Not well. The doctors tell me that there is an experimental treatment that requires complete changes of her blood every twelve hours. But it's experimental and expensive and I've got no medical insurance. I'm afraid if she doesn't get the treatment, she'll die."
Kate broke down and fell into Alan's arms. Alan was shocked. Not that she looked to him for comfort, but that she felt so very good there in his arms.
She finally pulled away and sobbed, "If she dies, I'll have no one. I treated you badly and pushed you away. My actions cost me our son. Now I'm about to loose my daughter. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry!"
Alan waited until she had regained some control and simply said, "Kate, I'm extraordinary rich. Please. I want you to tell the doctors to schedule the treatments. I'll pay for them. I'll leave a check at the desk when I leave. Can we get the doctors here to figure out how much I need to pay?"
Kate fell into the chair next to her daughter's bed. "You want to help us? Why? I shit all over you. You have every right to hate me and Aaron's child."
"It's like I said. She's an innocent in our tragic lives. She didn't ask to be born into any of this. Do I hate her? No. Do I hate you? No. But I certainly dislike who you became back then. You might now be the woman I married but I've got no proof of that. Aaron basically brainwashed you over a long period of time and I never saw it happening. I don't think you did either."
"No, I didn't." she exclaimed. "I never saw how he was manipulating us. I — I felt guilty as hell that first night I screwed him. I was drunk, he kept pushing that you were cheating, he felt so warm and comforting. A soon as it was over I started crying. I — felt like my heart would stop. I'd cheated on my marriage. I was a cheat..."
Alan touched her lips with his finger. "Shhh. Now's not the time to talk about any of this. I'm not healed enough yet. Let's get your daughter healthy again. That'll be our goal for now. Okay?"
She just nodded and hugged him tightly. He didn't know if she noticed that he didn't return the hug. Things were still too raw for him.
Kate asked about Alex. About how he was doing, what he liked, did he remember her, and was he a good boy — all of the things a loving mother would want to know. They spent several hours just talking about Alex. It was apparent that Kate loved her son as much as any mother ever loved a son.
Alan did indeed write the check that caused the treatments to be commence. Kate's daughter, Megan, responded and within two weeks was well enough to go home. Kate had been so worried about Megan that the she had ignored the fact that she would shortly be evicted from their shabby little apartment.
She pulled up to the apartment building in her ten year old Chevy and carried Megan to their third floor apartment. On the door was a note from the Super to come to see him.
She settled Megan onto the bed to let her nap and gulping in air decided it was time to face Mr. Stinson, the building Super. She went to the first floor and knocked on Mr. Stinson's door. "Yeh, just a second. I got something on the stove." Stinson yelled in reply to the knock.
A few seconds later the door opened and Stinson looked at Kate. Kate stammered, "S-Sorry Mr. Stinson, but I don't have the rent money. Y-you know Megan has been so sick. I promise to p..."
Stinson held up his hand to stop her. "Kate, a gentleman stopped this morning after you left to get your daughter. He prepaid your rent for a full year. Plus the three months back rent. So don't worry, go take care of your daughter."
Alan had driven to the airport directly from his stop at Kate's apartment. He flew back home without any further contact with Kate. He'd done all he could right now. He still hurt a lot and needed more time to heal but hopefully Kate's life would be a little easier now. She had served her time in Hell and he had moved her up to Purgatory.
The PI stayed on retainer and reported back that Kate had had no male companions since Alan placed her in hell five years ago. She dedicated herself to her daughter and living a quiet and chaste life.
Now, it was two years after Alan's intervention to save Kate's daughter and Alan was readying for a field trip to a town next to where his ex-wife Kate lived. Alan had thought long and hard and decided it was time to remove Kate from Purgatory.
Alan went to his son Alex and asked a simple question, "Would you like to see your mother?"
"Could I, Dad? Really? It's been so long. Do you think she remembers me?" His son said excited.
Alan laughed, "Of course she does you clod. You're her only son. She loves you to death. And I think its time your mother and I bury our differences and let you have two parents. Okay?"
"Sure Dad. When do we go?"
Alan told him about the upcoming field trip. He would contact Kate and tell her that he was coming and Alex would be with him. Alan decided that the best way the family could have a reunion would be to book several rooms at a local hotel since Kate's place was so small.
He checked around and found that the same Holiday Inn where he had held his war room as he destroyed Aaron and nearly destroyed Kate was the only place available. He decided that he would give the broken family a treat. He got Alex and him a suite and he got Kate and Megan a suite.
He called Kate that evening. She answered, "Hello?"
"Kate, its Alan."
"Alan! I never got to thank you for Megan and for the apartment. You just did it and left. I had no idea how to contact you."
"No problem Kate. I didn't do it for thanks. I did it because it was the right thing to do."
Kate could be heard crying, "How could I have been so blind to such a wonderful man. How could I let that pervert ensnare me like he did? Oh Alan, I'm so sorry. Please, please forgive me."
"Kate, Maybe I'll forgive you someday. But you know I'll never forget. I can't."
"I- I know. I really fucked up our lives didn't I?" Kate sobbed.
"No. Aaron fucked it up. He just managed to convince you of untruths that you never questioned."
Kate sobbed again, "Yes, I took everything he said as the truth and never gave you a chance to even defend yourself. I'm so, so sorry."
Alan changed the subject, "Kate, I have to come to Germantown for a field trip. I've decided to bring Alex and let him spend some time with you and his half sister. Is that okay with you?"
Alan heard the gasp and then could actually hear the giddiness in Kate's voice. "Okay with me? My god, yes! It's been five years since I saw Alex. When will you be here?"
Alan explained his plan and told her they would arrive in five days and they would be there for at least a week. Alan said he would give Kate a week's salary so she could take unpaid time off and spend it with her son. Kate said she would ask for the time off tomorrow.
So, late on Sunday afternoon Alan and Alex arrived at the Holiday Inn, checked in and took the elevator to their suite. He was shocked to see it was the same rooms he had used those many years ago to bring down Aaron. He almost called and asked to be moved but then he stopped and smiled.
It was fate that he was in the same rooms he had stayed in when he destroyed Aaron and Kate and now he was in the same rooms in an attempt to heal his relationship with Kate and let his son have a mother and father again. It just so happened that there was a cute little copy of Kate named Megan that would be part of their 'family", whatever the term "family" meant to Alan any longer.
Kate and Megan arrived at six that evening and were surprised when they entered the elegant suite Alan had gotten them. Megan had never seen such rich appointments or luxuries. Kate had forgotten that such things existed.
Alan had left a note at the desk for them that he had room service delivering dinner to his suite at seven and they should be there just prior to that time.
At exactly five of seven a gentle knock was heard on the door of Alan's suite. It was so soft, Alan wasn't sure he actually heard anything, but Alex bolted for the door and threw it open
Kate didn't make it inside before Alex had her in bear hug. "Mom! I've missed you so much. Dad never would talk about you or let me contact you. I love you Mom."
Alan was taken aback; he'd never talked to Alex about Kate and never knew how Alex felt about it. I guess I was wrong to do that. Alan thought. He walked to door and said softly, "I'm so sorry Alex, I — I never realized how my attitude was affecting you. Please forgive me."
Alex looked at him with tears in his eyes. That's okay Dad. I know how screwed up things were. I used to hear Uncle Aaron tell mom you were bad and cheating on her. I never believed it. I knew you loved mom and was lost when she threw you out. Did you know she cried every night for weeks after that?"
Kate walked in with one arm around Alex and Megan in the other. Alan looked at her and thought, she is a super mother, and she's served her time. Now I've go to end it.