A continuation of Just Plain Bob's 'Rob's Saga'...
You may not know a thing about me ... My wife thought she knew everything that was important. But then I obviously did not know everything about her ... I did not know she was a cheating, lying whore who thought she could ride into the sunset with a scruffy biker and our life savings not so long ago. To her, I guess I was a plain, dull, meal-ticket. I had never considered she might want the 'excitement' of the biker lifestyle. I guess neither of us really knew the other.
We met at a party held by mutual friends. I had not been in town for a year at the time ... I was done with school, and my prior ... employer had convinced me to take a position at a little start-up company. Mostly I wanted to forget about what I had been doing, not that I was ashamed, mind you. But when people ask what you have been up to and your honest answer is 'killing people who were wasting oxygen, ' it tends to end the conversation.
You've heard of the Rangers? The group of soldiers who climbed the cliff at the edge of the beaches during the Normandy invasion to keep the guns from cutting everyone else to ribbons? You don't get to be Delta without being a Ranger. I followed a family tradition, and became a Ranger. And then a scout sniper. Our country has been at war for awhile ... you might have heard. I had spent most of two years in one shit hole or another. My skills saved a lot of lives; enough lives I had medals and ribbons and offers for all manner of 'executive protection' positions in private defense contractors when I decided I had had enough and did not want to make the Green Machine my life partner.
That little war? You might have noticed no one wants to talk about it. I certainly did not want to carry a gun anymore. I was not interested in delivering mail. But there are lots of things going on, thanks to Homeland Security. My 'scout' expertise was finally going to be a benefit. I received an ownership share for my continuing contributions to surveillance software and equipment in use by Uncle Sugar and various private corporations across the nation. Sorry, but if I tell you any more I'd have to kill you.
Suffice to say that I keep a low profile about what I did 'before.' My folks are gone. My brother rebelled against my 'conservative' parents and ran off when I was away in the service; I have no idea where he went. I do have family here, like Lou, my cousin. Most served in the Armed Forces, those who are out are mostly in Law Enforcement. I think they were surprised when I did not follow suit, but I have always been pretty independent.
I was happy to be the quiet computer geek loner so far as my friends outside of work and family knew, though. Apparently a wimpy quiet computer geek. But I never thought macho displays were what Audrey wanted. I earn a comfortable living, and there had been no sign of problems. If anything, I had thought we had it better than most of our friends, since the twin blows of the economy and real estate crunch had not affected us; hell, even the new administration did not rock the career boat, for me.
Like I said, Audrey and I met at a party. She was stunning, and I was amazed when she chose to talk to me. She admitted later she was really trying to avoid a guy who had been pursuing her at the last couple parties. I never met the guy, considering myself lucky that he'd been a creep. I wonder now, but not that much. We talked, found out we had some common interests. I invited her to dinner and she agreed. We went out for a few weeks, slept together ... kept going out (and sleeping together). Like me, her parents were gone. And like me, she had a sister who was estranged. When Aud started commenting idly about other men sniffing around, I bought the ring, asked the question, and embarked on what I thought would be a life of happiness together. It was a simple ceremony at the courthouse; the friends whose party had brought us together were the only guests and served as best man/ matron of honor and witnesses.
I didn't expect perfection ... I know I am not perfect, why expect it in others? But we had been good together before, no real fights or differences; my job meant she would not have to work. We did not discuss kids, but there was time, right? Sex was still good, if not as often as I would have liked, but no one I know thinks they get enough. And my dad was like the father in 'Outside Providence:' I made sure when Aud was willing to put out she got off.
So I was blindsided when she decided she wanted out. And my sense of honor and justice were bruised that she was willing to cheat on me with a slug like DJ and steal all of our money in the process. In 4 years I had never raised my voice, much less a hand when we did have the occasional argument; I guess I was supposed to rant and rave and throw things or beat my chest to impress upon her my manliness.
I still have no idea what she saw in her biker that I did not offer, but again, I have not really given it any thought ... It stopped being an issue the moment it was obvious to me she was not who I thought, and had zero interest in being a couple. What became an issue was whether she had left me with any 'lasting memories, ' considering her new 'friends.' Fortunately, my annual physical had followed her departure and my doc assured me after some less than inexpensive (and slightly invasive) tests that I would not have to begin Valtrex therapy.
You might think I'm heartless, to so easily kick her to the curb, but what could I ever see in her after that afternoon? And would a heartless SOB take in the obviously troubled women who I was sharing my home with?
I had tired of the constant legal wrangling, and in the wake of throwing Aud a curveball by halting the divorce proceedings, I knew it was time to examine what was going on in my home. Kari seemed to be who she claimed, but her daughters ... There was no way they were 16. I had realized that after watching the high schoolers pouring out of a building near my physician's office. And if they were not 16, it meant that whatever Kari had told me, I could not trust that, either.
It left me sad, but I was not surprised; after all, she had come from the same 'club' that my wife had apparently decided to run in. I kicked myself for letting them into my home for a bit, but mercy and doing the right thing still mean something. Maybe after beating the shit out of DJ I needed to remind myself I was not really evil. I wondered if any of the trio I was living with might grab the chance at a better life. While I hoped they would, I was preparing for more disappointment.
I like being at work; the people know me, we get along, there is mutual respect and trust ... the sort of relationship I expect in marriage, but without the horizontal boogie. When there is a problem I pitch in, whether my little area of expertise is involved or not, and that is appreciated, but they do the same for me. The problem we had faced, thanks to the city's overtaxed grid had been overcome, so I was mercifully free of duties until the next dog and pony show was needed. Usually I would stay, seeing what else was going on and helping out ... like I said, I like work.
On Tuesday, after my epiphanies in dealing with my whore of a wife and her likely partners in screwing me under my own roof, I ducked out of the house on Kari's heels and hit the gym. It had been too long since I had exercised regularly, and I found I enjoyed the aches and the sweat, even if I had only started it to keep from sweating my tenants' advances. I showered, grabbed a granola bar as I waved at Chelsea, the eye candy working the front desk, and drove to work. I arranged to take some of the time off I had not used, planning to surprise Audrey with an anniversary trip to Hawaii, then took the stairs down to our R and D wing. After sketching out what I wanted to do, with permission of the geniuses in the firm's basement (it's not the basement, but it sounds good, right?), I left with a trunk full of gadgets, and their offer of help in 'testing' some things.
I drove to Patty Ann's. I hadn't been yet, and found it was a relief that Kari's beat up Honda was in the parking lot. I ran my hand along the side on my way in, then waved to get her attention while waiting to be seated. She hurried over, speaking to the young woman who looked like she should be in school instead of greeting customers. The little brunette offered a winning smile as she told me she'd find me a place in Kari's section.
I checked my six ... The habit had not been hard to resume in the weeks after Audrey's little surprise. None of the patrons looked like Diablos. The cook might have been, but the swarthy Hispanic working the griddle beside him would not have fit in with Aud's biker crowd, and I relaxed a bit. Kari asked what I wanted to eat, and pouted playfully when I insisted I had already eaten, and just wanted to say hello. Not twenty minutes after resolving to eat a more healthy diet, I was enjoying pancakes and a chicken omelett ... at least I'd gotten the short stack. After leaving money to cover the bill with a healthy tip, I paused in the doorway to the man trap, turning to wink and ask if she always served such a great breakfast. Kari cocked her hip in that naturally sexy way some women have and eyed me for a moment before she told me if I played my cards right I might find out 'some day.'
.... There is more of this story ...