Hi Folks. After the the whacked our craziness of Savannah and last weeks exploration of swinging, I wanted to just do a straight ahead no gimmicks just people story. There will be no explosions or special effects this time. (I can't promise that next week. This is also another shorter one. Unfortunately I can't promise that next week either. So enjoy it. As usual I have to thank the incredible Mikothebaby who also named this story, she's more than just an editor, she's one of my very best friends and I couldn't do this without her.
Life has a way of throwing a monkey wrench into your plans. That's probably why I don't plan anymore. Before my divorce I was all about the plan. At work I strategically planned out everything that could go wrong in my department in the event of any and all foreseeable emergencies. I had multiple contingency plans in case for some reason we couldn't do one of the normal emergency plans.
I'd gotten a call this morning that I needed to go and see my ex-wife. I hadn't seen her in a little over a year and didn't really care to. But considering that the request had come from my daughter, I knew I'd have to make the trip.
My daughter Samantha, Sammie as we called her, had been really insistent. So, I'd gotten into my car, a "Gotta have it Green," Mustang Shelby GT 500 and headed back into town. It took me almost an hour to navigate myself through the choked up freeways to make it to the hospital in the city that Sammie had taken her mother to.
I'd parked in the visitor's parking lot hoping that I wouldn't be there for long. When I went to information, I found out that my ex-wife Erica had actually been in the hospital for two days already. A really petty nurse who smiled at me had led me to her room and told me that I could go inside and wait but she was still asleep.
"What's wrong with her?" I asked.
"Your wife..." she began. I interrupted her by holding up my hand.
"Ex-wife," I said. "Very, very ex-wife," I smiled. The nurse smiled back at me. Then her face changed.
"Daddy, seriously, you aren't flirting with the nurse while mom is laid up in the hospital are you?" said my daughter over my shoulder.
"Of course not, Sammie," I said. "If I were flirting seriously, I have at least asked..." I looked at the nurse again.
"Bonnie," she supplied.
"Ooh that name fits. Doesn't it mean pretty or something like that to the Scots or the Irish. Like in, "she's a Bonnie Lass, that one?" I said the last part with my fake Scottish accent, which caused Bonnie's smile to grow even bigger.
"Were you saying that about me?" she asked.
"Oh yeah," I said. "Like I said, that name really fits you." My daughter picked that moment to break up our impromptu smile fest and separate us by pushing me into her mother's room.
There were four beds in the room. It was probably the most depressing room I'd ever been in, whether in a hospital or anywhere else.
"This room is awful, isn't it?" she asked. I shrugged my shoulders.
"How would I know?" I asked. "I have no frame of reference to compare it to."
"Daddy, it's a ward," spat Sammie. "They can put as many beds in here as they can physically squeeze in. It's noisy, sometimes it's smelly and Mom deserves better." I shrugged again.
"Daddy she's only in here because she doesn't have any health insurance. Darren can't get her on our plan. The only person we know who could get her on their health insurance is..." her voice trailed off. I looked around over both shoulders and held my hands out to the sides with the palms up.
"Who?" I asked. "I'm retired. I'm a consultant. I go in occasionally when they need advice on something. And since the company was generous enough to offer me a plan I took it."
"You could have included mom on your health care plan," she said quietly.
"Sammie, honey, I love you more than anyone else on this planet. I'd do almost anything for you. But you have to wrap your head around the fact that your mother and I are divorced. I complied with everything the judge specified. The day that we signed the papers, I took out a loan and wrote her a check. I did it that way so she'd have every cent coming to her," I said. My daughter looked at me like she was sure that I was hiding something.
"Honey, how many people do you know who are divorced who can actually say that they got every penny that was owed to them in a timely basis? You're always hearing that so and so was missing his alimony payments or child support or whatever, right. I never missed a thing. I gave your mother everything she had coming to her."
"But not everything she wanted," said Sammie quietly. We stood at the end of the bed and looked at the sleeping woman lying in front of us.
"You know she never wanted a divorce, don't you?" asked Sammie quietly. "She still loves you now even after all of this."
"You know Sammie that people in hell want ice water," I said coldly. "But they're down there frying because of shit they did while they were alive. Your mother and I are divorced because of shit she did while we were married."
"Daddy, I know what she did," said Sammie. "I was there when it all blew up, remember. And I know that she was wrong, but I can't help thinking that the two of you still belong together. Daddy, she loves you so much, look at her. She's just fallen apart in the last two years. She doesn't look like a fifty year old woman at all. Two years ago mom was forty eight and she could've passed for being in her thirties. Today she looks like she could be in her sixties."
"Some people just don't age well," I said coldly. "But you know, maybe she needs to get out and do something to take care of herself. If she just lets herself go, then what do you expect?"
"Daddy, she needs her husband back in her life," spat Sammie. "She needs to feel loved and cared for. That's why she's wasting away."
"Is that why you called me out of a warm bed?" I asked in mock shock. "You want me to find her husband? Who the hell is he?"
"Daddy, don't you have any compassion in your heart?" asked Samantha. "Is this what you wanted? Is this what your frail little male ego needs to see? Do you really need to see the woman you swore to love, honor and cherish reduced to a shadow of her former self just so you can know that you won?"
"Sammie, you don't know shit about compassion," I snapped right back at her. "Remember what you're talking about and whom you're talking about. I put up with her shit for years and stayed married to her. I gave her plenty of chances, but she just couldn't let go of it. You should also consider that your loyalty to her very damn nearly cost you your own marriage." Samantha closed her eyes and nodded her head then. I could see that she was thinking about it.
"At least three families nearly ruined, all ended up hanging by a thread because of the selfishness of two fucked up people." I said. "Maybe they belong together." I smiled a little as I said that and Sammie's eyes popped open.
"Daddy, you don't mean that?" she said. I shrugged my shoulders. I looked at her and smiled.
"You're getting older too, you know," she said. "Daddy, don't you want something more out of life than driving that car way too fast, traveling, and the bimbo of the week?" Again I gave her the palms up shoulder shrug.
"I love my car. I've always loved Mustangs," I said. "I like traveling too. And as for the bimbo of the week, I've been with Shelly for almost a year. I'm kind of partial to redheads. And besides that, you introduced me to her."
"But Daddy," she whined. "Don't you want someone to settle down with and enjoy life on a more permanent basis?"
"Been there, done that," I spat. "I actually thought I had that person. God damn I loved her. I loved her enough to put my pride aside and try to fix things even after I found out what she was doing. She just couldn't let it go."
"Daddy, some women are capable of loving two men at the same time," said Samantha.
"And some men are capable of putting up with that shit," I said. "The problem is that I'm simply not one of them. Why am I here anyway?"
"Daddy, I've been here ever since we brought her here," said Samantha. I needed a chance to go home and shower and change clothes. It might be nice to see my husband again too. Darren has been great. He sat with her for a couple of hours yesterday to give me a break but I couldn't ask him to do it again. You know that he really doesn't like mom."
"He used to get along with her fine until..." I let it drop. "But now, maybe it's not that he doesn't like her. Maybe he's just afraid that if you spend too much time around her, you'll become her, and he loves you Sammie. Except for me, I can't think of anyone else who loves you as much as he does."
"So you really love me daddy?" she asked.
"Always have, always will Angel," I said.
"Then why can't you be nicer to Mom, for me?" she asked. "Why can't you just find it in your heart to try to just be friendly with her?"
"First of all, because sometimes I can't find my heart," I snapped. "That bitch in the bed tore it out while it was still beating." Sammie's eyes opened in shock at the bitterness and anger in my voice.
"I loved her Sammie. I loved that woman for more years than you've been alive. When we were together everything I did was..." I forced myself to calm down. "No Sammie, I can't be friends with her. I can't let bygones be bygones. There can't be any burying the hatchet, unless I'm burying it in her forehead. I don't even know why I'm here now."
"Daddy, didn't you already get your revenge?" she asked. "You've already crushed her spirit. What more do you need?"
.... There is more of this story ...