"My God, Vince, I had more money working as a gofer on the wrestling circuit that summer after High School than I do now."
That was my brother Tommy. We were sitting at my kitchen table and going over his finances for the umpteenth time. Tommy had not fared well in the two years since his divorce.
"OK Tommy," I tried to explain again, "you pull in $52K a year after taxes. That is about $4K a month you bring home. Now, gone first off the top is the $500 a month you pay in child support, for Tommy Jr and little Frank; after that you have $3K a month left"
"I do not have a problem with that, " Tommy interrupted. "Anything for my sons."
This was true. Tommy's ex-wife Brandy had used every trick in the book to keep Tommy from his two boys. Brandy always had an excuse when it was Tommy's weekend with the boys.
When Tommy was coaching their little league team, Brandy pulled the kids off the team; she claimed it was hurting their grades. When Tommy volunteered as a Lunch Room Monitor at his son's school, Brandy called the owner at the company that Tommy and I worked at. Brandy reported Tommy was skipping work and not clocking out. However old man Alverez who owned our company respond by not only paying for Tommy's time, but lending him the company van. Mr. Alverez made paid time assisting a school company policy. Heck, even I got involved doing lunch room duties three times a week.
"Pay attention," I instructed Tommy. "Next up the $1K a month court ordered maintenance for Brandy. Now you have $2K a month left."
"That is such BS," Tommy blurted out then slapping the table. "Brandy had only 6 months left on her nursing degree when we married. Why do I have to pay her alimony?"
"Excuse me, MAINTENANCE. I worked my butt off so she could stay home with the boys. Why can't she get her f'ning degree and get a job! No, she screwed around on me, and now I gotta to pay the freight while she keeps screwing around."
"We went over this. The maintenance –or alimony payments -is only for six years. It is the court's way to let Brandy get skills needed to enter the tight job market. It is common when one spouse has not been in the work force for a while. You are two years into that maintenance with four years left."
Tommy leaned back in the chair. "Six years. She could get another degree in less than four years. Besides, she has not even gone to one class yet."
I tried to continue. "Then you have the house payments- mortgage, taxes, etc. That comes to another $1K a month. You have left about $1K in your monthly paycheck at this point."
"Great," Tommy said, looking up. "Brandy picks out some McMansion that I bust my hump for, then I gotta pay for that place and I sleep in my car."
"Tommy, you do not sleep in your car, -although, seeing where your apartment is, your car may be a better option. Brandy only gets to stay in the house until little Frank turns 18. Then you can sell."
"Yeah, and she gets 50%. I pay for the house and she gets free rent and 50% of the profits. How is that fair?"
"The court's concern is a stable place for the children. That is why you were ordered to keep making the house payments. Brandy gets 50% of your future sale because she is expected to keep your house maintained while you make the mortgage, insurance, and tax payments."
"That is even more BS," my brother Tommy countered. "Every time something needs to be done I get a call. I would tell Brandy to go to hell, but it is one of the few times I can see the boys without a battle."
"Tommy out of your last thousand dollars left you must pay health and dental insurance for Tommy Jr and Frank, about $300 a month."
"Nothing is more important than my boys' health. But I got two beefs. Number 1-:why do I have to pay Brandy's heath care?"
"Because our company family plan's cost is same for the two boys with or without Brandy on it. Court Judge said you have to carry Brandy also for the same time period as the maintenance payment. Judge cited it was not any additional financial burden."
"Easy for him to say." Tommy replied. "That burns me is Brandy uses that health insurance against me. Every time it is my weekend to get the boys, they are always too sick. It takes me a month to get on the court docket and drag Brandy before the Judge. Brandy waves all these doctor bills, which I pay for by the way, as proof the boys were too sick to see me. Damn, Vince, it is nothing more than sniffles, sore throats, skinned knees and such. The week I am to get the kids, if either one of them coughs Brandy rushes them to the doctor. The only weekends I get the boys is when they need something, new shoes, haircuts, school supplies, that kind of stuff. Where is my child support money going, and the half of my 401K Brandy got? How is that fair?"
"Tommy no one said Justice is fair-, just blind."
"So I am left with $600 a month or $150 a week. I should just quit and say screw it all."
Just then my wife Lisa walked in and put two grocery bags on the table.
"How did quitting work -work out for you last time?" Lisa piped in, hearing the end of our conversation.
Tommy just looked down at the table. A year after the divorce, Tommy had quit his job and stopped making any of the court ordered payments. Too bad for Tommy, our state had a stiff Deadbeat Dad law that allowed the state to lock up those behind on child support for 60 days up to a year at a time.
Two months after Tommy's own personal strike he was thrown in county lock-up. Tommy lasted 12 days before he agreed to comply with the court orders. Good thing Tommy was such a great tech, old man Alverez gave him his job back. Tommy was a natural techie and craftsman; he could fix anything, as well as do anything. Drywall, concrete, home repair, whatever. Tommy really shined with complex electronic machinery. Even senior engineers came to Tommy when they were stuck, even though Tommy did not have a degree. Tommy getting his job back was fortunate, as not only did Tommy have to make up two months payments, but court costs also.
"Well I had plenty of company in the joint," Tommy grumbled. "Lot of turnips in lock-up"
Turnip was the term used for Fathers who could not pay child support or alimony. As in "Cannot get blood out of a turnip." At any time up to 13% of the county inmate population was "Deadbeat Dads –or Turnips." It is form of debtor's prison sentence handed out like contempt of court. But as it was a civil penalty, the state would not provide a lawyer. Not that it would have done Tommy any good.
My two boys came running in after their mother Lisa and ran right to Tommy.
"Uncle Tommy! Uncle Tommy!" my 8 and 10 year old shouted, jumping all over Tommy. "Did you bring Candy!? Did you bring Candy? Where is Candy? Where is Candy?"
Tommy laughed and pointed at the sliding glass door leading to our backyard. On the other side of the glass, a large Doberman dog was dancing on his hind legs in excitement, and whining loudly on seeing the two boys.
Candy, a 110 pound black and tan male Doberman pinscher, was a dog my brother had adopted after cops had rescued him from a fighting house. The dog was called Candy because he was used as cannon fodder for the Pit Bulls to chew on to get them ready for a match. Candy had survived –but with serious injuries and Tommy had convinced the veterinarian not to put Candy down. Tommy had traded the Vet the labor on a new outdoor deck in return for Candy's surgery costs. Candy looked like hell with one chewed up ear and scars crisscrossing his body from muzzle to tail. However, while Candy looked like hell and would follow Tommy thru the gates of hell, Candy adored my boys and Tommy's sons. Candy let the boys do anything to him, sticking to them like glue.
"Boys," Tommy said, "do not feed Candy too much," as my boys raided the fridge for hot dogs and meat products to give to Candy. While Tommy may be the boys' favorite and only Uncle, Candy was their favorite dog.
Lisa opened the sliding glass door for the boys to rush out. You could see she was hesitant. "Vince, you sure they are going to be OK?" Lisa was not a big fan of dogs. Candy still frightened her a little, and seeing Candy's scarred muzzle and big teeth so close to her children made Lisa uneasy.
Lisa was watching the boys with Candy, and both Tommy and I looked at her. Lisa and I were opposites in more ways than one. At just under six foot with light features and blue eyes, Lisa still looked like the star volleyball player whose skills had gotten her a full college scholarship. Lisa had legs that went on forever, and her gams would make any Las Vegas dancer jealous. While not vain, Lisa was proud of her legs and always wore outfits that showed off her leggy figure. She was small busted, barely an A cup. While two births had filled out her hips a bit, Lisa still had the looks of her northern German ancestors and could turn heads at 38 years of age. Even after 12 years of marriage I could not get over her. Tommy and I resembled our Italian forefathers, both of us standing no more than 5 foot 6inches, with the dark features found in southern Italy. While not a Greek god, I did not frighten children either. Coaching the boy's sport's team had kept my expanding waistline at bay, harder to do now that my 40th birthday had just passed.
As far as personalities, Lisa was stubborn as a mule, and would not back down once she had taken a position. I was more laid back, and felt life was too short to sweat the small stuff. We had long ago gotten used to the looks our Mutt and Jeff appearance made.
Tommy adored Lisa. It was Lisa who told Tommy when she found Brandy was cheating on Tommy. Lisa had strong beliefs and when Brandy refused to stop, or tell Tommy, Lisa gave Brandy an ultimatum. Brandy thought Lisa was bluffing. Lisa never bluffs, and called Tommy right in front of Brandy. The divorce was nasty, but Tommy admired Lisa for what she had done, often telling me that.
"How much was it this time?" Lisa asked that evening while coming out of the bathroom rubbing lotion onto her hands.
"100 dollars" I replied "Tommy Jr and Frankie need new shoes"
Lisa got into bed wearing a nightgown I liked. "What is Tommy going to do?
Since the divorce my brother was always borrowing money for his kids. But Tommy was no freeloader, he always did something that exceeded the loan. I think he had remodeled half my house in the past two years
"Hang that ceiling fan in the porch you wanted plus install the tankless hot water heater." I was a skilled accountant, but could not nail two boards together.
"Sounds like we got the better part of the deal on that one." Lisa then fluffed a pillow.
"Tommy certainly did not get any deal with Brandy," I said, sliding closer to Lisa.
The next statement from Lisa shocked me "Well it is not all Brandy's fault."
"Whoaaaa!" I sat up "You want to tell me how Brandy cheating on my brother, then screwing him over is not her fault?"
Lisa wrinkled her brow before she spoke. "Brandy was wrong to cheat. There is never any reason to cheat. But your brother overreacted."
"You know the courts almost always give custody to the mother. Thousands of studies show children are most always better off with their mothers. Say what you will about Brandy, but she always was a good mother."
"Lisa, studies also show children are better living as a family with a mother and father. How is Brandy breaking up the family with a divorce making Brandy a good mother?"
"Brandy did not file for divorce, Tommy did. Brandy didn't want a divorce"
"Lisa you know the story as well as I do. Brandy was not even sorry. She refused to stop going out with guys and wanted Tommy to stand down until she got ready to come back"
"Is Tommy better off now? It was only 3 guys, with one of them only a lousy blow job. Brandy told me she was almost done anyway, wishing to get back to Tommy."
"Well that should have made it all better for Tommy."
"Vince don't be so dramatic. It was only sex, and bad sex from what Brandy told me. Remember after Vince Junior's birth? I had complications being sick to my stomach for almost every day for two months. I knew you had needs and gave you a free pass to get laid. I even scoped out some of the ladies at Tony's school to fill in."
"Lisa I love you but sometimes you drive me crazy. I remember that time. For one, your hormones were all over the place after Vince Jr.'s birth so I did not take you seriously. Number two, our wedding vows included forsaking all others, not to mention in sickness and in health. I take those vows seriously. You said there was no excuse for cheating, are you now saying there are times when cheating is OK? Because I do not."
"I still think cheating is never OK. But I understand a bit of what Brandy was feeling. Brandy felt she was getting old and was seen as nothing but a mother, and Tommy's husband. I do not agree with her cheating, but understand why Brandy did it."
"Lisa I think my head is going to explode. How can you agree with Brandy cheating but believe it was wrong?"
"Well if Brandy had told Tommy it would not have been cheating. If Brandy had told Tommy how she was feeling maybe they could have worked something out. Then there would have been no cheating involved."
"Worked things out? Not cheating if you tell your partner? Lisa you cannot be serious. If Brandy wanted to play cowboy and schoolmarm or cheerleader and football star, Tommy would have been game. But sex with another guy, never gonna happen"
"Then Tommy made the choice, and has to live with the consequences. Again you got to ask is Tommy better off now. Look at it logically, what Brandy did was wrong by not telling him. But it was already done. Nothing could change the past, no way to un-ring that bell. The decision Tommy had to make was dealing with his, and his family's, future. Seriously, is he doing better now than if he had let slide a couple of stupid meaningless sex sessions, that did not threaten him in any way, and only pumped up Brandy's self-esteem."
"OK Lisa what is the number of sex partners that Tommy should let slide? 3, 5, 10?"
"Now you are being silly Vince. It is different with women then with men. I saw a few grays last week and it really got me down. Ladies are always judged by their looks."
"What is the big deal?-You always look great. If a few gray hairs is bothering you then head off to your favorite salon and pick out the hair color of your choice"
"It is more than that. After a certain age women become invisible. No one looks at us, wants us. It is like we are not even there. It should not matter, but it does. I know men and women are getting more equal than in our parents days, but until a lady can walk around with a beer belly and a thinning hair yet think they are still sexy it is not going to change."
"So cheating and jumping on a strange dick is going to make you equal, make the marriage better?"
"It is not about the sex, and it isn't cheating if the other partner knows about it." Lisa reached down fondling me. "You and I are great in bed, you know that. It is about that feeling of being admired, the thrill of for the first time. Something new, a different feeling, that adrenaline rush of being wanted, of deciding to go or not."
"Lisa you know that Tommy adored Brandy before the divorce, and you know that the kids and I are your number one fan club, we adore you. But you are saying cheating will make..." I hesitated for a moment "Lisa do you have something to tell me about the past?" I could feel my blood pressure rise up and my hard on go down.
Lisa shifted closer to me as her hands worked below to bring my penis back to life. "Vince I have never cheated on you, and never will"
Lisa knew how to press my buttons, as she lowered her mouth to my penis. Lisa cupped my balls as she sucked. My dick was at full attention now. After a few minutes of this heavenly feeling I maneuvered Lisa around so we were in a 69. In our first few years of marriage we called it a 68.5 due to our differences in height. Lisa loved to give and receive oral, while I enjoyed eating her out.
After a few minutes Lisa's movements were becoming more frantic. I could hardly hold back myself. Lisa pulled away from my dick and whipped around to impale herself on my manhood. I could feel her pussy spasm as her orgasm clenched me tight. That set me off over the edge and I spurted into her. Lisa came a 2nd time, then rode me for a few minutes before coming down off her orgasm high and getting off me to cuddle.
I was rubbing her back and she was purring contently. Lisa whispered in my ear.
"Just think! Tommy is missing all the good times with Brandy, like we have, all because of some stupid dates in the past he cannot do anything about."
"Lisa you are freaking me out." I rolled over to go to sleep. "Brandy is squeezing Tommy so much for money he is going to lose it soon. You can't get blood out of a stone, or Turnip" and I turned off the light.
Three weeks later I was pulling into my driveway late one evening, and I saw two cars parked by my curb. Standing around the late model cars were some guys and few girls from the University, judging by their dress. I walked into the house to see a large young man sitting on my couch watching TV and drinking one of my beers.
"Can I help you son," I asked the giant. He was as tall as me and he was sitting down, his arms were almost as large as my legs.
"No I'm cool, "said the giant. "You must be Lisa's old man. Dude you are lucky to have a MILF like that every night." He put down the beer. " I'm gonna be her date tonight."
I set down my briefcase. "Did you just say - You are Lisa's date tonight
"Ya man. That Lisa is one hot cougar, but she really made me jump thru the hoops for this date. On line interview, medical test, two meetings at the mall that were like a damn job interview. I was skying when she picked me. Dude, I hope it is worth it." He rubbed a hand over his crotch "Tell me man, she's good-right?"
"Well, good is not a word I would use. Excuse me." I then took off upstairs, taking the steps two at a time. I caught Lisa in the bedroom putting on her make-up. Lisa was dressed in painted on jeans, CFM heels and a tight shirt.
"Lisa, what is the jolly green giant doing in our living room? And what is this nonsense about a date?"
Lisa did not even look away from the mirror as she was putting on her lipstick.
"His name is Randy, he is on the University wrestling team and majoring in Communications." Lisa then turned toward me. "I am sorry you got home late from work tonight. I wanted to get this out of the way before Randy came over. But I gotta rush, so I will give you the quick version. Sit down for a second." Lisa patted on the bed, and I sat down on our flowered comforter.
"Vince I am not getting any younger. I have been a good wife to you for over 12 years, and mother to our children for over a decade. I just need this right now in my life, you must understand that. It has nothing to do with you or the kids."
"So you are going to pull a Brandy?" I could hardly speak my heart was pounding thru my chest.
"NO, what Brandy did was wrong. This is not cheating because I am being very open about what is going on. We talked about this last month."
"Lisa you are splitting hairs. This is wrong, and cheating no matter what you say. I am asking, no telling you as your husband of 12 years and father of your children, to stop this nonsense. I think you need a medical work-up. This not you." My face was flushed and I was starting to sweat.
Lisa finally turned to look at me. "Well it is too late now. Randy is already here"
"Lisa it is not too late until you walk out that front door. I will take care of Randy." With that I left the bedroom and bounded down the stairs, my heart still going a million miles a minute.
"Randy," I said and the guy stood up. Randy towered above me. "There has been a misunderstanding. Lisa will not be going out with you"
"Huh?" Randy looked confused then a light bulb went on in his head. "Ah dudeman I get it, Look Lisa told me you were cool with this."
"Well I am not, and I would appreciate you leaving now"
"Look dude I am sorry you and Lisa have a disagreement, but that is like between you and her. Me and Lisa got an agreement, -you know, an arrangement, -and I am hanging right here until she tells me different."
"Well Randy, my name is the only one on the house title, so unless you want me to call the police..." I grabbed at Randy's arm it was like gripping a tree limb. "It is time to leave"
Randy yanked away his arm. Just then Lisa came down the stairs.
"Vince, stop that right now. Randy would you please wait in your car. I will be right out."
Randy waited a second, but walked out the door. "Later, man."
Lisa faced me. "Now Vince, I am sorry you are upset. I see this is not going as planned." Lisa took a deep breath. "We talked about this and I thought you would be more understanding."
Lisa held up a finger and pointed at me. "How is this? If you are still up when I get home I will give you a bedroom session you will not forget. You can even do my ass, I know you like that."
"Sloppy seconds? No thank you," I muttered, I felt like I was about to have a heart attack. "Lisa what have I ever done or said that would make you think I would be alright with this? " My voice was tight and Lisa could see I was pissed.
"Fine," Lisa said throwing up her hands. "Vince, you win. -Let me go out this one time, you will see it changes nothing. But if after I return from this date, and tomorrow you are still upset, I won't go out again until we talk about it some more."
I stood up and walked in front of the door trying not to stroke out. "Lisa this is my offer. You stop this BS. Go back upstairs, and we will see a doctor and therapist first thing tomorrow morning. But you walk out that door, we will be done. Over. History. Your choice- your children and I..." I pointed out the door. "Or that."
"Oh do not be so dramatic." Lisa picked up her purse. "You love me and the kids too much. I also know you do not want to live like your brother."
Lisa checked herself out in the hall mirror. "Besides, I do not even know if anything is going happen tonight. Even if it does, Randy is clean –but I will make him wear a condom regardless. There, are you happy now?"
"No I am not happy now by any stretch, and you will not be in the future if you leave out the door. But Lisa you are partly right. I do love my kids, and I will not live like my brother. But you walk out that door and my love for you goes out the door, too."
Lisa walked past me opened the door before she turned back to me. "You know Randy told me he had a cute coed he knows that has 'Daddy issues', and I was going to hook you up with her. But if you are going to be this way, -forget it."
Lisa took a step out the door. "The kids are in bed, what is left of dinner is in the microwave. You have my cell if there is an emergency." With that she was gone, the door closed behind her.
I sat down and willed my pulse to stop racing while I tried to think. This was surreal; this could not be happening!
I finally snapped out of it, and went thru options in my mind. I was surprised that my love for Lisa had evaporated. It was said you cannot turn off love, or the love would turn to hate. But I felt nothing for her now, not love, nor hate ... just nothing. My main feeling was fear. Fear of losing my children.
For a brief second I considered letting Lisa's actions slide, that way I could keep my family. Instantly, I knew I could not tolerate Lisa going out with another guy, or guys. It just was not in my DNA.
This was not the Lisa I married. I do not know who she was, but I did not love that person. Fear of losing my children filled my mind, pushing out all other thoughts.
I kept seeing the future like my brother, fighting for every second with my sons. Missing out on key times in their lives. I ran thru a dozen options, from violent action to complicated plans. All ended with me in jail, or Lisa getting the kids. Everything led to the same conclusion: in a divorce I was going to get screwed, and lose seeing my boys. Lisa had really boxed me in.
Then a bizarre idea came to mind. It was the path I decided to take, because the action was so out there and so out of character it would blow the circuit fuses in the person's brain that Lisa had become.
First I checked on the boys. They were sound asleep. I climbed down the steps and stood in front of the hallway mirror.
"This is going to hurt," I muttered to myself. Then reminded myself it was for my boys.
Three minutes later I was done. My shirt was ripped and I had scratches on my chest and face. My nose was bloody and the lip was bleeding. One eye was swelling and be soon be black and blue. Best was my forehead, I had smashed my forehead against mirror, shattering the mirror with a big spider web. My forehead was bleeding like a stuck pig. I knew from my days as a wrestling gofer years ago the forehead bleeds a lot -but had no real damage. I had been careful not to bruise my knuckles while punching myself.
"911. What is your emergency"
"911," I said into the phone, "I need help. My wife and her boyfriend assaulted me. My children are in the house and I am afraid they are coming back."
"Sir, I have your address and I will have a patrol car on the way now. Can you secure the location? Do you feel in danger?" the 911 operator asked
"Damn right I feel in danger. Please tell the police to hurry." I texted my brother Tommy on my cell to come ASAP, as I spoke on the house phone. "I can lock the doors – but I do not know when they are coming back."
"Do you need medical attention? Did you lose consciousness?"
"Yes I need an ambulance." Might as well make it good. "I must have been knocked out because I do not remember anything except my wife and that guy hitting me and I think I got kicked a few times.
"OK sir, Help is on the way. Try to remain calm and stay on the line."
My brother must have been in the area as Tommy got there first. He was stunned, but I said I would answer his questions later. Now I needed him to watch the boys and take pictures of my injuries. Tommy was snapping pictures with both his cell phone and my digital camera when the police and ambulance arrived. Candy was not happy about the commotion, and Tommy had to put the dog in the boy's room, who were still fast asleep.
It was around 3:30 in the morning as I got out of the cab in front of my once happy home. The doc had patched me up at the hospital and a sympathetic detective had taken my statement. "What the hell?" I thought as I looked at the front of my house. There were tire tracks all over the lawn, the bushes were trampled, and the front porch railing was hanging askew. A local metro Police car was in the driveway. I opened the front door, and Candy welcomed me by trying to give me a series of licks while wagging his stubby tail a mile a minute. As I petted Candy I heard my brother Tommy yell, "Vince, we're here in the kitchen!" As I entered the kitchen with Candy faithfully following, I saw a small female cop was sitting at the table talking on a cell phone and writing something in a notebook. What shocked me was Tommy.
Tommy was holding an ice pack to his right eye, the corner of his lip was split, and Tommy had cotton swabs stuck up one nostril. His clothes were torn in several places, and Tommy was missing a shoe. Tommy saw me staring and gave a lopsided grin. "What you looking at Vince? You missed all the fun." Tommy moved his ice pack. " You wanna trade bandages? I hope I don't look as bad as you."
I was finally able to stutter out, "Tommy what the F did you do?"
Tommy leaned back in the chair. "You missed quite a night. It started out with the officer here," Tommy pointed a finger at the female officer still talking on the phone, who waved in my direction, "telling me all about your wife and ... err ... boy toy's assault. We were sitting here drinking coffee awaiting Lisa to come home before all hell broke loose." Tommy petted Candy on his huge head. "The Officer told me in domestic disputes where there is violence – for any reason -one person goes to jail for 24 hours. A cooling down period, so to speak."
Tommy took off his ice pack and laid it on the table.
"Well, at about 2AM, Lisa came home and was met at the door by the Officer and ... well ... Lisa had her boy toy Moose with her. He is a big boy!"
"Randy is his name," I muttered
"Ya sure, and old Moose had another guy with him," continued Tommy. "Anyway after the Officer explained the issues to Lisa, she tried to put the cuffs on Lisa-. Then it got crazy. Lisa started to fight back and the boy toys got involved - then I got involved." Tommy pointed at his eye. "As you can see, not too successfully. As Moose and Squirrel were rearranging my features, old Candy came flying thru the open door." Tommy petted Candy sitting by his side. "Then it was all about a 110 pound tornado of teeth, fur and fangs. Moose and Squirrel got bit a half dozen times each before Candy latched onto Moose's crotch. He won't be thinking with his dick for a while. " Tommy laughed. "The cop had tazed Lisa by now, and was giving the old code 999 OFFICER NEEDS URGENT ASSISTANCE on the radio when some of Moose's pals got out of his car and decided to come play too."
"Jesus H Christ!" I exclaimed.
"Hold up," Tommy held up his hand. "It gets better! You know your next door neighbor. Marie Rodriquez's oldest boy Juan."
"Sure, great kid. In the Army now. Afghanistan, I think. We both coached him on our CYO football team." I said, "Her youngest son Alberto and my kids have sleepovers all the time."
"Yea, seems him and Jamal Franklin, -also on our old CYO football squad, are back on leave. They and some of their buddies were pulling into their driveway after a night out and saw Old Coach Tommy getting the hell beat outta him. That gang came charging across the front lawn like the 1st Armored Division they belong to." Tommy chuckled. "Lisa's playmates were flying around like ten pins at an All-Star bowling tournament! Plus, Candy was ripping into any limb that got within biting range."
I could only sit back open mouthed.
Tommy leaned forward with obvious enjoyment about telling the story. "But Wait – there is more! Finally the Police Cavalry arrives: Metro PD, County Sheriffs, even a Highway Patrol car! They came out swinging sticks, and it looked a scene outta Braveheart for about 10 minutes!" Tommy touched the back of his head. "Heck, even I got wacked trying to get Candy outta there before someone shot my puppy." This earned Candy a scratch behind his torn ear.
"Finally the clubs, tazers, and Candy settled the issue and everyone was cuffed and on the ground. The Officer and I had to walk around sorting out the good boys from the bad boys. All the naughty children and Lisa are in the pokey now, going thru the system."
The word "Children" snapped me out of my stupor. "Where are the boys?!" I exclaimed jumping up.
"Relax," Tommy said, pointing back to my chair. "Your little ones slept thru the whole ordeal."
At that point the female Officer snapped shut both her cell phone and notebook, before looking at me. "I am glad you are here now. I hope you are feeling better."
She put way her phone and notebook. "Your spouse and friends will most likely be arraigned late tomorrow if you wish to arrange bail." Tommy snorted. The Officer gave him a look. "Your spouse is probably looking at resisting arrest, assault, assault on a law enforcement officer, plus some other charges."
The Officer started toward the door. "Did they tell you about the restraining order procedure?"
"Yes," I replied, "they explained I needed to be at the courthouse room 564 at 10:00 tomorrow morning."
She turned back toward Tommy, but was still talking to me. "I guess that will be all then. I am sorry about your situation. Please call me if you need anything." She then walked out of the kitchen toward the front door.
Tommy threw the ice pack into the sink then said, "What now, Vince? You wanna talk?"
"Nope. Sleep. You can take the guest bedroom. Later in the AM, I take the kids to school and head to court. You got an early date at Home Depot."
"Locks. I want new deadbolt locks on every door and secure every opening in this place."
It was a busy morning. Tommy headed out to be at Home Depot to be there when the doors opened. I went online and closed all our bank accounts, paid off, then cancelled the credit cards and Lisa's cell phone. (Hell of a penalty). Got the kids fed and onto school. Next, I stopped at the bank to pick up the account amounts, then onto another bank for new accounts and credit cards. The hearing for a restraining order was quick once it got to the judge. The order was only good for 30 days before it had to be renewed-but it kept Lisa a hundred yards from me, the kids, and the house. Lisa could get her stuff only if I was not present and she was in the company of a court officer.
Next was a divorce attorney. I used the same guy that Tommy's ex-wife Brandy had. He was a shark -but now he was MY shark. I wanted the papers served on Lisa before she got out of the clink. He said it was not enough time. I was surprised when my shark started talking about looking into a separation first to cool down, perhaps couples therapy. Was this the same guy who flayed my brother alive? I wanted a scorched earth campaign.
"Look," the shark started, "let me play Devil's Advocate for a minute. We do not even know if your wife cheated on you. Not that that matters anyway. You really have no proof. Do you have any hard evidence? Pictures? Witness statement? Did you hear anyone claim to see her with another guy in an adulterous position? All you know is she left with a group of young girls and guys. They could have been going to a football game."
"It's not football season, and what football game lasts until 2:00 AM?"
"Okay, I am not saying you do not have a strong case. With the assault charges and restraining order, you have a better chance than your wife for custody. But you never know what a judge wants. The judge may see a 'she said-he said' issue and no one wins. You want your kids to grow up without one parent?"
"Yea Yea Yea-but I do not want to end up like my brother, maybe seeing his kid every other month and living like an unemployed undergrad."
My shark leaned across his desk. "You still might. This is a no fault state; unless she is incarcerated you still need to split the assets 50-50. I will do as you wish, but the courts are very heavily tilted in favor of the mother. In your case you have a much better chance than most but ... Is there even the slightest chance you two can work thru this ... event?" He folded his hands.
"Just do it," I said, and started to write out a check for his retainer
Lisa got out two days later. I do not know who paid her bail. A bail bond company called me. Lisa was requesting the house as collateral for bail. I told them it was not going to happen, and I would contest any such document. I had packed Lisa's car with as much of her stuff as would fit and parked it 100 yards down the block. The keys and signed title were in the glove box. After that, the phone answering machine and my cell was filled with Lisa's calls. I listened to the first few which were full of stories about how no cheating had been going on, nothing happened, she could explain everything, she was shocked I had been injured somehow, but I had gone too far, it was all a mistake, a misunderstanding. Not surprisingly, there were no tears or sobbing. Lisa was still Lisa and had made up her mind. I knew Lisa thought if she could get me to understand her thinking all would be well. Lisa was correct that she knew me after over 10 years -but I also knew Lisa after over a decade together. She would try to get to me thru the kids.
I was walking from the school parking lot to the cafeteria for my monitoring duties when Lisa and –surprise to me- Randy aka Moose came hustling toward me from behind a pillar by the school door. Randy aka Moose was walking a bit slowly with a slight limp-no doubt a lasting reminder from Candy my brother's Doberman.
Lisa started first as soon as she got into range. "Vince be reasonable, there was no cheating..." Then Randy/Moose interrupted. " Dude you gotta drop the charges ... I never touched you ... me and her ... it was no big deal ... this jail thing gonna fuck up my scholarship..." Then Lisa was talking over him and it was a jumble of " ... no divorce ... hot MILF ... not worth this ... I only love you ... work this out..." each one of them talking louder and louder.
"Halt!" I said holding up my hand showing a small recorder. "I need you both to get away from me –now! " I pointed at Randy/Moose. "You are on bail for assault and now causing me to fear for my safety. " I pointed toward Lisa. "And you are in violation of a restraining order!"
"Oh stop being so dramatic," Lisa said reaching out to grab my arm. "I do not care about anything some useless court said on a piece of paper. You need to come with me so we can get this straightened out."
Randy/Moose might be majoring in communication, but I do not think he grasped the concept of a recording device because he said, " ... Dudeman if this screws up my, ride I am gonna kill you!"
I had to conceal my smile as I turned and ran back toward the family minivan with Lisa and Randy/Moose in pursuit. I pointed the remote key entry at the minivan and depressed the button that activated the automatic sliding doors (on both sides).
Did you know that you can hire off duty Metro PD officers in full uniform as private security, even bodyguards? The Metro PD is so efficient they have a form on their website for services, with rates that can be paid via credit card. It was not cheap - but it was worth every penny when the four bulky Metro PD officers piled out of the family style minivan.