Hey Folks. Here's another story of woe and regret. Again I'm blessed to have Barney-R editing it. This one is shorter since some of you like that. Let's see how it goes.
It's said that every criminal deserves his day in court. I was facing the first of two. This first one would be the hardest. Although I wasn't the star of this one, I was very involved. My loving wife had the distinction of being the focus of this investigation. Nearly everyone in town had gathered to see a civil suit. It was a severe impairment suit brought about by the wife of the victim. She alleged that my wife was directly responsible for the loss of her husband's ability to function normally and or earn an income and provide for his family.
The DA was sure that he couldn't get a conviction on murder charges or even assault charges against Tammy, so he hadn't filed any charges. That had angered Samantha to the point that she decided to sue Tammy for the loss of her husband's ability to function.
Two women who were once, if not the best of friends, at least cordial ones, were now arguing tooth and nail over what happened to the asshole that one of them used to be married to. My wife Tammy claimed that what had happened to Bob had been a terrible and tragic accident that she herself was in no way responsible for. Samantha on the other hand maintained that it was Tammy's fault that Bob was in a place that he never should have been in. She also maintained that Tammy was directly responsible not only for pushing Bob into the place he ended up, but for negligence in maintaining a safe environment in said place.
What neither of them realized was that what happened to Bob wasn't exactly an accident. It had been forseen and calculated if not planned or executed. The random nature of the incident was what made it so brilliant. I had my own opinions on who was at fault. I believe that Bob himself was directly responsible for what happened to him. And I myself was indirectly responsible, since I had actually set those random events in motion. I was not a suspect though. And I was keeping my mouth shut.
I was there to provide some insight into the device that led to what happened to Bob. I got out of my Black 2012 Mustang in the parking lot adjacent to the courthouse. There was a crowd of people already gathered there. I noticed the District Attorney and one of his assistants walking towards the courthouse as I summoned the courage to brave the crowd. I thought it was interesting that in this case, the DA had declined to forward charges, waiting to see what happened in the civil suit. Usually the process went the other way.
I saw an older couple moving quickly towards me. The man grabbed my shoulder and turned me around to face him.
"Dave you have to help her," he said. "I don't know what happened to her. She sure isn't the little girl I raised, but she's still the woman you married. I think it was a hormone imbalance or temporary insanity that led to it. But despite all of that, she loves you. She has maintained that throughout this nightmare."
"I'm not sure what I should do or even what I CAN do Mr. Miller," I said to him. He looked hurt. "I'm not really here to say anything about Tammy. From what I understand, I'm only going to be answering questions about the device. Besides that I have to be very careful what I say about Tammy personally because my words, if entered into the public record as part of this trial could affect my divorce." He looked as if I had punched him in the gut without warning.
"So things have gotten that bad?" he asked sadly. "When did I become MISTER MILLER instead of DAD?" It was a really awkward moment and for a second neither of us knew what to say.
"Her lawyer may have decided to ask you a few personal questions in reference to Tammy's character and personality. Since I'm warning you about them, you could instruct your friend's lawyer to allow them, or just to allow a couple of them before he objects," he said. "And as far as this divorce goes, it's really bullshit. There shouldn't be a divorce. The two of you should be going to counseling and working on putting this whole tragic incident behind you." He looked around as we both noticed the couple walking towards us at the same time.
"I think that you should walk into that courtroom and sit beside her," he continued. "I know that right now you're still shocked and hurt and angry about this whole thing, but dammit Dave, you have to put your petty feelings and ego aside here and stand by your woman."
"Are you harassing a witness?" asked a deeper voice. My soon to be ex-father in law was interrupted by another older man. This one also had his wife with him. "Leave him alone and just let justice prevail," said the newcomer. "Maybe I should alert the judge that you were out here trying to influence the witness to help your murderous whore of a daughter. Dave is the victim here. He's better off without that bitch."
Tammy's dad turned and punched the other man, Bob's dad, in the face. Within seconds the two sixty plus year old men were fighting and rolling on the ground in the parking lot while their wives hissed and spat at each other. I turned and continued towards the courthouse as the building's security squad descended on the scene and separated the combatants.
When I finally made it into the courtroom, Tammy's lawyer directed me to the bench where she sat. I shook my head and walked across to a seat in the third row of the opposite side. Two rows ahead of me, I saw a waterfall of crimson curls as Samantha took her seat.
Within a few moments the trial began. The lawyers postured and sparred as they went about presenting their cases. Samantha's lawyer started out by talking about Bob. He was described as a very popular local business owner and man of the people. The lawyer painted a picture of a Bob that made him seem nearly saint-like.
Then Tammy's lawyer refuted all of the accolades that his opponent had presented. He painted Bob as an evil and conniving sexual predator who lured unsuspecting women into kinky and bizarre sexual machinations while ignoring his own wife. He also threw in the fact that Samantha's sexual frigidity may have been what spurred Bob to pursue his extra-curricular relationships. He maintained that Samantha knew what Bob did and often threw other women to the wolves herself, so she didn't have to participate.
The reporters from the local and a few state and national papers were having a field day with the suggestive legal fireworks. They would undoubtedly sell an unbelievable number of papers before the case was over.
I wasn't called to testify for over an hour. My lawyer had arrived by then, and I told him about Mr. Miller's request. "Hell no," he spat. He ducked low, supposedly so he wouldn't distract anyone from Tammy's lawyer's soliloquy. He whispered something to Samantha's lawyer who nodded and whispered back.
Although, I wasn't on trial here, my lawyer had decided to come for the trial. He wanted to be here to prevent me from doing anything to hinder my efforts to divorce Tammy. He and Samantha's lawyer had shared information since Sam was also divorcing Bob.
I stepped up towards the witness stand and was sworn in. Tammy's lawyer made a big show of smiling at me as he came over to me.
"Can you state your name for the court and describe your relationship with the defendant and the unfortunate Mr. Enthrust?" he asked.
"My name is David Pike," I said calmly. "I was ... I am currently married to Tammy Pike. Bob Enthrust is my neighbor, golf buddy and until recently my friend."
"You've heard Mr. Enthrust described two different ways. To some he was described as being an angel and to others, he was close to being the devil himself. How did you feel about him?" he asked.
"Objection!" yelled Samantha's lawyer.
"On what grounds?" asked the judge.
"The witness is obviously hostile towards Mr. Enthrust because of the illicit nature of the relationship between Mr. Enthrust and Mrs. Pike," said Sam's lawyer.
"Sustained," said the judge.
Tammy's lawyer backed off and began another line of questioning. "Mr. Pike do you recognize this implement?" he asked me.
I looked at it. "Yes," I said. "I believe that I made it."
"How did you come to make it and when did you do so?" he asked.
"I guess I did it because I love Tammy," I said. I paused and shook my head. I squeezed my hands together while gritting my teeth. "What I meant to say is that I LOVED Tammy. So when she took up gardening, along with half of the women in our neighborhood, I wanted to support her hobby. One of her biggest problems was weeding in between smaller plants. And there were places that a rake or a hoe were simply too large. There was also the problem that we needed a lot of leverage. Being an engineer, I like to tinker so I went into our small shed to find one of our garden tools that I could modify to do the job. We are one of the few houses in our neighborhood that has a separate garage and shed.
We needed the shed to store lawn and garden supplies. I hate keeping that crap near my Mustang. Especially because Tammy is a great wife ... well ... I thought she was. But she tended to be kind of disorganized and a little sloppy. So I just figured that keeping my car stuff and the garden stuff separate was a good idea. It saved a lot of arguments. So anyway that day I stepped into the shed and almost knocked myself out.
.... There is more of this story ...