Edited by Barney R
I came up to the cabin to check it out after it was left it to me. What I found is a big surprise.
I was driving to the cabin I inherited on a cold January Friday evening. I had taken the week off to attend to my mother’s estate. She had passed away after several years of declining health and had very little to leave behind but my Grandfather’s old hunting camp and cabin in northern Lower Michigan. After more than 3 months, I finally got all of her outstanding bills paid and left for the cabin about 10:00 AM to check it out and get away from the past week. While driving up to it, it started snowing very heavily. By the time I got to the turnoff, it was about 4 inches deep and had stopped.
As I made the turn off to the property, I saw that the gate was opened. And the lock on the chain was cut. There was a set of fresh tire tracks going in, but nothing coming out. I figured it must have been some of the local druggies trying to steal from the vacant cabin.
I checked my cell phone, and surprise, I actually had service. (Those of you that do not live in extreme rural or wilderness areas would not understand) I called 911 and the dispatcher said that she was sending a couple of cars immediately. The lady dispatcher told me to wait for them, and if possible, block the gate and get somewhere safe.
I pulled my car into the gate and shut it off. I then sat in the car and waited. I started to think of who even knew about the cabin as over 90 percent of this area was federal forest and strictly wilderness. It wasn’t hunting season and the fox, beaver, coyote populations were trapped out several decades ago.
Before my thoughts got too involved, I could see the flashing lights of the county sheriff’s cars coming down the road. I moved my car, and the deputies pulled up and asked if I was the one who called. I explained that I was and how I came into the property. I also said that whoever had broken in was still there as there was no other road that was drivable into or out of the property.
The two sheriff’s cars slowly drove the 500 or so yards into the camp, I followed, and sure enough, a car was alongside the cabin, and whoever was stealing from me was inside and oblivious to our presence. The deputies called their dispatcher and told of what they had found so far, and that the cabin door showed signs of forced entry.
Just then, a man and a woman came out of the cabin carrying a gun safe. When they were confronted by the deputies, the man puffed up and said that they had the right to be here as the property belongs to the lady. They had not seen me yet, so when I came around the cruisers, they just deflated. I was shocked to see who the thieves were. They were none other than my former business partner and my slut ex-wife.
I suppose introductions are in order. I am Nathan (Nate) Casswell, 36, divorced, and owner and working service technician for a bank equipment company. I install and repair things like the drive-throughs that you use at your local bank or credit union. I am also an owner of the business. I have no children, although my ex-wife has one child, a boy. That is part of this story.
I met Louise Baker on a flight from Chicago as I was returning home from my time in the army. I was 25 at the time and had served 6 years in the army as a radio repairman. I studied online while in the service and got a degree as an electronics technician with a minor in computer security. I had two tours in the sandbox and was fed up with the politics that the army required.
When I flew home, she was in the seat next to me and we struck up a conversation. I found out that she was the youngest child in her family and was returning to Grand Rapids MI. from a shopping trip in Chicago. We seemed to hit it off and the conversation continued while I was grabbing my duffle bag and barracks bag off the luggage carousel. Louise asked if there was someplace her driver could drop me off at, but my mother showed up then and after introductions and a phone number exchange, mother and I left. I thought at the time that that was a nice interlude, but that it was over. I had no intention of calling her, and never in my wildest thought did I figure that she would call me.
About 10 days later, the phone rang at my mother’s house and she handed me the phone and said it was for me. I wondered who it could be as I had not reconnected with any of my old crowd from high school yet. It was Louise and she started complaining bitterly about me not calling her. Before she got too far into her tirade, I interrupted and said; “I did not call you, if you are going to be that rude this conversation is over goodbye.” Then I hung up.
That seemed to end that encounter, and I got together with some of my high school buddies later that week and we went to a bar downtown. As I was getting our drinks, I heard a commotion it the corner. I turned and saw two guys had cornered a girl and she was trying to get away from them. They seemed to be enjoying themselves, and the bouncers just seemed to be standing around watching. Being the good do-be that I was, I signaled my friends and went over and taped the biggest guy on the shoulder. I asked him; “Are you always a bullying asshole, or is it just tonight? If it is always, then we will find a reason for you to change, or you can leave. If it is just for tonight, just leave and work it off.”
He looked at me as if I had grown a third eye in the middle of my forehead and said; “Listen to me real good fucker because after we are through with this slut, I am going to pound you so far into the ground that it will take a week to dig out.”
Then he looked over his shoulder at his buddy and saw my four friends; he gulped, and said to his buddy, “let’s get out of here, this asshole has spoiled all of our fun anyway.” Then he turned to the girl and said; “Look slut if you are not going to play, don’t accept drinks from guys.”
I then grabbed his arm and put a heavy squeeze on the elbow joint right where the nerve to his hand was. I very quietly told him; “Maybe if you apologize to the lady, you can get some feeling back in your hand. Otherwise, I will pinch harder, and it will be a month before you can even pick up a pencil.”
He gulped again, and told the girl; “I apologize, I must have had too much to drink.”
Then he and his sidekick left, and as I turned to the girl to check to see if she was alright, she said; “Asshole, mind your own business, I could have handled it.”
I saw that it was Louise and just started laughing. When I got control of myself I said; “I see your manners have not improved, please lose my mother’s phone number, and I won’t be coming around you anymore. Perhaps when you finish charm school, you will learn to not piss people off.” I then turned and said to my friends; “I’m leaving guys, the company in this corner has put a big stink on my clothes. I’ll see you later.”
I got in my car and drove back to my mother’s. I went to bed and when I came into the kitchen the next morning Louise was sitting there talking to my mother. I turned around and went back to the bedroom got some outdoor clothes on and went out the front door for a walk.
When I returned about an hour later everyone was gone. There was a note on the kitchen table from my mother to call her so I did. She started to give me a bunch of shit about manners, and so I shut her up and said; “I’ll pack my stuff and stay in a hotel until I can find a place. Do not tell anyone where I land. I will call you when I get a place and a car. Then you can apologize for jumping in where you are not wanted.” I was MAD. Not just angry, but stark raving throw the baby and the bathwater out mad.
As I packed, the phone rang several times and I didn’t answer any of them. I called a cab and went to a Holiday Inn on the other side of town. I then called a couple of my friends and got the name of a car salesman they all said was fair and honest.
I had most of my army pay; because let’s face it in the middle of the Iraqi desert there is not a lot of places to spend your money. I called the man my friends recommended and found out that he was at a Ford dealership. I gave him an idea of what I was looking for, and he said he had a couple of Explorers and Escapes that might fit what I wanted. The dealership was near the hotel, so I walked over and talked to him. He had a two-year-old Explorer with the Eddie Bauer Package and a three-year-old basic Explorer. The two Escapes were too fancy for my taste, but I liked the size. He said, “I have a companion dealership on the other side of town and they have a Plain Jane Escape that will probably fit what you want. The problem with it is it is a very bright yellow and no one seems to want it. Do you want to go there and look? I know you don’t have a car, and I’ll drive. That way I won’t have to split the commission.” He laughed and we headed for his car.
The Escape was indeed Plain Jane but was equipped with all the stuff I wanted. The yellow was loud, but I didn’t care, I was just looking for transportation and wanted the four-wheel-drive for Michigan winters. I talked him into a good price and left a deposit. I then took the car to a friend’s garage and asked him to check it out. He said he would have it finished by early afternoon. So I went to a nearby diner for lunch.
When I finished and went back to the shop and my friend gave me an all good report but said that I should get some slightly more aggressive tires for winter.
I took it back to the dealer, talked to the salesman and he set me up with the local tire store for a set of mud/snow tires and included the wheels. As I didn’t have a place yet, the tire store would keep them for a week. We made the deal and after another hour of getting the temporary tags, I drove back to the hotel.
With transport, I had everything but civilian clothes and a cellphone to begin looking for a place to rent. A trip to Wal-Mart the next morning got me some clothes and even a TracFone cell phone. I then purchased a newspaper and got a local real estate guide from the hotel and went apartment hunting.
I looked at several complexes and some duplexes. Nothing there seemed to strike my fancy. I was just cruising around some of the areas that I always admired and found a for rent sign on a house in a quiet neighborhood. I called the number on the sign and left a message. As I started to drive away, my phone rang, and it was the person renting out the house. He said he could be there in 5 minutes as he lived just a couple of blocks over. I went back to the house to wait.
When the man arrived and introductions were over, the guy said he wanted to actually sell the house, but it was fully furnished and the real estate people said that would make it difficult to sell. I had not thought about buying, but from the outside, the house looked immaculate. As I toured the house and the yard, I was very impressed. The furniture did not quite fit my style, but I could live with it. When I asked about how much the rent was, the man told me and it was much cheaper then any of the complexes or duplexes that I looked at and the final benefit was that the first year’s rent could be used as a down payment if I liked the place. When I asked about the asking price for the house as is, he gave me a price I could live with and said he would put that price in the lease agreement if I wanted to buy later. We shook hands and he gave me his lawyer’s address and I called him. We set up an appointment for early the next day and I went back to the hotel.
I called my mother’s house and left a message with my cell number. Because I was still ticked off that she was meddling also I told her not to give the number out to anyone and not to call unless it was an emergency or if she promised to stop meddling.
I know that sounds harsh, but my mother was still trying to run my life. That is one of the main reasons why I went into the military. I was a veteran, with skills, and 25 years old. I did not need a babysitter or a kibitzer.
I found a job with a local electronics company. I later bought the house I was renting. I made up with my mother and found out that the day Louise was there she wanted to apologize and thank me for the help at the bar.
I contacted Louise and after accepting her apologies, I sort of forgot about her. Then on one of my service calls took me to a local business where their video recorder for their security system wasn’t working properly. As I entered, the receptionist greeted me and called the security director. Lo and behold, Louise came out and was all business. She showed me to the security setup and the recorder. After about 10 minutes, I found that someone had tried to correct a nonexistent problem and crossed a couple of cables.
Louise was thrilled that the problem was solved and asked if she could meet me for lunch someday. I agreed and found I was looking forward to that meeting. After that lunch, we dated for about six months, and I asked Louise to marry me. She agreed but said she had to tell me a couple of things that might cause problems. It turned out that her family not only owned the business that I saw her at but several more around the whole county. She also said that her father, (not dad or daddy) demanded that they make and agree to a prenuptial agreement.
I told her that money was not important to me, and if it was a fair one, neither was a prenup.
She asked how I could dismiss money so easily. I told her I was healthy, had a good-paying job, a house, a car, and all the toys I wanted. I then asked her what was so important about having more money then you need to be comfortable. I asked if luxuries were so all-important that the acquisition was a worthy goal.
She responded that she was not sure because she has always had money. She said that she was not as bad as her mother about status and luxury but she enjoyed them.
We decided on an approximately 8-month engagement. Louise’s father and mother were not on board with us getting married. Her mother thought that I was beneath them, and her father thought I was after her money. This all came to a head at a Sunday dinner at their house when they brought a young man from one of their businesses and on their social level. All three of them started making snide little put-downs and digs about my job. I put up with it for about 20 minutes when the new jerk mentioned that my parents must not have been good if I had to go into the army to get into college.
That did it for me. I was MAD. I was smart enough to not do anything, but I told everyone “If you feel I am not good enough for their daughter; based on the talk around this table, I tend to agree. That being said I was taught to treat the family as guests and guests as family.” I continued, “Louise if you want to continue to remain engaged to me, do not invite me here again.”
I asked for my ring back, got it and left. I never did go back to their house.
Louise told me that the rest of the day at their house was a lot of shouting and the jerk from the business opened his mouth once too often and he was told to leave. She also left and came over to my house and said that we could get married in Vegas if necessary. I gave the ring back and got a kiss and more that night.
Things calmed down and her father called me about the prenup. I told him to give me a copy of his proposals and I would look it over and if it was fair to both of us I would sign it. I said that if I did not understand, I would take it to a lawyer. If it was not fair, I would submit a counter-proposal. We would then accept one or the other, or compromise. I told him that I did not give a rip for their money and that probably the best solution would be to put all of Louise’s money in a trust before the wedding.
Then I found a new problem. Louise’s father sent me a prenup that basically raped me if we divorced. I went to a lawyer and had him make two different documents. One of them was as one-sided in my favor as the one they sent me. The other was as fair as I could make it. The fair one protected Louise’s family funds and my assets, mainly my house, business, tools, and savings. The fair prenup also specified that except for adultery or spousal abuse, if a divorce occurred, both parties would split all acquired assets except those exempted specifically. If the cause was adultery or abuse, assets acquired during the marriage would all go to the injured party.
I sent the prenup they sent me with the note ‘no way’ and the other unfair one with a note, ‘I will sign this one’. I knew that would twist his crank and
waited for a call the next day. When it did not come, I was surprised. Then I got my mail and the prenup that I sent was in an envelope in several pieces.
I called Frank, Louise’s Father, and laughed and said I did not think to do that with the one he sent me. I told him I had a compromise that is fair to both. I would meet with him and Louise in my lawyer’s office the next day. he, of course, could bring his lawyer.
We met and they wanted alimony, I just laughed and said no. They wanted to remove the adultery and abuse clauses and I said no. They insisted that they protect Louise’s assets, I agreed but I insisted that they could not get any of my assets from before the marriage.
We finally got a prenup that was basically the compromise that I gave them Louise and I signed the documents and got back to planning the wedding. I hoped that that was the end of the drama and we could get this over with and start our life together. That was not to be.
As I said, I was a service tech, and I was occasionally sent out of town for a customer problem. About 3 weeks before the wedding I had to leave for a problem that should have required an overnight stay. I told Louise I would be back the next night. She said ok, she would go to her parent’s home the next day and with her mother do some last-minute planning.
I went to the customer site, and the problem was a simple fix. They needed a line conditioner and I had one in my truck. I set it up and was out in less than 25 minutes. I would be able to make it back home before dark. I stopped and Louise some flowers, and drove to her apartment. I rang her bell, and she came to the door in a nightgown and robe with smudged lipstick. I gave her the flowers and asked if I could come in. She hesitated, and a guy (the asshole from the dinner) came around the corner dressed in just a pair of athletic shorts and asked who I was.
I got even Madder, I told the asshole I was the fiancé and asked Louise what was going on. She said nothing. I grabbed her and took the ring off and told her that the wedding was off. I let asshole know that she was a cheater. She started crying and I just turned and went home.
I got a phone call from Frank and asked what I did to make Louise cry.
I told him what had gone on and that he and his wife got there wish. I realized that she was not good enough for me and the wedding was off.
He said that is not what she said.
I told him I understand that he had to put family first, but I would not marry a cheater, and he should ask who the nearly naked guy who she was entertaining while I was supposed to be out of town.
Frank said that that was not what Louise was claiming. I then asked why she was entertaining any man in her apartment when we were supposed to be married in three weeks. He said she told him he was a friend from college. I laughed and ask if he was just a friend, where were his clothes when he came to talk to me. Frank apologized and said he would get to the bottom of it. I told him to do what he must but that I would not be getting married to her under any circumstances. We ended the conversation.
Louise called several times and I just let them go to voice mail and then deleted them without listening. I called my mother and told her that she had better stay out of this as it was between Louise and me. She said if Louise called she would talk, but she would not interfere. I told her that even though she made me mad a lot, I still loved her. We hung up and I went to bed.
The next day when I returned to the house from work, Louise was sitting on my front steps. She said we needed to talk. I said “No, we don’t, you showed me how important I am to you. We were engaged and I find you spending inappropriate time with some other man less than a month before we were going to get married. We will not be getting married, we will not be dating. We will not even be talking after today. If you do not leave here I will sell the house and move. Then I will make sure that no one we both know will know where I am. I cannot stand a liar and a cheat. Too bad I broke up your little love fest yesterday. Did it continue after I left? Was your other lover as good as I used to be? Was it worth throwing all of your parent’s plans away?”
She started crying again, and I just walked around her and went in the back door as she was blocking the front door. She started ringing the doorbell and kept it up for about 5 minutes before she left. I did not hear from her for several days, but I got a surprising call from her mother asking me to reconsider. I explained what happened and that she should ask Louise and get the truth from her. I also repeated again that the wedding was not going to happen. I told her I was sorry, but she must have been right. When she asked right about what, I said, “I am obviously not good enough for your daughter. She showed me that by what she did. Just think, if she is pregnant, it is not mine.” I heard a gasp, and the phone was hung up.
Things went on for about a week and then I got called into the office. My boss and company owner told me he had an offer to sell the company at a ridiculous amount. I said; “Let me complete this meeting. Mr. Baker wants the company, but I have to go; right?”
George, the owner, said yes it is Mr. Baker, but no he does not insist you be fired. He did ask me to ask you if you could work for him?”
I said that I did not think so, and told George that I would go type up a letter of resignation as soon as I got back to my computer. I also told him that I was very unhappy with that family because of the way they are trying to manipulate me. I said that I had enough money to survive for a few months and that I would be putting my house up for sale and leaving the city when it sells. I also told George that I would not be letting him know where I was moving to.
George said he sort of understood and would write me a very good recommendation. I thanked him and went to my computer, typed the letter and gave it to George. He gave me my final check and then gave me a second check that he said was a bonus for being a great employee. He told me to use his name as a reference but to use his home phone as a contact number as Mr. Baker would be taking over next week. I asked that he not tell the new owner that I had resigned. Let him find out when him looks at the payroll.
I found a new job in just two days and it was only 40 miles away and so when my house sold (through an agent of Mr. Baker) I left and did not look back for over 18 months.
Then my mother’s health began to fail, so I finally bought another house closer to Grand Rapids. I got a rambling ranch with four bedrooms. I moved my mother in and we rented her house out; which helped us out with some of the medical expenses.
The renter told us that a young woman was trying desperately to find out where we had moved to. I explained to him that he was not to disclose any information about us and if he felt uncomfortable with her actions to call her father at the number of my old work.
The job I had was just about the same as what I had at George’s company, and after a year could see that I was not going to go further up the food chain with this company.
I finally had enough of working in a dead-end job, so I found an opportunity to buy into a company that was beginning to break into the bank equipment sales and service field. I was going to be in charge of the service side and Gene Conner, my partner was going to be in sales. Surprisingly the bank agreed with me that it was a good opportunity, and they gave me a business loan to cover what I was missing to buy a 1/2 interest.
I worked in the field and also found a couple of guys that were qualified and diligent. They were also very security conscious so we agreed to start taking on combination changes and lock replacement. Things were going very good, and on one of my calls, I ran into Louise working as a loan officer at a small bank that her father bought. The problem they had was a sticky safe lock. It only took about 30 minutes to get the small safe open and another few minutes to install and put the combination into the new lock.
We started to talk and Louise told me that she had made a very huge mistake and wanted to get back together. I asked her if she could prove to me she was trustworthy. She said she had learned her lesson, and that she still loved me. I asked her if she ever told her parents the truth or if I was still the villain. She hemmed and hawed and said sort of.
I stopped her and said; “Louise; I haven’t stopped loving you, but I will not be blamed for something when I was not only not at fault but was blamed because you lied to your parents. Would you tell me the truth about that night? I have two or three questions about what I saw.”
She said; “Yes I will, and I will not hide anything from you. I would like to stop talking here at work. Would you meet me at the diner down the street after you get off work?”
I agreed, and we set a time for me to meet her. I showed up at the appointed time and she was already there. I got a coffee and sat down in the back as she had gotten a booth in the very back. She gave me a little smile and tried to apologize again.
I held up my hand to stop her, I then asked; “Are you ready to answer the questions I have? I want complete and honest answers. If I sense any hesitation, incompleteness, or dishonesty, I will get up and leave, and I will not see you again at work or away from work. If you make me feel comfortable with your answers, we can start over from square one. That means, dating, and somewhere down the road a possible engagement. This is your only get out of jail free card. Use it wisely. Shall I begin?”
She gave me a scared and annoyed look, but she said quietly; “Yes.”
“Ok first question; was that the only the only time you cheated on me after we got engaged?”
“No” She answered; “but he was the only one, and it was only two other times.”
“Next question; did you have sex with him either that night or the other two times you say you met with him?”
“Yes” was all she said.
“The last question; will you tell your parents the truth about that guy and how I caught you?”
“I can’t” she pleaded; “please don’t force me to choose between telling them or letting you go.”
I finished my coffee, put a five-dollar bill on the table and as I was getting up I said; “You already made your choice. I told you I needed honesty and you are going to continue to make me the bad guy here. For the last time, Good Bye.”
“Wait,” she said. And for some reason I did wait. I turned and she said sadly “I will tell them tonight.”
“Not good enough, I have your father’s business phone number and I will call him and you will tell him now using my phone and my dialing. Then I will dial your parent’s house and when she comes online you will tell her also. Is that a deal?”
“Ok.” She said softly and I dialed her father. When he came online I identified myself and told him his daughter wanted to talk to him.
I handed her the phone and she explained to her father exactly what I needed to hear. She admitted cheating on me and that I caught her because I got back early. She also said that she wanted finally clear the air and say that Nathan was not the bad guy. She also told him that she was sorry she lied, but she was so ashamed that she ‘got caught’ as she told him.
I took my phone and started to leave and I told her father, in a voice loud enough for her to hear; “I can not accept that she is only ashamed that she ‘got caught’ and not ashamed that she cheated. Your first impression was correct that I was not ‘good enough’ for his daughter, because a vow is very important to me.” I apologized for the ambush but told him that Louise wanted to get back to dating again and I had insisted that she tell you the truth. I hung up and left to go home, but I saw Louise’s car following me, so I went to the local library. I went in through the front door and when I saw her get out of her car and approach the door, I slipped out the back door and got in my car and went home.
As I got to the office the next day, she was waiting for me. I told her that I had said all I was going to say to her yesterday, and if she did not leave me alone, I would file a stalking complaint with the police.
She left and I did not hear from her for a couple of weeks when the company got a service call from her bank and all of our techs were out on calls. I told Gene what was going on so he called and talked to the manager. After he ended the call he said sorry but it was a legitimate call, they had a carrier stuck in one of their drive-through tubes. I told Gene that I would take the call, but if I got into any problems from Louise, I would sell my part of the company and move on and he would never see me again.
His comment was; “God you are such a hard ass. Have you ever done something stupid?”
“Of course I have, my problem is that not only did she do something stupid, dishonest, and disgraceful, but then she blamed me for the breakup. She had a chance last week to straighten all of it out but she only admitted she was sorry she got caught.” I continued. “I learned before I was ten years old that the punishment and embarrassment from making a mistake or doing something stupid did not last as long as getting caught in a lie.”
I went and cleared the tube and when I went to get the service ticket signed, the manager tried to send me to Louise to get a signature. I said to her; “if you don’t sign it, tell me someone besides Miss Baker, or I will go back to my office with an unsigned ticket and we will bill your bank regardless. If you have a problem with that we will invoke our 90-day cancellation clause and you can find a different service company. If you need an explanation as to why I am taking this stand ask Miss Baker. I want no dealings with her even on a professional level.”
She signed it and told me she was going to report me to the owner. I told her I was the owner, and she just shook her head and said; “I will talk to Mr. Baker. We may invoke that 90-day clause. That will be my recommendation.”
I agreed to that and left. I thought to myself ‘way to go asshole cost the company business by being a jerk’.
I got back to the office and told Gene what went on and he was furious. He said if he could get the money he would buy me out. I was pissed too so I told him who to talk to at my bank.
His mouth dropped open and he quickly said; “I can’t run this business by myself and none of the techs are at a point where they can do your job. Let’s just take you off the service call list and you just manage.”
I agreed and closed up the service area and went home.
I got a call from Frank about what went on and why I would not deal with his daughter.
After my explanation, he said he would transfer her from the bank to one of his other businesses.
I told him that was not necessary as I was taking myself off of the service roster and would not be calling on customers again. If he still felt he had to do something, invoke the 90-day clause.
He said he did not want to do that because all of the other service groups did not do a good job in the past.
I told him I was sorry about my behavior, and that I knew it was not professional, but his daughter just drove me over the edge. I apologized again and said goodbye.
About 6 months later I was with a few friends at a local Outback for a steak. Louise walked in with a bunch of people that I recognized from the bank. She did not see me at first, but as she was being seated she looked my way and our eyes met. She nodded and went back to paying attention to her group. She looked sort of sad.
As our group was finishing I got my check and left. When I got home, I could see a message on my home phone. It was Frank, asking me to please call Louise. He said “She is so depressed, she is not eating or sleeping regularly.
I called the last number I had for Louise. There was no pick up so I left a message and my cell phone number and asked her to call. Because of the past problems, I had the caller ID function blocked on my home phone.
It was a couple of hours later, just as I was getting into bed when my phone rang. It was Frank, telling me that Louise was in the hospital. She collapsed after leaving the restaurant and one of the people in the group called 911 and she has been admitted for a battery of tests.
Now I was in a quandary, I still loved the bitch, but she has constantly hung me out to dry over the reason for our breakup. I told Frank; “I will think about it tonight, and if I am not going to see her, I’ll call you. I can not make a decision tonight.”
Of course, dumb me, I went and saw her. Fortunately, her parents were there. Louise looked like crap, thin, puffy eyes, and a haunted look. I greeted everyone. I then asked Louise why she was having the problems her father told me about.
“Because I love you asshole. You dumped me and have treated me like shit.” she was almost foaming at the mouth by then.
I asked her parents to come out into the hall to talk with me. They agreed.
“I think I should leave, Louise is very upset, but I have told her I will not stand for a cheater.” I continued; “The time I called you on my phone, Frank, she was going to tell you the whole story of the breakup. I was standing right there and the only thing she was ashamed about was getting caught. I love her, but until she faces the fact that she caused the breakup, I want no further contact with her. If that makes you guys angry or sad, I really am sorry, but I need to look out for my sanity as well. I hope someday you will realize that I am not a bad guy, just an honest one. Goodbye.”
It was a couple of weeks later that Gene came to me and said Mr. Baker wanted to buy him out. I was stunned. I was MAD. Gene said that I should have the right of first refusal.
I asked what number it would take for his share. He gave me a number. I called the bank and they said they would hold the paper. I also told Gene that he needed to tell Mr. Baker that I was now the sole owner.
I got the phone call I expected about 3 hours later. Frank called me and asked why I bought Gene’s share of the company. I told him it was because I could not work with him and if he had bought Gene’s share he would put Louise in the company in some capacity. I definitely could not work with Louise.
I then asked if Louise had changed or added anything to her side of our breakup. He said they had not asked. I was frustrated with that and blurted out. “Now that I am the sole owner, I am going to formally invoke the 90-day clause. The only other alternative is you buy me out.” Then I said goodbye and hung the phone up.
I called Gene and brought him up to date. I also offered to sell him his share back for what I paid minus 3% if Frank did not buy me out in 72 hours.
Well, Frank came back and said; “OK, I finally get the message that one way or the other, you will not have contact with Louise. I don’t want to lose your company’s good service. I will buy you out. But I want a non-compete.”
“No way. if you buy me out I will have a new company set up in 6 weeks. I will give you my price; non-negotiable, and I will agree in the sales documents that I will not solicit any business from companies that you own. I also will not attempt to take employees from the company, but if they come to me to fill a need I have, I will hire them.”
“OK asshole, what is your price?”
I told him what it would take for him to buy me out. That price was a 25% premium over what was twice what I paid Gene for his share. He said ok.
Things toddled along for almost a year when I saw a piece in the business section that my old company was filing for bankruptcy. It seems my new company took all of the customers except Frank’s bank. Frank called and offered the company for his accounts payable amount. That was about 30% of what he paid me for it. I took it and said I would honor the contract with his bank as originally agreed upon.
After the dust cleared, I was the sole shareholder in an LLC bank equipment sales and service company and I hired Gene was my Vice president of Sales. He made money, I made money, and things went on from there.
My mother’s health did not improve and I tried to hire a live-in home care person through an agency. Somehow Louise heard about it and called my mother and volunteered to be that person. I wasn’t happy, but Louise and my mother always got along so I caved.
Louise was, I must say, very good for my mother. Any time she had a crisis, Louise called the doctor. Mom’s outlook improved and she was much happier. I found I was being drawn back to Louise. I knew I had never stopped loving her. I also knew that unless I could trust her again, there would be no chance of a rekindling of our relationship.
About 8 months into this arrangement Louise asked for a night off, extra from her normal time-off. She told me she had a date if she could have the time.
I said; “OK, I’m glad you’re moving on. If it comes up again; let me know and I will make arrangements if I can’t be here.”
When the night came I discovered that I was jealous. I tried to fight it, and I couldn’t. After Louise left, I sulked around the house not accomplishing anything, until my mother laughed and said; “I knew it, you still love that girl. When are you going to forgive her?”
“I will when she tells everyone that I was not the cause of the breakup; and when I can trust her again; and if she is sorry for cheating, not just for getting caught. But only when she proves she deserves forgiveness.”
I told Louise that she could have a night off any night she wanted if she gave me 24 hours notice. She thanked me and said she would not abuse the privilege.