Thanks to BarneyR for the editing.
As always, I had to mess with it some more. Therefore all mistakes and omissions are mine.
My life changed on a cold afternoon in January 2010. This is how it happened.
My name is Cole Anderson, I’m 40, and was married for 9 years when the events occurred. I’m an inveterate tinkerer, and found people wanted some of the things I made. I am the author of several patents for gadgets. I sold my patents and because of my uneasy feelings, I deferred payment until I could straighten out my life.
I was 22 and had just gotten out of the army after 3 years of service. I had been a medical equipment repair technician. What I learned in the service was I liked to work on and with equipment. I found a day job repairing bakery equipment at a wholesale bakery. At night I was going to college finishing my degree in electrical engineering. I was dating on and off with some ladies from my high school days, and some I met after I was discharged.
I was at a local lounge on a Friday night keeping company with a beer. I scanned the crowd and saw one of the ladies that I knew from work in a booth for 4 sitting with a couple of ladies. As there were people waiting for a place at the bar, I went over to Joan Kaiser and asked if I could share the booth. She checked with her booth mates and they agreed. I sat down and I made my introduction and Joan introduced me to Sally Cooper and Carol Wonderlik; her booth mates. I was very impressed with Sally, Carol not so much, she just rubbed me wrong. I did not dislike her; I just wasn’t comfortable near her. She wasn’t unfriendly, nor was she snarky, we just didn’t mesh.
Sally moved over so I could sit in the booth next to her. Joan and I caught up with each others off work lives. I tried to make conversation with Carol, but we just were not communicating.
Sally was listening intently as I tried to draw Carol out. When she saw that it wasn’t working, she asked me to move so she could use the rest room. Of course with more than one lady, there was a committee meeting and I was suddenly in the booth alone. At least the ladies asked me to watch their purses.
When the meeting was over, Joan came back and grabbed her and Carol’s stuff. She told Sally and me that Carol was not feeling well and she was taking her home.
That left me with Sally and a very awkward few moments. I asked Sally if she wanted to leave or for me to leave. She said no, she then thanked me for trying to talk to Carol. It seems that Carol caught her fiancé sleeping with an old girlfriend and was at least temporarily mad at all men. We ended talking the rest of the evening as if there was no one else in the place.
After a couple of hours of beer and pizza, I talked Sally out of her phone number and promised to call her. As we were leaving, I offered her a ride and was turned down. She had her own car there; she had not ridden with Joan.
I called Sally the next day and we set up a date for the next weekend. We went to a play at one of the local theatre group venues. Sally had never seen a live play before and was an instant fan. After the play we went for a late dinner. Dinner was great, and it led to more dates. After a couple of weeks we dated exclusively until I got my degree. I found a job with a local electrical contracting company as an assistant engineer. I then asked her to marry me. She said yes. 18 months later we were married. Carol was the maid of honor and Joan was the bridesmaid. It was a wonderful wedding and the reception was a lot of fun.
I had been a tinkerer since my high school days, and I had several bakery and commercial restaurant equipment patents that the industry liked. I created a company to handle all of that while I was working as a construction electrical engineer. I had that all that money placed in a company account, so I had something that was just mine. Through the company I managed to secretly purchase the house we were renting.
Things were going great for about 2 years. I was promoted to lead engineer on a major construction project. Sally had found a new job at an office in the local neighborhood. She thought that as we were now financially stable it was time to start a family. We tried everything we could to get her pregnant. Nothing worked. After three years we finally went to a specialist and found out that probably because of an injury I had in the service, my sperm count was extremely low, and what sperm I was producing was not motile.
Sally went into a funk and our sex life was turned off like a light switch had been flipped. I put up with it for six months or so and finally had enough. I sat down with Sally and said to her; “Sally I am moving out, you obviously do not want any intimacy with me anymore. It is not my fault that I am infertile. If kids are more important to you than our life together, then maybe we should divorce.”
Sally started sobbing; “I don’t want a divorce. I don’t want you to leave, I was just so disappointed that we won’t have kids, that I forgot the fact that you are my life mate. Please don’t go, I will try to be better.”
“That won’t work; your trying to be better is as much a problem as we have now. I don’t want you to try; I want you to want to be better. I won’t be far, and if you need me to do something for you, you can call me. I would suggest that we seek marriage counseling. If you don’t want that, then you need to get counseling for yourself.”
I continued; “Sally, you are the sunlight and stars for me. I wanted to have family with you. When I found out that I can’t father children, I was hurt. But, seeing you hurt is more than I can put up with. We will adopt children if that would make you happy. We can check fertility clinics about enhancements that might help. I just cannot go on sleeping next to a refrigerator like you have been for a while. When I try to hug you; you either cringe like I am going to harm you or you are just like hugging a post. When was the last time you just kissed, hell even spontaneously even smiled at me?”
“I love you with my very being, I am not leaving just because we haven’t made love, I can’t be near you when the pain you are in is causing me so much pain.” I finally wound down from my spiel.
Sally was silent for a minute or two then asked; “Where will you go? What will you do? When will you come back? If you’re gone, how will you know I’ve gotten better? Please don’t leave.”
“To answer your questions, I will be right here in the city. I will keep working. I will not abandon you, I love you. I have to leave. Seeing you hurt like this is causing me so much pain that I am afraid that it will turn into anger. My mother has told me I could stay in the apartment over her garage. Your mother and dad have offered me an apartment in their building. I won’t be far. Please, please get some help. I can’t take this hurt you are causing me. I will be back when I can see that you love me enough to not shudder when I touch you.”
She just dropped her head, sobbed, and then snapped and screamed at me; “Fine you asshole, leave when things get tough. Just go. I will see a lawyer before I go to a goddamn shrink. Just go.”
This tirade was from the mouth of a lady that would not say piss if she was drinking it. I was shocked. I got up and walked to the bedroom and started packing my stuff. As I was packing there were more than a few tears.
I loaded up my car and my small trailer that we used when we went camping. It was not even a quarter full, but I was hoping that I would not be away long. I drove the 20 minutes that it takes to get to my mother’s house and started unpacking. About two hours later mom came up and told me Sally was on the phone.
I told her; “Please take a message or have her call my cell phone. After that final tirade, I don’t think I want more right now.”
I continued; “Mom, I’m sorry you are put in the middle of this. I love that woman to pieces, and yet I can almost catch a cold from trying to just get a kiss. I know you probably don’t want to know, but we have not made love or just plain fucked since we found out I am sterile. I know Sally wants a family. I offered to get a divorce if it would make her happy. I am at a loss as to what to do. I am hoping that my moving out will be enough of a shock to force her to see her own hurt. If it doesn’t, I may be here for a long time.” I told mom goodnight and went to bed.
At work the next day two detectives showed up at the construction site and they asked to talk to me. They said that they were following up on the burglary at my house last night.
I was stunned. They explained that apparently someone tried to force a basement window last night about 3 AM. My wife called the police and when the sirens got close, whoever it was ran off. They asked me why someone would want to burglarize my house.
I explained to them that I had several gadgets that I have invented and some that I am working on. I told them that I had moved out temporarily and that I would go home tonight and check things out.
The detective then dropped the bomb; “Sir we have had to take your wife in to the hospital. It looks like she had a psychotic episode. She is in no danger, but the patrolman who responded to the call said she was hysterical. She is now at the psych ward at City Hospital. The man who she was with was told by her to leave the house.”
“I will get right over there to see her; don’t worry about my stuff; that is not worth one hair on her head.” I went on; “Thank you and thank all the officers involved. I will do what I can to fix the problems.”
The fact a man was with her did not register until later the next day.
When I got to the hospital, I was told that I was on the excluded visitors list. I would not be able to see Sally. I asked who made up the exclusion list. I was told Sally made some and the Drs. made some. They told me that my wife put me on the excluded list. I was pissed!
I decided then, that that was the last straw. I went back to the apartment. I sulked for about an hour, and then decided to be proactive. First I called the hospital and asked to talk to the doctor. He called me back almost immediately and told me I was also excluded from getting any medical information. More pissed.
I called Sally’s parents and told them what was going on. They said they were not in agreement with Sally’s stance. They promised to keep me informed. I explained what had happened over the last few days. I also told them that Sally’s actions have caused me to think I was right to move out.
I let them get back to whatever they were doing and then called my mother. She had worked as a paralegal until she retired. I asked her for her best choice for a divorce shark. I explained that Sally was shutting me totally out of her life, so maybe my actions will force her to seek help. I said that maybe if we divorce, she can have the children she has fixated on. She reluctantly gave me the name of Cary Collins. I thanked her and let her get back to what she was doing.
I then called the police and asked for a copy of the police report for my insurance. I was told it would be available in a half hour but needed to be picked up in person. No electronic transfer was legally allowed.
I picked up the report, and several things seemed to be wrong. The window that was broke was only 6 inches high by 24 inches wide. No one would be able to get through that space. Then, there were only very small footprints, noted as possibly female or child, in the dirt around the window. Then the final thing was that Sally was not the only person in the house. The other person was a man (at 3:00 AM) by the name of John Walters. They were both dressed only in robes.
The name sounded familiar, but I could not remember where I had heard it. The report stated that neither occupant had seen who had tried to break in, and that the female occupant was extremely agitated about the fact that both names would be in the police report.
Finally the man at house comment registered.