Edited by Barney R
Messed with and tweaked by me, all mistakes are mine
Author’s Note: This is the combined ‘It Was All in Her Mind. It was suggested by one of my readers. This way, a lot of the repeated text is removed. Let me know what you think. CAT
I was sitting on the deck sipping my morning coffee thinking over the conversation I overheard at the barbeque we hosted last evening.
I’m thinking over the conversation because the two women I trust in my life were plotting to betray me. They had both gotten drunk, even though I asked that no alcohol be served.
I am John Carmody, I am 33 now, almost 6’ tall, slightly underweight at 145 lbs. I am a very successful author of young adult stories, and ‘bodice rippers’ romance and some other kinds of novels. I use different pseudonyms for the different types of stories. My names besides my own are Gary Croswell for my young adult stories, Elizebeth Jester for my contemporary romance novels, and Becka Ballintine for my old west romances.
I met CC (Carolina Catherine) Dolman when I was 27. We met in an unorthodox way. I was returning on a Friday from a New York City meeting with my publishers. I was out at the cab stand at my home airport hailing a cab when I was run over by a woman who could not see around the mound of luggage on her luggage cart. I wasn’t hurt, just pissed. I turned to give the miscreant a big and angry piece of my mind when I saw a vision. Unfortunately, she was crying.
“I’m sorry, are you hurt?” She asked. Before I could answer, I heard her mutter under her breath; “Great, I get dumped by my fiancé, fired from my job, miss my early flight get bumped from the next, and now I run over some poor dumb asshole that had nothing to do with my shitty week.”
“Look miss, I did not move into your way, I was not even in the path to the parking garage; you have no reason to call me an asshole.”
The cab I called arrived and I got in and told him where I was headed. I went home and got a beer from the fridge and just started to decompress when the house phone rang. I recognized the number as my business cell phone.
I answered sharply; “Hello, this is the Carmody residence. What are you doing with my phone?”
I heard a definite giggle and a female voice respond; “I’m the dumb bitch that called you an asshole, and when I restacked my luggage your phone was on the ground. I’m calling to find out how I can get it back to you. I am in Southside. I will bring the phone to you if you give me your address. If you will let me, I will bring dinner. Do you like Chinese? It will be my way to partial apologize.”
“Everyone that is human and doesn’t have some kind of food allergy likes Chinese. I live at 4657 Crestwood Ct. in West End. Do you know how to get here?”
I heard a sparkling laugh; “GPS, you man, you. I also have a friend that lives down the street from you in the subdivision, so I’ll find it. Let’s figure on 6:30. OK?
“Yup. That’s fine; I like what is generally called House Fried Rice or Five Meat Fried Rice, and Egg Rolls. I also will try anything, but isn’t the man supposed to provide on a date. I don’t want to get too adventurous on our first date. Wait, this is going to be our first date isn’t it?”
“We’ll see.” A giggle and then all I heard was silence, I never did get her name.
As I have a housekeeper, and had not been home for four days, so there wasn’t much to do to make the house presentable. I put my dirty clothes in the hamper and got my meeting suit ready to take to the cleaners. By the time I was finished, my accumulated jet lag caught up with me.
I took a nap after setting my alarm for 5:30. When the alarm chimed, I was in better shape, and after a long shower, I was nearly as human as an author can be. We writers are somewhat strange ducks.
Right at 6:30, the side doorbell rang. The vision was standing there with a large bag with the logo of my favorite Chinese Restaurant on it. I took the bag, move to the side and said; “Enter fair maiden, my castle is indeed fortunate that you grace it with your presence.”
That earned me a giggle, and an introduction. “First let me introduce myself. I am Carolina Dolman of the Southside Dolmans. We are a vigorous and aggressive breed, but I come bearing peace offerings. Sir Knight, we bear you no ill will, and punishment has been visited on the person who caused you misfortune.”
“I accept your offerings of peace, but I must visit my own punishments on the dastardly cad the caused the upset to my person. Perhaps maybe a thrashing with the open hand delivered to that sorry individual’s posterior. What say you?”
“No Sir Knight, anything but that; my flesh is too delicate to stand the abuse.” Then we both broke up laughing.
“Carolina, I am John Carmody, I am 27, and other than a housekeeper, unattached, so you need to watch yourself now that you are in my evil clutches. I thank you for delivering my phone, and I am not angry about the airport. I was a little when I heard your muttering, but after I thought about it I realized that everyone can have day like your mutterings described. I do not require any more apology than you coming here. This house has not had anyone as beautiful as you her since my mother and sister were here. You are very easy on the eyes.”
With that we dug in. After dinner, I showed CC (she asked me to call her that) the house and grounds. As I said, I am a very successful author, and own the equivalent of four lots in a square.
I explained to her what I did, (but not my pseudonym) and said; “Because I was successful and did not want to rent I bought this place and the other lots. I got here when the developer first opened the place up. I was the first buyer, and so the lots I purchased are at the end of a cul-de-sac. The house is custom built and is a four bedroom 3-1/2 bath ranch style 4000 sq. foot home. The master bedroom has an attached reading room\office. The other three bedrooms are on the other side of the house and share two baths.”
CC was surprised when I showed her the back yard. The large patio had an outdoor kitchen, and the entire yard had a seven foot privacy fence.
CC told me she was 24, and up until the day before yesterday, a computer graphics artist for a small children’s software company. She was engaged to the son of the owner, and when he wanted to start their sex life early, she told him no. He broke the engagement, had Daddy fire her, and cancelled the lease on her company car and apartment. She took her clothes and came home.
“What exactly does a computer artist do? I am an author of several different types of books and I need someone to do my book dust covers. I can also use a proofreader as my rewrites are driving me crazy. If you are interested, we can discuss salary, perks and details with my lawyer Monday.”
“I was a standard artist until I learned computer graphics in college. I draw, paint in oil and acrylic, and occasionally sculpt in clay, then cast in bronze. I only sculpt on commission, and they don’t come by too often. I would be very interested in either or both positions, I am not hurting for money, but I need a job for my sanity. My degree is in fine arts with an English minor. Would you like to see some of my works?”
“I would love to see some of your work. However, I know I am adjusting to the time zone change and am exhausted. Could I pick you up tomorrow and take you to lunch as a second date?”
“I would like that, but if it is a date, why would we discuss business, If it is a business meeting let’s have the date start tomorrow evening. I live with my mother at 743 Alcona Ave., Southside. If your tired, how about I leave, and I will see you tomorrow at 11:00 or earlier if you want, but not before 9:00 this ‘fair maiden’ needs her beauty sleep.”
“What could you possibly do to improve perfect beauty? OK, if you are up for it, we can have an early meeting at 9:00 and then make a day of it. Lunch, mall walking, dinner and a play that I have tickets for. Does that sound like a plan?”
“Yes indeed, Sir Knight that sounds like a very good plan.”
As I escorted her to the door, she turned, got on tiptoe and gave me a nice kiss. Then as she was leaving she tossed out; “I might enjoy that thrashing with an open hand on the posterior when we get to know each other better. Good night John, you have rescued this damsel in distress. Even if the job doesn’t work out, I am happier than I have been since I was dumped on by Asshole Junior.”
She drove off with my phone.
The next morning I was up early, so I threw some of my clothes from my trip in the washer. Then I went to get my phone. CC never gave it to me. As it was very early, and I am not a complete dick, I waited until 7:30 to call my cell.
A sleepy CC answered; “John Carmody’s phone. Can I take a message?”
“Yes you can, this is your favorite asshole. What are you doing with my phone? Now I am going to have to administer two thrashing sessions.
Good morning CC; I know it is mean to call you this early, but I couldn’t resist. Would you like to go to breakfast to start the day of our second date. I also wanted to rub it in that we both forgot that you came to my place to deliver that instrument of death that you have in your hand.”
More giggles. “How about you come over at 8:30? I will make you breakfast. I’m actually a very good cook. My mother is out of town, so it is not a meet the parent’s moment.”
“I will be there with bells on, clothes also; the cops in this town have a thing against public nudity.”
More giggles and then a dial tone.
When I drove up to the split level home, I could see that the neighborhood was probably upper middle class. I pulled into the circular drive and parked near the front door; I grabbed the cinnamon buns that I purchased for a tasty gift.
As I approached the door, CC opened the door and I almost dropped the buns. At the door stood a green faced, hair curler covered head, buck toothed, dirty robe clad woman. She gave me a glare, and then couldn’t hold it anymore. She started with a giggle and by the time I reached the door, she was in all out laughter.
“This is what you get when you rob a woman of her beauty sleep Sir Knight.” Then she started laughing again.
I grabbed her green slimed face, curlers and all, and planted a kiss on her. When I let her go, I said, “Nay my sweet princess; the camouflage cannot hide thy fairness, beauty such as yours would shine through concrete.”
Then after staring at me for a moment, a second laughing session started. “You goof, the kiss was wonderful, but now you have green all over your face and hands. Come on in before the neighbors see me and wonder who the crazy woman is that’s in my house. Then we can both wash up.”
With that she pulled off the curler wig and the phony teeth and showed me into the house and after taking my gift pointed me to the guest room bathroom.
After washing up, I walked out to the kitchen and grabbed a seat.
CC walked in, and the green was gone, and a smile that would light a dark tunnel was on her face. “I wore that get up to a Halloween party last year, knowing you have a sense of humor; I thought I would get you back for the 7:30 call. I was barely awake and thinking about last evening.”
Then she held out her hand with my phone. “Let’s not forget this, this time. Now do you want to conduct business and call breakfast a business meeting, or have lunch somewhere and use that as the meeting?”
“Business breakfast, then you must face the open handed thrashing or buy me lunch, your choice.” I laughed at the horror stricken face so I went on. “The thrashings will only be twenty lashes open handed on the bare posterior, and you are only required to submit to two; so far, but the day is young.”
“I don’t know if your serious or not, but I think lunch is a good idea.”
When she saw my ‘poopy lip’, she laughed. “You were kidding weren’t you?”
“You’ll never know now; you ruined my fun. I must say, with no crudeness meant, that you have a very spankable posterior. I don’t want you to leave, but I enjoy it when you walk away.”
That earned me a huge smile and swat on the arm.
I looked at her and got a brilliant idea (My ego thought it was brilliant anyway.) “What does your book library look like, you seem to be intelligent, and if you have any similar book to what I write with the dust cover intact, I can get an idea of whether we are looking at the same ideas.”
“Ok, but I need to warn you, I hated most of the dust covers, so I did my own to fit the book. I tried to present the theme of the story from my reading of it.”
“After breakfast, my stomach is empty wench, me man, me hungry.”
That earned me a second swat and a cheek kiss.
After breakfast of a baked scramble with mozzarella and Italian sausage, coffee and conversation, CC brought out several books with her dust covers and the originals. I was not totally surprised when two of the books were my romances, they are very popular.
When I saw her covers, I knew she had captured the story essence without giving away the story.
“I put these two covers together before I knew you wrote them. I researched Elezebeth Jester last night and surprise; it was a registered pseudonym of one John Carmody. What a coincidence. Huh?”
The covers were better than what the publisher supplied. I told her so. Then I asked if she wanted an opportunity to do all of my covers from that point forward.
“Yes ... Yes!”
“OK, I will give my agent and my publisher a call. You said you had an English Minor, would you be interested in being my test reader, and also my proofreader? That would mean some extra income. It would also be fairly steady work as I complete a book about every month.”
“Yes again, I would love it; and I would finally be using all of my skills.”
My agent and publisher were both on board, and my publisher even had CC do the paperback covers for all of my books and those of some of the other authors. My agent loved having another client, and I got a first rate proofreader.
CC was surprised that I used three different pen names. I explained that that was my publisher’s idea. She (my publisher) did not think woman would buy romance novels written by a man. She also felt that the western based romances needed a different authorship. The third pen name was to protect my privacy.
With her checking my spelling, syntax and grammar, I was doing fewer rewrites, and writing more books. I went from twelve or thirteen books a year to fifteen or sixteen.
After that first weekend, CC and I dated for several months. We were together almost every day and most evenings. CC commandeered one of the bedrooms opposite mine as an office. She said she needed to be away from all distractions when she was creating.
After a year, I asked her if she wanted to move in. I thought it was unnecessary to drive to her mom’s when she just slept there, then drove back and shared breakfast. She agreed, but said; “I’ll move in, but you need to make closet space in the master because I am not sleeping in any bed but yours.”
I was floored. I shouldn’t have been, we had occasionally had sex, but I did not realize that she had that kind of feelings for me. I mentioned earlier that authors are strange.
“Before you move in then, I have a couple of very important questions to ask you. Do you love me? I am very much in love with you. Then, if you love me will you marry me?
There was no hesitation, “Yes I love you, and yes I will marry you.”
“Well, we need to do two things soon. One, we need to tell your mother. And two, we need you to meet my parents and my sister.”
“Mother already knows. I was going to ask you to marry me if you did not ‘get off the pot’. I would love to meet your family.”
We had the meet and greets. CC’s mother, Laura, was a somewhat subdued somewhat beaten down looking woman. I liked her but wanted to talk to CC about her. My parents and my sister Jane got along with CC like she was a second daughter.
The three ladies went into a long distance planning festival. CC wanted to have a short engagement. I was all for that.
I asked CC if she objected to a prenuptial agreement. She had a couple of reservations but was not against the idea. I made a suggestion that seemed to make CC very happy. I suggested that we each contribute a fixed amount to a joint account and anything above that was ours to use as desired or not.
Then I had another thought. I found out from CC that her mother was about to lose her house. I asked CC if she would have an objection to me offering her the house keeper job. My current housekeeper wanted to leave, and I had two available bedrooms so she could live without worrying about living arrangements. I would buy her house and rent it out. That earned me an unbelievable kiss and an exhausting night.
The wedding was great, and we honeymooned in Hawaii. We only spent a single day on the beach. The rest of the time was spent exploring the rainforest, Mona Loa, and a trip to Molokai to study the history of the leper colony.
After the visit I thought I might get a book out of it. Instead, I got a young adult series of seven books that covered the colony and some of the families that came and lived with the patients. That series was my best work in my opinion.
CC decided that she would accept outside commissions for her art, she would still do my covers, and the covers of several other authors, but she thought I should get a different proof reader. She even had a candidate in mind.
My sister Jane had graduated from college. She had done a stint in the military before starting, so she was a nontraditional student. She also did not have any student loans to pay off. Her major was Secondary Education, with a minor in English composition. She had one year of teaching 15 and 16 year old mommy’s little darlings and decided that she was not a professional baby sitter. The system was glad to have her leave, as more than half of her students did not pass her course.
Jane took over the last of the bedrooms, and was a stern taskmaster on my writing, but my number of rewrites decreased some more to less than one per book. I was happy, CC was happy, and Jane was ecstatic. Laura was now a very pleased and proud den mother of three adult children. Jane and I were officially unofficial adoptees.
Things went along great for the next two years, when my agent told me that a movie company was interested in the leper colony series. I had to go to New York City for preliminary negotiations, and after a week away from CC, and my happy menagerie, I was ready to shoot someone. These idiots from the movie company thought that enough money thrown at me would make me roll over and kiss their asses.
That did not happen. The second Monday meeting was a revelation for the movie people. It was short and sweet. I said no and caught a plane home.
My agent called me the following Wednesday and said; “Those assholes asked when they could set up the next meetings. They did not understand that if they did not change their position and their demands, there would be no additional meetings.”
He continued; “I explained that you had total control of all rights to anything you wrote. They even offered me a bribe to lie to you to get the contract signed. That was when I escorted them out of my building. The building that your money built, if it wasn’t for you as my base client, all of the other authors I handle would leave.”
Hollywood must have wised up. A month later, an entirely different team came to me and paid to have my agent come to town also. This time we settled everything in one day.
That is except for the legal language. That would never be settled without a few hundred billable hours.
The basics of the deal were that I had total script control, and veto power over any sexually suggestive scenes. It was my intention that the entire series would have a PG rating. I was also paid a small armored car full of hundred dollar bills for the movie rights. My tax bill that year was almost as much as the village government’s budget where my house was located.
The shooting schedule for the first movie was coming quickly and the movie people wanted me on site for the first couple of months. Of course, they would not be filming on Molokai, they had to go to a couple of Central American countries and make them look like they were islands.
I was not happy, CC was not happy, and I stayed exactly one week and shut the project down. Hollywood was not happy, especially when I informed them that the director insisted that full nudity and simulated sex were on his agenda. He was fired, and they started again, but without me on site. They sent me the scripts and script changes. The new director was so afraid I would get him fired that he did not want me on set. That was fine with me.
CC was doing a gangbusters business, and her sculpting commissions had over a two year wait. She had more work than she could do out of a converted bedroom, and I had more money than God, so I bought an old out of business art gallery and leased it to her for $100 a month. That earned me a lot of loving.
Things were fine for a couple of months, then CC started spending more and more time at the studio. The big fly in the ointment showed up about six months after she started to work in her new studio. It came in the form of a male model that was hired for of all things, one of my romance book covers.
Jerrod Clousen was 6’ 3” tall, and a Fabio wannabe. He was good looking, and knew it. He also had enough ego for an entire Chippendale Dance troupe.
At the barbecue I heard CC and Jane talking about Jerrod. What I heard was CC planning to explore and Jane encouraging. They were both very drunk. Jane loudly said “That man is such a hunk. If you can keep my naïve idiot of a brother from finding out, I say fuck the hunk and have a good time.”
CC was just as loud and said; “I’m so tempted, if I knew that John would never find out I would be naked and spread in a heartbeat.”
They were both well on the way to drunk, but that was no excuse. Drunk lowers inhibitions, not planting ideas.
I left the party and went and shut myself in the bedroom office and locked the door. I noticed I had been crying. When I had set the office up, I had as the first piece of furniture installed a fold out day bed. My reasoning was that if I was on a roll with a story, I did not want to leave the office.
I loved those to women as much as I like living. I cried for a while, Hey I wrote romance novels.
I decided that I would not sleep in the same bed as the traitorous bitch of a wife. Even thinking of cheating was cheating in my book.
I decided to write two letters. The first would be to my ex-sister. Then I would follow that with one to my soon to be ex-wife.
My dear ‘Loving Sister’
This letter is to inform you that your employment is terminated effective immediately. The reason is this drunken statement you loudly made to my wife at the party last night.
“That man is such a hunk. If you can keep my naïve idiot of a brother from finding out, I say fuck the hunk and have a good time.”
Because of that statement, you have shown me you no longer have your employer’s best interest as your primary concern. I will not be disrespected, and when a sibling plots against another sibling, they are no longer related.
You are hereby notified that you have ten days to leave this rent free house. You are to take only your personal possessions. You may not remove any item, written or electronically stored that pertains to my copyrights. That includes books, manuscripts, movie scripts, and written outlines.
This is also to inform you that as you are a backstabbing bitch, I no longer consider you my sister.
I am sending a copy of this letter to my mother, and also including it in your personnel file and to my lawyer.
I printed three copies, signed them and placed one under Jane’s bedroom door, and drove to a mailbox and dropped the others addressed to my mother and lawyer in it. I then drove around for a couple of hours.
I got back to the house, and the ‘ladies’ had apparently decided to look for me. My office door was open, and so was the bedroom door and the ‘ladies were both fully clothed sleeping on the bed.
The letter to my wife was just as nasty.
Carolina Catherine Dolman-Carmody;
You had quite a party last night. I specifically asked you and Jane not to serve any alcohol at the party. You did anyway. After overhearing two drunken women talking loudly, I left the party.
In case you did not notice, last night I did not sleep in the marriage bed. I will not be sleeping in that bed again. In case you don’t remember the conversation, it was about Jerrod, your Fabio ‘wannabe’. You two were discussing how you wanted to have sex with him and Jane was encouraging you.
Your exact words were; “I’m so tempted, if I knew that John would never find out I would be naked and spread in a heartbeat.”
Well, this letter and the enclosed wedding ring are your permission to ‘explore’. As Jimmy Carter noted, lust in the heart is still cheating.
All I ask is that you have the decency to move out before you explore and drop the Carmody from your name.
First thing Monday, I am filing for divorce. You will have to move any way, as the house is mine. You might want to talk to my ex-sister about living arrangements as she is unemployed and has lost her residence. I will also be strictly enforcing the prenuptial agreement.
I will not be disrespected by you, my ex-sister, or that asshole of a model who knows you are married to me.
I am going to go to New York Sunday morning, and on Monday I will have your contracts for my book covers to end with those books that have not gone to press yet.
I do not know when you stopped respecting me, but it hurt me more than you can understand. Not only were you plotting to cheat on me, you were doing it loudly, in my house, in front of neighbors, in front of friends, and people important to my profession, and with my ex-sister.
Maybe I am, as my ex-sister put it, naïve and an idiot, but I am a person. One who stated in front of god and community to ‘Forsake all others’ do you perhaps not remember that you said the same thing in front of the same audience.
I must try to get some sleep as I need to leave as soon as I can tomorrow. You will not communicate with me except through my attorney until the divorce is final.
I really did, and probably still love you, but the hurt you caused last night will not let me let it go by. I do hope you can find a life that makes you happy. I was obviously not the one and not the one enough.
Your soon to be Ex-husband
PS; Enclosed is the wedding ring you placed on my finger, it may be a little bent and have some cracks, but it must have been a good quality one because I could not break it. I don’t need it anymore.
I took a hammer to the ring, and placed it and the letter in an envelope then I placed the envelope on CC’s toothbrush holder.
I also printed a copy to take to my agent and one for my lawyer.
My coffee is cold now. I have reservations for a flight and a cab in an hour. I have packed just enough for the rest of the weekend; I will buy what I need in New York.
The ‘ladies’ haven’t stirred yet, so I think I will go out front and wait. I do not want to hear excuses or the lies that it was just talk.
I don’t know where this will go, but it will go on, and I will survive.
I woke up fully dressed on my bed next to my sister-in-law. I had a drum and bugle corps wearing steel soled boots marching through my head. I also thought they had walked through a pile of dog crap before they walked through my mouth to my brain.
Jane and I had gotten drunk at the party last night, and had a great time talking trash about the gorgeous model, Jerrod Clousen, I am working with. Now the pain was reminding me of some of the cost of that fun.
I say some of the cost because as I was reaching for my toothbrush, I saw the envelope. I opened the envelope and a smashed ring feel out. I saw what ring it was and vomited into the sink.
I realized that the letter was from my husband, and when I read it, I was devastated. I had been drunk, stupid, and arrogant. Now I am well on my way to being alone. Then I looked again at the destroyed wedding ring in an envelope placed where I would find it when I woke up. The destroyed wedding ring pointed to my life going forward as not being good news.
When I stopped crying, I felt hands on my shoulders. Jane was asking what was wrong.
I showed her the ring and the letter. She read the letter and when she got to the first ex-sister part, she gasped and started crying herself.
“What have we done, I did not know John could hear us, it was just girl talk.” Jane said, “We would never have gone through with it.”
I said; “John doesn’t know that, and neither do all the people at the party. John was almost twenty feet away, so we must have been very loud. What am I going to do?”
Jane stopped crying and finished reading the letter. “This letter says John is kicking me out and I’m fired. We need to find him and talk with him. We need to let him know that you would not do what we talked about.” She hesitated; “You wouldn’t would you?”
I could not answer, but the guilt must have shown on my face. I had all of the thoughts that we had, apparently loudly, talked about last night.
“You would have wouldn’t you?”
I could only nod. “I love John with all of my being, but that man is gorgeous. He makes my panties wet every time I see him. I really do not know if I could resist if he made a hard play for me. Right now it is just flirting.”
Then I remembered what John had written about no longer doing his covers. “Oh Shit; I’m going to have to fire Jerrod and all of my staff because John is going to cancel my book cover contract.”
Jane looked at me like I had a third eye. “You’re worried about that eye candy and your staff when your husband is going to divorce you? You are indeed an arrogant bitch if that is your first thought. You really can’t love John that much if money is your first thought.”
“Damn it, you’re right. I need to get to New York and be at the publisher’s office when John gets there. Maybe I can get down on my hands and knees and crawl through broken glass to beg for a chance to make this right.”
Jane left the master suite and headed to her room. About thirty seconds later I heard her running back screaming. “No ... No ... I got a letter too. Please don’t let it be as bad as yours.” Then she was back with the unopened letter.
She opened the letter with shaking hands. “Please read it for me, I am afraid of what he is saying in there. I read those hurtful words.
I started crying all over again. I handed her the letter and went to finish getting cleaned up and dressed.
When I came out of the bath, Jane was no longer in the room. The letter was on the floor.
I picked it up and put it on my makeup desk with the bent ring and my letter.
I grabbed the phone and called the hotel that I stayed at the last time I was in New York. I made open ended reservations for Sunday night through at least Thursday. Then I called the airlines and bought a round trip first class ticket to New York on the first available flight.
I went into the kitchen and saw John’s favorite coffee cup on the deck table. I went and retrieved it. I emptied the half empty cup and started crying again. My love had not even finished half a cup before it went cold.
I heard noises coming from the guest side of the house, and so after I started the coffee and put a couple of microwaveable breakfasts in to cook, I went to see how Jane was doing.
When I got to her bedroom door, I saw that she was packing. I went in and asked her to stop for a second. “Jane, please don’t pack yet. I’m going to New York today to see if John will talk to me. If he will, I am going to beg like I said, and if he will listen, apologize profusely and abjectly and try to save my marriage. Besides, John’s letter said ten days, and you will need at least a couple of days to find a place if you need it.”
She stopped, looked at me and started crying again. “I love my brother, and I don’t know how I am ever going to make it up to him for my stupidity. I am sorry I said what I said. I don’t even remember saying it. I just remember us giggling like six year olds as we went into your bedroom. What can I do to help you get him back.”
As I was packing, I spotted the letters and the damaged ring. I went into my jewelry box and got a 16” plain gold neck chain. I threaded the ring on it and put it around my neck.
On the plane I went over all of the things that led up to the drunken debacle. Work was very stressful, with the sexual undertones that I was feeling towards Jerrod Clousen, a model I hired for one of my book cover projects. Jerrod is an absolute hunk. Long black hair, 6’ 3” tall, probably 225 lbs. He has never actually crossed any lines to actually flirting, but I wasn’t kidding when I told Jane that my panties get wet every time I work with him. I really don’t know if he made a pass at me if I wouldn’t fall on my back and spread my legs.
Don’t misunderstand, I love John, and if it were anyone else, there would not even be a temptation. John is a wonderful, caring, loving man and a great husband. It’s just that our sex life has become routine. There is no spark, and I don’t understand where that spark went, or what caused it to be destroyed.
As I was woolgathering about what happened, I realized that John had done nothing to kill the spark. When I moved my work out of the house, I started to use work as an excuse to stay away from John. I did not have to spend 10 to 12 hours at the studio. My book cover work can be done at home. My sculpting can be done when the inspiration hits.
I also realized that since I moved my work out of the house, I have not been responding to John as a loving wife. I have not instituted sex and sometimes I have just allowed him to screw me, with no response from me.
Even if I can’t convince John to come back, I will pay Jerrod off, and find someone else for the cover. Hell, I usually do a cover in four or five days, this cover with Jerrod is over three weeks along, and I am not even sure it is good work. John has a right to be angry.
I was no closer to deciding what to do as the plane is descending down to land.
Monday morning, I was in the publisher’s office. I did not sleep well last night. The hotel tried to play some games, and I had to call the hotel manager and tell him what was going on. I finally got an upgrade, and the desk clerk was dressed down in front of the rest of the desk staff.
I got in the office as soon as it opened. I told the receptionist that I was waiting for my husband who said he was going to be here today. About 2:30, I began to worry that John was not going to show up today.
I called Jane and asked if John had called her. She said no, and when she tried to call him, his phone rang on the office bathroom counter. We talked for a couple of minutes, and I ended the call.
The offices closed at 5:00. John never showed up. I went back to the hotel and spent another restless evening. I kept my cell phone on, even on the charger.
Back at the hotel, I sat down and wrote out the steps I am going to do to fix this.
1. Stop all current work, and terminate Jerrod and his entourage
2. Move all of my work out of the gallery
a. Find a new venue
b. Move to that venue
3. Find a place to live if John insists I move out.
4. Work on John to fix this
Number four should be 1,2,3,4,5, and 6
I looked at the list and crumbled it up and tossed it in the trash. I didn’t need a list or a plan, I needed John.
I finally decided that the first thing I needed to do was apologize to all of the people who were at the party. At the same time I was going to terminate my book cover work. I decided that it couldn’t wait until I returned home.
I decided to use e-mail for now. I had a mass e-mail address group of all of the people that had been invited to the barbeque. I also had an e-mail address for Jerrod. I decided to e-mail Jerrod first.
To: Jerrod.Clousen@xxxxxxxmail, com
Jerrod; I regret to inform you that because I have had my contract for Elizabeth Jester’s book covers terminated; I must end your employment.
I will of course pay all monies due you. I will also pay any housing costs through Saturday at 5:00 PM.
If in the future I have a need for someone that you would meet the requirements, I will contact you agent.
Carolina Catherine Dolman-Carmody
Then I sent this to the group that had gotten the invitations.
This letter is to try to apologize to you for the stupidity that I showed at the barbeque last Saturday evening.
If you did not make the party, this is an apology for the hurt I caused my husband and his relationship with you.
What I did and said caused immense hurt to my husband.
I have no excuse, being drunk is not an excuse or a cause.
What I said, and even getting drunk were insults to my dear husband. He has decided to take some actions to stop the insult and hurt.
Should John and I somehow separate, I wish you all will support John. He did not deserve it, and he should not lose your friendship because of what I did.
Again, I apologize for any embarrassment that I caused.
Carolina Catherine Dolman-Carmody
I pushed send and cried again.