The Pain of Letting Go

by StangStar06

Copyright© 2013 by StangStar06

Sex Story: I found out that holding onto things is worse

Caution: This Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa   Consensual   Tear Jerker   Cheating   InLaws   Violent   .

Hi folks, it's been a while for some of you. Those of you who are reading this on Literotica missed last week's story. Now that you know that there was a story, most of you already know where to go to find it. And I'm sure someone will mention it in the comments for those of you who don't. You can also send me an E-mail and I'll tell you if no one does. Anyway, the only reason I'm mentioning that story is because there was a bit in it that tied off the loose ends left over from Shame, Shame, Shame. It was also a very good story, but on to this week. This week's story is a shorter piece that came from and Idea suggested by a reader. She doesn't want her name mentioned but she knows who she is. I hope she likes what I've done with her idea. This week's story was edited by CallieFornia. SS06.

I left the motor running, although no one was around to hear it except me. Actually, I left it running for me. I didn't need to hear it to know what it sounded l knew the sound by heart. It was as familiar to me as my own heart beat. The deep throbbing sound of my Mustang's 5.0 liter modular V8 funneled through a MagnaFlow exhaust system. It was like music to my ears. I love that sound. I'd recorded it and used it as the ring tone on my iPhone. But today the sound served a different purpose.

Today the deep throbbing acted much the same way that the peanuts character Linus' blanket or a child's night light does. The sound of my motor served to keep the bad things away even though it was broad daylight and the sun wouldn't go down for hours.

As I stepped off of the black top surface of the driveway and onto the first step of the porch, I looked back to make sure that my Mustang was still there. I caught a glimpse of the pewter paint and turned back towards the house. I reached into my pocket and pulled out the key. I stuck it in the lock, the way I'd done on countless occasions before. It still fit.

I gave it a slight pull as I turned the key to the right and the door was open. The afternoon sun was still bright enough to provide all of the light I need to see. As I looked across the now almost empty expanse that I'd called home for so long, I got a lump in my throat.

I wondered for the ten thousandth time if I was doing the right thing. I had laid this parquet floor myself. I looked into the kitchen and remembered the way I'd skinned my knuckles when I hung those cabinets. There was still a tiny hole in the floor that I'd drilled to attach the water hose from the refrigerator to the water pipe in the basement below.

All of the closets were mostly empty. I was just passing through to pick up any lingering remnants of what I thought would be my life.

Even the house seemed sad. As I climbed the stairs, I saw the little things that only someone who'd lived here would notice. The wood of the stairs was actually a cheap but sturdy pine that had been stained to match the expensive flooring in the living room.

The kids had been allowed to do whatever they'd wanted with their rooms. My daughter's room was still immaculate. The boy as I now called him had left his room a mess. Even at twenty three years old he still acted more like a child than his seventeen year old sister. He'd simply taken everything that he wanted and moved it into his dorm room at college. He'd left the room a mess in his wake.

I guess it didn't matter. The house was sold, so its condition was no longer my problem. As I looked at the walls of the room I used to sleep in, I almost collapsed. I had painted those God damned walls at least ten times. That bitch was just never satisfied.

As I looked around the empty room it was almost as if no one had ever lived in this room. No one had ever slept here. Even I began to wonder at that point. Did anyone ever live here? Did anyone love here and raise a family here? Was the life I remember real? Or was the whole thing, the life I knew all just another lie, like her wedding vows?

Tiny signs around the room signal powerful memories that even now I question. The line scored into the paint of the back wall. The headboard on the bed was there. The paint was scraped away from the wall because every time I fucked her, the headboard knocked into the wall until it scratched all of the paint of behind it. Of course at the time I thought I was doing something else. She called it making love. I thought we were sharing ourselves and I thought it was special.

I'd thought I was signing my life away when I bought this house. Claudette wasn't working and had terrible credit so her name wasn't on the mortgage. Besides at the time she was pregnant so we had to get out of that apartment and move into a place that was big enough for us to have a family. I thought at the time that sixty thousand dollars was too much for the house but Claudette loved it. I'd gotten almost twice that when I sold the place last week. I got one hundred and ten thousand dollars for it. And I didn't have to give Claudette a fucking quarter. To the victors go the spoils they say. But somehow I don't feel very victorious. In fact I feel just the opposite. I feel like the biggest failure, the biggest loser and the biggest fool, all rolled into one.

If as they say, "today is the first day of the rest of your life," my reply would have to be why bother? I've lost almost everything. Everyone I speak to seems to think that I won...

I hear the creaking of the door downstairs as it opens. I quickly turn and realize that I've turned too quickly. The sharp pain in my still injured knee reminds me that I still have a long time to go before I'm in the shape that I once was. I walk more slowly towards the door and the stairs. As I get to the top of the stairs, I see her looking around.

"Claudette, you have no right to be here," I hiss. "I believe the restraining order still prevents you from coming anywhere near me as well."

She looks like hell, which in itself should make me happy, but doesn't. I spent a large part of my life loving this woman with everything I had. I made a baby with this woman and we'll have to see each other for her alone for the rest of our lives. But as she looks up towards me even her tears fail to move me. The pleading tone in her voice brings only bile into my intestinal tract. Can I really hate her that much?

"I heard that you'd sold our house," she said. "I probably would have bought it, but you left me virtually penniless, as you know."

"The only thing I know is that if you don't leave, I'll call the police," I said.

"Oh my Roberto," she whined. When Claudette was upset she pretended to be more than part Italian.

"In the first place I'm not YOUR anything," I said. "And in the second, my name isn't Roberto. It isn't Robert, either. My name is Bob; Just plain Bob. And I'm still waiting for you to get the hell out of here."

She paused and wiped her eyes although I didn't see any years.

"It must be wonderful to be perfect," she said. "How does it feel to be the only person on earth who has never made a mistake? The rest of us have to live with our failures and the things we wish we could take back. But you're above it all."

"Fuck you," I spat. "Even after all of these years you don't know a thing about me."

"That's just it," she said. "I thought I did. I thought that you loved me and we could somehow work this out. But you've changed. Even after you caught..." She halted in mid sentence as if she was afraid to summon the memory.

"What changed you?" she asked.

As I looked into the eyes of the woman I thought I'd spend the rest of my life with, I realized that I was still coming to terms with it myself. I'd tried explaining the changes in me, to her and everyone else several times. But perhaps after twenty plus years she just thought I was going through a temporary attitude change brought on by the accident that had nearly killed me. Maybe she hoped that I'd change back at some point and become the easy going guy that had loved her and allowed her to take advantage of him for so many years.

As she stood there in front of me, waiting for an answer, I thought back a few months prior to that moment. I'd been driving my jeep down a rain slicked road and I was driving way too fast for the road surface and the conditions. I was upset and just wanted to get away from all of the problems that were piling up on me. I'd just left the medical clinic that had serviced my family's medical needs for as long as I could remember. The news I'd gotten had driven me even further over the edge.

I say even further over the edge because I was already going through hell. My family had recently been ripped apart and this was just another brick in the wall of bullshit that I was expected to endure.

Suddenly, the jeep's back end fishtailed. I jerked the wheel, trying to halt the skid. The four wheel drive system only meant, in this case that there were four wheels sliding dangerously close to the edge of a steep ditch. With what sounded like an almost human-like screech the jeep went over the edge of the ditch and plummeted off the road.

It flipped over violently several times and came to rest on its roof. The airbag had gone off on the first flip and the next few times the steering wheel impacted my chest. My head was still spinning and I looked out of the window. I realized even with my head as fuzzy as it was that there was another drop and the jeep was leaning towards it. I hit the clasp on my seatbelt release and fell onto the roof of the cabin.

Jeeps are pretty much bullet proof and a strong validation of that was the fact that the buttons to lower the windows still worked after all of the impacts and rolls. I was slightly confused by the fact that the windows opened upwards, but I scrambled out just as the Jeep started to slide off of a sheer drop. Just as I thought I was clear of the Jeep it fell. I breathed a premature sigh of relief as the heavy vehicle slipped off of the edge.

Unfortunately, my elation was too early, the edge of my shoe was caught on the lip of the window and I was dragged over the edge with the Jeep. I scrambled and tried to grab the edge of the ledge because I was already hurt seriously. I wasn't sure I'd survive another fall especially without the Jeep's heavy frame as protection. I clawed at the ground trying to grab anything I could to arrest my downward plunge. About ten feet down my side hit a heavy root that stuck out the side of the sheer wall. I grabbed at it for dear life with both hands. The falling Jeep tried to rip my hand off of the branch, but luckily my shoe came off before my grip failed.

The sound of the Jeep impacting the ground another ten or twelve feet below me was so loud that I felt the collision between metal vehicle and earth as well as heard it. Several small parts that broke loose during the impact had hit me and something ripped into the back of my leg, just above the knee.

The crash was so loud that I was sure someone had to have heard any one of the several impacts. The last one was especially loud so I was sure that at any second someone would be coming to rescue me. While I hung there, I tried to take stock of both my situation and my injuries.

I was having trouble breathing and it felt like I was trying to breathe water on one side. It also hurt to breathe. I was sure that meant that one of my lungs might be punctured and that I'd probably cracked or broken a rib or a few. My hands were bleeding and I had a headache. My neck was also sore. Lastly my leg was bleeding where the small piece of the Jeep that had struck me after the crash hit.

I looked below and the Jeep was a wreck. It appeared to have folded in on itself and several sharp appearing spars, probably parts of the chassis that had snapped at the welds protruded through what was left of the roof. Trying to land on that wasn't an option.

If the fall didn't kill me or further injure me in my weakened condition, being impaled on one of those spars would for sure.

I tried to call out for help, but could barely summon enough breath to hoarsely yell. In terms of volume, my yell was barely louder than my normal speaking voice. I knew I couldn't hold on for long so I kicked and shinnied my way up the branch. As soon as my ribs touched the branch I dropped back down and barely held on. The pain had been so intense that I'd nearly blacked out. There was far more wrong with me than I'd suspected.

My hands hurt from trying to hang on. As I grew weaker, so did my grip. I wasn't sure how long I'd be able to hold myself on that branch.

I told myself that I could and would hold on for as long as was necessary. I had never been a quitter and I wasn't about to start now. This was when it really counted. This wasn't some stupid sporting event. There was far more at stake here than mere bragging rights or some dumb trophy. It also wasn't just a business deal where the outcome would only yield a client or two or maybe a few dollars. This was serious. It was life and death and being a quitter in this situation would be the end.

My lungs burned trying to breathe. Breathing got harder the longer I held on. My hands burned and the muscles in my forearms screamed in agony, but I held on. Then my mind started to take over. My mind told me to just let go. What was the point? I asked myself. My life and family were already ruined far beyond repair. The relationships with everyone I held dear had been destroyed. What the hell was the point?

Every second that I held on was agony. And it was a long sustained agony as one after another of my body parts started to ache and then fail. On the other hand if I let go, there would be one brief instant of pain and then there'd be no further pain. Not only would I stop feeling the pain of all of the injuries, I'd stop feeling the pain of all of the emotional hits my life had taken recently. I tried for a few seconds but I couldn't think of a single reason to go on living. "Fuck it," I said silently. Maybe I'll do better in the next life.

At the last possible instant, I saw the face of the one person who would be hurt if I died flash before my eyes. But it was too late. My brain had already sent the signal to my aching hands to let go of the root. Even if I did try to retain my grip it was just futile. My fingers no longer had the strength to hold my weight for more than a very few seconds more.

The human organism is nothing if not resilient though. Survival is bred into us. Even as my hands failed, my legs kicked, causing me to start swinging. At the top of my swing, my fingers failed and instead of dropping onto the sharp metal and hard surfaces of the Jeep, I arced outwards and landed on the dirt a few yards away from it. My landing was not pretty. I also wrenched my back doing it. I tried to stand up and couldn't.

Breathing had also become even more difficult. I tried to check myself over and when I got to my waist I felt something very hard. At first I thought that I'd broken my pelvis and it was sticking through the skin. Then I realized that it was my phone. It took me nearly ten minutes to pull the phone out of its case.

It took me longer than that to punch in my security password and unlock the phone. I made a mental note to myself not to ever use a ten digit password again. With the last of my strength I managed to hit the nine and the hit the one, twice.

The voice on the phone gave me hope that I might still survive. But at the same time, I needed to let go again. The darkness was calling me. I realized at that moment that I'd discovered something. My body was going into shock. I was feeling less and less with every passing moment. If I had somehow managed to hold on for a few more moments, I'd still be in agony. Clearly the pain of letting go wasn't nearly as bad as the agony of holding on in a bad situation. It was strange but in the last few moments before I died, I had discovered something that could have eased my life.

"9-1-1, what's your emergency?" she asked.

"Car ... fell ... fell off cliff," I gasped as the blackness took over.

"Sir, did you say that your car went off of a cliff?" she asked. "Sir, are you still there? Can you stay on the line?"

I don't remember anything after that until I awoke. I'm told that I was out of it for nearly a week. I had a cracked skull, several broken ribs, and a punctured lung as I'd suspected. My shoulder was wrenched. I had a deep cut and the piece of metal in my leg had to be surgically removed. My neck had been sprained by the airbag and I had a concussion. There were also, of course, numerous contusions and bruises and scrapes. But all in all I was pretty lucky.

My iPhone had saved my life. The 911 operator was able to trace my phone and get an ambulance to me. The rest was easy.

As I opened my eyes, medical technology took over. All kinds of alarms went off as needles and readouts spiked indicating brainwave activity, increased respiration and a stronger heartbeat. In short as soon as I regained consciousness, they knew about it.

It almost seemed as if the people worked for the machines, because as soon as the bells started to ring, the biggest, fattest, ugliest nurse on the planet looked up from her crossword puzzle and crossed the room.

When I was young we used to talk about pie faced girls. They were girls with round flat faces and no redeeming features to make them even semi attractive. The nurse glaring at me couldn't be confused with them because at least pie is sweet. Her face was round and flat with her nose spread out almost from cheek to cheek and she had the sourest expression on her face that I'd ever seen. A large mouth with little or no lips stretched into a frown as if she was pissed off because I had the audacity to wake up while she was doing her fucking puzzle.

Obviously this woman did not choose a career in health care because she wanted to make life better for sick patients and ease their suffering. When I saw the pissed off expression on her face, I closed my eyes again.

"There's no use trying to fake it," she chirped in a disproportionately high voice. "I already know you're awake."

She pulled out one of those electronic thermometers and for a second, I wasn't sure that she didn't intend to stab me with it.

After taking my temperature she checked several other things and then started taking to me again. "You gave us quite a scare," she said. "You have several family members who've been coming here every day to see you. We finally got them to go home and take turns coming in."

"Who's here now?" I gasped out.

"Your wife has been here almost the entire time," she said. "She's been sleeping in the waiting room. We finally got her to go home for a nap and a shower. She really was starting to stink."

"That bitch has been stinking for most of her life," I quipped. "A shower won't help. Who's here?"

"Your son and your daughter are in the waiting room now," she said. "Your parents will be here in about an hour to relieve them. And your brother will be here when he finishes work for the day."

"Tell my son and daughter that I can only have one visitor at a time and send my daughter in," I said. "When I'm done talking to her, tell him that I'm exhausted and too tired to see anyone else today." she looked at me strangely but she left the room.

A few moments later my daughter walked into the room. She was torn between being glad that I was awake and crying because I was hurt so badly.

"Daddy, are you okay?" she asked.

"Heather, everything hurts," I said. "My hair hurts."

"I'm so glad you're okay," she said. "They told us about all of your injuries and they were really worried that your concussion might've been worse. There was a possibility of brain damage and memory loss, but I can tell by your corny jokes and that smile that you're going to be fine."

"I'm going to be better than fine, baby girl," I said. "My life is going to be better from now on. Today is the first day of the rest of my life. All of the misery and pain that I've been going through is over. I have a new lease on life."

Even as I was talking to my daughter, the door opened and a woman stepped in. She saw that I was awake and walked over to the bed. She smiled when she saw me and I stopped on mid sentence. "Get the nurse!" I told her. She turned and went back outside of the room.

When she returned a few moments later she had that huge battle axe of a nurse with her. "What did I tell you?" I asked the nurse.

The behemoth instantly turned and glared at my wife, Claudette. "Who let you in here?" she bellowed. "He can only have one visitor at a time. Go back out and wait your turn."

"But ... but ... I'm," babbled Claudette.

"Out!" bellowed the nurse, pointing a ham-like hand with sausage-like fingers towards the door. Claudette retreated.

I spent the next half hour chatting with my daughter. I didn't tell her anything that she didn't already know. I just reassured her that I would be fine and that we would be too. I told her that I'd need her help in my recovery and that nothing had changed between us. I loved her as much as ever and probably more now that I'd had this bump on the road to remind me of what was truly important in life.

As soon as heather left, the nurse stormed back into the room. "I think that you have the idea that I'm your butler or something," she said. "I'm not. I'm also not your personal assistant or your appointment secretary. It isn't up to me to schedule your visitors so don't ask me to."

"I'm done for the day," I said. She looked at me crazily.

"What about all of those people put there asking to see you?" she asked.

"Fuck 'Em," I said rolling over and settling in. "Where's my phone?" I asked.

"It's with your clothes," she said.

"If you get me my phone, I can take it from here," I said as I closed my eyes.

The next morning I woke up and noticed that my scratched up and slightly worse for the wear, iPhone was on the table beside my bed. I reached for it and noticed that the screen had several cracks in it. I put that on my list. I checked the time and noticed that it was almost 9 a.m. My secretary Alice had never been late once during the time that she worked for me so I was sure that she was already in the office.

I called her. She sounded overjoyed to hear my voice.

"I was so afraid that you were hurt more seriously," she said.

"Alice what's been going on there while I've been out of it?" I asked.

"It's been okay," she said. "But things are a bit chaotic with everyone not knowing what they can and can't do. Your brother Alvin has been trying to organize things but he really doesn't have the..."

"My brother Alvin is a fuck up and he's fired," I said. "Notify security that as soon as he shows up today, he is to be escorted to his office to clean it out and then escorted back to his car. If he's driving the company car, he can walk home. Make sure they get all of his keys and anything else the company issued him. If he protests or starts any crap, call the police and have him arrested."

"Wow, you're in a mood," she said.

"Things are going to be a bit different from now on," I said. "I need you to get all of the department heads together and Skype me at lunch time. And until I figure out what to do just call me about any and all problems."

The next call I made was to my lawyer, to make sure he was still working on the things I'd been unsure of before the accident.

Nurse battle axe came in after that to bring me breakfast.

"Are we receiving visitors today?" she asked as sweetly as a nearly 800 lb. gorilla of a nurse can.

"As an attempt to make things easier on you so you don't have to look up from your crossword puzzle quite as often, just send them all in as soon as they get here," I said.

"So we've had a change of heart have we?" she quipped.

"The "ME," part of "We," just wants to get this all over," I said. "So I'll be directing the comings and goings without you."

I looked at the food that she'd brought me and almost vomited trying to imagine eating it. "Am I on some type of special yucky diet?" I asked.

"Nope," she said. "All of your vitals are good and except for a few scrapes and broken bones you're fine. There's no sign of concussion or brain damage. You can eat anything you want."

I moved the tray away from me and picked my phone back up. I hit one name on my contact list and waited to be connected.

"Heather, where are you, baby?" I asked.

"I'm in the waiting room, Daddy," she said.

"Honey can you go to McDonalds and get breakfast for me?" I asked.

While I waited for my breakfast a few doctors and nurses came in and checked various components of my anatomy. Several of the doctors had groups of bright eyed eager young faces trailing along behind them. After one of those eager young faces attempted to take my blood pressure and got it terribly wrong, I politely waited for them to leave. I smiled and wished them good luck in their careers. Then I told nurse battle axe to inform the staff that I no longer wished to be practiced on. From that moment on I needed a list of everyone who needed to check anything on me so I could veto the ones that were no longer necessary.

Even as we spoke the door opened and my parents came in followed by Claudette and our son, Gerald. She walked over to the bed and lightly kissed me on my forehead.

"How are you feeling Ro ... Bob?" she asked cautiously

"Better than I have in years," I smiled.

"I'd have thought that you'd be in pain," she said.

"Sorry to disappoint you," I smirked. "If it makes you feel any better, I was speaking figuratively. In literal terms, there is some pain. But pain is to be expected under the circumstances. What I was talking about was how I felt over all. And over all I feel better than I have since I was a child. While I hung there, trying so hard not to fall down that God damned cliff, I learned some things."

"Like what?" asked my Dad. "Did you learn to forgive the little stuff? Did you learn that family is all we've got?"

"Nope Dad," I said. "But I did learn to recognize horse shit."

His eyes flashed with anger and I smiled. What was he going to do spank me?

"Bob, why don't you tell us about what you learned," said my mother trying to defuse the situation.

"Okay, this might take a while so why don't you all sit down," I said. At that moment my daughter came in with a McDonald's bag. She sat my hot cakes and sausage down and I started to eat as I told my sad little tale.

"For most of my life, I've always felt like an also ran," I began.

"Oh shit, here it comes," groaned my dad. "Should I get out the violin?"

"Dad, if you want to you can leave the violin off and just get out," I snapped.

"Bob, I was only joking," he said. "It's a bad time for all of us with your accident and you ending up hospitalized and all of the stress we've been going through. Your brother's been busting his ass trying to keep things on an even keel at work even though he's going through something else at the same time. Sometimes I wonder how that man can keep going. He's a rock that one and..."

"And that exactly is the problem," I said. "That's exactly what I was talking about. I'm lying here in a hospital bed with stitches and broken bones and a cracked skull, yet somehow you manage to turn the conversation around to Alvin Jr."

"Dad maybe this is all Mom's fault," I said. "Maybe she just forgot to tell you that you had two sons. If it eases your mind, I had a DNA test done. Mom didn't cheat on you. I really am your son." He looked at the floor and didn't say anything. Claudette's expression changed slightly when I mentioned cheating though.

"Like I said when I started," I began again. "I wasn't my father's first born son, so like in medieval times, I guess I was less important. I've spent my life busting my ass trying to get noticed, but nothing I ever did really mattered. At least it didn't at home. At school somehow it paid off though.

Most of my teachers usually told me that they were pleasantly surprised at the differences between AJ and me. The football and basketball coaches said the same thing.

Coach Bennett almost didn't even let try out for the team because he remembered when AJ played for him. He said that AJ was the laziest basketball player he'd ever seen.

But it didn't matter. I got awards and honors at school and got ignored at home. If I brought home straight A's and AJ got B's and C's what did you say Dad?"

"I was always proud of both of you boys," he grumbled.

"But what did you always say, Dad?" I asked.

"I can't remember back that far," he said in a very low voice.

"You always said that it was harder for AJ to get C's and it was a better accomplishment because his classes were harder since he was older. I guess at the time I believed it," I said.

"Anyway, AJ went off to college and Dad had to work extra shifts because school was pretty expensive. You guys also bought AJ a car to get around in. I thought it would be a great time, not that I didn't love my brother and look up to him. But I thought that with him away, my dad and I would grow closer. It didn't happen. With all of the extra work, Dad was always too tired to do anything.

Then when AJ flamed out and had to come home and go to the community college, things were even worse. For two years, I had to deal with Dad's anger over all of the money he wasted sending AJ to a top level college only to have him finishing his degree living at home and going to a local college.

Just before AJ's last year which was my first year, Dad changed his tune completely. He started making noise about how if going to a local college was good enough for AJ; it should be good enough for me. Luckily two things happened. The first was that I earned a partial scholarship, which took care of a lot of the cost. The second was that Mom stood up for me. She told Dad that AJ had his chance to fail and it was only fair that I should have my chance as well.

College was wonderful. I was finally out from AJ's shadow. Since I went to a different school than AJ had attended, I got to make a fresh first impression as myself instead of as AJ's little brother. When I got home with my first grade report and it was all A's with one B, Mom was proud of me and Dad didn't say anything. I loved college. I also got internships and worked every summer. I saved up enough money and bought myself a used car. That was my first Mustang and I haven't driven anything since. I always have a Jeep for getting through the Midwestern winters, but that didn't happen until I started to make decent money. I spent a lot of winters doing donuts every time I stepped on the gas and fishtailing my way down snow and ice covered freeways in my Mustangs.

During my last year of school, I met Claudette. I guess the way she acts is mostly my fault because I've been letting her have her way ever since we met. I'll admit that I've always given in to her because I always thought that nothing that we disagreed about was worth losing her over.

As a matter of fact, up until now that's exactly how I've lived my life. I've always given in, to pretty much everyone, because whatever happened wasn't worth fighting over. I guess that in the end, I just wanted to be liked. So I put up with and lived with almost everything. Those days are over. Hanging off the side of that cliff I learned that sometimes, hanging onto things that aren't good for me just because I'm afraid of what comes next is often more painful than what I'm avoiding.

Claudette gasped when I said that, but my parents just looked confused.

"What does this have to do with anything?" asked my dad.

"Bob, does this affect... ?" began Claudette.

"Yep, I'd say it does," I said. "We have a lot to talk about."

"Do I have to be here for this crap?" asked my son Gerald. "I have some homework to work on. Those assignments aren't going to handle themselves."

"Gerald, your father was in a terrible accident," said Claudette. "We have to be here to show him that we love him and help him get back on his feet again. You don't see your sister trying to run out of here."

"Actually, Heather has to go," I said. "Heather, Honey, I need you to go to my building and help Alice. Try to learn as much as you can because someday you're going to be taking over the business. I'll call your teachers and explain our family emergency."

"Okay, Daddy," she said. She came over and hugged me and then left.

"Shouldn't Gerald be the one going over to the plant?" asked Claudette.

"Why?" I asked. "Is he going to suddenly develop some sort of useable skill?"

"He's your son," she yelled. "You can teach him the things he needs to learn."

"That's part of his God damned problem," said my dad. "He doesn't understand the importance of family. That's why he has AJ so stressed out."

"Okay, I've once again tried to be too nice," I said. "Dad, I can't live with the way you always take AJ's side in everything. From now on if the two of you can't treat us both the same, I don't think we're going to be seeing much of each other." My Dad's mouth started opening and closing like a fish out of water in shock.

"And Claudette, after thorough consideration, I think I'll be going after that divorce after all," her expression and actions mirrored my Dad's.

"Wow, maybe Dad hit his head harder than the doctors thought," laughed Gerald. "He's throwing shit on all of you."

"Gerald, you should probably take some time to figure out what you're going to do this summer," I said.

"I already know Dad," he smirked. "I'm going to hang out and relax after a hard year of school."

"Gerald, I got a call from the Dean of your college the other day. Your grades are so low they've put you on academic probation, AGAIN. I'm no longer willing to fund your college disinterest, so this summer you need to get a job if you're going to school next year," I said.

"You can't be serious," he said. "Mom, talk to him!" Claudette was still in shock from hearing about the divorce. Gerald stomped his way out of the room and slammed the door behind him, leaving me alone with my wife and my parents.

"I don't understand any of this," said my mother. "Bobby, what's gotten into you? You've always been very reasonable and..."

"Mom, I've always been like you," I said. "You're a saint. I can't be anymore. I'm tired of stoically putting up with everyone's crap. I can't do it anymore."

"Okay Honey, but why now?" she asked.

"Mom it's not just now. The accident was just the straw that broke the camel's back. The accident was because I'd just gotten some really bad news. I freaked out and was driving way too fast. That's why I almost killed myself. For the past two weeks I've been running around in a fog from trying to just go along."

"When I graduated from college, I busted my ass trying to make a name for myself in manufacturing. The company I worked for made several small parts for a number of bigger companies. It took me years to start my company and then to make my business a success. I had to pull myself up by my own bootstraps. As soon as I was in a position to, Dad talked me into hiring AJ."

"I made AJ the production manager, but he didn't know anything about manufacturing. Next I made him my assistant. He screwed up all of my appointments. I made him the sales manager and he screwed that up. I couldn't put him on a machine because he has no programming or CNC experience and he was too lazy, AND I was afraid he'd kill himself or someone else. So I made him a salesman. He doesn't actually sell much. He has no major clients and unlike every other salesman in my company he has no sales quota. Basically what AJ does is charity. I keep him on the books when I'd have fired anyone else, because he's my brother and I loved him."

"Why did you say LOVED, Honey?" asked my mother.

"Because Mom AJ is an asshole, and he's always been one. I'm just tired of co-signing it and forgiving him no matter what. This was the last straw. I'm not taking it anymore. That's why I fired his ass this morning," I said.

"You did what?" asked my dad before he went back into fish out of water mode. "Is this about whatever stupid little mistake AJ made 2 weeks ago? He's been upset and nervous ever since. He's been trying to run your company for you to make up for it and..."

"And he's been screwing up everything he touched," I said. "That's why I'm going to have Heather intern for me for the summer."

"What did he do?" asked my mother.

"So he filched a few paper clips," said my Dad. "Get over it. It's all in the past."

"I agree," said Claudette. "Let it go."

"What did he do?" repeated my mother.

"A couple of weeks ago, I'd been out touring a client's facility. I went home early. I guess I should tell you that I'm not stealthy. My Mustang's exhaust system, at close range, can wake the dead. I came in the back door and as usual dropped my keys on the island on the kitchen. I really didn't think that anyone was home. The kids both had school and Claudette works for one of her friends who opened a small boutique.

I heard the sound of voices coming from another room and went to see who was home. As I got near the living room I recognized Claudette's voice. I was frozen to the spot, but only for a second. I saw her bent over the couch while some guy was pumping her from behind.

He was holding her waist and pumping his dick between her cheeks. She was moaning and urging him on. At least she was until I crossed the room and kicked him in the balls from behind. My kick, fueled by rage and pain was so hard that it lifted him off of his feet. His scream was so high pitched and so loud that I expected the windows to shatter. But I wasn't done. He stood there jumping up and down, screaming about his nuts as I reached out to grab him. I punched him in the mouth as hard as I could. It split his lips and then I finally noticed his face.

"You whore!" my mother screamed at Claudette. "He's right to divorce your cheating butt!" I noticed that my dad was strangely silent. He usually had a strong opinion on everything, whether he knew anything about it or not.

"I understand why you want to cut her loose," my mother said. "And I understand why when you've been betrayed, it makes you question your relationships with everyone in your life, Bobby, but the rest of us haven't done anything to you. From what I saw this morning it's almost like you think you can only trust Heather."

"Mom you and Dad, always cover for AJ, no matter what," I said. "It's mostly Dad, but you usually go along with it."

"I don't understand what that has to do with..." she began.

"AJ was the guy screwing Claudette," I said.

My mother didn't say a word, she was too shocked.

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