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Abby, a Mistress

I found her.

A person could see her unmistakable long, dark hair from across the grocery store. That’s where I saw her, at least.

My hair- short and blonde. He told me he liked my hair shorter, and when I cut it he told me I had never looked better. That I was even more beautiful that day then I was the day he married me.
There was never a time like the world we lived in when we were newly-weds. Being 7 years ago doesn’t seem like that long ago.
I never dreamed of leaving him, and I definitely never thought it would come to this.
A mistress.
Late nights at work, going to the bar with his friends- he still always had time for me. We had been on many dates as a married couple, several vacations, and countless late nights of talking and swooning. He kissed me goodbye every morning before he went to work, told me he loved me every day, and always made a point to make me feel beautiful and like I am the luckiest girl in the world.
But here I am. In the grocery store that I have been coming to since we moved here 7 years ago. Buying everything that fills our house with holiday aromas and dinner every night. This is where I buy his favorite coffee, no other store in town carries it. I have gone out of my way to come here for him, and today I found her here.
She is beautiful, clearly. He really did pick a good one. And she looks nothing like me, even better for him I’m sure.
I bet she never complains about his dirty clothes laying on the floor, or about how he walks through every room in the house while he’s on the phone, constantly picking things up and moving them around without even realizing it.
I’m sure she is an amazing lover, she probably does more than I ever would for him. “Tough Luck”, I always tell him. She probably has a closet full of lingerie that she wears for my husband, some that he might have paid for, with the money he makes for “our family”, as he calls it.
Should I have done better? Should I have catered to his every want and need and never had an argument? Wear high-heels when I do the dishes? Make myself be his whore every night after his long day at work? I could have ironed all his clothes, picked up all his messes, cleaned for 4 hours every day, wrote him loves stories and day-dreamed about him all day. Did I not do enough, just by loving him and being his home to come to every day?
Oh, please.
I am a human being, just like him. He should have known better, and he should have remembered the love we had for each other every single day.
Not fucking women like her.
I found out about her by accident.
Cleaning the house, no doubt, while he was at work not thinking about me, or her either, I’m sure.
She wrote him a note and he left it in his shorts from 2 weekends ago, when he told me he went to see his old friend from high school that just moved 2 towns away from us. “Sounds fun!” I said. And no, it was not stupid of me to not think he really meant he would be with someone else.
The note said “Think of me tonight while you are with your wife because I will be thinking of you when he comes home. -Abby”. What an amateur, I thought. Did she really think he did his own laundry or cared enough to clean out his pockets at the end of the day? Or did she think he would fold it up and keep it like a trophy of their undefined love? Don’t make me laugh.
I told you, she is nothing like me. I would never dream of sleeping with another man. Even now I can’t imagine, because I remember our wedding and how the basis of our marriage and our love was made that night. I knew then there would never be another man that I could look at the same way as I do him, and I knew that I would never feel the same way about love or how it feels because that night it was truly the best night of my life, where love was redefined.
It was better for him that she doesn’t look like me, but not because she is better or more beautiful, but because it would only make him feel guilty. And honestly, what is the point on cheating on your wife with someone that looks like her?
Abby, however, has no idea what any of that means. I feel sorry for her, truly. Does she think she can find that in my husband since she can’t find it on her own? Please. She has to find a way to stop being so pathetic, and she needs to find that without my husband.
I see her in aisle 9 as I walk by. I stop and stare for a minute, and remember that she is not better than me. Most women might feel that she is, of course, because my husband picked her over me. But actually, he didn’t.

He found her, at a bar I’m sure, and it was fun for one night. And then he thought maybe this was the life he wanted, being her play toy on nights they can both ditch their spouses and be together. Does that sound like a relationship to you, Abby? Pathetic. It sounds pathetic to me.
He didn’t find me at a bar on a drunken night like he did you. We met at a luncheon for a company we both were applying for 8 years ago. We talked all night and he took me on dates for several weeks before we slept together, which I’m sure wasn’t the case with you.
Perhaps it has been fun, running around with a woman who looks like she hit puberty about 5 years ago. Her body is rockin’, I’m sure, and she makes him feel young again, I bet. She looks nothing like me, as I said. What I mean by that is I look better. Funny, isn’t it? He still makes love me right after making love to you. Is that petty sex, you think? Doubtful. The sex with you is fun and meaningless, but my body is where his home is, and its the only place he has ever made real love to a woman.
So, Abby, have fun, you pretty little thing. I could honestly not care less. Anything he’s ever told you about his feelings for you, or feelings he may have for me, they are all a lie. An adult would know that, so surely you could use that explanation.
We’ll fight about it later, I’m sure, at my own timing and with my full control. No, it’s not over. However, I may decide that it should be, later on my own terms.
I’ll get what I want, out of both of you, when the time comes. And I promise you this, I won’t be the one feeling stupid when it’s all over.

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Chapter Excerpt #6, “My Son is Missing”

Extreme Bipolar Mania
The tendency to have mood swings that turn to violence.

My husband sent me here because I kept forgetting what I was doing, to him and myself, and it caused to much pain for him to handle anymore.
I don’t care about his pain.

What he doesn’t know is that i never actually forgot the things I did to him.

Once, in the beginning, I was driving myself and my son to the grocery story a few miles away. I wanted to make a nice dinner for him when he got home from work, back when I still cared about his wants and needs.

I put our son in his carseat in the back, buckled him up and shut the door. When I got myself inside and started the truck, I saw her. She was right outside our house. She looked at our house as if she had stolen it as well as my husband, as if everything in my life is hers instead.

She stood there with her hands clenching her over-priced handbag. It seemed like she was waiting on something, like maybe she thought he was going to come outside to meet her. I thought to myself, “You stupid bitch, he’s at work, only his wife and child are home. It’s the middle of the fucking day”. How stupid of her to make herself so noticeable, although I already knew about her.

As I look at her through my rearview mirror, with my foot on the brake to move the truck in gear, our eyes meet. I realized then that she wasn’t here to see him, she’s here to see me. We stared at each other for several moments and I think she must feel guilty for stealing my husband. But why would she? Do women like her every really feel guilty for destroying a marriage and a family? Well, it isn’t destroyed yet I guess, since he doesn’t know I know. But she does. Women always know.

“Well honey, he’s yours now”, I think to myself. He hasn’t been the man I married in a long time. Her standing there with puppy-dog eyes makes me almost feel sorry for her, but not quite. She looked so pathetic, and disappointed. Well, I’ve been disappointed myself lately.

I continue to put the truck in gear and back out of the driveway, my driveway, with my son, and drive off. I see her walk off past the house from my side mirror, and that’s when I decided it was finally over between us, our marriage is finished. This is where it all began.

Our fights went from me crying all alone, to me tearing things off the walls and throwing them at his face. From me feeling defeated and pathetic to taking action and making him pay for what he did to me- to our family.

This is when he started telling me that I was crazy, that I was making things up and was just paranoid. Well, maybe I am crazy. But I don’t care. He deserved it. I was angry that he did this to us, and I wasn’t going to let him get away with it.

He kept lying to me. Every single day was a lie. He’s been selling pharmaceuticals for 10 years, and never has he been needed to stay late as often as he has the last 10 weeks, and definitely not every Monday Wednesday and Thursday. He thought I was stupid, that it was something I wouldn’t notice. I stay at home all day taking care of our son and waiting for my husband to come home, how could I not notice that he was gone on such a timely schedule? He can accuse me of being irrational, and angry, and paranoid, and even crazy, but it started with him, and that woman, and now they expect me to sit here in the hospital alone while they have my son.

Well, it’s not going to be like this forever, trust me, I’ll be out of here soon, and I will have my son back.

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Short Story Excerpt, “Embers”

The flowers that were once beautiful and peaceful are now wilted and burned, mostly red and foggy with no life left.

Every year we would see the petals fall, the stems get weak, and eventually, all of the carnations would die along with the tiger lilies, the hydrangea shrubs, and blueberry bushes. Fall would come, and we would hope for it to be a short winter, and that spring will be here early so we could watch the blooms pop back up out of the ground. Our children loved it, and I loved him more and more every day.

Everything is burned. It smelled like burned brushes, burned wood, and burned carpet and ceilings, like burned everything. Everything had a smell. I didn’t know everything could have a smell when it burned, but I don’t think I’ll be able to forget it after this night. Our life together has ended, and I have no evidence of it left. The rain showers, the bags of soil, even the garden furniture that we used to sit and watch our children chase the bugs and dig for treasure, gone. My treasure, my children, and my husband, all are gone.

“The grease got too hot,” is what I keep telling them. I had cooked for my family every night for years, and this had never happened. All of a sudden the whole kitchen was full of smoke. The children were upstairs in their room while my husband was working on the cabinets in the bathroom next door to them. The kitchen has a door that leads directly outside. I stepped out when the smoke got out of hand, and then I saw the flames looking in from the window. There was nothing I could do then; I had just killed them.

The water hose just wasn’t enough. It was always enough to rinse off the children’s muddy shoes after playing in the water puddles almost every time it rained. It was enough to nourish our beautiful garden, the one he planted for me the first spring after we moved in. But now, it isn’t even enough to extinguish the front porch. The red flames and debris will just keep taking over my house because this water hose won’t help.

That spring was the best spring I ever had. We bought this house, a dream house, with a dream family and a dream to always live life fully. He spent weeks in that flower bed digging and adding soil to plant my flowers and bushes. Before the summer came, this whole backyard had blooms and greens covering over half of it, just enough for the children to still play. I watched him work almost every Saturday, and most Sundays build this landscape for me, and on the last day, when it was finally done, we chased each other around with this water hose, getting soaking wet, and fell even more in love.

This fire left me with nothing. No blooms, no flower scents left in the air, and no family left. The firefighters tried to save them, but I was the only one who got out. I watched as they all ran in, “Save my children, please save my children!” I said over and over, and then everything went silent. I remember them coming out holding nothing, nothing at all. I walked to the garden, where most of the flames had been put out, and watched my whole life disappear.

The flowers are gone, and so am I.

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Excerpt 5, “My Son is Missing”

I finally got out of that place. It has been way too long.

I was released for showing “improvement” and “proving to be stable enough for the community.”

Circumstances being I see my doctor 3 times a week and stay away from my ex-husband and his family. That includes my son.

Bullshit.

I’m going to find him. He is my son. Kevin can’t just take him from me, and neither can the Judge. I don’t care what they say I did. I would never hurt my son.

This is what happened:

Kevin was a good husband. He had a job, he paid the bills, and he loved our son.

He loved me too, once upon a time.

We met when I was 22; he was 24. I fell for him that day he helped me break into my car after I locked my keys in.

A perfect stranger in a grocery store parking lot, handsome and genuine. We dated 6 months and that’s all the time we needed to know we were meant for each other. We were married for 3 years, happily, until things started to slip. We cooked together; we laughed, we had date nights every Friday.

Seems so silly today knowing he’s saying the same thing to that other woman. He blames me for the breakup, everyone does, but it started with him.

I stopped sleeping.

He started working late, saying his boss was on him about paperwork.

Every night.

He told me not to worry, it was only work, and it was only temporary.

I didn’t sleep for 6 weeks.

He said I was losing my mind, that I was getting sick. Sick with something I couldn’t see. The type of sick that hurts other people and not me.

I started losing my hair. I couldn’t brush it anymore.

I had the same itch on my arm every single day, and it burned. He said it was just in my mind, and he taped me up, over and over.

He said I should talk to someone. I told him I was fine.

He was still staying late at work.

Now, I’ve been thrown in the hospital with my son taken away from me. And he ran off.

With her…

I knew I wasn’t crazy. It wasn’t me. It was him; he was sleeping with another woman all along. And I don’t understand. What happened? What was wrong? We had a good life, and beautiful son, and decent sex life. What was so special about her?

My son loved his dad, even though he didn’t love me anymore.

We fought, a lot. He thought I didn’t know he was sleeping with another woman, that I was just crazy and making it up to make myself feel better. I still don’t understand what he meant by that.

My son loved Kevin since the day he was born. Kevin always played with him, took him to the park, pushed him on the swing, even took him on business trips.

And left me at home, alone.

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Chapter Excerpt #4, “My Son is Missing”

I found him.

Finally, after all this time.

I see her, with him, my son. My beautiful boy. He’s gotten so big. He has hair just like his dad, curly and bouncy, blonde with a hint of red. He has such little hands; I see as she takes one in hers, and leads him down to the swings. That should be me.
But it can’t be. Not here. There are too many people around. I have to wait until she takes him home, or somewhere safe for what I’m going to do.

To her home, not his. His home is with me, with his mother. She is not his mother. She is no one. I don’t understand why she has had him for this long. Where is Kevin? Why isn’t he taking care of our son?

Our son. He is so amazing. I don’t know how long it has been since I have seen him, but I know he will remember me. He’s having such a good time; she is pushing him on the swing. I know he is enjoying it because he is laughing. What a majestic sound. I have missed him.

I want to get closer, but I don’t want her to see me. I don’t want them to leave, I will have to find him all over again. She has stolen him from me, and I am here to collect what is mine, what was never hers to take.

It is time for him to come home. Come home, where he belongs, where his room is, next to mine. Mine and Kevin’s, what a joke that was.

I haven’t been back there since I left the hospital. They let me out, what did they expect? I’m going to find my son; they shouldn’t have made it so easy if they didn’t want me to see him, with her. He belongs to me; they can’t just let her have him.

I didn’t want to be there, at the house, with all of his stuff, and remember that he’s not there with me.

I am ready to take care of him again; I don’t care what they say. I am his mother, and he belongs with me. I am perfectly capable of taking care of my own son. Nobody knows him like I do. How does nobody get that? He is mine, and I want him back.
She can have Kevin. She took him from me as well, but all I want is my son back. Kevin should have never left, I needed him, but that’s over now. He wants to be with her, fine, but I want my son back, and he can’t do anything about it.

He’s wearing little light-up shoes when he steps they shoot colors all over the sole of his foot. He laughs, and jumps, then smiles at her. He has my smile, even though I haven’t seen mine in a while. It’s the same as his grandfather’s; I can’t wait to share that with him one day.

I need to get him back; it has been too long.

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Chapter Excerpt 3, “My Son is Missing”

“You’ll never get me to tell you where he is.”

Finally, I made it. I found him. I know he is here. I know she took him. I always knew. Why would no one help me?

He was here, in this house, with this woman. This is where he has been all this time.

I knew it was her. She took my husband too. Who does she think she is?

“He left you, Susan. He left you and took your son with him. You are too sick to take care of them, you can’t even take care of yourself. What did you expect?”

I don’t know what she’s talking about. I don’t remember anything. How does she know my real name? I haven’t been Susan in a long time.

I have seen her with them, with the doctors. I never understood who she was, and why she was holding my son.

Kevin left me? How could that be? We were married. We made vows, for better or for worse. I don’t remember what happened.

How worthless. What’s the point of marrying someone, making a commitment to love them forever, and choosing to leave anyway? Especially with my son!

This lady is nobody. She doesn’t know anything about Kevin or my son, and she definitely doesn’t know me.

“Where is he? Where is my son? Why did you take him from me?” I ask, wielding the bat at her.

“I won’t tell you. You will have to kill me first.”

Well, that’s do-able.

“My name is Sam!”

She sits there with a confused look on her face.

“I didn’t take him from you. You lost him, remember? You left him that day, and then they sent you to the psych ward.”

She’s lying. I would never leave my son. She took him. She took my son and my husband.

“I didn’t take anybody. You left your son. He was lost, and when Kevin found him, he decided then to take you to the hospital to keep your son safe.”

I take the bat and hit her over the right side of the head, making her fall over and hit her head on the hardwood floor, wailing.

“Shut up! You’re lying! Just shut up!”

She lays there for a few seconds before sitting back up, out of breath and bleeding from her nose. I can’t help but laugh. She has hurt me all this time; now it’s my turn to hurt her. She deserves it.

“If you don’t remember any of that, then what do you remember Susan? Do you remember the police showing up to the hospital and charging you with child endangerment? Do you remember taking your son to the park and leaving him there, because you thought he was still at home? You forgot you had taken him with you, Susan. Then you sat down and thought he was at home, and you left him there. He was alone for hours. Do you remember being served divorce papers in your hospital bed, restrained so you wouldn’t hurt yourself or any of your visitors?”

What she’s saying can’t be true. I do remember going to the park with my son, then after that only the hospital. I don’t know why I was sent there. Was I sick? Was there an accident? Kevin didn’t send me there; he wouldn’t.