Dark Places

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Chapter 7

It was now the beginning of August and Mike had already been at Avon House for a few months where he had begun to settle down and was starting to face what he needed to do to improve his life. He certainly was given plenty of time in therapy to talk and solve his dark thoughts, but though they were slowly going away, his heart was still dark. He still could not face life alone without Elaine, and that was something that he could never change.

Mike was walking past the reception of Avon House when Miss Brown, one of the receptionists said “ah Mike, I have a letter for you”. Obviously, Mike was surprised that there was a letter for him, as very few people knew he was there. He had mentioned it to his parents but looking at the envelope the letter was more formal looking than family correspondence.

He went outside, where he could be in quiet and opened the envelope and read what the letter had to say. He gasped and all of a sudden his worst fears had been relayed. The letter was from Elaine’s solicitor demanding a divorce with effect from the date of the letter. This news was certainly not going to be the worst to come. There was an extra note within the letter and this one was hand written. He knew that writing; it was Elaine’s. He could not take much more right now but read it to discover that she was formally pressing charges with the police against him for her rape. This definitely was the final straw and though he knew it was inevitable it still shocked and upset him. He deserved the two demands but his world was going to get much darker with the news he had read.

Mike had been in a pretty good mood until he received his letters. It was enough that Elaine wanted to divorce him, who could blame her? But to press the charges for rape, again he could not blame her. He had hoped that they would be able to talk about it and work things out but the letter just added extra clout that things between Elaine and he were over forever.

One of the nurses spotted Mike and cheerily said “hello Mike”, not seeing that Mike was in pieces. He was actually shedding tears, as he knew his life was over.

“Mike. Mike, what is wrong?”

Mike could not answer the nurse so simply handed her the letter and note and let her read what they had to say.

“Oh Mike. I am so sorry. I know you have talked about how sorry you are for the things you have done to Elaine but the threat of divorce and rape charges are serious. I know this is going to leave you with dark thoughts again but promise me you will come to me if you need a shoulder to cry on”.

Mike smiled a thank you but his heart had broken. It had broken to the point that he knew it would never be repaired. Why had he been so stupid?

“What hurts me the most is that Elaine will not see me or talk to me so there can be no talk of compromise and that hurts as much as losing her.”

“I know you do not know this but she did visit you the first night in hospital. I can however, see her side in this too and I am afraid I cannot give you any answers but I reiterate that I am here for you when you need to talk.”

Mike got up and said, “I am going to my room I need to think” and left the nurse.

Elaine was aware from her solicitor that Mike had received the letter telling him that divorce proceedings were requested and she also knew he had read her note to him to let him know she was pressing rape charges against him. She did not want the divorce or the rape charges but she knew that they were for the best. She was also quite clear on the fact that Mike would be upset when he read the news. Too much water had gone under the bridge however and she needed to cut her losses. She loved Mike; of course she did and always would have a special place in her heart for him. However, the day she was raped, she not only lost some dignity but she lost trust in Mike; that was something that she felt had shattered and she would never trust him again.

Elaine had not seen Steve since she met him in the club but she was still in contact with him and he was prepared to wait for her, however long it took. She had loved her night with him but Elaine felt it was too soon to be trusting of another man for a while. Although it had felt better after she told Steve of her ordeal, it did not make her feel any better being touched again like that, even though she had to admit that it had felt very nice and she was pleased at how much she already was attracted to Steve.

Charlotte had not been surprised when Elaine told her that she was asking for a divorce from Mike and also charging him for rape. She was more surprised that Elaine had decided to do both at once. She thought that Elaine would deal with one matter first and then the other afterwards. She was a little disappointed that her best friend’s marriage had to end in divorce after all of the happy years they had spent together. However, Charlotte perfectly understood why Elaine had decided to do it and she would as promised be there no matter what. The divorce would be difficult enough to cope with but with the rape case going through at the same time it was not going to be easy for Elaine; or Mike for that matter. Though Elaine gave the persona she was strong, Charlotte could see that inside Elaine was really anxious concerning what would happen next.

What would happen to Mike and Elaine in the coming months?

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