I went into my office and was going to figure what I wanted to say since normally I have these things planned out but for once I was going to shoot off the cuff and just explain to them I mean after all they saw my face all beat up, they saw Todd flipping the hell out so they know something is going on. They have seen Larry go from being quiet and shy my right hand which I have to get him a promotion I quick sent Mr. Evans an email letting him know I was back, having a room meeting to tell them what was going on and to see if Larry could have a promotion. I could use an assistant.
I went into the break room and could see everyone was nervous I guess they thought they were in trouble or something. “Listen you guys nobody is in trouble, I just wanted to talk to you guys and tell you that I am sorry I have been in and out and things have been really weird around here lately. I wish I could tell you the weirdness is going to stop any time soon but I cannot. If you have not guessed my husband and I are separated and are now in the process of getting a divorce but he is not willing to grant me one and now wants marriage counseling so I have to attend these for a while so there will be days like today I am not here. Luckily after today it will only be one hour and I will not be gone as long. I am really sorry about this you cannot begin to realize how sorry I am, I take the promotion and all of a sudden my life goes to hell and it seems I am taking you down with me.”
All of a sudden from behind me I hear Mr. Evans voice he must have gotten my email and came right up. “Kristin you cannot blame yourself for this, none of this is your fault. It has been coming for a while it was just time for it all to happen at once.”
“We don’t blame you at all,” Marge said “In fact when you were up here acting as a temp for Loni when she was out on maternity leave do you recall who was going through the exact same thing you are and how much time I had to take off? If I recall it was me, and you did all my work and took extra hours for me so I could do what I had to do and if I also recall those extra hours in your paycheck you gave to me so I had them.”
“When my kids were going to have Christmas because Herman was drank away the money one morning we woke to a tree outside with packages of decorations next to them, then two days before Christmas a delivery truck drove up to my door and each of my three kids got enough packages to last them a year including clothes which the only person I told they were growing out of was you”
I knew it to be true so I could not say anything I just nodded, another girl piped up “when my boyfriend and I were having problems and I was crying you did not yell you just let me talk it out until I felt better then you smiled and told me to get my lazy butt back to work. It made me feel cared for that you cared enough to listen”
Each person on my floor told me ways I made them feel better either now or even when I was a temp on the floor or even when I would just come up here to pass on something to the other boss who really was a total jerk. There were only one or two people on the floor who did not say anything at all and who just looked at the floor.
Then Mr. Evans spoke up “I am glad you all care so much for Kristin at least she knows she is not alone. There is one person on this floor who has gone above and beyond and very recently shown what he is made of and Kristin is not the only one who has mentioned this to me.
Mr. Evans then called Larry and told him that a lot of people had been emailing him about what he has been doing for me and how he had changed since I took over the office and how they felt that he deserved a promotion if any was available on this floor. He told us how the Board has dragged its feet until I had mentioned it to him that was when they decided that if I felt I needed an assistant especially with all that I was going through right now then I should get one and since Larry was doing so great he would be my new assistant.
Larry was so happy he cried, and then he remarked that it was not normal for him to cry and just because he was gay did not mean he cried all the time. Everyone got a giggled out of that and went back to work. I asked Larry to come into the office so he and I could talk. I was not sure where an assistants desk should be so I asked him where he wanted to be either in here with me I was sure I could move some stuff around or if he wanted to remain where he was.
He told me neither he wanted to be right outside the door then he smiled and told me that he wanted it to look kind of like the movie nine to five but there was no way he was going to dress like Dolly Parton and he would not pick up a pencil for me no matter how many times I asked.
I could not help it I began to laugh hysterically as I recalled the movie and the way the girls thought about doing in the boss when they were stoned and I looked at my water bottle and said “Wow I’m safe I bought this myself” that started us laughing again and that is how Brian found us cracking up .
He looked at us and asked what was so funny and all Larry did was say nine to five and Brian looked at Larry walked over to my desk and dropped a pencil on the floor. It was so funny that after the day I had it was nice just to laugh. Larry went back to his desk after I told him that it would be moved that night he told me it was not a problem just let me know what I wanted, then he smile and said if I needed some coffee he would get me some.
“ Yea about that Larry I think I will have Brian here get me my Coffee for a while” I began to laugh until Brian the traitor popped his head out of the office and said “How do you take it again “ three skinny and sweets?”
I watched as Larry put his head down on his desk and began to laugh and as I shut the door I just looked at Brian and said “Ooh I should put you into some contraption and keep you locked in my bedroom for a while.
His eyes lit up as he said ’You promise, and I swear I won’t try to get away as that guy did, I will stay locked up and you can do whatever you want to do”
“Will you shush up and tell me why you came up you goof? I said to him
“Oh you will not be happy about this at all. Todd is claiming that I am the reason that your marriage broke up the gay friend broke up your marriage so the marriage counseling service wants me to sit in on one of your sessions to see how you and I interact with Todd in the room or some such bull as that”
“Fine is it going to be next week or what?” I was furious that they could do that especially since to me Brian was not a factor in this but obviously to Todd he was I wonder if I should bring Kelly and all his other sluts into the room as well and see how he interacts with them. I called my attorney and asked him if he could contact Kelly and bring her into the room as well since I consider her a reason that our marriage broke up and he asked me if I really wanted to do that he could but I decided that would not be a good idea. I asked him if there were allowed to do that and he said that if one of the spouses feel that a person was the cause of the break up then they can bring them in to see how that person reacts when they are in the room .
The next time I had the counseling I was there the same time, this time I was not timid but I was not going to take the same crapt I took before, I had my tape ready and notebook, this time it was a woman and I knew instantly that she was there just for the money she would receive from the state. She let Todd drone on and on for an hour about how he loved me and how I did not love him at all, I never did anything to show my love for him. How I cut him off from sex long before I left him, how he had to go outside the marriage bed to get sexual gratification because his wife was not giving him any.
She did ask one question about his affairs, she asked him when he “did seek sexual gratification outside the marriage bed” he told her 3 years ago. Then she asked me when I stopped having sexual relations with him and I told her about 10 months ago maybe more.
Todd blanched when he realized he really messed up big especially when she wrote something on her pad. Then he tried to back pedal and change what he said but he knew the damage was done. He tried to say that they were just bodies to him and they meant nothing to him and that he would always think of me when he was with them and to me that was just disgusting.
After that one question which was about halfway through the session she did not say one thing and didn’t even write anything down. After the hour was over she showed us to the door and told us to come back next week,
I walked out and ignored Todd even though he followed me to my car and tried to get into the passenger side I was just glad it was locked. I locked my side and called Larry to check in and see how things were and to let him know that I was going to stop into my lawyers office and then be back to the office, He told me he could hold down the fort , I laughed and said I am sure you can,
I took the tape to Mr., Dennison who listened to it or rather listened then fast forwarded past all the “I love Kristin crud” then when he got to the only thing the chick said he made a note of it. Then he went back to all the ravings of the lunatic that I had once married. I looked at Mr., Dennison and said “Ok here is the thing I will go to this counseling nonsense but do the courts have at least one competent counselor on their list or do I have to go through all of them until I get a decent one.”
“There has got to be a reason why you are getting such incompetent fools, there are very good counselors that the court system has let me get a number for one and I will talk to him myself and get him set up to take this case and I will find out how come you have been getting the bottom of the barrel.
He told me that if he found out anything that he would call me, I had barely gotten to the elevator when he called me back to his office sounding irate. I thought for a minute that I did something wrong, “Uh Mr, Dennison did I do something wrong?”
“No not you that horses ass of a lawyer your ass husband hired, he told the court negotiator who sets up the counselors that neither of you were in a hurry to dissolve the marriage that you were having second thoughts and it was me and your friend that were pushing you.”
“So that is why we have had two lousy idiots who would not know how to counsel kids to stop fighting over two of the same balls and would drive a sane man insane and a priest to commit murder.”
I will do my best to get this fixed from this end and also get it that your friend does not have to attend because that was just another stall tactic I can see that now, I will put a stop to that as well. This whole divorce is a lot more complicated than I thought. I was but sure he was going to drop me as a client so I was about to apologize when he turned and look me dead in the eye “I am so glad I love a challenge”
I went back to office and told Brian what was going on and he was pissed but happy that my lawyer was going to try to get it so he did not have to go. I told him we had to wait and see after that Brian went back to his floor and I stayed and was busy the rest of the day.
The next two counseling sessions were as bad as the first two only difference there was the two different counselors that we had were crazy about Todd and swore the sun only came out if he said so. So they decided that I was the one who was wrong.
“Look at how you dress” one of them had said to me, she happed to be wearing a dress that was tighter than a sausage skin and showed more flesh than strip joint, “You dress like a school marm”
“I came from work where I need to go back to so I dress for the office not to go out for a night on the town” I was very calm even though I was seething on the inside.
“Poor Todd her has to find attraction and sexual gratification somewhere else because his wife has lost all her sexuality” this is what she wrote in her book
She dresses like a man and speaks with a mannish voice, she has forgotten that she is a woman and she needs to be reminded and the only way to be reminded of this is to be with her husband who obviously loves her still.
Then my taping of the session became interesting at least in my eyes it did, right in front of me they began to flirt with each other.
“Becky I have not seen you at Chad’s lately”
“We are not here to talk about that” she fluttered her brown eyes at him” but I bet your wife going out clothes are not as pretty as mine are”
“If she goes out which is not likely, they are not as pretty nor did they fit as well as yours. Your clothes fit great no matter where you are. They must have flirted with each other for thirty minutes the entire time I was just sitting there.
“Oh Todd you are such a sweet talker, you could charm the birds out of the trees”
During this exchange and the fact that they were moving closer and closer to each other was making me sick I glanced at the clock saw it was over and hour and I said “Gee looks like an hour had past it is time for me to go now”
“Whatever” she was so busy with him she did not care.
The next one was a total well the word bitch comes to mind she told me the whole thing was my fault and I should not have married such a wonderful man. I was a money grubbing whore who was not good for him in the first place and if I got knocked around a little bit I must have deserved it.
She thought if a man wanted to hit his wife that he had every right to but of course she would never say this to the courts but she would to the women that she felt deserved it. She read the file and the fact that I was friends with a gay man showed I had no moral values at all.
I told Mr. Dennison that I would give this just one more chance after that they could take their marriage counseling and shove it. It was over a month now and I was no closer to getting the divorce than I was when I left him. Yes I know they take time but the paper won’t be filed until he agrees to sign the damn things and he is pulling every dirty little drink in the book.
My attorney agreed with me and he said that one more session was all I had to do after that if I wanted to walk away he would tell the courts enough was enough. By the time they got their butt in gear to set up another appointment with another counselor I had implemented a dress down Friday twice a month and they day they set it up just happened to fall on a Friday and it just happened to be one of those Fridays so in I walked into this counseling sessions in jeans, and a decent shirt and my hair up in a ponytail, the hair because I was cleaning the break room and lost track of time.. Todd started to try to put a bug in the guy’s ear about my clothes as soon as I walked in the door.
“Look at how she is dressed, would you want someone who works for you dressing like that” he sneered
The guy stood up and he had on jeans and a decent shirt “I am guessing that her office has dress down Fridays as do we. Hi you must be Kristin, I am David” he shook my hand firmly and sat back down.
I sat down not knowing what to expect but prepared for anything and knowing that I would probably have the worst even though this guy seemed decent and professional. I turned my tape on when I first walked in so I placed it on the table and said “Shall we get started?”
This guy was very professional I was right in my first impression and at the end of a very trying two hours things went on longer than I thought, I found out things I did not want to know about my marriage, how many woman my husband had and how many were on the video tapes. He did not truly care about me and I was just a means to an end. The perfect wife with the perfect job but he was determined to keep me which is what he told the counselor.
The counselor asked us point blank at the end of the session if either of us thought the marriage could be saved and if either of us wanted to. I told him there was no way I thought it could be saved and that I did not want it to be save I wanted it to be over. Todd of course said he wanted it to be saved and he would do all he could to save it.
“You know when the judge says its over that is final right?” David said
“Then I shall win her back” Todd said
“Then I shall get a restraining order” I told him
As I was walking out the door David pulled me aside and told me to talk to my lawyer about maybe getting a Temporary restraining order because Todd did not seem to have all his facilities intact. “So you mean he is off his rocker?” I began to laugh at the nice way he put it.
“I just think you would be safer” David said
“I think you are right I will call him today”
After I got back to work after being followed all the way there I called Mr. Dennison and told him what David said and the fact that I was followed all the way back to my office and he said that he would put it into motion that day
The next few days were really crazy we had a sudden audit of only my floor which was not normal of course we passed with flying colors to the penny but we were able to find out why the sudden audit especially when the books were in such perfect order and they were not able to find anything at all wrong.
It turns out that the agent that passed along the information was a member of the gym that Todd works out in, since the agent thought Todd was such an upstanding guy and since all Todd had been telling him was his wife was money grubbing and when he told him that money was missing from his wife’s floor at work, he was sure that she was stealing it, a very reputable source from her office had told him this and more information and he was using that information to help aid him in his divorce.
He apologized and told us that Todd had someone giving his a lot of information about me and that person was a female, it was someone that he was currently dating. That was how Todd was able to make up stories about the money and I guessed that was how he knew how close Brian and I were. Now I just had to figure who it was, I had an idea but I needed Brian and Larry and Mr, Evans help and I had to make sure it was okay with Mr, Dennison if I did it so I thought I would check with him first.
I called the three of them into my office after talking to my lawyer and he agreed if we stage a “fight” in front of everyone and I seem upset maybe one of the secretaries will come over and act all worried one of the ones who normally do not and then what I say to her will end up someplace else then I have my spy and Mr Evans said “Then is the next one on unemployment line”
We walked out of the office arguing, “I cannot believe you two would suggest such a thing” Brian yelled
“Well it had to be someone in house and the information sure did not come from us since it was our floor that was searched” I yelled “So it had to be from your office and I cannot believe either of you would stoop so low.”
“Will you calm down and listen to yourself?” Mr. Evans was supposed to” be the calm one while Brian and I were the upset ones and Larry was to calmly interject here and there.
“Mr., Evans he has been filling in for me so he must have done something.” I said snidely
“Kristin, how dare you?”
“Kristin, Brian both of you need to calm down and be rational” Larry said calmly
“No Larry I do not want to be calm I want to yell”
“You are being absurd” Brian said and walked away
“Come speak to me when you are calmer” then Mr., Evans walked away
I went into my office and pretended to cry it took about five minutes but finally Melissa came into my office and kept trying to prod me to see what was wrong. Now Melissa barely ever said hello to me let alone act like she cared about how I am feeling or what not now suddenly she is trying to find out why I am crying in my office after having a fight.
I knew Mr., Evans and Brian and several members of the board were in his office because my phone beeped three times which was the code. I opened the line on the phone so it could be heard by all in that office.
“Are you okay?” she said
“Yes I am fine, why do you ask?”
She told me that with everything I had been through recently between Todd( which I do remember not saying his name at all during my discussion with my staff) and the marriage counseling and now the audit and the seemingly huge fight between Mr. Evans, Brian, Larry and myself that I should be upset.
“What do you know about my marriage counseling?” I decided to be outright and see if she put the noose around her own neck (figuratively of course)
“Well” she replied smugly “I do know that so far not a single one of them like you except for one and his opinion does not count because Todd is going to get his thoughts thrown out of court because he was not dressed correctly.( I made a note of that to talk to Mr. Dennison) I also know that Todd wants you back just because he wants to teach you how to be a proper wife, so far you have fallen short of perfect and when he gets done with you, well you will either be perfect or dead so either way it does not matter” then she moved her shirt aside and I saw all these bruises
“You see he is showing me how to be perfect and I am slowly learning but I am learning” she smiled like this was a good thin
“Can I take a picture of your “lessons”? Not believing that first of all my husband could stoop so low and second some young girl would allow herself to be beaten this way and seem to thrive on it.
She said yes and told me that if I did not learn my lessons fast that I would get it worse because he has been perfect his technique for a long time now and just waiting to use it on me. She told me he lied about so many things to his lawyer it was not funny then she listed them to me it was so much I cannot even go into here,
Then all the lies that he told the IRS about the money that I supposedly hid in the computer and the bank accounts that I had in other countries. The lies that caused this audit and the reason they did not do their usual paperwork search first was he told them that I was a flight risk and it was better if they came down and did a full audit right away.
He wanted me to suffer and to beg him to take me back. She told me that he was going to report the car stolen next and have to police pick me up for stealing the car. She. Was to find out where Brian lived since he knows that is who I am shacking up with so he can tell the landlord that we are selling drugs out of that apartment and have the landlord do a drug raid on it
“As he said a whore and a gay guy living together what else could they be doing other than selling drugs or making weird porn videos.”
“So I guess you are Todd’s little spy, you have been telling him stuff about me for how long now?” I was starting to get angry
“About three weeks I am a good girlfriend”
“Yea you and about fifteen others” I was beyond mad now
“I am fine get out of my office and my face” beyond the glass doors was the personal manager Gary getting off the elevator he smiled at me as he came into my office like he was very sorry that this whole mess happened.
“Kristin, I think you know why I am here right?”
“Ha bitch you are getting fired, Melissa said “wait until I call Todd this will make his day”
“Melissa please go back to your desk now” I watched her run to her desk and pick up her phone and my extension lit up and I carefully turned it on with everyone on a conference call so they could hear the call but the call could not hear them.
“Todd the personal manager just came into her office and said the she will not like what he has to say he looked very unhappy so I am sure she is getting fired right now. I told her everything all your plans she looked very unhappy.”
“You did what?” he screamed into the phone “Those plans were not to be told, now she knows but maybe this will work to my advantage, if she tells her lawyer it will be my word against hers and she has said so many off the walls things that it will be my words against hers. Well I guess you did well” he finally sounded like he was smiling and happy with her
“Will I get beat tonight” she sounded nervous that he would beat her
“No tonight you will not be beat you can stay home.” He said as if he were giving her a treat that she was able to stay home and not be beaten. It was shameful and horrendous and I could not believe that this was the man that I had married. He never showed these tendencies when we first got together I mean yea he had a temper but he never beat me into submission and never taped us having sex or anything like that and I found it distasteful.
That may have been it right there he knew I found that sort of behavior distasteful but he needed the “perfect wife” to go with his perfect upstanding life. So he could fool the world into thinking he was such a good guy that he did nothing wrong, He must have been acting that way behind my back all that time I was married to a man who beat women and loved it. Then I realized as I was thinking he and Melissa were still talking but this time it was serious.
“Todd are you still planning on killing her when you get the chance because she left you” Melissa asked
“No Melissa, I am not going to kill her just make her wish she was dead, I do not want the divorce courts thinking I killed her because I did not want to divorce her. I want her back remember” he laughed with evil intent
“Todd what about us?” she sounded scared
“We will be fine, she will never know” he sounded so sure “You will keep working there, they cannot fire you for who you are dating I do not care who she thinks she is or who she is sleeping with however disgusting it is a gay man and a straight woman should not be in a relationship with each other.
“Oh I agree with whatever you say, now I got to get back to work” she hung up the phone and sat there as Gary stood there shaking his head at the phone call we just listened too. And I was speaking to those also who heard including my lawyer and I told the secretary that they would receive a copy of the tape.
After all that was said and done I could not wait to get home and put my feet up and relax. Brian had asked me earlier if I wanted to go out for something to eat at the local diner but as the day went on I told him I was just going to get some Chinese takeout and go home and put my feet up. He said he understood and would talk to me later, of course after I got home he called and we talked for a while.
He asked me if he did something wrong because I wanted to stay at home and I told him that I wanted to be alone tonight. I told him no I just really wanted to be alone and spend some time doing stuff for me. I got so used to doing things for Todd that finally I had a place of my own and I wanted to have some time to myself. I had been spending so much time with him that I was not spending that needed time to myself. It was as if I was going from Todd’s wife to Brian’s girlfriend and it’s not that I did not want it to be that way.
He told me that he understood that I needed some time to be me and not just someone’s right arm trophy and he was sad but it was only because he wanted to see me so badly all the time that he forgot that I am my own person. He told me that he was sorry he was so selfish that he did not consider my feelings in this whole thing.
I was stunned a man thinks about how a woman feels and apologize if he thinks he may have taken advantage of her and her emotions, was not something I was used to Todd normally did not apologize when he was a jerk. Now that I think about it maybe I was just not seeing the fact in front of my face that Todd was a total jerk.
I had a pretty good day until after lunch when my lawyer called and told me that his lawyer called and told him that all the marriage counselors said that the marriage could be saved and that he and his client were going to fight for the marriage.
I was irate because I thought that David understood what was going on and he thought that the marriage could be saved then he was as stupid as the others and I really thought he got it. My lawyer told me that he told Todd’s lawyer that if that is what he thought then he does not know how to read because he had the same exact files in his hand and one of them said the marriage was not worth saving.