It looks like I need two days to recuperate from the intense workout I do every week of trying to cram five days of work into three days – three very work-packed days! Then on Thursday I plan to sit down and write on ‘What Line’ and before I know it my day is filled with catching up on all I have let slide past me earlier in the week.
Friday’s there’s now ball games, homecoming parades, gauntlets to order. The list goes on and on and on….. After that I need the weekend to chill out because, well, isn’t that what you are supposed to do on the weekends? Marching competitions start on September 28th so there is another Saturday of my weekend going to a good cause!
I may have to rethink this organizational process a bit. This book is going to get finished and soon. After all, I have it written in my head already….now where is that USB cord that connects to my brain and then to the computer? Hummmmm?….
Well, folks…It looks like Chapter Nine is on the agenda for today and then I have to get some of this down on paper. I can’t have your chapters passing up mine!
“Give me a little feedback below after you read this. I want to make sure I am on the right track! All previous posted chapters you may have missed can be found on this blog site under Chapters and Freebie Fridays.”
The small restaurant was crowded when Jim arrived to meet Lori for lunch. He noticed she had managed to grab a table in the back of the room and he walked through the tables of diners nervously, intent on arriving at their table unnoticed. Lori had already ordered drinks and had the menu spread out before her.
“Oh good, you’re here, Lori said as he sat down. How hungry are you? I thought I would order the crab salad and fried shrimp. What do you think?”
“Whatever you want, Lori. I’m not real hungry. I still have a headache from last night and have a lot on my mind.”
“Well you probably need to eat something then. It will help your headache. Decide what you want so we don’t have to stay here all day. There are other things we could be doing on our day off if you know what I mean,” Lori said with a smirk.
Trying to ignore her comment Jim ordered an oyster po’boy for himself along with what Lori had decided on when the waitress came to the table. After she left, Lori started rambling about how good it was to be here with him and how much they needed to decide on for the future.
“Hold on Lori,” Jim said. “It’s not that easy. Yes, Helena and I have separated, but that doesn’t mean it’s over for us. I told you a long time ago I was too old to start my life over. I have responsibilities and my family to think of.”
“You have us to think of too. Don’t I mean anything to you? I have given everything up for you. You can’t just walk away. You said yourself that Helena was demanding of your attention all the time and snooping into your private affairs whenever she got a chance. Do you actually want to live like that for the rest of your life? I divorced my husband for you!”
Jim sat silently not knowing what to say or how to handle Lori. He didn’t want to hurt her and he didn’t want to fight with her. “That was your choice to divorce Stan, Lori. Not mine. He wasn’t good for you anyway and you knew it. As for Helena wanting attention – yes she does, but I owe her that. We are married!”
Lori had tears in her eyes and he could tell she was trying to stay composed. He should have never said anything about Helena to Lori. What had he been thinking? He loved his wife but it was easier to get sympathy from Lori if he put Helena down to her all the time. That wasn’t fair to Helena though. He could see now how wrong he had been.
Their meal arrived and they both sat in silence picking at the food on their plates. Lori finally put down her napkin and picked her purse up from the chair beside her. “I need to go. You don’t really want me here anyway. I have things to figure out too.” She started to get up and Jim reached over grabbing her arm.
“Wait a minute. Sit down. We haven’t finished talking yet. You just jump to conclusions. I know you need help with things right now. We still need to talk because I do feel responsible. You don’t even have a car to drive.”
“No I don’t and that is one of the things I need to take care of. I don’t know how though. I don’t have the money to get mine fixed and you took your truck back so I guess I will have to walk to work,” Lori replied bitterly.
“Weren’t you supposed to be saving to get your car fixed when I let you drive my truck? That has been almost a year now. How much is it going to cost and how much have you saved?”
“The estimate was for $1400.00 I think. That was last year though. It may be more now. I can manage about $200.00 of that but not until payday next week.”
Stunned, Jim looked at Lori and questioned, “Is that all you can come up with? Where is all the money you said you were saving for it?”
“Things came up every month. It costs a lot to raise a child and pay for everything myself. Stan gives me child support but it doesn’t cover everything. Men have no idea what it cost for everyday expenses and to have a family!”
Jim just shook his head. There was no use arguing with her. “I’ll give you $1200.00 toward your car. Call them this afternoon and see if the estimate is still good and make an appointment to get it fixed. I’ll pay to have it towed over there. I have the number for a company that can do that.”
He could tell Lori had relaxed a little. She picked up her fork and began to finish eating her lunch. “How are you feeling from the surgery?” he asked. I’m sorry I haven’t been able to be with you more.” Why did I say that? It just gives her hope. I can’t help if I am such a nice guy. It’s hard to break old habits!
Lori looked up at him smiling.” I’m ok, just tired. This medicine they put me on really knocks me out so I try not to take too much. I haven’t had any today because I am driving but I guess I need to get home and take it. Don’t you think you could come over and stay with me for a while?”
“No, I’m sorry but I can’t. My lawyer called me on my way over here and I have an appointment at two-thirty and I have to meet Helena at four.”
“That sounds positive that you are going to see your lawyer but why are you meeting Helena?”
Jim took a deep breath trying to hold his temper. “She called and asked me to meet her. I’m not sure what it is about. I’ll let you know later. Now let’s get out of here. I’ll walk you to your car.”
It took about ten minutes to get Lori to go home without him. Jim had to promise her that he would call her as soon as his meeting with Helena was over. His lawyer’s office wasn’t far from the golf course and when he arrived there were only a few cars parked in the parking lot. Phillip Sneads had been his and Helena’s lawyer since the time they had moved to Florida. He had come highly recommended by one of the guys he golfed with regularly. They didn’t need him except for routine personal issues and he had even helped them make out their wills a few years ago.
The receptionist at the desk said it would be just a few minutes wait so he thumbed through a magazine in the waiting room while his cell phone buzzed a few times in his pocket with texts. Finally tiring of it he pulled his phone out to turn it off and noticed that one of the texts was from Jason. The others were from Lori. Ignoring Lori’s he opened up the one from Jason to read before he shut off the phone. “hope to b hme n a coupl weeks to see Chip!…Liza too…wil call tnite…luv yall…” He noticed that Jason had also sent it to Helena. Something else to deal with! Helena was going to have to get off her high horse and deal with their problems. He was doing all he could right now.
The receptionist called his name and ushered him into Phillip’s office. Phillip rose from his chair and they shook hands before Jim sat down.
“I haven’t seen you in here in a while,” Philip said. “I heard Carrie had her baby last week. Is everything ok?”
“Yes. It all turned out good and the baby’s fine. I have a little problem I need some help with. Have you talked to Helena?”
“No. Should I have?” Phillip asked.
Jim told him a little of what was going on, but not too many details. He didn’t want to look too bad to his friend and lawyer. “So that’s about it. Helena has it in her head that she wants a divorce. I figured she had already talked to you about it.”
Phillip sat at his desk tapping his pencil on a pad of paper. “Is that all it is Jim or does she have anything incriminating to work with? Helena doesn’t strike me as the kind of woman to jump to conclusions. Not about her marriage anyway. You two have had a wonderful life. What’s really going on? Never mind. You don’t have to answer that. I’m your friend. Ok? I’m not a divorce lawyer and you really should be talking to one. I’ll tell Helena the same thing if she calls me.”
Phillip opened up his desk drawer and pulled out a business card. “Here. This is the name of a good divorce lawyer if you decide you really need one. He may be hard to get an appointment with so if you need me to I will give you a recommendation. Just let me know.”
Jim took the card and thanked Phillip saying he sure hoped he didn’t have to use it. He said he would be in touch if anything had to be changed in their files with him.
He drove over to the park even though it was forty-five minutes before he had to meet Helena. The park was full of young children playing with their mothers sitting on benches with one eye on their reading material or cell phone and the other eye on the play area. There was an empty bench under one of the large shade trees and Jim sat down to wait on Helena.
He powered his cell phone back on not wanting to miss a call from Helena if she tried to get in touch. As soon as his service connected, three new texts came up from Lori. He read them one by one. All she was doing was whining about not being able to see him when she wanted to and why wasn’t he answering her texts or calls. Jim knew he was going to have to figure out a way to get rid of Lori. She didn’t take no for an answer.