Who are you talking about? He did what to who? Gasp…choke…You’re kidding! When did she do it and where were they? We are always ready to hear the new and improved version of someone’s else’s life and whereabouts, especially after the story has been run through many channels of adding to and taking away from the original version of the tale. And of course we have to create our own synopsis of the story. The buck never stops here does it? Tell the truth. What does that title name mean to you? – ‘Now here’s some juicy gossip coming my way’! Sorry folks. 😦 What it really means is this: Before I get too far into publishing some of the preview chapters of ‘What Line’, I need to remind everyone to read ‘Crossing the Line’, the first book in the series before you get too deep into this one. I promise you its a good read and it will give you a idea of who’s who and who’s doing what, when, and where! 🙂 I hate to read the second book first in a series, realizing too late there may be more to the story. Arriving late at the movies has the same effect. – It’s kinda like putting the cart before the horse.
‘Crossing The Line’ is on sale over at Amazon in Kindle for $2.99. It is also available at Barnes and Noble for Nook and at Smashwords in different formats for the same price. The paperback version is carried at Amazon for $13.95.
Also, go to ‘Crossing The Line’ Facebook page and please share it with your friends and like the page to have a chance to win a signed copy of “Crossing The Line’! I am ready to give that book away! Thanks for all that in advance and many thanks for following along and encouraging me as I slowly get the hang of this writing challenge! (Who’s challenging me? – “Me, myself, and I!”)
Now here’s the promised 10th chapter of ‘What Line’ for Freebie Friday. Remember these are unedited chapters and you may find mistakes and also find a little dialogue changed when you read the final version. It seems as though all I do is edit…edit…edit…and edit again.
Jim looked at his watch realizing Helena was already ten minutes late for their appointment. It wasn’t like her to keep him waiting. However, it also wasn’t like her to ask for a divorce either. She really hadn’t said that in so many words but it had been implied when she said she would be getting in touch with her lawyer. Had she already contacted a lawyer? He didn’t like to be caught in the dark this way. He didn’t even know what the divorce laws were in Florida, but he could bet Helena had read up on them. She was always researching information on the computer. He stayed away from all that as much as he could and used it only for work purposes.
He glanced up to see Helena coming down the path toward him. Gosh! She looked good. He could tell that all the walking and exercise she had been doing had really paid off. The short skirt of her dress showed off the muscles in her legs and made him wish he had been more attentive. A little nervous he stood to greet her. They sat down together on the bench, neither one knowing what to say next. Jim could feel the tension between them. “Gosh it’s good to see you, even though you are late.” Now why did I have to add that, he thought.
“You just can’t be nice can you? Why don’t you start focusing on the positive things instead of the negative ones? I didn’t have to meet you. I’m really not ready for this but we do have to discuss it sooner or later. We might as well get it over with.”
“I’m sorry,” Jim replied. I guess it’s just nerves. I’ve missed you though.” He pulled the list he had made out of his pocket. “I made a list of what I need to do. It probably isn’t all I need to do, but it’s a start.” He handed it to Helena and waited while she read over it.
She sat looking at the list for some time after she had finished reading. “Anyone can make a list Jim. It’s actually following through with it that counts. These aren’t in any kind of order are they? If they are you should have put the one about Lori first. If you had taken care of that a long time ago we wouldn’t be in this jam, would we?”
Jim sat quietly not knowing what to say. Helena was right and he hated it when she was right! He could be the bigger person now if he wanted to be. So, he quickly laid it all out in front of her before she could start in on him about more of his downfalls she seemed to be able to pull out of a hat at any given notice. “You’re right Helena. I should have and I’m working on it. I also went by to see Phillip Sneads and he gave me a recommendation of a good divorce lawyer if it comes to that. I called a marriage counselor and made an appointment for us on Friday at four and I’m staying at Jeffery’s right now. That doesn’t seem as final as an apartment would.”
“Jim, it isn’t a marriage counselor we need. As far as I’m concerned this marriage is over. You need a therapist. You are a narcissist and the sooner you come to terms with that the better off you will be.”
“It’s not like you to give up so easily, Helena. We can be ok if you just give me a chance.”
“I have given you more than enough chances. How many more do you need?”
“Just listen to me. I don’t want a divorce. I think we can make this work. Have you seen a lawyer yet?”
“Yes, I have, but I haven’t filed anything yet. We have to file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. If the divorce is uncontested it could happen in as little as four to six weeks. If it’s contested then it could take a long time – six months or more, and also cost a lot of money. Our kids are all grown so there would be no custody battle or child support. We just have Jason in college and we have a college fund set up for him. I don’t want any alimony. I can live on what I make from my business. We will have to divide property and debts though.”
Stunned with all the knowledge pouring from Helena’s mouth, Jim answered, “Well, I can see you have done your homework. Talk about being negative! At least I want to try to work on this marriage – you seem to have it all figured out down to the property settlement. What have you decided to let me have in all this?” I’m sure the kids will all be on your side once you tell them about Lori.”
“I don’t intend to tell them about Lori,” Helena said bitterly. “That is between you and me – and Lori of course. No one will hear about it from me. I don’ know what you and Lori will do. That’s your decision.”
“I sure don’t intend to tell anyone either and I am almost positive Lori will keep her mouth shut. Let’s take this one day at a time. I gather you haven’t said anything to the kids about me not being at home have you?”
“No, I don’t even know where to begin. All the statistics say divorce is harder on older children. I know they are all grown, but I would be devastated if my parents divorced. Wouldn’t you? And that brings us to extended family. They need to be told something. We can’t just show up without each other all of a sudden. My sister called this morning to ask about Carrie and Chip and she is the last person I want to get wind of any of this. You know what I mean?”
“Yeah, I guess the crazy ring you have on your phone for her says it all!” Jim couldn’t help but laugh when he said this, noticing he got a small smile from Helena. “You always said there was one in every family and if you didn’t know who it was, it may be you! I always thought it was my brother in my family, but from the looks of things now, it may be me.”
“Don’t say that. You aren’t crazy – just a little deluded. I know you know right from wrong and that is why I think you need help.” She handed Jim a piece of paper with a name and phone number on it. “Here. This is the name of a therapist. I spent the evening last night researching some good ones for you. I do care what happens to you. Make yourself an appointment and get some help.”
Jim took the paper and folded it placing it in his wallet. “I’ll think about it if you will think about holding off on this divorce for a while. We can stay separated and see where it goes.”
“Alright, Jim, but we need to tell the kids something. We don’t want them to hear this from other people.”
“You decide what, when, and where and I will back you up. Carrie asked me this morning about going over there for dinner this weekend and I got a text from Jason about him and Liza coming in to see the new baby in a couple of weeks. I think he sent that to you, too.”
“He did,” Helena said. “This is not going to be easy. I guess we should have them all together to talk to them. We will just have to put on a front and go to Carrie’s this weekend unless we can find a way to get out of it. Then when Liza and Jason are here in a couple of weeks we can talk to them. Just try to stay low key while we work it out. I’ll cover for you whenever I see Carrie. You do need to try to get over there to see her though. Chip is so cute and Lizzie tries to be so helpful with him!” She stopped suddenly, not wanting to say too much. It would be so easy to fall back into their same old pattern.
Jim could see the sudden withdrawal and answered quickly, “I planned on going when I leave here. I took a couple days off and have to be back at work tomorrow.”
Helena rose to go and Jim walked beside her to the parking lot. “I feel like we accomplished a little, don’t you?” he asked her hopefully.
“I don’t want to give you false hopes, Jim. I can’t deal with too much more right now. The last few years of my life have been very upside down. I need to focus on my work and on myself for a while. I’ve decided to take on a partner in my business because of the growth I have experienced. I need to branch out a little.”
“Where would you find a partner? Do you have one in mind yet?”
“Yes I do. It’s Wayne, my contractor. He is very good at what he does. He knows a lot of people in his field and is very much respected. I’ve already talked to him about it and we are going to draw up the papers next week. I called Phillip on the way over and talked to him about taking care of that for me. He sounded surprised to hear from me, but didn’t say a word about you talking to him.”
“That figures. I knew Wayne would be involved in all this somehow.”
“Stop that Jim! In all what? All he is involved in is my business. He has nothing to do with what happen to us and you know it.”
“Do whatever you want to. It doesn’t look good for you with your going into a partnership with Wayne though. Not at this time.”
“It doesn’t look good for me?” Do you even hear yourself when you talk?” By now they had reached Helena’s car. “I don’t want to talk about this anymore. It is my decision, not yours. I didn’t even have to tell you about it, but I was trying to be honest. I’ll call you about the dinner at Carrie’s later. You take care of your end of the bargain.”
As Helena drove off leaving him standing in the middle of the parking lot, Jim knew he had said too much. Just as things were looking better he had opened his big mouth – again.
“Hope you’re enjoying the read! Give me a little feedback below. I want to make sure I’m on the right track. All previous posted chapters you may have missed can be found on this blog site under Chapters and Freebie Fridays.”