It was about thirty minutes earlier than I usually got home, but my boss and I both ducked out early on that Friday.
An SUV I didn’t remember seeing before was backing out of my driveway as I turned into it. Carol, my wife was in the front passenger seat. The rear passenger window opened and my ten-year-old daughter Cheryl’s head appeared. I opened my window, smiled and waved at her. But instead of her returning the smile and wave, I heard “We hate you!” as the SUV headed down the street. Somewhat taken aback, I wondered what brought that on. Oh, well, I’d find out when they returned. I pulled into the garage, got out of my car and went in the house.
Carol and I had been married for 12 years. It was her second marriage. Her first lasted only two years and ended when she walked in and found her husband cheating … in their house.
It was my first marriage and I was not a cheater.
When I talked to her earlier in the day, Carol had mentioned needing a couple of things, so when I saw them leaving, I assumed they were going shopping. I also assumed that one of her friends was driving.
I went to the kitchen, pulled a beer from the fridge, went to the living room, sat, turned on the TV, sipped my beer and relaxed.
I finished my beer, looked at my watch and figured I had time for a shower before the girls got home.
After showering, I went to our walk-in closet to get some clean clothes.
I put on a pair of jeans and went to the den to watch some more TV. I sat in front of it for several minutes but couldn’t focus. Something was wrong but I didn’t know what it was. I went back to the bedroom and looked around. Noticed nothing. To the bathroom; noticed nothing so started out. Stopped. Looked around again. Carol’s bathrobe wasn’t hanging on the back of the door. Must be in the laundry. Started out. Stopped. Where was all the makeup and girly stuff on her side of the counter? Shook my head. Walked out. Looked around the bedroom. Nothing amiss. Went to the closet. That’s it. Most of her clothes were missing. I never noticed it when I was in there before. I just stared at the empty clothing rods. I literally backed out of the closet and went to our shared dresser and opened the drawers on her side. All empty.
I almost ran to Cheryl’s room. Virtually all of her stuff was gone; clothes, toys, even her bedding.
Now in a panic, I went through the rest of the house. A couple small porcelain statues, an antique clock, and three oil paintings were missing. On the kitchen counter, unnoticed before, were her keys, phone and credit cards.
I picked up her phone and opened it. Nothing. Everything that could be erased had been. Checked our computer. It was gone. Checked the desk. Opened the safe. Jewelry gone. My birth certificate, Social Security Card, some documents from my parents’ estate, my few rings and watches, and some jewelry which had belonged to my mother were there. Marriage License, ripped to shreds. There were also the documents pertaining to our house. On top of them was a note in Carol’s handwriting, ‘It’s all yours.’ The note was paper clipped to a Power of Attorney (POA) for selling the house.
What had she done? And why?
I went back to the bathroom where I had left my phone while I showered. I opened it. All my stuff was still there. Tried to log in to our investment accounts … no luck. Tried to log in to our bank accounts … no luck; credit cards the same thing. All the passwords had apparently been changed.
I called her parents to see if they could shed any light.
“Hello,” answered her father.
“Have you heard from Carol?”
“Where is she?”
“We don’t know. All we know is that you turned out to be another no-good piece of shit and will never see her or Cheryl again. She couldn’t stan to face the humiliation of another divorce, so she took Cheryl and left.
“Why? What’s going on?” I was in a daze and my mind couldn’t absorb what was happening.
“You know good and well ‘what’s going on.’ Don’t ever call here again.”
I stood looking at my phone before I put it down. Then back to the office and frantically searched through every piece of paper in, on, and around the desk. I even dumped the paper shredder to see if there were any unshredded hints there. By midnight, I had still found nothing. Sunrise found me going through all of the papers for the third, fifth, or tenth time … I’m not really sure how many times I combed through them. Or the closet. Or the attic. Or the garage. Or her car.
With the exception of a few remaining clothes, she had done a good job of ridding the house of any sign of either her or Cheryl.
At 8:00 AM, I called the police, but received only sympathy. In that it appeared that she chose to leave of her own free will, they could do nothing; but they would make a report of my call. Then they wished me good luck. Big deal!
I stumbled through the rest of that day; and the next. I called all of our friends that I had numbers for. Same with her friends; then my friends. I was limited as to who I could call because I didn’t have all of their numbers on my phone and her phone had been wiped clean.
I walked around our neighborhood and knocked on doors asking about her. Then I got in my car and drove to those friends I couldn’t walk to. I called both of her brothers and received only threats of violence if I ever called them again.
On Monday morning, I called my boss and filled him in; then I called our investment counselor. He was surprised to hear from me. “She cleaned out the account, Sam.” He said. That’s my name. Sam. Samuel Conley. “Last Friday. She told me that the two of you had decided to move and that you had gone on ahead. I had no reason to doubt her.”
I headed for my car to get to the bank.
At the bank, I found out that there was nothing left in any of the three accounts; checking, savings and vacation fund.
I had nowhere else to go, so I went to work and sat in my boss’s office. We talked for a long time. The same thing had happened to his sister several years ago, but her husband had come home three weeks later with most of what he had taken with him.
His advice was to “Sit tight and wait her out.” Whatever “snit” she was in would be over soon.
The police told me that since she apparently left of their own free will I was pretty well screwed. My only recourse with Cheryl was to get a court order requiring Carol to not keep her away from me. But since we had no idea if they were in the same state, no court would issue such an order. As regarded the money, my understanding was that if we filed for a divorce, I could sue to get half of it back.
I sat for three months. I moped, fretted, and cried. I received neither word nor hint about them; nor from them. Cheryl’s school could only tell me that Carol had taken her records. I went to her parents’ house twice. The second time I was kicked off the property and told that I would be arrested the next time.
At Christmas, I sat down the street from their house for three days hoping Carol and Cheryl would show up. They didn’t. It was a depressing holiday season; especially after I put up outdoor lights and decorated a tree in anticipation of them coming home.
I had hit absolute bottom and was both mentally, and physically exhausted. Then I remembered an expression I heard once. ‘”Get busy living or get busy dying’.”
I was tired of acting like I was already dead.
“Hey, boss. I need a vacation,.” I said as I marched into his office.
“When and how long?” So we discussed vacation options. He and his wife had been on 12 ocean cruises; some lasting as long as three weeks. He convinced me that on a ship in the middle of some big body of water, where, when you looked around, all you saw was more water, you could spend days doing nothing.
Two weeks later I was on my first ever ocean cruise. I sold Carol’s car in order to pay for it, but what the hell.
I drove to Galveston on departure day. It was the first time I had seen a cruise ship up close. That sucker was huge!
I was onboard less than 12 hours and discovered that if a man wants to meet women, cruise ships seemed to be the place to do it. Not that I was looking; but you didn’t really have to look. They were everywhere. Of course they were everywhere off the ship as well, but onboard the ship, they seemed more … accessible? More willing to chat? Something. It must be the environment, but whatever it was, it was palpable.
The first night at dinner, I was seated at a table for six. Besides me, there were two married couples and a single woman. We went to the live stage show as a group afterward. The single lady, Grace Windham, and I sat next to each other at dinner and again after dinner at the show. The cast performed shows twice an evening. Grace liked the show and wanted to stay and watch the second performance. I was pleasantly surprised at how good it was and asked if she minded company. She didn’t so we watched it together.
The next day was a “Sea Day.” Grace and I saw each other by the pool and hung out together for a couple of hours.
Dinner that evening was formal. I didn’t have a tux, so I wore the only suit I brought. Again, I was seated at a table for six; one married couple, one elderly gentleman, two women, and me. Everyone but me was dressed formally and looked great. They were all experienced cruisers and referred to formal nights on board as “Prom Nights.” We were scheduled to have two “Prom Nights.” The two women were friends and traveling together. They were attractive, witty, and a bit risqué in both demeanor and language. They made it clear that they went on cruises to party and have fun. I spent most of my time talking with them and vice versa.
After dinner, the three of us went to the bar on the top deck. We drank and danced until one in the morning. The booze flowed freer, the dances got raunchier, and the conversation more frank and open. By one thirty I was naked and in bed with both of them. They told me they came to party and they weren’t kidding. My first sex other than with Carol in over 12 years and I hit the jackpot.
I am a bigot. The thought of two men in bed together always leaves me kinda … well … turned off. But the thought of two women together never fails to give me a hard on. And reality was much better than the fantasy. I couldn’t wait to kiss each of them after they tongue fucked each other and then I took my time as I tasted each pussy separately. And I cannot imagine any man not enjoying the eroticism of two attractive women sucking each other’s tits; and I won’t even try to describe the sight of two pussies rubbing together.
I know the normal temperature of the human body is 98.6 degrees; but the medical profession must be wrong. When I put my dick in the first pussy it may have been 98.6, but then I took it out and put it in the pussy next to it and I swear that pussy was at least 10 degrees hotter. After a few strokes, I switched back to the first and it was 10 degrees hotter still; then back and forth, back and forth, each time the new pussy was hotter. By five in the morning the three of us were sitting on their balcony watching Cozumel come into view. We went back inside and I received good-bye blow jobs from them.
By seven I was in my cabin and by five after seven, I was asleep. I never set foot in Cozumel.
I was standing in line that evening waiting to be seated for dinner thinking about the night before, when Grace Windham from the first night tapped me on the shoulder.
“Dining with anyone special?” she asked.
“I don’t know. They may be.” I answered.
“We have an extra seat.”
“Thank you.” I followed her in and sat at her table. It was the same group as before. The dinner was, again excellent as was the show afterwards. Two shows, in fact, because Grace and I watched both performances again. It was the same performers as before, but the show was completely different. Those people were talented.
After the second show, I thought having a drink would be a good thing to do. “Grace, would you join me for a drink topside?”
She smiled, “that would be nice.”
We danced a couple of times and were sitting, talking, and enjoying our drinks when a handsome young man, who looked vaguely familiar, approached our table and spoke to me.
“Excuse me, sir. Would you mind if I asked this young lady to dance?”
I looked at him then at her and saw the gleam in her eyes, which told me that she didn’t care if I minded or not she was going to dance with him. “Of course not,” I said as I stood.
He took her hand and escorted her to the dance floor. I watched as they danced. It was as if they had danced together their whole lives and never once did he press his body close to hers in that horny, teenaged dry fuck way I did when I danced with her. I hated this young man because of his good looks, youth, class, and dancing ability.
Just as their dance ended, I had made up my mind to go back to my cabin and leave her to him. There were plenty of other “fish in the sea”, so to speak. I stood as they approached. They were laughing and holding hands.
He pulled her chair out for her. Then he looked at me and spoke. “Thank you, sir.”
I hated him all over again.
Then Grace slapped him on the shoulder. “Why weren’t you ever this gentlemanly when you were growing up?” Then she looked at me. “Sam, this is my son, Michael. Michael, this is Sam Conley.”
“Your son?” I asked, shocked. “How old were you when you had him? Five?”
They both laughed, then sat. “Actually, I was seventeen.” I figured he was about 21 so that made her about three years my senior.
The three of us sat and talked for a long time. He was familiar to me because he was the lead male singer in the shows on the ship. I knew that was Grace’s first cruise; they told me she took it because it was the last cruise on his six-month employment contract with the cruise line, so it would be her last chance to see him perform in this environment. In two weeks, he was to begin rehearsals for a new Broadway musical.
At three in the morning I left them still talking and returned to my cabin. We were scheduled to be in Honduras in four hours. In my cabin I showered and lay on my bed. I never set foot in Honduras either. These long, late nights were taking their toll.
Grace and I had dinner alone in one of the Ship’s specialty restaurants that evening then watched her son in yet another show. He was an excellent singer and very accomplished dancer. No wonder he was going to Broadway.
After the last show, I escorted her to her cabin. I was invited in and didn’t leave until almost ten the next morning.
Grace was an exceptional lover. She knew exactly what I wanted/needed, precisely when I wanted/needed it. When the cabin stewards prepare the rooms for the evenings, they close the drapes. Grace reopened hers. It was, of course, pitch black outside and the only things visible were stars. She slowly undressed herself moving with the grace for which she must have been named. Cabins on cruise ships are relatively small, but she used the available space well. She danced and stripped seductively like an experienced stripper might do. It took a long time for her to get completely naked.
When she was finished, she danced over to me and kissed me for the first time. It was long, soft, and slow. And hot. Then she started stripping me. She started slow, but I couldn’t stand it. I nearly ripped my clothes off and pounced on her, but, fortunately, regained my senses and slowed down. I touched her, stroked her, massaged her, rubbed her, and kissed her.
I kissed her face, neck, and shoulders before I got to her breasts. I didn’t just kiss them, however. I kissed, sucked, nibbled, inhaled, and chewed them. Then my tongued moved down her body and into her belly button then down further. Just before I got to her mound I moved my body so my head was between her legs and my tongue pointed at her pussy. I slowly moved toward her as she moved to me and when my tongue touched her she jumped. Her hips moved skyward and my head snapped back.
“Oh my god. It seems so long since I felt that,” she moaned.
“Fuck yes. More. Do more.”
I stabbed and she jumped again. Stab. Jump. Stab. Jump. Over and over and with each jump came a moan. I stayed there for what seemed like a long time and loving every second. She was wet and her juices flowed freely and I lapped them up like honey. She had stopped moving by then and just lay there moaning with an occasional twitch when I hit a particularly sensitive nerve.
Finally it was time. I moved up her body and when I was directly over her with my arms extended, she reached for my dick and aimed it at her pussy
“Now, please, God, now.”
And I plunged.
Her moan was low and long and her hips started moving up and down. And they continued moving. Slow, then fast, then slow again, then fast again. Who’s fucking who? I thought as I stayed in my arms extended position.
Then I started moving. In and out. Fucking her with affection if that makes any sense.
“Oh, God, Sam. It’s good … so good.”
I felt her heels dig into my ass as she pulled me into her when she exploded.
We slept afterwards. We were not aware when the ship docked in Belize, and for the third time I missed visiting a different country.
I went back to my cabin, showered and slept.
At dinner that evening, I didn’t see Grace. I did see her the next day, however. We had docked in Costa Maya, Mexico and I was leaning over the rail, watching people leave the ship when I spotted her. She appeared to be with a small group headed for the pedestrian gate.
After a while, the number of people leaving the ship diminished, so I walked off and went through the souvenir shop on the dock. I caught myself thinking that “Carol would like that,” or “Cheryl would love this,” before remembering that neither was in my life anymore.
Over the next couple of days, we visited the Cayman Islands and Jamaica. I never got off the ship.
I had spent eight nights onboard and had fucked four different women including the night before. No wonder cruising was so popular for single men.
It was popular for women also. I saw Grace three or four times over the course of the cruise after our night together and she seemed to be having fun as well. Each time I saw her she was with a different man.
I’m going to have to cruise more, I thought on more than one occasion.
The evening before we were scheduled to dock back in Galveston, my cabin phone rang. It was Grace.
“Haven’t seen you around much the last few days,” she said.
“I’ve managed to stay pretty busy.”
She laughed. “So have I. It’s almost like I was back in high school.”
“Why? Too much homework?” I chuckled.
“Yeah. I’ve pulled a couple of all-nighters, if you know what I mean. I had heard about cruising, but Christ, it’s much better than I had heard. Michael says it is one long party in the crew area.”
“I know exactly what you mean. I’ve had some all-nighters myself. It will be nice to get home and get some rest.”
“Ain’t that the truth.” There was a pause before she spoke again. “Listen, Sam. You live in Lake Charles and I live in Houston. Any chance of us seeing each other after the cruise?”
I didn’t hesitate. “I’d like that, but there are a couple of things you should know about me first. Why don’t we have dinner and chat?”
At dinner, I told her my story and she told me hers. Pregnant young. Had Michael. She had been married once but not to Michael’s father. Michael has a good relationship with his father and family. Grace had worked hard to provide a good life for Michael and his father did his share. She was rightfully very proud of the fact that he will be in his first Broadway show.
She had done pretty well for herself. After high school she started working in an upscale department store. It was the only job she ever had and was now the District Manager for three of their other stores.
We talked for a long time before having a farewell fuck in her cabin. The next morning we docked and I drove home.
Things hadn’t changed and there was still no word from Carol or Cheryl. I waited a week before calling Grace. We spent the next weekend together. And the next. And lots of weekends after that.
About six months into our relationship, we decided that I should move to Houston and live with her. I worked at one of the refineries in Lake Charles. I talked to my boss and asked him to investigate the possibility of me transferring to our Houston refinery. He checked and in another month my house was for sale and I lived in Houston with Grace.
I had been in Houston six months and Carol had been gone over a year when I filed for divorce. When it was finalized, Grace and I were married and took a honeymoon cruise. She was the only person I slept with on that cruise … and vice versa.
In the meantime, Grace’s son Michael had done great in New York. His play had been SRO (Standing Room Only) and he was a rising star. We went to New York twice to see him.
I thought about Cheryl often and wondered … and worried … about her.
Our lives went on and in four years, I was another notch higher on my company food chain. Michael was in Hollywood filming his second movie. His first had been filmed on location in Europe.
He invited us out to visit, so we went. We stood and watched as he filmed some scenes. Between each scene, people would come up to him, fine tune his makeup, adjust his clothes, or comb his hair. I watched as he was handed a folder to look at each time they stopped filming.
Later at dinner, I asked him what those folders were. He told me they were dialogue changes for the scene they were filming next. I asked him if he knew the name of the lady who brought them to him.
“Her name is Carol and she brings them before each scene. Why?”
“She just looked familiar.”
Neither Grace nor Michael saw me as I was fighting down the bile which had risen in my throat.
Grace and I were in the studio provided limo on our way back to the hotel.
She looked at me. “What’s wrong?”
“The lady who gave Michael the dialogue changes is Carol.”
“I know. That’s what Michael said.”
“She’s Carol. My ex-wife Carol.”
“You’re shitting me.”
“No, I’m not.”
“Holy cow. What are you going to do?”
“I have no idea.”
We rode in silence to the hotel. It was very quiet the rest of the evening.
The next day, Grace went back to the studio. I stayed at the hotel.
When she returned she handed me a piece of paper.
“What is this?”
“Carol’s address and phone number. Michael’s agent got it for me.”
“Does he know why?”
“He didn’t ask, I didn’t tell. I just told him I wanted it.”
I just looked at it.
“Go on. Go. You know you have to. I’ll be here when you get back.”
An hour later I was getting out of a cab at the address Grace had given me. I walked slowly up to the second floor with my heart beating rapidly. I stood in front of Apartment 206 and rang the bell. No answer. I rang it again. The door opened and I stood face to face with my daughter.
We just looked at each other until I spoke. “Why do you hate me?”
“You know why. What are you doing here?”
“Answer my question.”
I walked into the apartment and she didn’t try to stop me.
“Because you cheated on mom.”
“Who told you I cheated?” I saw the glance over her shoulder.
Carol’s first husband had been caught cheating and she divorced him. Now, apparently, I’d been accused of doing it as well.
“Jimmy Wilson. You know who he is. He worked in your office for two years.”
“No one named Jimmy Wilson has ever worked in my office. Where is he?”
Now she looked over my shoulder. I turned and there was a closed door. I started to open it and Cheryl tried to stop me. “He’s sleeping.”
I opened the door and saw a man buttoning his shirt. He looked stunned.
“Who are you?” I asked.
“Who the fuck wants to know?”
“Well, who the fuck are you?”
“Don’t you know me?”
“Fuck no; should I?”
“Yes, you should.”
“What the fuck are you talking about? I never seen you in my life.”
I stepped closer to him. “Take a closer look. Are you sure you don’t know me?”
“I told you I never seen you before, now get the fuck out of my apartment before I call the cops.”
“My name’s Sam.”
“You act like that should mean somethin’.”
“Sam Conley. You told my daughter that you worked in my office for two years.”
“Sam Conley? I don’t know any Sa… Oh, shit.”
“Yeah, oh shit. Now tell me why you told my wife that I cheated on her.”
“I don’t have to tell you shit, motherfucker. She’s mine now so you can kiss my ass.”
I stepped toward him, but he dodged around me and ran out of the apartment.
“Oh, my God. I can’t fuckin’ believe you did that.” What did Cheryl just say? “fuckin’?”
“Tried to hit Jimmy.”
“I didn’t try to hit him and you heard him. He doesn’t know me and he never worked in my office.”
“You’re lying. You caught him by surprise otherwise he would have kicked your ass. I’m going to call Mom.”
I stood there as she made the call.
“Mom, dad’s here and he chased Jimmy away.” Pause. “I’m not fuckin’ kidding.”
I took the phone. “He lied to you, Carol.”
“You’re the one who is lying,” she said. “He had pictures. Now get the fuck out of my house before I call ‘the police.”
“Where are the pictures? I want to see them.”
“Fuck you. You motherfucking son of a bitch. Now get out of my house.” And she hung up.
Never had Carol ever used such language. The strongest word she ever used was “damn” and she always got on me when I used profanity. And now even Cheryl said “fuckin’.” I used profanity, but rarely around Carol and never around Cheryl. They were not the two people I knew.
I tried to talk to Cheryl, but she wouldn’t listen and after just a few minutes I heard sirens and someone running up the stairs.
The police never put me in handcuffs but since I didn’t live there I had to leave. I tried to explain what had happened but they were not interested. I had been asked to leave so I was required to leave.
“Not without my daughter.” I protested.
“I’m not his daughter. He’s a fuckin’ liar.” She’d said fuckin’ again.
I just looked at her, shook my head, and walked out. I walked for a long time before hailing a cab and going back to the hotel. When I got there, Grace and I talked about it. Michael arrived to take us to dinner. I chose not to go.
I tried to remember anyone named Jimmy Wilson and kept drawing a blank so I called my old boss. It was after business hours, so I called his home.
“Hello, Sammy, que pasa?” he said when he answered.
“Not much Lou. How’re tricks?”
“You know how it is; same shit different day. What’s up?”
“Do you remember someone named Jimmy Wilson working at the plant?”
“No, but that doesn’t mean much. There have been lots of people there I didn’t, and still don’t, know. Why?”
“His name came up today and I was just wondering. I was told that he worked at the plant. Can you find out?”
“If it’s important, I can try.”
“It is, Lou.”
“Okay. Give me a couple of days to do some asking around.”
Right after Lou and I finished, my phone rang.
“You rotten, cheating bastard. How did you find us?” She must have kept my number over the years.
“Oh, hello Carol. It’s been a long time. How are you?” Sarcasm dripping from every syllable.
“Fuck you. Stay away from us. You hear me. Stay away.”
“Cheryl is my daughter and I want her in my life. He lied, Carol. Your boyfriend, husband, or whatever he is, lied.”
“No he didn’t. He showed me pictures.”
“Of what? Of who?”
“Fuck you, cock suck breath.” And she hung up.
‘Cock suck breath?’ Her language has certainly gotten colorful as well as descriptive.
When Grace and Michael returned, she told me that she hadn’t told Michael about any of this, but I could if I wanted to. So I did.
His first words were. “Your poor daughter. I feel so sorry for her. Holy shit, Sam. Do you want me to get her fired?”
“No. No. She might just run again and I want to find out why she left. As it turns out, I’m glad she did because otherwise I wouldn’t have met your mother. But she stole my daughter and turned her against me and I want to try to fix that. They have no idea that I know you, so let’s keep it that way for now. Let them wonder about how I found them.” We talked for a bit longer before he left. Grace went back to the studio the next day, but I stayed away. I didn’t want Carol to see me.
I wasn’t ready to get the authorities involved yet, and I now knew where they were, so I felt relatively safe in leaving until I got my ducks in a row so Grace and I flew home.
The first thing I did was talk to my attorney. He would contact a colleague in California to determine our next course of action. As a minimum, he could go after my share of the money.
Three days later, Lou called.
“I found out that Jimmy Wilson worked in our railyard for a few months. He was recommended for the job by his cousin, David Jacobson. Do you remember him?”
“I certainly do. He was a photographer in the public affairs office. He was a sleazeball and I caught him putting a pill in Cindy Smith’s drink at the Christmas party one year. I turned him in and he went to jail for a while.”
“That’s him. Well, I’ve been told by those who remember that little incident, that he made some threats against you.”
“He did, but I ignored them and him.”
“Maybe you should have taken him a bit more seriously. Rumor around the plant is that he and his cousin Jimmy Wilson cooked up some plot to screw you over. Now, admittedly, this was all a long time ago and memories are a bit hazy; but there may have been something to it.”
“Do you have his address and phone number?”
He chuckled. “I figured you might want it so I just happen to have it right here. Apparently, Wilson took off to parts unknown, however.”
“Not any more. I know where he is.”
“Living with my ex-wife and daughter in California.”
“Holy shit. Are you sure?”
“I saw him there a few days ago.”
“Well, fuck me!”
Jacobson still lived in Lake Charles and Grace and I talked at some length about what to do. I was conflicted. If it had been their plan to come between Carol and me, it worked beautifully. But, in all honesty, I came out better for it. I no longer had a wife who left me without making any effort to ascertain if the cheating accusations were true or not. Apparently I was presumed guilty because she caught her first husband doing it.
But there was Cheryl to consider.
Did I want to rekindle a relationship with her after seeing the way she defended Gibson and vilified me?
Of course I did. She’s my daughter and was only 10 when this thing started.
Grace knew me pretty well so knew that I would be paying Jacobson a visit. The next morning we drove to Lake Charles and checked in to a motel.
At noon, I rang Jacobson’s doorbell. His wife answered.
“May I help you?
“Are you Mrs. David Jacobson?”
“Yes. Who are you?”
“My name is Samuel Conley. Is your husband here?”
“Do you have a few minutes? I’d like to talk to you about him.”
“What about him?”
I took a deep breath. This was it. “My wife and daughter left me five years ago and I think he was at least partly responsible and I would like to find out for sure.”
“How was he responsible?”
“It’s a long story.”
She looked at me for a long time. “I have no idea why I’m doing this, but come in.”
She ushered me in to the living room and indicated the sofa. I sat.
“Now Mr. Conley, you have the floor.”
I told her. The whole ball of wax. When I finished we just sat and looked at each other.
Finally, she spoke.
“David and I have been married for just over two years, but I’ve known him for almost four. One of the first things he talked about was how he broke up the marriage of the man who caused him to go to jail.”
A short pause.
“And you say he drugged some girl?” she asked.
“Yes. I saw him putting a pill in her drink at our company party. I reported it and it turned out to be a date rape drug.”
Again, we just looked at each other. Finally, she spoke. “What did you expect me to be able to do for you?”
“I have no idea. I’m just grasping at straws trying to figure out how to get my daughter back.”
She stood. “If I think of anything I can do to help, I’ll call you,” she said, dismissing me. I left my phone number and went back to the hotel dejected. The next morning Grace and I were having breakfast when my phone rang.
“This is Anita Jacobson. You were at my house yesterday.”
“Yes, Mrs. Jacobson.”
“Could you come over? I may have something for you.”
An hour later I was sitting in her living room.
“Your visit started me thinking. After we moved in together, I found a container of Rohypnol and asked him about it. He told me it was for his insomnia. I’ve never known him to need help sleeping, but occasionally I check and there are a couple of pills missing,” she said, “and he still brags about convincing his cousin to help break up your marriage; but it worked out differently than they expected. Jimmy and David apparently helped her get away from you. But somewhere along the way, Jimmy and your wife ended up living together.”
“Yes, I know. I saw them a few days ago in Los Angeles.”
“Oh, my God. You did? They thought you could never find them.” A long pause. Then she stood. “I’d like to show you something.” She walked away. I stood and followed. We went to what was obviously a photography studio. “For the last few months, I have suspected David of cheating on me. I’ve found pictures of naked women in his files., Two of them are friends of ours. They’re both married and I’m sure he has slept with them; and, knowing both of them, I would be shocked if they did it of their own free will.”
Then she pulled a stack of photos out of a bottom drawer and handed them to me. She sat and watched as I looked through them. In some of the photos you could identify the subjects. In others, you could not. I didn’t know either of the two. The first few photos showed them dressed and obviously kissing. Other pictures showed them in various stages of undress and then having sex.
“David showed me those and said that they caused your divorce. He had given them to Jimmy who called your wife and told her he worked with you and had pictures of you cheating. He arranged to meet her and showed them to her. Obviously, he only showed her those which did not show the man’s face. Then he had her meet David who corroborated his story and between them, they convinced her the man was you. David is very proud of what they did and, as I said, still brags about it. He couldn’t believe your wife bought their story. She must be one stupid lady.
“We have been out to visit Jimmy. I met your wife and daughter. They are not nice people. Your daughter has been in trouble for shoplifting. She has spent time in a youth facility of some sort and your wife is an alcoholic.”
“She isn’t my wife. I think she may be married to Gibson.”
“They’re not married, I can tell you that. They were together for a while, but then he left and went to Seattle. He just went back to California about a year ago. When we were there, Jimmy, David and I went out drinking and they laughed and bragged about what they did. Up until yesterday, I thought they were exaggerating; but now … I’m sorry Mr. Conley. It happened before I met him and I think it is despicable. I was sitting on the fence about his affairs, but what they did to you is beyond evil. And if, as I suspect, David drugged our friends, he deserves to be in jail.”
There was another pause before she added. “Jimmy Wilson is a piece of shit with an unbelievably foul mouth. He doesn’t care what he says, where he says it, or who he says it to. He’s also a coward with neither scruples nor conscience.” There was a slight pause. “I guess that describes my husband as well.”
I couldn’t say anything. She was a woman who finally convinced herself that her husband was a certified asshole.
She went back to the bottom drawer and brought out a video. “Take those pictures and this video. Use them as you will. I won’t tell David you were here or that I gave you this stuff.”
She led me to the door. “Thank you, Mrs. Jacobson. You’ve answered a lot of questions for me.”
“You are welcome, Mr. Conley. You’ve helped me make up my mind about a couple of things. I can only deeply and sincerely apologize for my husband and hope that things turn out well for you.”
“Actually, they have. Thank you.” We shook hands.
I drove just down the street and sat in my car and tried to wrap my mind around the apparent fact that after 12 years of marriage, Carol was gullible enough to be convinced, using pictures of a man whose face could not be seen, that I had cheated. Twelve years and she never asked me about the accusations. Twelve years and she was able to casually throw them away. Jacobson was a photographer, for Christ’s sake. He could have photo shopped the photos to at least make the guy resemble me … but he didn’t even have to do that. Twelve years! It appeared more and more likely that I suffered because her first husband cheated and was caught.
After I calmed down I went back to the motel and hugged Grace. I felt that things had, indeed, turned out well for me. Now if I could just get my daughter back.
I told her about my visit with Mrs. Jacobson, and showed her the photos. After looking at them and shaking her head, she asked, “What’s on the video?”
“I have no idea.”
“Why don’t I go to the lobby while you watch it?”
“Why don’t we watch it together?”
I took out my laptop and we played the video.
It started with Carol sitting on a bed. It looked like she had just finished crying. Jimmy Wilson was sitting next to her and was speaking.
“God damn it Carol. The motherfucker cheated. You owe it to yourself to get even. Now drink this. It will serve him right.” He handed her a drink. She took the drink and sipped it. “Don’t sip it. Drink the shit. It will make you feel better.” She gulped it down. They just looked at each other and fidgeted for a couple of minutes. Carol tried to rise, but he held her down.
“Maybe I should go home,” she almost whispered.
“No fucking way. You came here to get even and that’s what you are going to do. Now just relax and I will get you some more to drink.”
He left and was back in just a few seconds with another glass of liquid. “Here. This will make you feel better.” She gulped it down as well.
They sat there and Wilson stroked her arms, brushed her hair, and kissed her cheeks, hands, and neck. Then he ran his hand over her left breast. She jerked but didn’t stop him. He did it again. With more pressure this time. She closed her eyes and breathed a bit harder. The third time he pinched her nipple and she moaned. He then stood, took her hands and pulled her up. “Get those fucking clothes off and let’s do this.” And she started to undress. He watched her as she started to strip. Then he undressed himself. It didn’t take him long and he stood there stroking his dick as she finished. When she was naked he turned her around and whistled. “Man, what a fine piece of ass. I’m going to enjoy this.”
I saw Carol smile. She was starting to get into this. “You are?”
“Fuck yes. I’m gonna fuck you so good.”
“Do you have to keep saying that word?”
“The ‘f’ word.”
“Fuck? You bet your ass, I do. And you will too. You’ll be begging me to fuck you.”
“Never. I hate that word.”
“Before I’m finished with you, you’ll love it.” He said as he pushed her down on the bed.
And so it started. He started kissing her all over and when he kissed her neck, I saw her nipples get hard. They always did. She loved to have her pussy eaten and he did it well. He had her bouncing off the bed and thrusting her hips up to meet his mouth. Then he crawled up her body and, on his knees, rubbed the head of his dick against her pussy.
“Do you want it?” he asked.
“Then tell me.”
“I want it.”
“Why do you want it?”
“I need it.”
“Need it to do what?”
“Go in me.”
He rubbed it harder against her.
“Go in you and what?”
“Do it to me.”
“Do what to you?”
“Make love to me.”
“No. Tell me you want me to fuck you.”
“I … I can’t”
He started to get up and she held him. “Don’t go.”
“Then say it.”
He got up and walked out of camera range.
Then another voice. I assumed it was the one running the camera.
“Yeah. She doesn’t care. Look at her.”
At this point, Carol’s “social finger” was rubbing her puss and she was moaning. Whatever she had been given to drink was really starting to take effect. As she rubbed, she moaned. As she moaned, she rubbed harder and her finger went deeper. Then I watched as two fingers went inside her.
In all the years we were married, I had only convinced her to fingerfuck herself twice. And I loved watching her do it both times.
Then she spoke. “Come back, Jimmy. I’m sorry. Come back and put it in me.”
“Put what in where?”
Jimmy must have been standing beside the camera man because Carol was looking right at the camera.
“Don’t make me say it.”
“Fuck you. If you want my dick, tell me. Here it is. See it?”
And her eyes moved down from looking directly at the camera.
“Watch me. I’m stroking it just for you. See it get bigger? It wants to fuck you, but you have to ask for it.”
Her fingers moved faster.
“Oh, god bring it to me. Put it in me and I’ll say it.”
“Say it now, or you’ll never get it and your dickhead husband will keep fucking anyone he wants and you won’t be able to stop him.”
“All right. All right. FUCK ME! Put it in me and FUCK ME!”
Jimmy got back on the bed and knelt over her. Her fingers left her pussy and reached for his dick.
“Now what do you want?”
“I want it in me.” As she moved her hips up trying to meet his dick and get it in her.
“What do you want and where do you want it?”
“Oh, God. I’ve already said it.”
“No you haven’t. Now tell me.”
“I want your dick in my pussy.” She almost yelled.
“So it can fuck me.”
At that point he rammed it home and she screamed.
Then they both got their wishes. They fucked hard for several minutes before slamming together and lay exhausted side by side.
“Well,” said the voice behind the camera, “that should serve him right.” And my screen went black.
Both Grace and I just sat there. Carol certainly didn’t have trouble saying fuck anymore.
“They drugged her, Sam. The sons of bitches drugged her,” said Grace so softly I could barely understand her.
“Yeah.” I stood and walked to look out the window at Contraband Bayou flowing by. I felt Grace standing beside me. “But she put herself in that situation.”
“She still didn’t deserve to be drugged.” There was a long pause. “What happens now?”
“I’m not sure, but I think we’re going to California and then to the police.”
Both of us took some additional time off from work. Three days later, I, again, rang Carol’s doorbell. It was mid-afternoon. Cheryl, once again, opened the door.
“Oh. It’s you.”
“Yes, it’s me and you and I are going to talk.”
“Fuck you. You can’t tell me what to do.”
“In the first place, clean up your mouth. In the second place, you are my daughter and a minor. I have every right to take you out of here and if you don’t sit down and talk to me, I will do exactly that. Now sit down.” She did. “Where’s your mother?”
“Don’t get smart with me. Now, where’s your mother?”
“Jimmy is picking her up from work.”
“When will they be back?”
“Pretty soon if they don’t stop for drinks.”
“Do they do that often?”
“Almost every night.”
“And leave you alone?”
“Yeah. No big deal.”
“Why aren’t you in school?”
“I didn’t go.”
“I fuck … I don’t like it.”
I paused and looked at her before I asked my next question. “How long were you in the youth facility?”
“Wha? How did you know about that?”
“Answer the question and don’t try to lie.”
“The one for shoplifting.” Her eyes opened wide.
“Fuck.” She said under her breath.
“I told you to clean up your mouth.”
“I was there for two months.”
“What did you steal?”
“Jimmy was out and we didn’t have any money.”
“What did your mother say?”
“She was pissed.”
“Why? Because you stole? Or because you got caught?”
“Both, I guess. But mostly at him for telling me to do it.”
“Has he lived with you the whole time since you left me?”
“No. After all our money was gone, he disappeared and was gone for about three years. He came back last year.”
“Why did your mother take him back?”
“I don’t know. Feeling sorry for herself, I guess. Or lonely. When he left, she started drinking. A lot. She still does. Several times she told me she was going to call you, but every time she started to, she started drinking some more and never did. She had a couple of boyfriends, but they never lasted long.”
“Okay. First, let me tell you something.” I said. “I love you. I always have. I always will. Jimmy Wilson never worked in my office. Never. His cousin, David Jacobson; I know you’ve met him and his wife.” Her eyes went wide in surprise again before she nodded. It was obvious to her that I knew a lot about them. “Well, one time at a party, I saw him put drugs in a girl’s drink so I reported him and he went to jail. When he got out he promised to get even with me so he and Jimmy Wilson showed your mother some pictures of two people doing what they weren’t supposed to be doing. They convinced your mother it was me. It wasn’t.”
She just looked at me. “That’s the truth, Cheryl. I’ve never lied to you.”
“But, if it’s the truth, why didn’t Mom talk to you?”
“That one of the questions I would like to have asked her but she never gave me the chance.”
“I don’t know, Dad. I’m all mixed up.”
“I know. I’ve just recently discovered all of this and am trying to work it all out myself.”
Just then the door opened and they walked in. Carol and Jimmy Wilson. I jumped up and we just looked at each other.
“Carol.” I said quietly.
“I told you to leave us alone, you asshole. Now get your cheating ass out of my house.”
“I’m not the one who cheated. You are.” Then I looked at Wilson. “Isn’t that right?”
“I don’t know what you are talking about. Now get your ass out of here before I break your fucking neck.”
“Mom,” said Cheryl as she rushed to her mother. “I think you might want to listen to Dad.”
“Fuck that cheating motherfucker. He’s got nothing to say I want to hear.”
“Goddamn it, Mom. Listen to him.” Then softer. “Please?”
A long pause as Carol glared at me.
“You have three minutes. Then I’m calling the cops,” Carol said to me as she threw her purse on the sofa, crossed her arms, and continued glaring at me.
“Well, I don’t have to listen to his shit. I’m leaving,” said Wilson.
I moved between him and the door. “No, you’re not. You’re going to sit your ass down and listen.”
He moved to the window and stood.
I started. “Carol, what proof did he,” indicating Wilson, “give you that I was cheating?”
“I told you before. Pictures.”
“These pictures?” And I tossed her four of the ones not showing my face.
“Yes. Those. Where did you get them? Take them out of your collection? How many others have you fucked?”
“They aren’t from my collection. They’re from David Jacobson’s collection. Remember him? They are part of this set.” And I tossed the rest of the pictures to her. The ones showing the faces of the lovers.
She went pale and Cheryl ran over to look at them and saw most of them before Carol could jerk them away. Then she looked at Wilson.
“He’s lying,” said Wilson, “he changed them.” She looked back and forth between Wilson and me. Not knowing who to trust or believe.
I continued talking. “Then the two of them drugged you so Wilson could take advantage of you. I have proof of that.” I waved the video at her. “It’s all right here for your viewing pleasure. And I wouldn’t be surprised if there wasn’t one of both of them taking advantage of you after they drugged you again.”
At that point her eyes went wide and she went pale. Then she charged at him. “You son of a bitch. You motherfucking son of a bitch.” She was flailing at him. Some punches landing and some not, but she kept throwing them. “You lowlife goat fucking pig, I’ll kill you.”
As she was beating on him, Cheryl had backed up and stood against the wall while Wilson was backing toward the door. “He’s lying. He’s lying.” He almost screamed as he tried to fend off her blows. He made it to the door and quickly escaped.
Carol, exhausted, plopped on the sofa and cried. Cheryl slowly made her way to me and hesitantly touched my arm. I looked at her and she was crying. “I’m so sorry, daddy.” She hadn’t called me daddy since she was five. I took her in my arms.
Cheryl and I stood like that and watched her mother cry. Finally, Cheryl moved out of my hug, patted me on the arm, sat beside her mother, and hugged her. I went to the kitchen, got a glass of water and gave it to Carol. Then I sat opposite the sofa and watched them.
I had my daughter back and that was all that mattered. The fact that Carol now knew I never cheated was a plus, but I no longer cared what she thought.
She sipped her water and looked at me. “What happens now?” she asked.
“My recommendation to you is to find an attorney and see if you can prosecute Wilson and Jacobson. You have the pictures and one video and if your reaction to my comment about both of them taking advantage of you is any indication, you know that at least one more video exists. And you probably know where it is.
She nodded. Then said, “What about us?”
“There is no us, Carol. “Us” died when you believed those two and never gave me a chance to defend myself.”
“Oh, Sam, I am so sorry.”
“Me, too, Carol. Not only did you betray me, but you stole my daughter and kept her from me for over five years. We can’t get those years back and I’ll never forgive you for that.”
Cheryl came and sat on the arm of the chair I was sitting in and put her arm around me. Carol got up and went to the bathroom. I looked at my daughter. That was a nice thought: My daughter. Anyway, I looked at my daughter. “Are you okay?”
“I think so,” she said. “There are all kinds of things going around in my head.”
“Would you like to have dinner with me and we can talk about them?”
“I don’t know if I should leave Mom.”
“I understand. How about tomorrow?”
She smiled and nodded.
Carol came out. I stood. “I should be going. Cheryl and I are going to dinner tomorrow evening.”
Carol nodded. I looked at Cheryl. “I’ll pick you up here at six.”
We hugged and I left. As soon as I was on the street, I called Grace and brought her up to date.
The trip back to the hotel was interesting emotionally. I was beyond happy that my daughter might be back in my life and happy that Carol now knew the truth; but both sad and disappointed that she had been so easily taken in by Wilson and Jacobson. Not once, but twice in the case of Wilson who, by all appearances, could come and go in her life as he pleased.
I decided to try to help her prosecute them if that’s what she chose to do. I was also going to see if there was anything I could do to them.
Grace was waiting when I opened the door. She flew into my arms and we held each other in the doorway.
The next two evenings Cheryl and I had dinner alone. Then, on Saturday, we spent the morning together before meeting Grace. I had told her about Grace at our first dinner. Both of them were nervous about meeting.
When Cheryl first saw Grace, “Fuck, she’s gorgeous,” came out of her mouth followed immediately by, “Oops, sorry, Dad.”
Grace’s first words to Cheryl were, “How’s your mother?”
“Better, but still in shock. Getting back to work will help her.”
It was a good day. We took her home and Grace met Carol. It went as well as could have been expected. I told Carol and Cheryl that the next day, Sunday, Grace and I had made arrangements for a VIP tour of one of the studios and asked if Cheryl wanted to come with us. She was excited.
“Which studio?” asked Carol. We told her. “That’s where I work. VIP Tours are rare. Sunday tours are even rarer. I’ll be working because they’re behind on shooting. Maybe I’ll see you.”
The next morning the limo furnished by the studio picked Grace and me up then we stopped by to get Cheryl. She had never ridden in a limo. I liked experiencing her excitement.
We toured most of the studio with one of their VIP escorts before going to the set where Michael was shooting. They told him we were there and he came over to us and hugged and kissed his mother. She introduced him to Cheryl, who was too shocked and wide eyed to say anything. He put his arm around her and said, “Come with me.” He led her off to introduce her to several other members of the cast. They were gone for about twenty minutes and when they came back, she was giggling like a little girl.
“I have to get back to work.” He kissed his mother, shook my hand and then kissed Cheryl on the cheek. “Don’t be strangers,” he said. “This guy is a Class Act,” I thought as he walked away.
Cheryl was literally beside herself. “Holy fuck. Sorry Dad”, she apologized, “but I am getting better. I can’t believe he’s your son,” she said to Grace.
The next time we saw him he was being prepped by the makeup people, costumers, and, of course, the script girl, Carol. When she brought him the new dialogue, he started talking to her then pointed at us. Cheryl waved at her. She looked pained when she smiled and waved back.
I haven’t seen much of Carol since that day. Cheryl now spends the school year with us, and her summers with her mother in California, but her California summers keep getting shorter because she prefers Houston and us. Whenever she comes home … Houston is home to her now … she tells us that Carol’s drinking problem is getting better.
It took over a year, but both Wilson and Jacobson were prosecuted and jailed for drugging Carol and the two married friends Jacobson’s wife told me about. She left her husband and testified against him.
Cheryl hasn’t said the word “fuck” in front of me in two years.
Added by Ephesus