/Whois - Chapter 21 - If I Had A Hammer
As I've told you, Jerry never did believe that Otter had truly left. I suppose since he was spying on me, he must have seen one otter and one snobird enter a scuba suit and misinterpreted what was really happening. Perhaps I could have enlightened him...I chose not to.
So while I was busy writing, Jerry was busy stalking. For a while, Otter played a part in a lot of my stories, but as time wore on...his character faded and others replaced him. He was never far from my thoughts, understand...but I no longer required the crutch.
One day, in February, Jerry was pointing out yet another email on his computer that contained an obvious personal file of mine. Yet another message from the dreaded cyber stalker. He threatened to open it...and long since past caring, I told him to do whatever he felt like doing. It didn't matter anymore. As I was about to walk away though, I stopped. What was it...something about the file name....
And then it hit me...and a big smile replaced the frown of concentration.
I leaned over and patted him on the shoulder. "Valiant effort," I said, "but you screwed up babe...you screwed up BIG."
There are a lot of good hackers out there...but I don't know of any that can reach the top drawer of my desk.
Remember when I transferred those files from my computer to the disc that I then dropped casually into the top drawer of my desk? Well...realizing I'd probably never remember what each file contained, I developed this really fucked up coding system that only I could possibly understand... The only place those file names existed...was on that disc.
I didn't bother waiting for a denial...I knew without a doubt that I was right.
Several times, I brought up the "D" word...and each time I got a response like "over my dead body." I figured I could wait him out...and eventually he'd see things my way.
One night, as I sat at my desk writing...alternating between a few paragraphs and a quick look into the imaginarium to chat a bit with Kali...I felt something nudge my foot. Looking down, I expected to see a cat. Instead, I saw my husband with the strangest smile on his face and a pair of scissors in his hand. With a snick, snick, snick of the blades...he cut the telephone wires.
"Jerry...what the hell do you think you are doing?"
He didn't say a word...just slid out from under the desk, placed the scissors to the side and picked up something that was just out of my view. By the time I saw that it was a hammer...he was already making his way to my computer.
"This is insane," I thought...and made a leap, placing myself between the hammer as it descended and my computer.
Actually, on second thought...that was probably even more insane, wasn't it?
At the very last second, bracing myself for the blow, he must have realized it too...because the fight suddenly left him. His right arm relaxed, the hammer dropped to his side and then to the floor with a heavy thunk. I exhaled...
He wasn't done yet though. Jerry's left arm shot out while I wasn't looking and snatched the external modem. He ripped it from the computer with one quick jerk and hurled it into the wall of the living room where it smashed into a lot of small pieces and left a good sized hole in the wall.
I was shaking...both from the near miss and rage. Without a word I walked into the kitchen and picked up the phone. Evidently he had not bothered with this phone line because there was a dial tone. I lifted a finger and hit 9-1-1.
"Hello this is 911, can I..."
Jerry's hand shot out and he hit the disconnect button.
"It's over, Jerry...I'm done and I'm out," I said in a voice barely above a whisper. Just to drive the point home, I slid my wedding rings off my finger and placed them quietly on the table.
The phone rang. He had to realize that 911 always calls back...
I picked up the phone.
"This is 911 ma'am...are you alright?"
"No...can you send a patrol car over? I'm afraid my husband will harm me...he has a hammer."
"Right away ma'am...just stay on the line. We have somebody on their way right now."
"Thank you," I responded thickly...
I love small towns and cities. When they tell you the police will be right there...they mean it. In no time a nice officer was telling me that although they couldn't force Jerry to leave, he seemed to be willing to leave of his own accord...at least for tonight...until things had cooled off.
Standing off to the side so I didn't have to come in further contact with him, I couldn't help but overhear the conversation coming from the bedroom as Jerry packed an overnight bag. He was talking about how it wasn't his fault...his wife was having an affair with an otter...in Australia...for chrissake...was that sick or what? The two of them were chuckling.
I didn't sleep well that night...
By the time Jerry returned the following day, I'd moved into the spare bedroom. For me, just the details needed to be worked out...he was nothing to me now. Jerry spent his days on his computer still, but no longer bothered me. He had a new interest...or rather an old interest that was suddenly an interest again. His childhood sweetheart had reappeared in his life and was hinting none too subtly that perhaps their acquaintance should be renewed.
At Easter, Jerry approached me...
"Umm...Missy is moving back to New Hampshire and wants me to help her. I was thinking I'd go down to North Carolina, help her pack and all that. If that's okay with you?"
My first instinct was to tell him no...was he crazy? What wife...would...wait a second...
"I think you should go."
While he was gone, I wondered a lot about that decision. Had I made the right choice...had I not? Did I realize that I was pretty much handing my husband over into the hands of another woman?
After that ugly night, Jerry had repaired the phone wires and replaced the computer modem in an attempt to patch things between us...but it was far too late. As far as I was concerned, he was just a roommate...and hopefully a temporary one at that.
However, I couldn't maintain that hatred. Just because things had not worked out for us, didn't mean that we didn't' both deserve to find happiness in life. It just wasn't going to be with each other. Once I'd reached that conclusion...I was at peace.
When Jerry returned, he knocked on the door of the spare bedroom and asked if I had a moment to talk to him. He took a seat on the on the small couch and said very quietly...
"I want a divorce."
My response was brief...and if it shocked him in its vehemence...well, I can only say it was because I'd waited so long to hear those words from his lips.
By the end of May we were divorced. It was a quick and painless event...I only wanted what I had brought into the relationship and nothing more. The day was sunny and beautiful...full of promise. As I left the courthouse, walking down the sidewalk, a smile crossed my lips...
"I'm free..." I said to myself...
And I never looked back. Not once.
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