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Updated on December 4, 2010


The Monday after Thanksgiving break found Lynn on the phone with her attorney’s secretary and Bobby, with Kurt in tow, at her front door ready to take the kids to school. The kids had been together over the weekend and so had she and Bobby but while she kept the shameful secret, Traci felt it necessary to share with Kurt.

“Ok if I come back for coffee?”Bobby looked at her with eyes that said he knew, at least that there had been trouble.

“Of course, but I have to be in early today, to work on the books and get ready for the inspections. HUD people are coming down and Mr. Spear wants everything in order.” Lynn hadn’t heard from the director since she’d called him some two weeks before and told him of the conversation she’d heard. She did not like the position she’d been put in by HUD and would not have cooperated at all if it weren’t for the increasing co-mingling of government subsidy money and the Spear’s private holdings. More and more invoices came across her desk and two more accounts now accepted her signature for payment. She couldn’t understand how people so rich they had their own plane and who owned or co-owned nearly half the property in town could be greedy enough or stupid enough to mess with government monies. Her increasing involvement put her right up front for any indictments that might come. She was falling into Alice’s rabbit hole and her entire life felt out of control and most of it was.

“I’m sorry I wasn’t here for you”, Bobby’s face was twisted in hate for Bill and regret for having been so far away when she had really needed him. She hadn’t gone into complete detail about what took place in Bill’s bathroom, only that he had trapped her there. Like the rape victim she could have so easily been, her thoughts of self blame for being in that situation to begin with had played through her mind though she now understood there was nothing else she could have done, alone, to keep her son from perceived harm.

“It’s over now and Bill will be served with divorce papers sometime this week. My attorney is also requesting a No Contact Order from the judge which includes the kids, at least until we can figure out a safe way for them to visit.” She felt some power returning to her veins by just saying this out loud and refused the thoughts of how much angrier her son would be when he learned of this.

Bobby wrapped his arms around her as she stood to leave, holding her and swaying slightly as if rocking a wounded child. He softly kissed away tears that fell, only now, when someone truly understood her pain and fear and cared. “I wish,” he said softy, “I could take all of us out of here – move somewhere you’d never have to be afraid again and all of our kids could be free from the Hell these so-called parents have put them through.” He had told her that past weekend of the Holiday with their Mother. Dining out had not been an option so they had joined the cafeteria style line while patients slopped large spoonfuls of potatoes and gravy, crooked slices and chunks of dry turkey and something appearing to resemble stuffing onto their plastic divided trays. The discussion had revolved solely around her and her progress and her wishes. Kurt had tried to tell her his grades had improved but it had curled up over her head along with the smoke from her mid-dinner cigarette. Bobby had gone on to say he was going to fight to keep custody of the boys upon her release. Chris had been moved from the group home to a Youth Facility, even further away from them, for repeated violations that included both fighting and possession of alcohol. His release time was unknown but would certainly be after hers so the main focus would be on Kurt. Their mother would be living with her boyfriend, someone she’d met at NA or AA or one of her addiction related meetings. He was supposedly clean and had a substantial income history. It could go either way.

A week away, Bobby’s friend who drove them to see their mother, was having a birthday. With the lousy Holidays they had all experienced, Lynn volunteered to cook a dinner and make him a cake. A celebration of any sort seemed like a welcome reprieve.

Arriving at her office she found her boss, his wife and their CPA, Stanley. “… so you can just forget about even letting the question form in your mind. I’m not losing my license for anyone!’, this from Stanley before Mrs. Spear glared in her direction and shut the door between the adjoining offices. “Lovely”, Lynn thought to herself having hoped all of this had just been her imagination running overtime, “Just friggin lovely.”

The birthday dinner had been a smashing success with everyone joining in to celebrate with this endearing character who was known only to Bobby and just recently to Kurt on their drive. Jake lived in a one room efficiency and had no family, both of his parents having been killed in a car wreck over a year ago. He worked with Bobby and put in as many hours as they would allow, always volunteering to take over another worker’s shift. They had befriended each other, kindred spirits carrying loads no one should ever have to bare, let alone these two who should have been well into their college years, looking with anticipation at bright futures. Lynn kissed her kids goodnight and gladly traded doing dishes for getting the three of them settled down and into bed. The boys, trying to out-burp each other and climbing the bunk-beds Lynn had bought were just more than she cared to deal with. Traci was allowed to watch tv in her room for another half hour so she went willingly to her room after trying, and failing, to kiss her brother and Kurt goodnight.

Jake had stuck his head in the kitchen assuring her he would gladly do the dishes and clean up but Lynn shushed him and told him there was one more little surprise and to get out of her kitchen. Bobby had told her Jake really did not like cake but it had been a necessary part of a birthday. What he loved, was warm chocolate chip cookies and she had a batch in the oven, which she suspected Jake could not help but smell.

She heard him come back into the kitchen and was just turning to scold him away when Bobby’s arms went around her waist and he whispered in her ear, ever so softy, “I love you.” She was nearly elbow deep in sudsy water and in the split second it took her to reach for a dish towel, he was gone and in the living room with Jake. She finished drying her hands and piled cookies onto a platter, carrying them in the other room. “Surprise, her voice cracked, SURPRISE and Happy Birthday Jake”, this time she managed a laugh as he fiend complete shock. “Yes, surprise,” Bobby pulled two bottles of champagne from behind his back, asking if she minded.

Lynn soon discovered she did not hate the smell of this liquor, nor the taste. Happily munching chocolate chip cookies and drinking her third glass of champagne she leaned into Bobby’s side practically forcing him to bring his arm up over her shoulder. “What I completely lovely way to spend an evening,” she remembered saying as a blanket was being tucked and a pillow placed under her head.

“Sweet dreams,” came the reply. “You deserve them.”


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  • Healing Touch profile image

    Laura Arne 6 years ago from Minnetonka, MN

    Once nice break before all hell breaks loose again. Even though I am out of my relationship with my ex who was abusive I still wait for the ball to drop after something good. I will just have to keep reading and pray for the best.

  • Poohgranma profile image

    Poohgranma 6 years ago from On the edge

    He only said it once and it was so quick and almost like a dream. I have questioned myself a hundred times since, wondering if it was meant the way I took it or, I love you because you did a nice thing for my friend. It was a very confusing relationship sometimes, but I don't regret any of it.

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image

    Linda Rogers 6 years ago from Minnesota

    Oh my goodness, he told you he loved you. How did you not jump up and down when he walked out of the room. I bet your mind was racing after that.

  • QudsiaP1 profile image

    QudsiaP1 7 years ago

    The good follows the bad but will the bad follow the good?

  • Poohgranma profile image

    Poohgranma 7 years ago from On the edge

    Good morning SOH and yes, mixed up in there they were. And they were the infusion so necessary for her strength. They would each have to make some impossible decisions in the near future.

  • SomewayOuttaHere profile image

    SomewayOuttaHere 7 years ago from TheGreatGigInTheSky

    ...awesome...some sweet, tender moments mixed up in there...

  • Poohgranma profile image

    Poohgranma 7 years ago from On the edge

    And yet another present I find waiting? Is it Christmas? First your wonder-filled new chapter and then a visit and your comment?

    Ah, yes, the champagne was good, the night was good - all chocolate ooey gooey mixed with a whispered, "I love you."

  • profile image

    ralwus 7 years ago

    Haha the champagne was good, huh? Sweet dreams dear woman and gee, what a story so well told. Hugs dear woman. CC

  • Scarlett My Dear profile image

    Scarlett My Dear 7 years ago from Missouri

    Survival mode has a way of blinding us, even to lightning, I think.

    And thank you for the sweet compliment.

  • Poohgranma profile image

    Poohgranma 7 years ago from On the edge

    There was so much going on at one time I couldn't have seen lightening if it struck right in front of me. Thanks for reading and commenting. And thanks again for the wonderful hubs you published today!

  • Scarlett My Dear profile image

    Scarlett My Dear 7 years ago from Missouri

    Calm before the storm?