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I STILL LOOK FOR YOU - PART 17
In the following months, Lynn would have to be tougher than she had been in her life. Her further cooperation with the investigation against her employer took her deeper into secrets she didn’t want to know and further out onto the thin ice that supported her life.
She sat, with books, note pads and a recorder around her, at her kitchen table. Bobby had become intrigued with this unwelcome assignment and would often come over after Kurt had fallen asleep. She had only this time after her own children were asleep to put together the evidence that she would have to turn over very soon. She had spoken again with Frank Goshen from HUD, asking him what protection she would have for cooperating with them. He assured her they were behind her 100% and she didn’t have to worry about a job. They would make sure she had one. She was scheduled to meet with him at a very large complex in a college town about ninety miles North of Barington to take a look around. They would need a manager In Spring and with a few formalities, she could be that person. The thought of moving to a large town, her kids having to change schools and being so far away from Bobby made her ill. She still felt her strength was connected to him and though their relationship had changed, the thought of not having him near was a terrifying prospect. She wanted to go to her boss, tell him everything and beg him to return the money and get their accountant to make adjustments to the books to look as if there had been a loan from one company to the other. They would have been sanctioned, certainly, and fined, but at least it was a chance to avoid prosecution. Every thing could work out and she could stay at her job and home.
She discussed this idea with Bobby although he knew nothing of the laws and mandates that governed the contract between Mr. Spear and the government. He didn’t think it was safe and told her so. She needed to look out for herself, do whatever necessary to comply and be assured of a job. His own plans had changed when Renee decided to attend the Community College that Spring instead of going to work. It would take two incomes to support the lifestyle she wanted and living at these apartments was not something she would agree to. His Mother had started using again and was back in Rehab so Kurt was safe with him for the time being. His perspective of Renee was changing as she became more outspoken about what she expected for their future and her lack of the realities of life as an adult were wearing thin. Both Lynn’s and his futures were starting to slip from their control and they spent long hours discussing the possibilities.
Bill had received six months in jail and would be paroled to an in-patient alcohol rehab center run by the V.A. At least he would be out of the picture for a while as Lynn struggled to manage the rest of her life. She had been called to testify at his hearing and facing him in court had brought more sadness than anger. With the threat of him removed, she thought of the man she had fallen in love with, just back from Nam and full of the possibilities life held for him. He was bright and well spoken and had employment within a week of his return. They had gone to the same high school but ran in different circles, him being one of the popular kids who rode in on the shirttails of his older brother who was all state wrestling champ three years running. They had met through mutual friends when Lynn was struggling to support herself and Traci by working as a waitress in a little café. Traci’s father was in the wind, literally, having gone AWOL after returning from his tour in Nam. Her support checks from the Army stopped abruptly and it had supplemented her small earnings from work. She was looking for another job but with her lack of education and skills there wasn’t much out there that would pay enough to keep her and the baby from going on Welfare, not an option as far as she was concerned.
Bill loved to dance, drink and party. He often took Lynn and Traci to wonderful restaurants, the movies and was always showing up with a toy or new outfit for Traci whom he treated as if she were his own child. His sister-in-law would watch Traci while they went to a nightclub that always had a live band. Lynn wasn’t much of a drinker but she did love the music and the feeling of freedom that lived in the club. Everyone seemed so carefree and happy there and she would go several nights a week with him. One day, he showed up after her shift and told her he had a surprise. They picked up Traci and drove across town, parking in front of a nice white house with a fenced in yard. He came around and opened her door, put Traci up on his shoulders and invited her to follow him. He opened the door and showed her around the two bedroom house, complete with furniture and a washer and dryer. He took them out the back door into a small yard where he had put a swing-set. He asked her to move in with him, said he loved them both and wanted to take care of them.
Lynn questioned her motives as she thought back to that time. How much was love and how much was need? Maybe they were equal partners but she would pay dearly for her decision over the next nine years. Pregnant with Tim soon after they moved in together, the deal seemed done. She already had doubts when the drinking and nights at the club became fodder for ugly fights when she wouldn’t join him so often. He was furious that she no longer wanted to go and even more furious when she didn’t want him to go either. She had deceived him as far as he was concerned and she had thought he would just naturally want to spend more time at home and do more family oriented outings like other couples they knew. Whatever the reasoning, the relationship turned rocky within the first year. She could not remember the first time he’d hit her, twisted her arm or choked her. His drinking became a daily ritual and he was out celebrating the night she lay in the hospital giving birth to their son and he wasn’t celebrating alone.