The following is a work of fiction. Any similarities are entirely fortuitous. The story may contain profanity and references to gay sex. If such content offends you please leave now. The author retains all rights to the story. Do not copy or use without written authority from the author. Write Bobby at this address with your comments.
"My client wants to keep the house. It was a gift from his family member after all." Jared's lawyer said.
"It'll be a hot day in January before I give up the house that I took care of!" I said heatedly.
"Guess what, Tyler? Winter's comin' early this year!" Jared slammed his fists down and stood from his chair. I stood from my chair and glared him in the eyes.
"Gentlemen, please calm down." Jerry, my lawyer, said aloud. "There is no way they'll win the house, Tyler. It was a gift to the both of you." I took his fact to heart then sat down.
"No, you know what? He can have the damn house. I'll be better off without it anyways." I said.
"Tyler, are you sure?" Jerry asked.
"Absolutely," I vicariously smiled. "Him and his whore can rot in hell with it!" I stood up from the table and walked out of the room.
Our divorce has been dragging out for over a week now. I figured we'd settle on everything fifty-fifty, but he's been fighting me on everything even things that I bought with my own money.
"Tyler," Jerry said, coming out of the meeting room. "I realize you are upset about this, but you need to think rationally about things before you say them. You just gave up your house."
"I know what I gave up, but I don't want something as large as a house to constantly remind me of the man who betrayed me."
Jerry patted my shoulder. "Well, let's get back in there and finish this, huh?"
"Yeah, I can't wait to get this crap over with." I let out a sad sigh. The two of us walked back in the room and sat at our respective seats. I rested my head in one of my hands and waited for the end of this horrible meeting.
"The last thing we have to discuss is the custody of the kids." I snapped my head when Jared's lawyer finished his sentence. "Jared wants full custody of all three."
"What!?" Jerry and I shouted in unison.
"My client is concerned of your clients' well-being as a guardian. He's just looking after the interest of his kids." the lawyer explained.
"This is the most ridiculous thing your client has wanted this entire divorce. There is no way that we will just hand over custody." Jerry said. "But explain something for us. How can you prove that Tyler is even remotely unfit to father Travers, Keegan, or Torry?"
"Well, Jared's given me several documents that clearly states Tyler has missed numerous days from work for various reasons which show he isn't responsible in providing income for the children. He's also on probation to ensure that he is functional at his job. There are also instances of abuse towards the children." his lawyer said. He handed Jerry the paperwork in the folder, but that wasn't all he had in there. My mouth dropped to the floor.
"The reason for his absences from work was to care for his children as well as his self. These will be worthless in the judge's eyes." Jerry stated.
"What's this about abuse?" I asked, still shocked at that allegation.
"Well, apparently you have raised your hand to Travers a couple of times and have yelled at Keegan for no reason." his more than confident lawyer said. By the way, his lawyer's name is... Well, who gives a damn? His nickname is Bastard.
"One time I raised my hand to Travers. The two times I've ever raised my voice to Keegan was... Actually, the only time I ever raised my voice to him was when I fell into a depression, but I apologized." I explained. Jared had this cocky look upon his face like he'd won custody, but I'm sure he wasn't prepared for what I was about to say. I looked at Bastard and asked, "Did Jared tell you about the time he raped Travers?" Jerry sharply looked up at me.
Jared's entire demeanor suddenly went to hell. "What?" Bastard asked.
"Oh, yes, he raped Travers. Gee, I'm surprised he didn't mention it." I cockily let out. I suddenly knew that this custody battle was over.
Bastard looked a little nervous himself. "Seeing as how all of us are gentlemen, maybe we can come to an understanding?"
Jerry broke in. "We're listening,"
"We'll settle for split custody." Bastard said.
"No," I said. "Jared can have full custody of Torry, but split with Travers and Keegan."
"Agreed," Jared said quickly.
Bastard took a deep breath. "Fine, I'll have the paperwork in a few hours. Let's meet back here at four."
Jerry and I quickly left. He said he'd treat me for lunch to kill some time. It killed a couple hours. We talked about things that completely took my mind off the divorce. He even got me to laugh a few times. But when we had to go back and meet with Jared and Bastard, my mood went back down to where it's been the past few weeks.
Bastard had the appropriate paperwork and after a review of it, Jerry told me it was okay to sign. My signature sealed the deal. Our court date is one week from today. Until then I get to stress about it. I know everything will work out fine, but the legal system always makes me nervous.
On my way home, I knew my finances would be pressed for a little while. I'm going to have to start looking harder for an apartment. Actually, there is this complex that I've already checked out and I like it, but I want to make sure there isn't a better one out there somewhere. The owner assured me that I wouldn't find a better deal for a two bedroom and bathroom apartment though.
The past week has been incredibly stressful on me. Oh, I guess I should catch you up on some things. First off, when Andrew shot me he failed. The bullet only grazed my shoulder. It was enough to cause me immense pain though. The doctor who patched me up said that I was extremely lucky. What else was extremely lucky was how fast Austin arrived at the house after Travers pushed the panic button. He arrested Julie on sight then took her away. He tells me that she'll be spending the rest of her life in jail. As for Andrew, well, his life ended that afternoon.
It's been a month and a half since that incident. When Jared came home after work that night he was shocked that Julie and Andrew broke into our home. He was generally concerned about Travers and Keegan which made me feel a little better. His concern for me was nonexistent, however. I didn't care though and I still don't.
I pulled up to the house. Travers and Keegan were outside wrestling around on the grass.
"Hey, what are you guys doing? You should be in the house." I said to them.
"We're just playing around," Keegan giggled, running up to me. He took my briefcase for me and rushed me inside.
"All right, what are you guys so happy about?"
"Well, the board called and left a message." Travers grinned. "It's on the answering machine."
I quickly walked to the phone and pushed play. The message it played would change my life forever.
"Hello, Mr. Delfino, this is Mrs. Harper. I have some good news. Your probation is officially removed. Congratulations on making it! Now, I hope to see an improvement in your attendance otherwise we will be having more problems. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact me." The machine stopped the message leaving me to standing there with a feeling inside of me. It was a feeling of hope that maybe my life will work out.
"We figured you'd be really happy about that." Travers said.
I stayed silent for a moment letting what I just heard sink into me. Once it sunk as deep as it could go, I said happily, "Let's go out and celebrate!"
"Sweet!" Keegan shouted, running to the front door.
I casually walked to the door with Travers following. Keegan announced that he felt like pizza so that's where I drove us. Throughout dinner I thought about how I could break the news to the boys about the divorce. They still have no idea what's going on. On the way home from dinner, I figured now would be as best a time as any. They're both happy and laughing so maybe it won't affect them that much.
"Guys, I need to talk to you about something important." I said calmly.
"Yeah, dad?" Keegan laughed.
I took a deep breath to try to calm my frazzled nerves, but it didn't work at all. So, I figured I should just get it over with. It's now or never. Oh, look I'm stalling! "I'm..." I had to pause to breathe; I couldn't breathe. "I'm...um...feeling sick from that pizza."
They both gave me a quizzical look. "Oh, um, okay." Travers said.
Jared was home when we pulled into the driveway. I'm surprised he wasn't outside wanting to kick my ass for what I pulled in the meeting earlier. Obviously I know that he didn't rape Travers, but I was desperate. He had a good chance at taking more custody than fifty-fifty because of my track record. Jared was washing dishes when we came in.
"I brought you and Torry a pizza." I set the pizza on the island then walked out of the kitchen. For the past couple of weeks, I've been sleeping on the couch. It's not too bad, but after a while the damn things seems to get harder and harder each night; no pun intended.
* * * *
"Hi, baby," I said happily, awaiting my morning kiss.
"Ooh, hello there," he said. "And how are you this fine morning?"
"I've been better," I stated.
"Huh? Oh," Trevor bit the bait and leaned in to give me a kiss. "There, how are you now?"
"Much better now," I sighed. "Things are getting serious at home. Tyler still hasn't told me or Keegan they're getting a divorce. I can't be the one to explain that to Keegan." I scratched my head.
"Well, I'm sure he'll do it soon. I mean, you said that they both left yesterday so maybe they had one of those property meetings or whatever they are." Trevor said.
"Yeah, how much longer can he keep it a secret?"
* * * *
"All right, Mr. Delfino, thank you for your purchase. I hope you enjoy your time here." the manager said, extending his hand for me to shake.
I did shake it, but I was trembling with anxiety. "Thank you,"
"So, when are you going to be moving in?" he asked.
"Tomorrow," I quickly blurted out. "The sooner the better." I walked out of the office and let out a sigh of relief. The divorce is going along great. Five days after the meeting and here I am already buying an apartment. I guess that's not bad, but it just feels so weird. In three days I am officially divorced. The kids still don't even know. I do have a plan to tell them though.
The next day after I woke up from a great sleep, I jumped in the shower and quickly got ready. Jared has refused to give anything in the house up, except me, so I have to go out and buy furniture for my new apartment. By the time I got ready it was already one. I asked Travers and Keegan if they wanted to go shopping with me and of course they did. Jared and Torry went out to see a movie they told me. It was so nice of Jared to invite his other sons.
"So, dad, where are we going?" Travers asked.
"Well, I have something I want to show you guys, but it's a surprise." I smiled. I drove them to the apartment complex. Both boys already had confused looks on their faces. When I pulled into a parking spot in front of my door they really got confused.
"What are we doing here?" Keegan asked.
"Let's go inside," I ignored Keegan's question and got out. Unlocking the door, my heart began to race at incredible speeds. "Well, let me show you guys around. It has a nice little kitchen, dining room, living room, two bedrooms, and two bathrooms." The three of us walked around the apartment checking out every detail.
"Why are we here?" Travers asked.
"Ooh, and we have a patio through the sliding glass-"
"Dad," Travers interrupted. "What the hell is going on?"
I took a deep breath and leaned against the wall. "Guys, I don't know how to tell you this, but Jared and I are...we're...getting a divorce." The words stung me yet again.
"I know," Travers calmly stated.
"What's that mean?" Keegan asked.
"It means that Jared and I won't be living in the same house anymore." I explained easily, sliding down the wall.
"Well, who's gonna take care of us?" he shakily let out.
"Oh, honey, me and Jared are still gonna take care of you guys. I brought you here today for you two to get acquainted with your new home." Keegan started crying. "Come here, baby," I caught him as he fell into my arms.
"Did I do something wrong?" he cried.
"No, no, you and Travers didn't cause this at all. Our divorce is between me and Jared only. You two are perfect." His sobbing turned harder. "Actually, you guys are almost perfect." Keegan and Travers both let out a small chuckle. "Travers, how did you know about the divorce?"
"I overheard some stuff," he admitted.
After a few minutes of letting Keegan get the crying out of his system, I told them that we were going furniture shopping. We needed beds, dressers, a couch, and a dining room table. Most of the smaller items like pots, pans, towels and things like that are mine and I have the receipts to prove it so Jared won't be able to keep that stuff.
The salesman at the furniture store was semi-helpful. He continually tried to sell me things that I refused at least three times. Once out of that store with my set purchases I drove us home, but after some lunch. The furniture was to be delivered tomorrow at ten.
Travers and Keegan helped me pack my things so that I could take them to the apartment. The three of us had a blast moving things. We made at least three trips. My Murano was crammed full clothes, towels, pots, pans, TVs, and school stuff. I did need my desk, but Keegan would have to stay home because I'd need to collapse the rear seats. Back at the apartment, we just unloaded everything. Since there was no furniture I couldn't really put my clothes or anything away. The manager told me that new carpet and tile had just been laid down so I wasn't worried about my clothes getting dirty.
"Dad, who are we going to stay with?" Keegan asked me randomly.
I stopped folding the towels that got messed up. "Bud, you and Travers will be at Jared's house for a few days then mine. Unless you want to stay somewhere more, but you'd have to discuss it with me and Jared." I felt bad for Keegan, poor thing.
"Do me and Travers have to share rooms?"
"Yep, I'm sorry that it can't be any other way."
"It's okay, I like sleeping with him."
"Good then," I smiled.
It was ten o'clock when we got done moving everything in and unpacking things from boxes. The boys were exhausted as was I so I called it a night. On the way home, Keegan suddenly got sick. He threw up in a box, but as I was looking back to make sure he was all right I failed to see the man that was crossing the street in front of me.
"Tyler!" Travers blurted out.
I looked forward just in time to see the guy walking. I slammed down the brake pedal and we came to a screeching halt just feet from him. The pungent smell of rubber filled my nostrils. White smoke enclosed the Murano. As the smoke settled, the man was stunned still. I got out and went up to him.
"I am so sorry, so sorry." I said in a panic. My heart was beating a million miles a second. "My son threw up and I just looked back for a second..."
"Hey, you didn't hit me. It's all right." the man said.
"Are you sure? Where are you headed? I'll give you a ride." I said.
"Really, I'm fine. And I'm out walking for a reason."
"Oh," I wiped my eyes. Embarrassment flowed through me as I realized I was crying without even knowing it.
"Aww, are you all right?" He squeezed my shoulder.
"I'm sorry. I've just been under a lot of stress lately then I almost run you over. It kind of just iced the cake." I sighed.
"Well, I'm sorry to hear that, but don't worry about me. I've been in worse situations than this. I should have looked before crossing anyways. I'm Alan by the way." He extended his hand to me.
I shook it apprehensively. "Tyler Delfino,"
"Delfino? Are you the one that was in the paper a few weeks ago?" Alan asked with a huge grin.
"Yeah, I am," I bashfully admitted. I had been the talk of the town up until about a week ago due to the incident at the house.
"Well, I'm sorry to hear about your divorce as well. Your husband is an awfully stupid man to be giving you up." I blushed brightly. "Look, I have to run, but I'd like to take you out to dinner some time."
"W-what?" I stuttered.
"Unless you don't want to?"
"Um, I don't know. I mean, my divorce isn't even final yet and I don't think I'd be the best date ever in my current condition." I was making excuses for myself.
"Well, here's my card in case you change your mind. Hope to talk to you later, and it was nice meeting you." He ran off before I could say the same. I looked at the card.
"A and M Real Estate," I read aloud. I got back in my Murano and checked on Keegan. He fell asleep in Travers's arms. "How are you, Travers?"
"I'm still a bit shaken up." he said.
"You're kind of a hero. If you wouldn't have said anything I would've hit Alan."
"Yeah, the guy,"
"He's kind of cute, you know, for an older guy."
"Older? He's probably the same age as me."
"I said older," he laughed.
"Whatever," I scoffed.
* * * *
"No, babe, it's pretty cool. I do have to share a room with Keegan, but I don't really mind." I explained.
"That's cool," he yawned.
"Oh, I was up late. I couldn't sleep for some reason." he said tiredly.
"Aww, I wish you would've called me. I could've made you sleepy." I seductively spoke.
Trevor chuckled. "I didn't want to mess your beauty sleep up. You need as many hours as you can get after all."
"Whatever!" I shrieked.
"Just kidding, babe," he said, catching his breath. "You know you're the most gorgeous person in the world."
"Yeah, well..." I trailed off with a smile on my face. The greatest thing about Trevor is that he can always make me smile no matter how down or upset I am. "Tyler's court date is tomorrow. It'll be official. I'll have to be split among the two of them."
"You told me that that was all settled though."
"It is kind of, but according to Tyler, Jared's been trying to take everything away from him. I just hope that me and Keegan aren't next."
"Jared has no legit reason that Tyler can't have split custody."
"Yeah, I guess,"
"So, what time are you gonna pick me up today? I'm dying to see the apartment."
"In about thirty minutes," I said. "I just have to wait for Tyler to come back then I'll ask him."
"Oh, where'd he go?"
* * * *
I was out shopping for food for my new home. I got plenty of meat, chips, bread, fruits, vegetables, cheese, seasonings, noodles, ready-to-make items, and milk. For some reason all that food just didn't seem like enough to me. To an average person that may be a lot of food, but with the way I cook that food just seems to disappear in a matter of days.
With one last thing on my list being some cleaning items I went to that specific aisle. The aisle came into view and just as I was getting ready to turn the corner someone stopped my cart.
"You have a habit of running into people don't you?"
Alan turned the corner. "You almost run me over in a car last night and now you're trying to finish the job with a shopping cart."
"I'm sorry," I grinned.
"Nice to see you again," Alan smiled.
"So, have you thought about that dinner?"
"It's only been one night," I laughed.
"Yeah, well, if you're not ready still I'll understand. You still have my card I hope so give me a call." He walked away casually.
Jared and whoever he's still cheating on me with suddenly flashed in my mind. He could have an affair in the middle of our marriage but I couldn't have one the day before our divorce? Ah, what the hell!
"Wait!" I loudly said, spinning around quickly. Alan stopped and faced me. "I'm free tonight,"
A huge smile appeared on his face. "When and where?"
"I don't know. It's been so long since I've dated. Jared was actually my first boyfriend..." I cleared my throat, painful memories filling my mind.
"Are you sure you're ready? Because it's really okay if you're not. I mean, I'll understand."
"No, I'm positive," I tried smiling. "How about eight at that steak place on Fifth Street?"
"Great, can't wait then. See you tomorrow night."
I breathed a sigh of relief and continued down the chemical aisle. Finishing up my shopping, I paid for everything and then rushed home. If I'm to go on a date I'll need some help with it. And who better to ask than Travers? I actually have no one else to go to anyways.
"Okay, I think you should go with the dark blue shirt. It brings out your eyes and it just looks good." Travers said.
"Yeah? I thought I should just wear the black shirt." I mumbled.
"You've got to look your best tonight. It's been years since you last dated. Actually, you've never dated have you?"
"Thanks for pointing out the obvious. I've never had to impress anyone either. Jared's always been able to be impressed by just me. Now I have to work hard at this. I'm not even sure I'm ready to start dating. Jared and I aren't even truly divorced until tomorrow." I sat on my new bed. "Maybe I should call Alan and cancel."
"No!" Travers shouted. "Just because Jared decided to break your heart doesn't mean you have to keep it broken. You're a hot guy. You're still young. Now, put that black shirt on and take me home! I'm hungry." He then began to laugh hysterically.
"Fine, go wait in the car." I quickly changed shirts and checked myself in the mirror. The man staring back at me looked pretty good. He's wearing a black shirt that's under a black jacket with-of course-black pants. Ah, and let's not forget the black shoes. The man worried about appearing too dark, but his son reassured him that he looked hot.
I drove Travers home. When we got there, Keegan came running out saying he had something in his room to show me. As much as I didn't want to go in there for the fear of seeing Jared, I did anyways, but only for my son. Sure as the sky is blue Jared was watching TV in the living room. Luckily for me, though, I just went straight up the stairs into Keegan's room.
The item he wanted to show me wasn't really an item so much as it was a new level he got to on his video game. Since that was a complete waste of time I figured I might as well give in and let him show me it. After ten minutes, though, I told him I had to go on my date. Both boys walked me downstairs. Unfortunately, Jared was just passing by.
"What are you doing here?" he asked softly.
"It's still my house until tomorrow. I have the right to be here." I said calmly.
"Well, don't you look hot tonight." he mentioned.
"Yeah, I have a date with a hot, single man and I intend to French the hell out of him." I smugly let out. Travers took a hint and drug Keegan back upstairs.
"Hope you have fun then," Jared said. I almost detected a hint of jealousy in his words.
"What about you? Doesn't your other man take you out?"
"Oh," I said, looking at my fingernails. "Too bad,"
"Well, gotta go meet him. He's taking me out to that new steak place on Fifth Street."
"You'll definitely have fun then," Jared said kind of sadly. "Good bye."
He shut the door behind me. My mood suddenly went from excited and happy to depressed and unsure. Even seeing him now brings back so many painful memories. I still don't even know why he cheated on me, and still is cheating on me. Whatever, though. Tonight is my night. I won't let Jared ruin it for me.
It's impossible to grasp just how powerful love is. It can sustain us through trying times or motivate us to make extraordinary sacrifices. It can force decent men to commit the darkest deeds. Or compel ordinary women to search for hidden truths. And long after we're gone, love remains, burned into our memories. We all search for love. But some of us, after we've found it, wish we hadn't. (© by Marc Cherry, 2004)
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Hello, everyone. Two days before I finished A Promise Well Kept I decided I would definitely be doing a threequel. So for those of you who sent me those horribly rude e-mails I do sincerely hope you feel like a jerk (and that IS putting it nicely) haha.
I hope you all enjoyed this chapter. As always feel free to send me your words to the e-mail given at the top. Also feel free to join my group at this address!. And while you're there go ahead and vote for the next story I write!
And don't forget to purchase A Life So Changed. You may purchase it here: Bobby's Storefront. If you liked the story online, wait until you see it in print! It would mean the world to me if you bought a copy! Thanks again!