joining forces by juleshg

27 Jun

Susan heard the knock at the door and checked her watch.  It was 10:30 at night; who in the world would be dropping by unannounced at this time of night?

As she walked to the front door she paused briefly to pick up the school books and sweater that her daughter Sara had left lying around the living room.  When she reached the door Susan was surprised to see Lindsay, her ex-husband’s new wife standing at the front door with a briefcase and a bottle of wine.

She opened the door slowly.  “Lindsay?  Is Sara expecting you?”  While her teenage daughter had built and uneasy truce with her step-mother over the past year, Susan could not imagine why Lindsay would have come to visit Sara in the middle of the week.

“No, I was looking for you and I was kind of hoping that Sara was already in bed.  I came by because I wanted to speak with you privately.  May I come in?”

Nodding slowly, Susan stepped back and ushering Lindsay into the foyer of the small condo.

“Thanks.  Look, I know this is a little weird but we need to talk,” Lindsay said as she kicked off her shoes and followed Susan back to the living room.

“This is a nice place Susan.  I don’t think I have ever been here before.  It is a lot different than I expected it to be.”  Lindsay chatted nervously trying to fill the awkward silence with small talk.

“Lindsay, I hate to be rude, but I have to get up early tomorrow for work.  Is there something I can do for you?”

“Actually Susan, there is something that I can do for you.”

Susan sat down on the sofa and stared at the young woman across from her.   Lindsay’s appearance tonight was much different than usual.  The short skirt and trendy t-shirts had been replaced by a tasteful business suit that closer to something Susan herself might wear.  Susan had nothing against the younger woman – in fact, she often felt sorry for her wondering if Lindsay knew what she had gotten herself into marrying a man like Peter.

“I’m a little confused here.  Why would my ex-husband’s new wife make her way across town to visit me?  I am sure you a lovely person but we have never even had a conversation beyond ‘Is Peter home?’ and ‘one moment, please.  I’ll get him’.”

“True…  But I realized recently that you and I have more in common than I had imagined:  we’ve both been fucked over.”

“Excuse me?”

“Peter.  For the last year I have listened to him rant and rave about your quote/unquote mission to destroy him.  Trying to ruin his reputation with accusations that he cheated on you and has been sleeping with the women at his law firm while he tirelessly defends the innocent from sexual harassment and the like.”  Lindsay’s voice dripped with sarcasm as she described Peter’s tirades.  Susan smiled, she remembered how the man could rant when he was angry.

“Lindsay, I don’t think you really want to get involved in my dispute with Peter.  I understand that you love him and want to protect…”

“You were right.  You are right.”

“Pardon me?”

“You are right.  He is a cheater and I have proof.”  Lindsay smiled as she reached into her giant purse and pulled out a manila envelope which she handed Susan.

Susan opened it slowly and pulled out half a dozen photographs:  Peter at lunch with a young woman; Peter on the street holding hands with the same woman; Peter kissing the young woman;  Peter and the woman entering a hotel.

“I took them earlier today in Boston,” Lindsay explained. “The woman’s name is Kimberly Hall, she is a new paralegal at the firm.”

Susan sat silent and leafed through the photos once again.  “Why…?”

“Why did I take them or why am I giving them to you?  I took them because I am tired of him making a fool of me.  Hiding me in a dead-end job at the mall and thinking he can carry on behind my back because I am too stupid to figure it out.”

“Clearly he misjudged you,” Susan said with a laugh as she held up the photos.

“Susan, I have spent the last two years listening to him complain about the money he has to give you each month to support Sara.  I have been checking our joint accounts and from what I can see, the money he grudgingly pays out each month barely makes a dent in the cost of raising a child.”

Susan nodded slowly.

“When I married Peter he made me sign an iron-clad pre-nup,” Lindsay continued.  “He did not want to make the same mistake twice and I was an idiot.  I trusted him so I signed without asking any questions.   In my hands, these photos are an embarrassment: nothing more, nothing less.  In your hands they are worth a lot more.  If you take these pictures, your lawyer may be able to ‘persuade’ Peter to give you the money you deserve to raise Sara.”

Susan sat silent for several moments just shaking her head.  Finally she nodded to Lindsay.  “That bottle of wine over there, did you bring that for us to share?”

Lindsay smiled and handed the bottle to Susan, happy to have found an ally.  “So Susan, where do we go from here?”


2 Responses to “joining forces by juleshg”

  1. ingridfnl June 28, 2010 at 12:43 pm #

    awesome. this is a really great and satisfying story. more! more!

    • juleshg July 4, 2010 at 6:10 pm #

      If you are looking a timeline, this would took place a few days before the peice I wrote for the ‘genre’ challenge. Don’t worry. Peter is going to get his due.

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