Latest Forum Posts:


Dear John--part 3 of 15

“His life was a perfect graveyard of buried hopes.”


The next nights all I could think about was him screwing her. In my mind’s eye I could see the kids, Sarah and Mia, running into the house and calling for him: “daddy, daddy!” I was sick at heart and ruined of body. Jeff said I needed to move on and live my life, but I could see no upside to that. I just wanted to die. Dying would be good: an end to all of the pain and emotional suffering.

The odd thing: I felt lost and alone and empty, but I didn’t actually hate the two of them. Don’t know why; I should hate them shouldn’t I? They’d taken the last shred of hope that I might have been able to lay claim to and trampled it in the dirt. Money they’d offered me: talk about insults. Oh, and they’d allow me open visitation, but it was them allowing me; I’d have no rights that they didn’t approve of; their, his money would see to that. And there it was, the reason she’d dumped me. If I’d been rich she’d still be with me, I was certain of that. But then again, with the face I now had maybe not.

I remembered those first dates in high school. She’d made it plain then that she expected her man to be a barn burner when it came to making the geld. I had to admit that I’d failed her in that respect. So maybe this was my own fault at least in part. I was a loser when it came to the things that she most cared about. In a sense the thought made me feel a tad better. In the final analysis, she’d turned out to be nothing but a cheap ass gold digger. I’d be telling her that in the unlikely event that I would ever see her again.

But the babies, I would miss them. Oh my, I would indeed miss them. But I could not be around the cheaters not on any level. And a cripple and ugly: the kids would distance themselves from me in the end without the two of them even having to try to keep me at arm’s length. No, the children were lost to me too.


The man had money. I could envision the possibility that she would be trying to hunt me down when she found out that I hadn’t signed the divorce papers. I’d made up my mind about that; no contact that was the ticket. I would just disappear from the radar. I’d have my disability and my freedom for whatever the hell those would be worth.

My dad was the only one I could envision making any time for. I’d eventually need to let him know that I was okay, well, alive but that I would be moving on and far away. I didn’t know where at this point in time. But far enough that they couldn’t just come by and harass me. She could get her divorce anyway; I was certain of that. Abandonment would have to be the basis. And abandonment was what it would be for sure. I was gonna be abandoning the hell out of them!

I did need a bit of help though. I had to get out of Germany before the evildoers pulled strings to find me if indeed they’d bother, which I was pretty sure that they could and likely would do. I did not want them to find me and discover the physically ruined semi-human I was.

The day the general and the colonel had come into the hospital to award me my medals, General Shelby had said that if I ever needed anything to let him know. Well, I was about to call in that marker. I knew he could do it. I wanted to be discharged early and on the quiet, and to have my disability checks begin immediately. Those along with a ticket stateside on any military transport available would be all I would need to start my new so-called life.

I would need to find a place that had a VA clinic nearby, oh, and a few good bars, maybe a VFW pub or something.


“So you’re leaving right away?” said Jeff, “and headed for Tucson, not Phoenix.”

“Yes, General Shelby came through for me,” I said. “I gotta get outta here. And Jeff . . .”

“Yes?” he said.

“It ain’t likely, but if the cheaters ever contact you to find me, you don’t know anything. Okay?” I said.

“You got it, man,” he said.

“Thanks, old bud. I don’t know what I’d be doing if it weren’t for you and the guys,” I said.

“You’d do the same for any of us. Hell, you already have. We all stand together, flat fucking period,” he said.

“Damn straight,” I said.


“Abbs, so far the only ones around here who are in the know about what we are doing are you, me, your parents, and couple of our friends. When are you going to inform his dad? I mean the man is the girls’ grandfather,” said Owen. “And now that you’ve sent the letter . . .”

“I guess right away. I mean Sam will probably clue him now he’s for sure gotten the letter. His dad’s been ill for some time so he hasn’t been around too much. I did take the girls to see him last month, but apart from that time . . .

“But Owen, it’s been more than a month,” she said. “The Army’s slow but not that slow.”

“I’m sure he’s gotten the letter, Abbs; he just isn’t going to answer it,” said Owen. She sighed and nodded.

“So what am I going to do if he doesn’t sign the papers,” she said. He smiled.

“If he doesn’t sign them the divorce will still go through by default. He does have to be notified, but if we can’t find him then the grounds switch to abandonment. I have Cedric on it. Trust me, four more months and it’ll be final and that’ll be the end of it,” said Owen.

“Divorce by letter: it’s so cold a thing to do to that good man,” she said. He nodded.

“We’ll do right by him,” he said. “Basically, he’ll get half a million and open visitation with the children. And, like we’ve said and planned if he wants I can get him a job that he can do and be proud of. He does have to give a little, but given that he does; he can be set for life and start over.”

“I know. But, Sam is such a proud man. I can envision him just not giving a damn about any of it. I know I stung him; my words in that letter for sure stung him. I so want to talk to the man and make things personal and right, and well, right,” she said.

“I know you do. If when he returns and doesn’t actually run off, we’ll do our best to sit him down and explain things to him, try and make him understand that neither of us could help ourselves and that we are here for him,” he said. “He just has to let us.”

“I know, I know,” she said.


The plane ride was bumpy and loud and uncomfortable but it was direct to Tucson except for one short stop in Fort Stewart, Georgia. I was settled into the Hot House Motel—that was actually the name of the place—and kicking back.

My initial disability check was also already deposited. I had cut the woman off from getting the direct deposit of my regular paycheck of which I still had one of coming. So, I was going to be able to get a decent place soon. It wouldn’t be no castle on the Rhine, and I’d actually seen one of those on the ride to the airfield, but it would be good enough for an old soldier like me. Well, okay, not an old one at age 27 almost 28, but a veteran at all events.

I hadn’t heard from the woman since the Dear John letter that she’d sent me. It seemed odd being back and not seeing her or the babies. The babies were five or six years old now. Beautiful I was sure.

The military had seen fit to give me a decent wheelchair. It was small and collapsible for cab rides, kinda neat actually. I still technically had a ’93 Silverado back in Phoenix, but to get it I would have to have checked in with the baddies, so I just figured to write it off and forget it. It was nigh on ten years old and probably needed work at all events, so sayo-fuckin-nara. I’d get some new wheels with hand controls as soon as I could afford them. I’d get by. I didn’t need their fucking charity.

The good news for me was that the Hot House Motel was next door to the Hot House Bar and Grill. Was I a lucky sonovabitch or what!

The Hot House as a residence lasted one week. My last regular paycheck arrived at the end of the week and I was able to pay the first and last on a little, 600 square foot, one bedroom with all utilities paid except phone which I didn’t have one of anyway.

“I’d been hanging at the HH B&G all most every night during the week that I’d lived next door. The looks I got from strangers when they saw my facial injuries were hurtful. No one ever sat near me at the bar, and a couple of the patrons, women, on day two of my stay, were clearly talking about me in low tones and their furtive glances in my direction were not empathetic. Nobody said anything, but I was clearly an unpopular newbie. Well, that was just too damn bad for them. I wasn’t about to just stay in my room waiting to die; they’d just need to get used to me being there.


“The Army had my address. They had to have it. My VA medical, my disability checks, my records if I did finally find some work somewhere: all depended in some way or other on them, the Army, being able to locate me or verify that I was a real person with a real record of service.

At any rate, them, the Army, having my records made it possible for somebody to find me. The cheaters had finally gotten whomsoever to get the Army to tell them where to deliver the divorce papers. Her new guy clearly did have the bucks: and he clearly had influence.

They were delivered through the mail slot in the door of my new apartment. I could see what they were without even opening the manila envelope that they came in. But, I did open them and I did read them. But, I did not sign them.

As she said, she asked for nothing. And, as she also said, I would be given money: a half million was what she’d, they’d, come up with to bribe me. Was I tempted? Not in the least. The guilt she must have been feeling to offer me that kind of money had to be enormous, well knowing how important money was to her. No, I wanted her to feel some small smidgen of the emotional pain that I was feeling. And then there were the children: “The respondent shall be entitled to have unlimited and unrestricted visitation and access to his children as per the wish and with the consent of the petitioner.” How fucking wonderful was that—she was giving me permission to see my kids!

There was one further codicil, actually a note, included with the papers that she must have prevailed upon her lawyer, some Cedric Johnson J.D. of Phoenix, Arizona, to send along with everything else. It was an offer of a job in the tech field. Details were not specified, but she posited that the pay and working conditions would be first water. I had to smile at the brash temerity that she exhibited in making me an offer she probably felt I couldn’t refuse. If she did indeed feel that way, she was dead wrong. I wheeled myself over to the tiny fireplace my apartment was afforded and burned her papers then and there. Me not signing them wouldn’t stop the divorce, probably not even delay it, but what the hell, she was no longer mine regardless of what any court ever said.


She was pacing up and down, thinking. Her man was out making money on a truly large scale. For the first time in her life, she felt truly secure, and she was grateful to God in heaven that she had met and had fallen in love with her new man Owen Cord, and he with her.

No more worrying over the bills. No more needing to worry about the electric bill—they could be truly worrisome in the summer months because of the air-con—or the car insurance or the food or any of it. And her new residence: five bedrooms, five baths, three car garage; all on five cultivated acres north of the city off highway 93 near Wickenburg; oh and a two bedroom two bath guest house in the back of the property. Then there was the condo on the ninth floor of the Milford Building in town. The irony in this last: The Milford was where her used to be man once worked as a security guard.



And what of her used to be man. He had not responded to the divorce petition. She kinda thought that he might not, and, he had not. It was over three years gone now since he’d gone off to war. He wasn’t killed or maimed or any of that she was sure. Surely she would have heard had he been. Was he still in Afghanistan? He had to be, she thought.

She had a random thought. His truck, Sam’s truck, was taking up space in the garage of the guest house. She was sure that if nothing else, when he came back, he’d want his truck; it was his baby. Owen had had it serviced regularly and in addition had had a couple of minor dents repaired that they, she and Sam, had not been able to afford fixing before he left for his tour of duty with the Army.

Three years and the children had grown. They were second graders now. They were active and she and they were all awaiting the return of their warrior ex-husband and father.

She heard the front door open and close. Her man was home, home from the money wars. Well, at least he couldn’t get shot at on his job.

“Hi, honey,” he said striding into the room.

“Daddy!” squealed the twins as they ran to him. He scooped them up and kissed them on their respective cheeks before setting them down. In the almost three years since he’d met them, he had pretty much taken over the position of fatherhood to the two of them. They knew who their bio-dad was, but he’d been gone so long, and their mother had been more than supportive of their new dad’s desire to be a father to them. Contentment reigned in Casa de Cord.

She came to him and melded herself to his muscular six-foot one-inch inch athlete’s body. One thing that could be said for Owen Cord was that he did take care of himself: lean and muscular and movie star handsome just like her used to be man, he was a catch.

“Dinner in thirty,” she said.

“Good, I’m hungry,” he said. “You talk to Harriet? I know you were going to.”

“No, no, not yet. Probably tomorrow. She said she would be driving over after she got off work. She’s going to stay for the weekend if that’s all right, honey,” said Abigail. “She’s promised to do my hair.”

“Of course it’s fine,” he said. “She’s one of us.”

“Thank you for that,” she said. “And she is kinda one of us isn’t she.”

“Indeed,” he said.

“Did you talk to Cedric?” she said.

“Yes, he’s made the necessary adjustments. I know you didn’t want to do it, Abigail, but it’s time. It’s only a formality in any case. Abandonment instead of mere mutual agreement,” he said.

“I know. I just don’t want him to feel like I’m kicking him when he’s down,” she said.

“I know, and you’re not,” he said. “Cedric says he’ll try to expedite things. We’re looking at maybe three months before we can actually make things legal,” he said. She nodded.

“Sounds good to me,”



“Hey girl, welcome to Casa de Cord,” said Abigail.

“Thanks,” said Harriet Bridger. “So what’s the latest on the missing loved one?”

“Nothing, not so much as a postcard. Frankly, I’m worried about the guy. I mean, I guess on one level no news is good news, but it is worrisome not knowing anything. He should be back by now. But, I guess he’s still over there,” said Abby.

“Hmm, yes, makes sense I guess or you would’ve gotten a whiff for sure. I mean the babies and all,” said Harriet.

“Yes, and the Army would have notified me if . . .” started Abby.

“Yes, them’s the rules. Well, they are since you’re still technically married, right?” said Harriet.

“Yes, and Owen checked that out for us. So anyway, I’m worried, but not terrified, not at the moment at any rate,” said Abby.

“Hmm, good,” she said. “He’s still just an office geek right?”

“Yeah, I guess. That’s the last I heard anyway,” she said. “I’d been kinda bad about writing him. In fact, the last letter I got from him was him complaining that I hadn’t been writing often enough. He didn’t know about Owen then. But now he does and I figure that that’s the reason he hasn’t responded to my last letter to him,” she said. “He’s pissed and I don’t blame him.”

“Yeah, makes sense, I guess,” said Harriet.

“He’ll have to contact us at some point right?” said Abigail. “I mean he’ll want to see his children, right?”

“For sure, especially since it’s two little girls. He probably is worried that your new man will be taking his place with them. That would be almost worse than you divorcing him. I’ve seen stuff like that before. You need to make sure he knows that he’s the daddy and Owen is the stepdaddy or uncle or whatever,” said Harriet.

“In my letter to him, I made that very point. I figured that he might be concerned about something like that happening. I made damn sure I spelled it out for him. I just hope he believes me. Know what I mean,” she said.


Since finding my downtown apartment—number 104 at the Gloria Arms—I hadn’t gone out much except to the nearby grocery store for food. I had no TV and didn’t want one. I was not going to be a couch potato, not on any level.

I was able to get around in my chair pretty much okay. I was doing a lot of reading. I was lucky there because there was a mobile library that tooled through the complex once a week. I’d never been a reader before, but my bud Jeff Michaels, ex-sergeant USA, had turned me on to reading when I was in country. No TV where we were, so I was kinda weaned off of the need for it I guess would be the way to say it.

Oh, and lest I forget, Jeff Michaels and Claire Cunningham had both moved to Tucson; talk about a lucky break for me. Claire was ex-lieutenant Claire of bad day in Afghanistan fame: she was the nurse in the Humvee that day.

I wanted to get a job and hopefully as a computer geek somewhere. I knew it was going to be tough looking the way I did and me being in the chair and all. But, I was hoping. I mean I did have a resume now, one from the United States Army. I was going to be hanging out at the local VFW to see if somebody there could turn me on to something, oh, and to drink. The only problem was that it, the nearest VFW, was a good three miles from the Gloria. Well, maybe I could find a cheap cabbie to get me there.


They’d been sitting on the couch together, his arm languidly resting on the back of it. Their conversation? About her ex-husband to be of course.

“It’s been too long,” said Owen. “The man doesn’t want to be found or contacted. Anyway, now that the divorce is final, how about we set the date?”

“Yes, it’s time,” she said. “I’ve been thinking the same thing.”

“June first?” he said. She smiled.

“Sounds like a winner,” she said. He came to her and took her in his arms.

She leaned into him and felt, something, safe maybe, secure. She thought back to her man overseas. She was never able to get him to want to be the provider he could have been. The one thing that she needed from her man, her used to be man, was to feel secure, and she never had. And now that lack, that weakness, had ended them. More’s the pity, she thought.

She felt the man graze her breasts with his hand and she shivered.

Her own hand rested almost absently on his thigh. He shifted trying to wordlessly encourage her to reach for his hardness. She smiled. He was no mystery to her. She knew what he wanted and she giggled temporarily denying him his need.

He roughly grabbed her breasts and squeezed them punishing her for teasing him.

“You gonna tease me you’re gonna pay,” he said, but he was smiling.

“Sorry, master,” she said. “Was I teasing you?”

He didn’t even think of responding to a question that ridiculous. He pulled her down on the floor with him and began fiercely feeling her up. He slid down her legs, and, reaching under her, relieved her of her panties which he unceremoniously tossed aside.

His hand cupped her barren labia and a finger invaded her. She grunted her discomfort, but it was a good kind of discomfort. He was her master and she his plaything, and she loved it.

He rose to a kneeling position and loosened his belt. She found his zipper and pulled it down. She was no longer merely surrendering to a strong male; she was actively participating in her own inevitable screwing. Already damp from his manually teasing her slit she was ready for him to take her.

He loomed above her his face a mask of animal lust. He pushed at her pussy with the nob of his cock and gained a partial entry. He pulled back slightly and pushed again. He was inside of her. A few more push-pulls and he was all the way in. He paused; then, he began screwing her slowly.

“Time to get to it,” she said. “Now you’re teasing me. Take me, okay!”

He didn’t answer her but he did follow her instructions as he began ramming her mercilessly. He was panting from the effort and for her part, she was squeaking out unintelligible mutterings. He stiffened but a millisecond behind her doing the same thing.

The heat from his cumming all but scorched her insides.

“That’s what I mean,” she said. “That is indeed what I mean.”

“Good, very good,” he said, as he rolled off of her gasping for breath.


Settling in, if that’s what I was, was turning out to be super boring. I ate, I slept, and spent some time on my little nothing six by eight semi-patio reading, and that was it. My whole life boiled down to food, sleep and pulp fiction.

I did have my $2K monthly to get by on. It was enough. It wasn’t like I needed a lot more; I didn’t have no woman. There weren’t any women out there that would be interested in a guy like me, not like me. I was nothing more than a taller version of Quasimodo. Oh, and the legendary Q-man could at least walk; I couldn’t even do that. Fuckin’-A even Quasimodo had more chance with women than me.

I had to get out of the house, well, apartment. A cab would get me to the nearest sawdust joint where I could scare the patrons into leaving for less distressing venues.

The good news for me was that the apartment complex I was calling home furnished phonebooks to all of us. I found the cab numbers, called one of them to get my ass picked up. I hoped it wouldn’t be a female driver: I didn’t need the look I was certain to get. A guy driver wouldn’t be so bad; I didn’t care what guys thought of my looks. Hell, I could laugh right along with them. Too bad I wasn’t gay; there might have been some hope for me there; but then again, probably not.


The Roman Candle—they served what they claimed was authentic Italian pizza—wasn’t exactly a sawdust joint, but the tap brew was always just one dollar. I could afford that; a hundred beers a month and I’d still be in the chips, fuckin’-A.

“What can I get for you, guy?” said Tracie Brooks, well she was wearing a name tag.

“Whatever’s cheap and on tap,” I said. She didn’t appear to even notice my face. She sure as hell noticed my chair though. Maybe that’s why she didn’t wanna make any faces at my looks: she felt sorry for me. I figured that that was fair; I felt sorry for me too.

Some guy, a big guy put on some Alan Jackson stuff. Well, in Arizona there twern’t no bars with Jose Carreras on the jukebox. At any rate, I liked country, and I liked Alan Jackson.

I was drinking alone as usual. The jukebox guy gave me a thumbs up at one point when he came up to the bar to get a refill of something dark in an old-fashioned glass.

“Afghanistan?” he said.

“Yeah, but how . . .?” I started.

“You’re too young to be and Iraq vet; and your injuries are clearly war wounds,” he said.

“Well, you’re right on all counts,” I said.

We talked for a little bit. He as it turned out, was a vet too but of Iraq vintage not Afghanistan.

It was my first foray into the social scene around my nothing digs. Well, social scene might be a slight exaggeration. But, it’s the only term that fit. I’d be coming back to the RC. Tracie didn’t look away and the clientele, what I’d seen of it, was generally accepting of me.


“No Harriet, I still haven’t heard anything,” said Abigail.

“That is so strange,” she said. “I mean the Army always advises the family if something happens to one of theirs. Have you talked to his dad?”

“Not lately. He was informed about the divorce and it saddened him. I mean he is the children’s grandfather and will be welcome at the house. But he’s been ill, and hasn’t been around or available hardly at all,” said Abigail.

“You’re still kinda next of kin to the man until you tie the knot next month; I mean you do have two children together so even then . . . You should inquire of the Army. Somebody has to know something,” said Harriet.

“I did try. I went to the guy who recruited him. He was still there at the same place, and asked the questions. He said he’d look into it, but so far nada,” she said.

“Your hubby’s got the bucks, get him on it. A PI maybe,” said Harriet. That got a look from her friend.

“You know that might be the way to go, I mean a PI,” she said.

“Yes, for real,” said Harriet.

“He was supposed to get out, I mean come home after eighteen months, but it’s been almost thirty-six months now. I know he did plan to re-enlist, but that was before he got my letter. So, I don’t know what he did or is doing or any of it,” said Abigail.

“Hmm, yes, I see where you’re coming from,” she said.

“I’m going to take your advice and talk to Owen tonight. I mean about hiring a PI to do the job. He, the both of us really, knows one and she is very good.

“She?” said Harriet.

“Yes, her name’s Velma Reason. She used to be a cop but left the force to go into the investigating business for herself. She’s been very successful, so I’ve heard at any rate. Owen told me so,” said Abigail. “She’s done a bit of work for us before, well, for Owen, I don’t know what for exactly.”

“Hmm, well you should know pretty soon then what’s what,” said Harriet.

“Yes, I suppose so. I just can’t believe he’s still over there, but given everything, maybe he is,” said Abigail. Her friend nodded her understanding of the situation.


The wedding was huge. Both families were in attendance, though the groom’s had to be flown in from Florida.

“Mia and Sarah looked so pretty today,” said Owen, as they undressed in the swank hotel room.

“Yes, they did,” said Abigail.

“Your mom did a great drop dressing them up,” said Owen. Abigail laughed.

“Yes, it took her a month to create all of that stuff. I had a little input though. I should get a tiny bit of the credit,” said Abigail.

“Consider it given.

“Abby, I am so proud to finally be your husband. It’s been too long,” he said.

“And I am happy to be your wife, Owen. I need you, and I can guarantee you that I will be the good and faithful wife that you deserve,” she said.

“The honeymoon will be a time for us and only us,” he said, meaningfully.

She knew what he was talking about. He meant that thoughts of her used to be man would not be allowed to intrude on the next two weeks. Those would be for the two of them only. There would be more to do in trying to get hold of and help the missing man, but those plans and thoughts and efforts would be for another day.


“The trip was wonderful, honey,” she said.

“Trip? What trip” Oh you mean our honeymoon cruise,” he said, and he laughed

“Yes, for sure,” she said. He noticed that she all of a sudden went pensive.

“Honey?” he said.

“We need to do something,” she said. “If he’s dead or wounded or something I need to know. I need closure.” He sighed.

“Okay, I’ll call Velma today. She’ll find out. I guess we should have employed her earlier on,” said Owen.

“Yes, well, I agree. I just need to know if he’s home and avoiding us and his own children or what,” she said. “Frankly, I’m more than a little miffed that the man hasn’t had the gumption to contact us at all or at least me. I was his wife for several years and he is the father of our babies, his and mine. He needs to be around them. I just can’t believe he is so chicken shit as to shine them on. Me, I understand, but the children! No,” she said.

“Yes, well, we’ll get to the bottom of it all soon. With Velma doing her thing, it’ll all soon be out in the open and we can both get closure as you say,” said Owen. “I have to say, I want to have a word with the man myself. I mean I’m the guy that came between the two of you. I share a lot of the responsibility for all that’s gone down.”

“It was inevitable, Owen. I was at a point where I needed my man to man up and be all that he could be and I’m not talking about being in the Army per se. That was just a last resort. It was actually my idea as we’ve talked about. My only concern with it, him joining up, was that I didn’t want him to get hurt. That would have absolutely killed me. I was so relieved when I found out that his computer skills were going to help insulate him from the shooting side of things over there.”

“Yes, that was a benefit. And, I want to help him in that regard. We’ve talked about getting him into the industry. If he will only be the least bit open to us helping him out, all can be good in the end.

“I mean you aren’t the only absolutely stunning and wonderful woman in the world. I’ve seen his pictures. He’s a good looking cuss. He’ll find a mate that he can lure into his orbit soon enough. And hell, I can see to it that he makes a hundred grand annual no problem, and that to start! And that quite apart from the startup nest egg we’ve already offered him.

“In fact honey, hand me that land line there will you,” he said. “I’m calling Velma now, I mean right now.”

The phone was on the wall behind her seat. She reached behind her, got it, and handed it across the table to the man.

He was dialing. “You know the number by heart?” she said.

“Of course,” he said. She does work for me from time to time. One always needs to know what those in our personal business world are up to. I have her on retainer,” he said.

“Hmm, interesting,” she said, but she was smiling.


She put the groceries down on the kitchen counter just as the doorbell chimes announced a visitor. Abigail Cord smiled.

She’d been adamant against hiring a full time maid for the house but had been happy to keep the twice a week cleaning service on the books, and they did do windows.

Answering the door, she was surprised. “Velma!” she said.

“Yes, sorry to just drop by like this,” she said.

“No, no, I’m just expecting the cleaning ladies is all. But, you did surprise me,” she said. “Come in, come in.”

“Thank you, and I do have news,” said Velma Reason.

“Oh my,” said Abigail, as she led her guest into the front room. “Is he all right?”

“I know you and the boss wanted to know as soon as I did about his whereabouts, so I came as soon as I got the info,” she said.

“Okay good, but . . .”

“All I have been able to find out at this point is that he is alive. He is living here, well, in Arizona, in Tucson actually. And, he’s evidently been home for over a year.

“As for his physical status, I haven’t been able to get that yet. That sort of thing is pretty nearly always reserved for family to enquire about and only the family. But, I can get you the contact info you’ll need to get that part of things yourself,” she said.

“But will they give it to me since I’m no longer married to the man?” she said.

“Yes, because you have children together. Technically, you’re still family,” said Velma.

The woman across from her knitted her brow. Yes, she thought, Sam was still a member of the family no matter what, and he deserved to be treated like he was. But, could she convince Sam of that great truth. That was the question.

“So, do you have an address for our missing family member?” said Abigail.

“I do,” said Velma. She handed an envelope across to Abigail.

“Thank you, Velma,” this is a godsend.

“You’re welcome. Well, I need to be going. I’ll be talking to Owen to hear what the two of you decide in terms of keeping me on the case or what all,” said Velma.

“Yes do. And again thank you for everything, Velma. This is very useful and I hope good news,” said Abigail.

“For sure,” she said.

They hadn’t even shared a cup of coffee, but each of them kinda knew that this was not the time for socializing. Velma especially knew the almost desperate state that the woman across from her was in. Her own, Velma’s, husband had died in Kuwait years earlier and, though there’d been no divorce or other domestic problems between them, the horror of learning that her husband had been killed by a roadside bomb was devastating on every level.

The goodbyes between the two women were formal and sincere.


“Yes, Velma called me,” said Owen. “I told her we’d let her know. So, whaddya wanna do?”

“I’m going to go to him. I’m going to pin his high school ass, and demand that he apologize for hanging his children out to dry like he has. I’m thinking about bringing the kids along too. What do you think?” she said.

“Maybe not this first time. I think you need to get the lay of the land and see where he’s at first. If he’s been here in Arizona for more than a year, the meeting might not be what all you might wish for it to be.

“But really, it’s gotta be your call. I will support whatever you decide,” he said.

“Thank you for that. And okay, I will go it alone this first time. Get the lay of the land as you say. You do make a good case for that,” she said.


She knocked on the door of the three bedroom ranchstyle where her ex-husband had been raised. She’d been in it so many times it almost seemed like home to her as well.

The man opened the door. "Abigail?” said Aaron Bradshaw.

“Hello, Aaron,” she said.

“Come in,” he said. “You’ve got news, I’m guessing.”

“I do,” she said.

“Your son is here. Well, in Arizona: Tucson actually. Owen put a PI on it and she was able to track him down. I don’t know any more than that, where he is, but he is alive and I will be going to see him,” she said.

“Abigail, thank you for telling me, not knowing has been a bad thing for me. I have been so worried. But, you intend to see him? I mean under the circumstances . . .” he said.

“Aaron, yes, I need to. He is the father of our children. He cannot just abandon them. Yes, he’s got reason to be angry with me. I’m guilty as charged. But, he really does need to lighten up even so,” she said. The older man nodded.

“The address, can I have it?” he said. She smiled, reached into her coat pocket, pulled out a folded sheet of paper and passed it across to him.

“Thank you,” he said. “It means a lot. I haven’t been feeling too good. I need to see my son. I’ll be going down to Tucson too. When do you plan on going if I may ask?”

“Tomorrow actually. If you like I will call you after the fact,” she said. He nodded.

“If it’s no trouble,” he said. “I have to say, him not calling me, not letting me know he was here, in state, worries me. I don’t know why, but it does worry me.”


“I could go with you if you think it would be a good idea,” said Owen.

“No, I need to do this one alone. I’m the one who dumped him. This is my punishment; I mean facing the music and dealing with his ire,” said Abigail.

“Okay,” he said. “But I am only a phone call away, and I can fly down in less than an hour if need be.”

“Thank you, my husband. I don’t know what I would do without your support,” she said.

“Well, you’ve got it. And, if I need to say it, so does he. Try to convince him of that. Like his dad, I’m worried about him not letting anyone know he’s here too. It’s just too weird for words. I mean his dad, his children at the very least: it’s not normal even in a situation like this one,” he said.

“No it’s not, but I’m tired of trying to guess his motives. Three years and no contact: it’s gotta be a record. Yes, I divorced him. But I also let him know in the letter that he is our babies’ daddy and none other. He should have at least given me a chance to prove that I was telling it straight,” she said. “I know that’s why he’s kept himself out of the picture: he doesn’t trust me. And, I don’t deserve his trust, but he was stupid not to at least make a minimum effort. And his dad . . .”

“Well, I’m here to tell you, it’s not a record, but it is more or less uncommon. And, I agree, he should have at least given you a shot to prove what you told him,” said Owen Cord.


Including her one stop for coffee on the road, it took her two and a half hours to reach the target address in Tucson. It was late in the day when she arrived.

The Gloria Arms, the paper read, apartment 104. The GPS system that Owen had specially ordered and had installed in their cars—a fairly recently available invention she loved—took her right to it. She was more than a little concerned about the neighborhood: definitely a place a woman wouldn’t want to be around and about in at night.

The two-story apartment building was rundown and clearly made for tenants who needed something on the cheap. At least his apartment was likely to be on the ground floor.

She parked and got out. She could see that the units were numbered from left to right. She was able to spot number 104 almost immediately. She slipped through the entrance way that allowed visitors to enter the walkway that passed along the low concrete wall that separated the units from the parking lot.

Going up to the door she hesitated. She wasn’t exactly fearful, but she was at the least uncomfortable. She knocked and waited. No answer. She waited some more. She knocked again, still no answer. He wasn’t home. Well, why would he be? He was single and alone and probably out chasing the girls. She checked her RAZR cell: it was 5:21. Wait or try to locate him: that was the question.

She turned and headed for the office at the front of the complex.

A pasty-faced youth maybe eighteen years of age was flipping through a magazine. She smiled and approached him.

“Excuse me, sir, I wonder if you know where the occupant of number104 might be found?” she said.

“Number 104? That’d be Mister Bradshaw,” he said.

“Yes,” she said. She felt relieved; the man did live there.

“I think he’s down at the VFW clubhouse. Straight west down the boulevard,” he said. He had me call him a cab to take him there earlier,” said the kid.

“Thank you, you’ve been a big help,” she said.


The VFW clubhouse the kid had called it. Well, she guessed, a place where virtually every man jack customer in the place had something in common qualified as a clubhouse.

The clubhouse was large. She’d seen VFW and American Legion bar and grills before, but this one was bigger. There were a lot of cars in the lot too. He obviously didn’t have one: the kid had said he’d called a cab to take him.

She parked, got out and went in. She was wearing a hat and large sunglasses. She’d also had the foresight to dress down for this meeting with her ex: rubbing his nose in her wealth would not have been a winner; that was for damn sure.

The place was dark against the heat of the Arizona August heat. It was also fairly crowded. The bar extended maybe thirty feet down the opposite wall from the entrance. She scanned the place but could not immediately spot her man. She decided to get a beer and find a seat at the bar until she could spot him.

The waitress wearing a cap with military braid on it and a nameplate that read Betty came to her and she ordered a tap. Taking off her sunglasses, she could see better. She was halfway through the draft before she spotted her man. She recognized his hair of all things. He’d turned to his left, presenting his profile toward her, and signaled for Betty. The girl nodded and went to reload the man’s drink.

She smiled. He was seated at a table near the far wall. He was alone. So far she was feeling lucky, nervous but lucky.


She’d dressed down, but everybody else in the place had dressed “downer.” The looks she was getting from the men crowded around the bar and the two pool tables were positively embarrassing. She ignored them, well, in the main.

She approached her target casually. Her heart was in her throat, but this had to be done right. She didn’t want to be harsh in her delivery, but she had to make sure that the man knew that he’d blown it in not at least asking about his children. That had been unacceptable.

His left profile was a mere few feet away from her as she stood there. He had to see her, but apparently not.

“Sam?” she said. His head snapped around almost breaking his neck at the sound of her voice. She was more startled than he was by the suddenness.

“You! I mean Abigail! What?” I said. “I didn’t see you!”

It was very dark in his corner. It had to be the lighting, she thought. “I’ve been standing right here for a full minute. You had to see me,” she said. He snickered.

“Come closer,” he said. Her eyes popped open in stunned horror—shock!

“Sam, I . . .” she started. For a long moment, she stood frozen where she stood.

“Yeah, I lost the right eye in combat. The other one’s kinda messed up too but I get along. Couldn’t see you standing there. Oh, and as you can see half of my face is missing too. Maybe I can be forgiven for not noticing you standing there, even someone as beautiful as you. Whaddya think?” I said.

“Sam I had no idea! My God, please forgive me, sir,” she said.

“Get the fuck outta here Abigail. Seeing you there all beautiful and everything—and—somebody else’s woman is humiliating. Get the fuck away from me!”

“Sam, please, can we talk? Please,” she said.

“Why, you dumped me. There’s nothing more to say,” I said. I hefted my brew and took a swig.

“Sam, we need to talk. Whatever you think of me there’s the children, our girls, to think of,” she said. She waited. It was clear to me that she was waiting for me to respond to her last gambit.

“One question, you answer me honestly, and then maybe we can talk if you want,” I said.

“Okay,” she said.

“Mia and Sarah, what do they call your new man?” I said. She looked away. I smirked and nodded.

“I don’t have children anymore. But, for whatever reason, you seem bent on talking to me, and I’m sure that that was the truth your look just indicated, unspoken though it was. I mean of course that the children have a new daddy. So talk. I’ll listen and then you can go back to your rich lover, husband, whatever he is, and laugh at me or feel sorry for me or whatever,” I said.

“Wow, I do have my work cut out for me here don’t I,” she said.

“Not as far as I’m concerned. You’re not mine anymore. Your letter made that very clear, oh yes very clear! And before you even ask, no I don’t want any money or favors or Christmas cards or anything from either of you. So, is there anything else,” I said.

“About a million things,” she said. “But, Sam, right at this moment I’m scared. But, since you ask, I need you to get up from that seat and walk out of here with me and go to a quiet restaurant with good food. Can you, we, do that?” She said.

I smiled, or maybe sneered; it was six to five and pick ‘em.

“You’re smiling does that mean we’re good?” she said. I guess I was smiling.

I pushed my chair black from the table so she could see my legs.

Her eyes popped open yet again. “As you can see, I won’t be walking anywhere, not ever again actually.” I said.

“Oh my God! Sam, I had no idea. I mean none. You were supposed to be at your headquarters or something. Not on the battlefield.”

“Every place is a battlefield in Afghanistan,” I said.

“Please, Sam, let's leave here and go to a quieter place to talk at length. It’s been too long, sir, really,” she said.

“Can’t see why you’d wanna do that, Abigail. It’s just going to make you uncomfortable. And, I really mean that I don’t want anything from either of you. As for the babies, he’s taken them away from me and so there’s nothing there for me either,” I said. “So my answer’s no. You go on and have your dinner wheresoever. I’m going to stay here with them as are my real friends. You know, not like you and the motherfucker that stole you and my children from me.”

“Sam I . . .” She rose more or less suddenly and ran out. I think she was crying. Well, and if she was that was just too damn bad.


This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

To link to this sex story from your site - please use the following code:

<a href="">Dear John--part 3 of 15</a>

Comments (4)

Tell us why

Please tell us why you think this story should be removed.