Soon stories surfaced relating to her husband’s activities. Although she was beyond caring personally, her friends didn’t believe her, suggesting she was in denial. In truth, she was coming to terms with the situation that existed. Other friends rushed to her side relating stories about nightly pubbing, drinking excessively, and the ever-changing variety of girlfriends. Clearly, they weren’t going to get back what they’d lost. It was over.
At first, she felt the whole ugly mess was her fault. It took her a long time to realize it wasn’t. They weren’t able to bridge the gap to find the love that brought them together in the first place and their future together, was over.
Her focus throughout had been making the transition as painless as possible for the kids. Determined never to bad mouth the children’s father, she left their feelings to them. When they ranted that he didn’t love them, she would take the time to assure them that, although he may not know how to show it, he did indeed love them, very much.
The phone calls started soon afterward. Calls at all hours of the night! Sometimes the party would hang up, and at others, she was forced to listen to the sound of heavy breathing. This was completely unexpected, Hank, the man she’d married would never have behaved this way it was an unforgivable betrayal. Finally out of necessity she obtained an unlisted number.
If she thought she had ever loved him, the moment finally came in which she doubted her own sanity. She was infuriated as once again he refused to take responsibility for his actions. He was leaving town, had even given notice to the management in the apartment building, her best friend Pam, and never said a word about his imminent departure to his kids.
Eilea immediately confronted her “ex” and he confirmed it was true. After asking when he was going to tell the kids, she hung up in disgust. Although tired of doing his dirty work for him, she would give it a couple of days, and if he hadn’t mentioned his up coming plans, then she would; for the last thing she wanted was for the children to hear the news from a stranger.
She wasn’t sure whether ignorance, thoughtlessness, or stupidity spawned the careless remarks, but the gossip mongers certainly didn’t take the children’s feelings into account. To be charitable, perhaps they figured the kids already knew; sadly, whatever the case, before Eilea could prepare them, Christina learned about her father’s departure from the local soft-drink vendor, while Andrew learned about it from a clerk in the grocery store where their father worked.
Needless to say, they were devastated. They didn’t want to see or speak to their father again. He did say goodbye, but only after Eilea ushered the kids individually up to his door. It certainly hadn’t been for him, but for the kid’s, afraid if they missed the opportunity to say goodbye, it might come back to haunt them. Eilea knew only too well how much it would hurt, especially when that person was gone forever, without ever having that opportunity.
Then, as now, she had stood at the waterfront, staring at the resplendent sunrise, bidding adieu to memories that belonged in the past.
Pam asked her to work part-time in the office with her. They were looking for a Manager for three affiliated buildings and the work load was too much for one person alone. Eilea agreed. She cleaned houses as well, and took on individual accounting, in order to bring in enough money to make ends meet.
Eilea began working longer and longer hours with pay cheques coming further and further apart; conveniently lost in the mail or delayed by delivery services or so she was told. The excuses were endless.
She immediately began looking for work. A local Travel Agency was hiring. She applied, got the job and life began to take on a more normal quality. In celebration, friends took her out for the evening. It soon became apparent it was a set-up and they wanted to introduce her to the new Bank Manager. She was mortified.
No longer as trusting of men as she once was, she was determinedly staying away from the opposite sex, unwilling to risk of getting involved again. She’d been assured by friends that those feelings lessened with time. They hadn’t.