Thursday, March 27, 2014

Deadbeat Dads

Karen Cote does it again.

After her husband leaves her for a younger woman, Erica Morris starts a group for ex wives of deadbeat dads. Little did she know just how many there were. In the process of rebuilding her life, someone tries to blackmail her. Can she put the past behind her or will it catch up to her?
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“Okay ladies,” I looked at the women gathered around me. Lisa Daly, who encouraged me to start this group, was here and Nicole Brown. Poor thing never went out while she was married. Oh, and Louise Conners, I still couldn’t believe her husband ran off with his receptionist, and now they were going through a nasty divorce. Not sure why that surprised me more than the others. It shouldn’t. There was quite a turn out. Half the women I didn’t know.
I brought my attention back to the meeting. “First order of business, a name for our group, any ideas?”
“Deadbeat Dads Anonymous,” someone called out. 
“Wives of Deadbeat Dads,” someone else yelled. “Or Women Against Deadbeat Dads.”
“Better yet, how about Mothers Against Deadbeat Dads.  MADD!” Lisa Daly shouted.
I laughed. I couldn’t help it. There certainly wasn’t a shortage of names. “We’re mad for sure but that sounds too much like Mothers Against Drunk Drivers.”
“ADD,” someone else yelled. Against Deadbeat Dads.”
Nicole Brown’s hand went up. “Nicole, what’s your idea?”
“How about Wives Enraged at Deadbeat Dads. W.E.D.D.?” Nicole’s voice barely reached above a whisper.
Poor Nicole. Her ex-husband had knocked her self confidence so low. I was surprised to even see her here.  I met her at a school function. Nicole’s daughter, Cindy, was in the same class as my Josh. I had heard through the grapevine that Bob, Nicole’s ex, had run off with a stripper. Talk about humiliating. I shivered at the thought. 
Suddenly everyone came alive. Shouts of “Hey, that’s great, I like that,” sounded throughout the room. 
“Okay then it’s unanimous, Wives Enraged at Deadbeat Dads it is. All in favor raise your hands. W.E.D.D.”  Kind of funny when you thought about it. None of us were wed any more.
Twelve hands went up.  “Motion carried. We are officially Wives Enraged at Deadbeat Dads. Now we need to set up a schedule for our meetings and discuss our agenda.  First, we need to choose a Chairperson.”
Nicole’s hand went up again. “I nominate Erica Morris for chair person.”
“I second that motion.” Lisa Daly raised her hand. “This group was your idea.  I think you should chair it.”
Me as chair person? I wasn’t too crazy about the idea. “Any other nominations?” I hoped someone would raise their hand. No such luck. Heat rushed into my face. I had a feeling it turned as red as my hair, which was pretty red. I wasn’t used to being the center of attention. Never liked it and sure didn’t care for it now.
The room remained quiet.
No other nominees. “Okay then, all in favor, show of hands. Motion carried, I guess I’m the chairperson. Thank you, I’m flattered.” Flattered but a little taken aback. Hopefully, I wouldn’t let anyone down.  “Let’s break for refreshments and we can continue our discussion while we snack.”  I needed a moment to myself.
I never expected the group to name me chairperson. I’d never chaired anything in my life. In fact, the parents group at my children’s school was the only other group I had ever joined.
Johnny didn’t like me to go out and do things. He expected his wife to stay home, and God forbid, I even suggested going out alone while he stayed home with the kids.  Anger flared in me as I recalled how often he came home late.  Working, yeah right, spending time with his playmates was more like it. How could I have been so stupid? I remembered the day he told me he was leaving. Just like that out of the clear blue sky.
“It’s not working for us, Erica,” Johnny said. “I found someone else.”

Oh, he found someone else all right, his young, sexy secretary. You could have knocked me over with a feather.  I should have known. All the signs were there, his late hours and lipstick on his collar. He was comforting the wife of a friend, he lied. I did a slow burn as the memories returned. And then he left, packed his clothes and just walked out without even a goodbye to the kids, left me to deal with them as usual.  

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