“You need to go with your brother,” Adrian says to him. “Go to this woman’s house and grab his stuff.” His voice comes out bitter and angry. “I already called the lawyer.”
“What?” I ask, looking up at him. “What lawyer?”
“It’s not for you to worry about now,” he says with his lips pressed together. “You have enough on your plate.”
“I need to know,” I tell them, my mother-in-law’s hands falling from me.
Elliot grabs the back of his neck with his hand and starts talking. “She needs to know.” He looks at his father, who glares at him. “Apparently, he was married to this woman named Hailey.”
I gasp out in shock, my hand going to my mouth. “What?”
The thought of him having an affair is beyond anything I could understand, but marrying this woman? This faceless woman, how could he?
“They got married six months ago,” Elliot whispers and then stops when his father cuts in.
“Doesn’t mean shit. He gave them the wrong name,” he hisses. “You are to go there, get his body and all his belongings, and come back.” He puts his hands in his pockets. “Papers are being drawn up as we speak.”
“What papers?” My throat is dry.
“Nothing to concern yourself about,” he says, turning to Ethan. I look at Elliot, and he just shakes his head. “Go before it gets too late. I have Phillip meeting you at the hospital to bring his body home.”
Oh my God, the words are too much as the sob comes out, and I cover my mouth with my hand. Elliot comes over to me and picks me up, his hands around my shoulder as he carries me upstairs and places me in the bed. “Listen to me,” he says as my body shakes with sobs. “I have to leave, but I will tell you whatever you need to know when I come back.” I nod my head, tucking my knees to my chest as I watch him walk out of the room. I watch the doorway for the next five hours, flipping the pillow over four times from the tears that have soaked it.
The pain of him being gone, the pain of him not explaining to me what just happened, the pain that my daughters will never get to grow up with him. He will never walk them down the aisle; he will never have their first dance together. He is just gone.
When I finally hear the front door open, I sit up and walk to the staircase. My head’s spinning, so I sit on the steps, listening.
“I need a drink.” I hear Elliot say, opening the cupboard and taking out what I’m assuming is the scotch we kept in there.
“Who wants one?” he asks, and I hear Ethan grunt.[email protected]@@@[email protected]@@@@=======
“So did you meet her?” my mother-in-law asks.
“Oh, yeah,” Ethan says. “We sure did,” he hisses.
“Bitch,” Judy says. “What kind of a woman takes another man’s wife?”
“Well,” Elliot now talks, “he lied to her, so I don’t really think it’s all her fault.” I walk down to the kitchen quietly as I listen to them talk. “He used his middle name and told them he was an orphan.”
“He had to have had a reason,” Adrian says, and I close my eyes. “Whatever the reason, I don’t give a shit. We are to never talk about that woman or her family. She is never to be discussed. No one, and I mean fucking no one, can know about this.”
“What are you talking about?” Ethan asks. “Dad, he married this woman, and they had a house together. He had another fucking family. How do you sweep that under the rug?” He doesn’t ask any more questions as Adrian’s hand hits the table.
“Not a fucking word. For all we know, that woman is insane and lying through her teeth. The lawyer has drawn up the papers, and she is going to be served today.”
I walk into the kitchen now, catching the four of them sitting at my kitchen table off guard. The solar system project neatly put away. The four of them look over at me. “Served what?” I look at them, one at a time, but Ethan and Elliot are the only ones who look down. “What?”
“We are serving her a cease and desist,” my father-in-law says, “and a restraining order against you and the kids.”
“What?” I whisper, my hand going to my chest. “What for?”
“We don’t know anything about this woman. We don’t know if she is crazy or if she will come after you and the girls,” he says, and Judy nods.
“We have to protect you and the girls.” Judy gets up and walks over to me, wrapping me in her arms.
“Don’t worry about this. Let him take care of it. Let us take care of you.” She hugs me in her arms as I sob out again. I let her walk me back upstairs to my bed and lie back down, thinking they are just looking out for me and the girls. They are just looking out for our safety and well-being.