As Bill sat across from Sam in the elegant dining room she had so meticulously decorated and cleaned to perfection, all he could think was ‘It’ll be over soon. Couple more hours and I’ll be rid of her for good’.
“I’m leaving you Sam. Trust me, it’s for the best and even though I know you’re hurt, I’m only doing what’s best for you. I’ll send someone to get the rest of my things tomorrow and I’ll have my lawyer bring the divorce documents over later this week for you to sign. Under the circumstances it would be unethical for me to prepare the divorce documents myself. I think we should make this quick and amiable.” Bill said as he watched his wife of 18 years stare at him and absorb everything he’d just said.
Samantha (Sam) wasn’t saying anything. Nor was she moving, blinking, crying, or yelling…nothing. She was just sitting there passively looking at him. She must be in shock, Bill thought, which would explain her complete lack of response to his announcement. She was just sitting there, staring at him. When was she going to say something? When was she going to scream, cry, beg for him to stay, etc etc. He was prepared for those reactions; he knew exactly how to handle them, but this…this passive stare, this unemotional reaction was starting to unnerve.
“Are you sure you want to do that?” Sam asked him calmly
“I’m very sure. I’ve never been so sure about anything as much as I am sure I want this marriage to be over.” Bill said, his temper starting to rise.
Sam simply nodded then and left the room without a word. Finally! She was probably going to start crying and didn’t want him to see it. While he waited for her to return to the dining room, puffy eyed and red nosed, he took his phone out and texted Rebecca. “It’s done. I told her I wanted the divorce. I shouldn’t be too much longer here. Be there soon.” Just as he hit the send button, Sam walked back into the room carrying her laptop, a couple file folders and her phone. He watched as she placed everything neatly on the table and sat back down across from him. There were no tear stains on her face, not red nose from blowing it, just a look in her eyes that he’d never seen before.
“Is she the reason you’re leaving?” Sam removed a picture from one of the folders and slid it across the table. It was one of Rebecca and him kissing in front of his office building downtown. Blindsided, he didn’t say anything for a minute. Just sat there staring at the photo. How had she gotten this? Had she hired a PI? Had she’d known all along?
Seizing Bill’s momentary loss for words at being shown a photo of his infidelity, Sam plowed forward with her own prepared speech. She’d known this day had been coming for months, years even, she was ready. It was finally time to show him what an arrogant idiot he’d become over the last 18 years and just how much he had underestimated and taken her for granted.
“You know what Bill, you’re right. You are doing what’s best for me by leaving. And I completely agree that this divorce should be quick and amicable. As a matter of fact, I have all the necessary documents right here for you to look over and sign.” Sam opened a second file folder and slid a divorce decree across the table at him.
Mouth gaping open, Bill picked up the document and started to read through it. With each new section his anger and bewilderment rose. In a nutshell, Sam would get the house (paid in full), her car (paid in full), full custody of their son, a hefty amount of child support each month that he could barely afford, a frighteningly large lump sum of cash as a settlement to be paid immediately and again at the end of each year, and he would be solely responsible for all of their son’s college expenses. Plus, he would be bound by the terms of this document with no option for revision or lowering of child support until their son turned 19. It was official, Sam had lost her mind. He didn’t know whether to laugh at her or just rip the document up. He chose both.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you.” Sam said crossing her arms and leaning on the table as Bill started to laugh and was poise to rip up the document.
“You’re out of your mind if you seriously think I would sign anything like this. This is a 50/50 state my dear, you will never get anything more than that out of the courts.” Bill said spitefully.
“I’m well aware of the state laws. However, since you haven’t abided by the laws of this state or this country for that matter in a very long time, I felt it was only right that your divorce also not follow the letter of the law.” Sam responded patiently.
“What are you talking about?” Bill asked hotly.
“Oh I think you know. Tell me Bill, how do you think your clients would feel if they learned you had been embezzling from them for years?” Sam asks with a small smile on her face as she watched the color drain from Bill’s.
“You’re insane? I’ve never stolen anything in my life, let alone money from my clients.” Bill said. He was starting to feel extremely uncomfortable now.
“Oh Bill, I had really hoped you would have come up with a better response than that. Come on, try again. Come on, tell me what they will do when they find out you’ve been stealing from them.” Sam was toying with him now, she knew it was beneath her to do so, but she couldn’t help it. If Bill thought he was going to walk over her this time, he was sadly mistaken.
“That’s absurd! You have nothing to prove that I’ve done anything questionable with any of my client’s money.” He said. Bill was getting angry now and Sam could see she was starting to upset him now.
“There you go! That was the type of response I was looking for, even though it’s complete and total bull.” Sam said as she opened her laptop, typed in a password and then turned the machine around to face Bill. Then she watched his face go white.
“See, I’m pretty sure these files here prove that you’ve been a very naught boy for a very long time.” Sam said from behind the laptop screen as she cocked her head to one side and wagged her finger at him.
“Where did you get this?” Bill asked quietly.
“That’s not really important now is it? What’s important now is what I’m going to do with this information. I could send it to your clients. Or I could send it anonymously to the police. Or how about one of the news stations? They love to investigate stories like this. I bet they would have a field day picking apart your life for the cameras.” Sam said happily.
“The way I see it you have two choices here. You can either face the public humiliation, financial ruin and most likely jail time or you can agree to my terms in this divorce document and leave here with my promise to not expose your lying, cheating, stealing ways.” Sam said closing the lid of the laptop and facing the man she used to love.
“So tell me Bill, which is it going to be?” Sam asked, crossing her arms and leaning back in her chair.
This post is part of a fiction challenge I'm trying. This week's prompt was:
"Your character commits a crime. (What is the motive?) Your character's husband/wife/SO, discovers your character changing dealing with the evidence, and wants to know what's going on. Write the conversation. What happens next?"
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