She felt somebody looking at her. She scanned the area to see who it was. Their eyes connected. She smiled. He looked at her with an intensity that made her blush. She blinked, breaking eye contact, and turned her head.
In a matter of seconds she had completed a full assessment of him. He was an inch or two taller than her. It was obvious he worked out. She could see the definition of his pectoral muscles through the shirt he was wearing. He was casual but fashionable.
He made his way over to her. Leaning in and whispering in her ear he introduced himself. He td her his name and said he was from Tennesse. She agreed to dance with him. He held her hand and looked into her eyes then led her to the dance floor.
He leaned in again attempting to create an illusion of intimacy in the midst of a crowded dance floor. “Where is your man? I am sure a beautiful woman like you is dating or married.” She responded, “where is your wife? I noticed your wedding ring earlier but I see you have taken it off.”
(Real life drama)
Opportunity only knocks once. Hhhmmm what if this is my opportunity? Is it my fault my mom didn’t give me enough money? I’m still kinda hungry. I want to ride the pirate ship one more time. Maybe somebody left it here. Finders really are keepers. I’ll just check to see if there is any food in the backpack. A wallet. Ten dollars. Maybe I shouldn’t. But I want it. Nobody’s watching. Just this once.
Somebody stole my money! I had ten dollars left but now it’s gone! Who would do that?
I think I saw who took it. I think it was Amy.
But she’s my friend. Why would she steal from me?
I don’t know.
Amy, did you take ten dollars from me?
Do you have a green wallet with purple polka dots?
Yes, I took it. I’ll pay you back in about six months.
I can’t believe she stole my money. She’s my friend!
She walked down the driveway towards her mailbox. The sun was peaking from behind the clouds. There was a slight breeze that moved the leaves on the oak tree. A couple of blocks over someone was mowing their lawn. A few of the neighborhood kids were laughing and talking as they threw a football to each other. It was the end of a normal day but the beginning something unexpected.
As she contemplated her day her lips curved into a slight lopsided grin. She always had the same smile when she accomplished her tasks for the day. She felt good about herself. She felt accomplished. Today she managed to cross off every single item on her list. She admitted to herself that she was slightly neurotic about her daily list. She planned her days carefully starting the night before. She read over and over again, “Successful people are organized. Successful people make lists.” Her list was on her phone. She found an app that made it easy to see the lists from previous days. From those lists, meetings on her calendar and todos provided by her manages, she composed her nightly list. Sometimes it took over an hour to determine the seven items then to rank them in order of importance. Neurotic but efficient. According to the books she read she was successful. Her system worked.
She arrived to the mailbox at the same time as her neighbor. She broke away from her mental celebration to say hello. As she pulled out the mail and began to flip through she noticed a purple envelope. It was addressed to her but was void of a return address. She mentally went through her calendar. Was somebody getting married? Was this an invitation to a party? She tried, in vain, to to recall what event was coming up that would explain why someone would send her something in a lovely purple envelope. Her name and address were hand written in calligraphy. Something formal. She got excited at the thought of buying a new dress.
As soon as she walked in the house she performed her regular routine of hanging up her keys placing her handbag on a hook and sliding off her pumps exchanging them for comfortable socks. As she sunk into her sofa cushions she held the purple envelope on her hands. She opened the envelope still thinking about the possibility of a new ensemble. What she read confused her instead of providing excitement.
Beginning at 9 pm on this day, you will have 48 hours to compose a list of twelve things you want to accomplish. As each item is completed you are expected to check that items off of your list. Enclosed you will find a check for $100,000. When those 48 hours expire, your life will end.
It had been a regular day. I woke up early. Prepared breakfast for the kids. I got everybody off to school and I put in my time at work. I don’t remember anything exciting occurring. Like I said, it had been a regular day.
I was preparing dinner. The Fan4 were completing homework. That’s when I heard the knock on the door. I looked out the window beside the door and saw a short unassuming man. I thought he was another salesman attempting to get me to change electric companies. I remember thinking it’s a little late in the evening for door to door sales.
I spoke to him through the screen door. “How may I help you?” He told me I needed to sign for something. I asked, “what is it?” By this time the Fan4, who are always excited when someone knocks on the door, were behind me watching and listening.
Let me take you back a few months to December 2013 kids and I were talking about some of the things we wanted to do for 2014. I want to play soccer, I want to attend a basketball camp. Can I go to a summer camp? I told them I wanted to take a trip to Virginia. Due to the cost, we would not have birthday parties in 2014. What can I say? We live on a budget. Everybody agreed on the trip.
I opened the front door to sign the papers. The gentleman told me I had ten days to respond and needed to get an attorney as soon as possible. I had been served. My heart was racing and so was my mind. What! Who? I walked through the crowd of people, four kids does feel like a throng of people at times. As I stood in my kitchen I opened the packet and realized my ex was taking me to court.
I don’t know what I did next or who I called first.
I picked up my cell phone at some point and walked into my room closing the door behind me. I walked into my closet and closed that door as well. My closet is my inner sanctuary at times. It’s where I go to have private conversations and get a couple of minutes alone. It’s the only place I can go in the house without a Fan following.
I remember the shock. I remember the heartbreak. I also remember being overwhelmed and afraid. I knew that a court battle could obliterate my finances. I also knew that depending on the outcome our lives would change forever.