It's been one day in blog time but two years have transpired for the protagonist of our story.
The Commando had arrived, in spite of a tough pregnancy replete with daily shots of heparin to prevent another blood clot, preclamsia near the end of the term and a sudden drop in his heart rate during delivery, forcing the doctor to slap an oxygen mask on me while manually repositioning the bun by means of inserting his entire arm into my oven.
It would be too difficult, too drawn-out and too much life to accurately epitomize if I were to write in copious detail of all that had unfolded, or perhaps unraveled during those two years. I feel I must abridge and again, edit the hell out of it, in order to avoid a Mr. Sunshine (Part Twenty-Six).
We sold one house, designed and built a new one and then gave it back to the lender when our business was failing. Mr. Sunshine and his brother-in-law (The Anti-Christ) had convinced me to quit my job and finance a start-up home improvement operation. Wait, that sounds too legitimate. It was actually a window and siding company, a tin man operation with Mr. Sunshine handling the marketing, the Anti-Christ heading up sales/production and me, bringing considerable cash, excellent credit, accounting/business savvy and my baby to work with me every day.
At first, all was as advertised. The business pulled in ridiculous amounts of profit. Within three months, my two partners were each requiring new cars, cell phone accounts, gasoline credit cards and cash advances on jobs they had sold. Mr. Sunshine needed it to cover our household expenses while the Anti-Christ was feeding his ever present, ravenous gambling addiction.
Within six months, we were falling behind - taking profit from completed jobs to buy materials for new customer's homes. I would express my concerns. I would show them the books, the projections, the bills, the supplier accounts that had been shut off and in return, they would walk me to the large white grease board in the office and point out all the thousands of dollars we had coming in. "You worry to much......you don't understand how THIS business works....it's not like the work you used to do.....one or two more jobs and we're back on top", they would say; and then, the Anti-Christ would tell me he needed another cash advance.
At one point, I clearly remember having no money and no diapers. Mr. Sunshine sold a job that day and asked the customer for a $5,000 cash advance. He told her it was standard operating procedure and would be used to purchase the supplies needed for her work. It was really used to catch us up on our mortgage, buy food and stock up on those ever important diapers. Desperate times, they were indeed.
We clung for life, managing to complete our jobs, keep the customers happy and somehow stave off that ever present wolf at the door. We were in deep, or more accurately, I was in deep, to the tune of around $350,000 in business credit/supplier accounts that had been extended. I was scared but with each walk to the while board, I would manage to pull from my strength and fight. After all, we were building a life for our little makeshift family and we were in it together.
I trusted Mr. Sunshine to always be at my side, to battle with me, to be my shield against the fear and my net for the inevitable fall. I never trusted the Anti-Christ. I knew he would one day run us into the ground and seal the coffin with one final bitter nail. The person I should have trusted, didn't yet have my trust. I knew exactly how this scenario was about to unfold and yet, I didn't trust myself. I ignored my instincts. Call it survival, call it denial, call it impetuous, reckless and mad. Go ahead, I can take it.
When we had been in business for nearly a year, I suspected some of Mr. Sunshine's late night sales calls were not what they appeared. I checked his voice mail and intercepted a lengthy, gushy message from his girlfriend, the hot, young, sexy sales girl who came to our office one day to sell us, you guessed it, advertising, of all things. Sounds vaguely familiar.
She had enormous fake boobs and a tight, slim belly that hadn't recently given birth. I gathered up his things that night, placed them in the foyer and told him he had one week to be out. Then the next morning, I went to the office.
Word had spread and the news was out before I got there. Mr. Sunshine's sister had been working as our receptionist, she was the first person I saw as I walked in the door. I said nothing, choosing to go straight to my office and begin the end. The end of everything. The sister tried to talk to me, the Anti-Christ tried to talk, Mr. Sunshine even tried to open a discussion. The only person I listened to that morning, finally, at long last, was myself.
Later that afternoon, I made the mistake of listening to our Telemarketing Manager as she bared her soul to me, telling me of other infidelities she witnessed and even aided by allowing her home to be used as a place for Mr. Sunshine to have sex with an underage employee, high school drop out, druggie (but hot) girl he had knocked up a few months before. Sunshine, of course, denies the baby was his, noting how this girl had slept with loads and loads of guys.
"Let me see if I've got this right, you slept with a drug addicted whore, did not use a condom, paid for her abortion, then brought your stinky ass, infected-with-God-knows-what penis home to me?" Wham! That's the sound it made when I slapped him with all of my pinned up forbearance. I must be the luckiest girl alive to have made it out of that without a permanent STD or HIV reminder. Thank you sweet Jesus. On second thought, I don't think Jesus was having any part of this.
I know, I know, at this point you're thinking - this is the abridged version? But wait, there's more.
(To be continued.....)