Keeping It all Together-Part One

CryingMike was sitting comfortably in his office watching his assistant sort out the incoming hot leads from the cold ones. The phone calls would be coming in and the order of the day would be how many of these hot leads would turn into sales for Mike.You see, Mike was in the business of selling for a living and his reputation had grown in his company as the man who could be counted on to move the numbers up on the competitive volume score board. In every company there are leaders and followers, some who make it happen and fall into the 80/20% rule. Mike was in the top 20% and climbing. He looked at every lead as a potential sale and would make sure that every ethical method would be employed to move him on up the ladder of success in his chosen profession of sales and marketing.Closing a sale and counting his commissions were a daily high for him. You see Mike was the proverbial mover and shaker, a man bent on reaching the brass ring and once reached, hanging on to it and never letting it go.

He enjoyed the finer things in life; expensive restaurants, cocktail parties,business conventions,vacations to tropical places,expensive suits,shirts, ties and footwear and of course an expensive set of wheels. He lived a lifestyle, or so he thought, of the rich and famous although on a smaller scale. He knew if he continued to excel at what he was doing in his business circle, he would eventually have everything he wanted to make for himself and his loving family.

Things were about to change for Mike, yes sirree. Little did he know that the marriage he had struggled with for the last five years was about to crumble at his feet and send him into a tail spin that would take years for him to recover from. In marriage, unless you have full support from your spouse in the career you have chosen, then it becomes a tug of war between the two of you. Mike had that type of war going on in his marriage. As much as he tried to make sure that the family was happy and that he was a good provider, that war continued under the surface but he always felt that his marriage would survive.That is not always the case.The profession that either spouse chooses can have a negative impact on the partner and on the family.

Little did he know what awaited him at home when he walked through the front door that evening. Did I say walked through the front door? Mike was certain that there was nothing wrong with his key so he tried to turn it again but nothing happened. He decided to enter the house by going in from the garage. What awaited Mike were two suitcases bulging as if they had been packed in a hurry and sitting on top was a white envelope with To Mike written on the front.

He opened it and started to read the words that would pierce his very soul. You see, this was a letter of good-bye. It was a letter filled with hurt and pain and scolding. A letter that was gut-wrenching , so much so that Mike felt sick to his stomach. His marriage had come down to this. She wanted him out and no longer a part of her life or the children’s lives.The children’s lives? Mike held on to the wall to keep him from falling backwards to the cement garage floor.Mike took the two suitcases, looked both ways and across the street to make sure that none of the neighbors were outside or looking across his way. He was humiliated and embarrassed to be seen putting two bulging suitcases into his car. Mike opened the driver’s door and fell into the seat. He put his arms across the steering wheel and bowed his head between them and started to cry. With tears pouring down his cheeks, he took one last look at the house he was locked out of and wept like a little baby. Thoughts went racing through his head, why is this happening to meI don’t deserve thishow am I going to live without my family? Mike and his wife had purchased this home together with the hope of raising their children and having a happy and fulfilling life together, not of divorcing and breaking up the family.

He pulled out of the driveway and headed back to his office. It was the only place where he could find solace, close his office door and get some privacy and try to think of the motives behind his wife putting him out.He knew that the marriage was shaky and they were going through some spirited arguments. He knew that one of them was going to break, it had just been a matter of when. But still, to do it this way, changing the lock on the door and putting his things outside was cruel. Why would someone be so callous?

All of these questions were racing through Mike’s head like a blur. He was shaken to the core. He heard a knock on his door and it was another sales person wanting to ask about business. Mike was depressed and angry and yelled, get out of my office and leave me alone! He slammed the office door in the face of the clearly shaken associate. This was a side of Mike that the associate had never seen and he walked away in bewilderment. That afternoon, Mike could not function in his business at all. He left his office and found solace behind a glass or two or three of his favorite poison, Mr Jack Daniels, and believe me he wasn’t listening to any fiddles playing. He got the nerve to call his wife and ask her why she had done this to him. He could not reach her.The phone was kept on voice message so all he could do was leave a message to his wife to please call him back.he did not want his message left to alarm the children, so he did the best he could to disguise his sadness. He remembered being taught by sales trainers to always smile when on the telephone. That way, you’re smiling face would come across to that person listening. This was one of the most difficult things for Mike to do, knowing very well that his heart was shattered.

Mike booked himself into the Holiday Inn downtown for the night. He bought himself a bottle of Jack and turned his business calls over to another associate. He did not want to be bothered trying to do business for or with clients that evening. He called home two, three, four times still no answer. He left the number where he could be reached. Finally, later that night, his phone rang and he grabbed it so quickly he knocked over his refilled glass of Jack. He heard the low, solemn voice of his wife. Mike, you called? Mike, you had to know this was going to happen. I couldn’t take it any longer, Mike – your late nights, your unexpected calls on the weekends, your business trips at last-minute notice, your time spent away from the kids.But honey, you knew the type of career I had chosen and even back then you agreed that it would be a grand idea to do what I loved to do, to help people make decisions that would enhance their life style and make a huge difference for them and their families. You knew all first hand that going into this with me. I’ve done well financially for us and thought that was something that made you happy – to have things that we couldn’t afford before I joined the sales and marketing 

She was convinced that it was over and shrugged off his reasons. She did not want to hear anything about his career. She wanted only to suggest ways of handling the separation and splitting of assets. She asked if he could please make arrangements with a lawyer very quickly to prepare the legal documents to put the separation in motion. He said, absolutely notYou put me out, you contact your lawyer and start the proceedings. Every word she uttered cut him to the quick. He probably sounded incoherent to her as he took another sip of his Jack and wiped the tears she couldn’t see falling from his face. I have to go, she said, the children will have to be told about this, how do you want to handle this? Mike told her he was too upset at the moment to even consider that question. He told her to go ahead and do whatever she felt she had to do. He was too upset and depressed. He couldn’t clear his head to think any more. He again asked her why, but she didn’t answer. He heard her sigh. Mike mustered some strength.

Okay, I will say good-bye for now. I can’t function any longer at the moment my mind is mush.He heard the hollow good night and the I’m sorry it had to come to this Mike, then click. He got up from the bed, rushed to the bathroom, lifted the toilet seat and pukes and cried at the same time.He was a mess. He was a hurting man and Mr. Jack wasn’t helping. His vision was blurred. He fell to the bed and passed out. The next morning he awoke to the sound of the maid knocking at the door to clean the room. He heard the key begin to turn in the door. He got up and walked to the door, his head was throbbing in pain. He politely asked the woman to leave the room for now as he was still occupying it and would be leaving before noon.


Keeping It all Together-Part One — 14 Comments

    • Thank you Chloe for visiting my site for a read. Those years were certainly tough ones for Mike and his family for sure.

  1. Sometimes a radical change is caused by an unexpected disaster, like a Tsunami. I wonder what would have happened if Mike had refused to pick up those suitcases – if he had decided to camp on the porch…. On the other hand, I saw a movie exploring both options. At the end both options presented all the experiences (painful life lessons) that were plotted even before birth for the specific main character. Perhaps to realize his Karma?

    Love your writing style!

    (Maybe a double-check on perspective – 1st-, 2nd-, or 3rd- person narrator. You are hop-skipping between 2nd and 3rd.)

    Looking forward to the next chapter.

    • Those were choices one had to make back then, however when its the war of roses all around you, a person has no choice but to leave. You leave your dignity at the door and pray that moving on is the answer, knowing the terrible struggles and pain that lay ahead. Loss of career, children and self-worth, just to say a few. Thank you for the critique, I am still learning the fine art of point of view and yes, 1st, 2nd and 3rd must be observed. This definitely needs a second review and proofing. Hugs

  2. Ooooh! Vincent What an interesting start to “something”. As always hou paint a vivid picture. I felt l was watching a play. Hope you don’t keep us hanging on for too long . Can hardly wait to read more.

    • Thank you Dim, yes indeed, I’ve shared all 3 now and cast my fate to the wind. As I responded to Martie, I penned these a few years back and thankfully my life has improved, time heals too a point, but the loss of my children is still very painful, but one carries on.

    • Thank you Rolly, yes it sure does. There is a void left in ones life after such an event, turmoil and loss. One has to have the survivor mentality to keep moving on, along with the will to want too.

  3. Vincent, this is a compelling story that happens to many. I feel there’s more hurt for mike. I think his wife is not telling the whole truth. Looking forward to the next installment.

    • Thank you Ruby for your thoughts about Mike, it was a tough go for him and the loss of his children. He has moved on with his life but not without a great loss and cost.

  4. Very well written Vincent. I went through the crushing pain of estrangement and eventual separation and divorce. We sat down as a family and I broke the news to the kids. They did not look altogether surprised though they were visibly upset and emotional. We all had a good cry. The kids were young and it was a horrible situation to go through. Though we had joint custody and I had the kids stay with me every other weekend I saw them in between as often as possible. Nothing was the same…ever again.

    Reading this brings back such painful, anguished moments and yes, I too cried countless times. You never fully recover from a marital breakdown and to go to the office each day and function at 100% was incredibly hard some days. To think that you have left a deep void in your children’s lives is worse than anything. One of two sons I have been estranged to for fourteen years now, the other remaining close.The financial quagmire clung to me like a ball and chain for a decade after.

    I’m glad I stopped by to engage in this read Vincent. You have a wonderful way with words.

    • Don, I know through communication with you in other comments you have left and shared with me of your turmoil and great loss. I know you suffered terribly with your divorce and breaking up of the family unit. Mike came close to the end, he for some reason was spared, many men don’t, they end it. I only pray that men and woman who are considering divorce, give it second thoughts, for many reasons, the biggest in my opinion is for the sake of the children as they never fully recover from it. Apart from the financial mess we are left in, ongoing support, visitations only, the soul is hurt deeply. I don’t wish divorce upon any human being, my advice to young people marrying today, take it very seriously and plan it, don’t just jump into marriage for lust as many of us do. That soon wears off and reality of raising a family sets in pretty darn quick. I know the feeling of great loss and I today have still a huge void in my life without my children in it.

  5. Figured I would take a quick look and then come back and read it all later. Forget that. You got me rocking and reeling with poor Mike. I want to know more. Great reading. When do you sign for the movie rights??? Hugs and best of luck to you Vincent.

    • Nice to see you Rasms and thanks for the comment about Mike, yes once you read all 3 chapters, you will grasp a better understanding of Mike’s loss. There have been way too many movies and t.v. shows made about divorce and family break-ups, we don’t need to see anymore. I pray families can find a way to stay together, no matter what.

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