Neaksis says writers should not be allowed to experience tragedies, since they seem to have a compulsion to - what else? - write about them. This is much better than therapy for me anyway, and I am so glad for those of you that are finding it helpful also. AJ was pleased last night when I told him about it, but I doubt he will want to read this. As is typical, he is dealing with it best by wading in deep right at the beginning, getting it all out in the open, and then putting it behind him as fast as possible, taking only the lessons learned. As is also typical, I have not been able to do that, and I am finding out that bringing this whole thing into the open is causing many things to dminish in their sting.

Let's see...I was just walking out the door. We had to get gas, so we drove up to the gas station not far from Gargamel's house, before dropping Neaksis & her gang off at Mom's for the night. As long as we were there anyway, we drove past to see if AJ's car was there, but it wasn't.

After I dropped off Neaksis & Co., including Grandpa, I began driving around trying to figure out where I should stay. I didn't want him able to track me down and come demanding the children while he was still so angry. As long as I wasn't sleepy anyway, I also drove past the infamous hotel where he switched us out every other day. (Just a side note, he still says he did not have sex with her at any time that week. Perhaps even as a WS it was too much for him to take both of his women in the same bed? Oh, gross. Another side note: I did not put it past him at the time, once I was able to bring myself to realize he had begun lying to me, which happened during the week after the hotel episode. I just assumed he was really that disgusting.)

Anyway, his car was not there and I didn't yet know what her car looked like, so I had no idea if they had gone there or not. After wandering around a while longer, I finally came back to a little town about 20 minutes from home. I checked in about 4:30 am and carried the sleeping munchkins in. I wish there had been something else to do with them, but couldn't think of anywhere he wouldn't know to look, and figured they were best off with someone who had legal custody, just in case the police became involved.

Those of you who know the Dervish will not be surprised that I slept on the floor, blocking the doorway. Before I nodded off, I left a message for Mom, letting her know we were safe, but not telling her just where.

Three hours is not a long time to sleep. I got a few more minutes of dozing by telling the children I had gotten donuts for breakfast, and they could have as many as they wanted. (Sometimes they still talk fondly about the Day of the Donut. They think the whole experience was just a huge treat.)

I called Mom, and got my first inkling that my ideas of how this would all go, were somewhat less than correct. She said she hadn't talked to AJ yet, but he had left her a number of messages on her cell (it was busy that night, and she hadn't gotten any of our messages till morning), and he was weeping and begging her to help him.

Then the TM's started to show up on my phone. The tone of them was "I'm so sorry, I'll do anything, just come back." I didn't respond, just stayed dark. That's not what was supposed to happen, and I had no clue what to do next.

A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner.
~ English proverb

Neak's Story