In the morning, he was able to get in touch with one of his best friends, in fact, it was the VP who was planning to come and confront him anyway about the filthy TM's on the corporate phone web page. (Boy was AJ surprised when he found out about that handy little feature.)

The VP told him very bluntly, "She clearly wants to be married to you - look at the letter. But you have to stop what you're doing if you want to keep her."

Mom got the messages when she got off work, and sent an email when she got home letting him know the children were fine, and would be available for a visit later in the day. That was probably not what he wanted to hear, since he knew already that if they were with me, they were fine, but he had to settle for that anyway.

I checked out of the motel and went over to Mom's house, dying for internet access so I could plug back into MB again. I posted the happy news, and could just feel the warm fuzzies spreading over the globe. It was so nice to be able to show up with good news for a change.

We saw to it that AJ got an email telling him that the kids would go to their afternoon class as scheduled, but would be available for pickup at Neaksis' house after 3. I made good use of my internet access, first sending Gargamel a copy of the PBL so she would know she had a fight on her hands, then checking my email, where I found out that there wasn't going to be much of a fight. (Well, I thought at the time.)

My box was crammed with emails. Repentant, beautiful emails, saying how sorry he was for hurting me, how he knew he needed God, and needed my help to find his way back, and that he could see I was right about needing to end contact with Garg. There was even a copy of the NC letter he had gotten too impatient to wait for me to help him with, and had just gone ahead and sent it to both of us.

Just to round this out with a behind-the-scenes look, here is a direct quote from Gargamel describing the incident from her POV.

I am going to due my very best to fight the depression that I am feeling, but loosing your best friend and lover all at once is very difficult. You see, when I needed a friend Jack was there for me, with words of encouragement and advise. I no longer have that. After my job interview, I sent Jack a text message telling him I was done and asking if he was up yet. The only response I got was "check your e-mail"

As I'm sure you have figured out, I was devastated to read that e-mail. Even though Jack made it very clear he wanted no contact with me, I wanted to be there to comfort him, you leaving with the children crushed him. But I respected his wishes and have not spoke to him since then except through the e-mails which you also read.

<img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif" alt="" /> Once again, there are no words.

This brings us to a flaw in his NC letter, a flaw that would certainly not have existed had I been there to offer my guidance. He told her not to contact him in any way, except by email, which we both would read. From talking to him, and in the context of the NCL, it was clear that what he meant was the tiny bit of necessary communication to end her employment and return company property.

Naturally she chose to interpret it as free communication via email, and after only a day or two it became necessary to clarify that with her.

But I digress. I was still shocked to the point of immobility. I got what I wanted, but now what would I do with it? So much for a couple of months to study up on recovery! I got some good pointers that covered our first discussion, but had a lot of fast work to do over the next few days.

I took the kids to class, and finally called home while I was waiting. I agreed that later that afternoon I would talk to him, but didn't say whether it would be by phone or in person. He sounded awful, as he was still awake just like he said he would be.

It reminds me of the Bible story about Paul, where some of the Jews swore they wouldn't eat or drink till they had killed him. Someone warned him, and he escaped over the city wall in a basket. I always wondered at what point those men decided they might as well eat and drink again, or if some of the more stubborn ones dehydrated to death.

AJ should be really glad I'm not mean.

I had the kids to Neaksis by about 2:30, but didn't talk and type quickly enough, since he was over-eager and came early. I stayed in the back room and Neaksis shuffled the kids out the door.

It turns out that even though my car wasn't there, he knew somehow I was inside, wanting so badly to look for me, but didn't want to push me.

I stayed for a while, just trying to gather myself together, and some time after 4 finally went home.

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

Neak's Story