Kaleb closed the page after making the transfer of the money.
Fourteen damn years after what seemed to be the origin of the whole story to why this transfer now happened.
"It will be interesting to find out if he is going to look for a new argument to avoid facing what he has to face",
he thought. For many years, a construct stood between the men, who found it difficult to come to terms, rather it was Andrew who clung to rejecting the man with whom he had once done business.
It had been Kaleb's back then wife Maureen who had brought the two men together. As someone with planing attitudes, it was easy for her to emphasise the advantages of a partnership and so one meeting between the men was enough to put clients and spaces together. They founded the company, many years ago now.
A remarkable act of spontaneity.
As only life can write it, this act performed a rather daring constellation change of relationships further on.
For a few years things had gone well and the men shared the management of the enterprise. Laura, Andrew's wife, joined the company after the baby break, both women had known each other for some years and it was only later, through work, that Laura and Kaleb got to know each other better as well. They hit it off right away.
The last project, which had certainly held out the prospect of golden times,
went down in flames because of the high risk involved. While it lastet, though, it was the biggest fun and exciting times for all involved. The thrill and experience it served was one of a kind.
When the company finally went down the drain and had to file for insolvency, the couples separated professionally, the men battered and visibly stressed by the struggle to dissolve the business, the women no less shaken. Not long afterwards, Laura and Andrew also separated. They have had their issues for quite a while.
Ehrm... Narrater here!
Lame!! Tis a really interesting story, I say! And why is it so dryly told? So, what I must emphasize is that not only "they have had their issues for quite a while", but also:
You'll see why! Gosh! Now, let's move on.
It could have stayed that way.
But Laura and Kaleb remained in contact with each other and continued to cultivate what they had learned to appreciate about each other at work on a private level.
Two years passed, the meetings became more frequent and they began an affair with each other.
Laura wondered in time how it could have come about that she was attracted to the man with whom her now ex-husband was still at odds, because of ex-business.
The debts weighing on both their shoulders had seemingly caused the men's relationship to break up, but it was not the failure and it was not the money. It was rather the take of Andrew, who had fantasized he had a friendship with the other man, but never noticed that they had not done anything alone as buddies, had never gone out for a drink, had never had any conversations that left the business, in fact had nothing to say to each other beyond that.
Honestly, how can you misunderstand it like that?!
Instead of a male friendship, one between a man and a woman had developed, something no one had expected.
Clearing my throat, how daft do you have to be, of course the unexpected always happens, doesn't it?
Having the affair, the secrecy, it was all difficult enough and of course it all came to light in the end.
Kaleb's wife was frantic.
The usual conflict ensued, feelings of guilt, justifications, mortification and despair did the rounds.
The women engaged in intense arguments in writing, Kaleb tried to keep his composure by getting himself beaten up, because after all, guilt weighs heavily, even if love is nothing to apologise for. Their lives beckoned with drama, in fact a separation in friendship was badly possible, because then they would not have needed to separate in the first place. So they created reasons to deliver them.
You turn the other cheek and that's what Kaleb did - he and also Laura deserved it, they thought. And yet they thought they didn't.
"Who ever separates in chronologically correct order? Who do you want to fool?",
Laura wanted to shout many times but then she didn't.
The most impressive sentence Maureen - the betrayed wife - uttered in this matter was:
"You two fit together, much better than I and Kaleb ever managed."
Narrater again. Phew and whistle!
I mean, you have to bow in front of such an insight, haven't you? Hating someone but at the same time being able to act as a matchmaker in the mind, that's greatness, isn't it?
After a reasonable amount of arguing,
the passage of time and the fact that both women kept the Hintergedanke that the children were still involved here, the women managed to meet again in the same room and put aside their dislike in favor of parenting interests.
Now that the roles had been exchanged, but not the sons, who were two years apart in age, wisdom had dictated that it be considered "putting an end to the quarrel," thus giving preference to the children, who had been six and eight years old at the time the affair began. And even two years younger when the company had to be abandoned.
The wiser part of the women
knew that birthdays and important events in their son's lives required joint family gatherings, and who wanted to meet in a shark tank or walk on eggs? The more relatives got together, the better and the more the children could get used to the fact that even the most adventurous constellations did not prevent the fairways from calming down again.
Laura just wished this could be done for her son as well.
She entered the lioness cage at one point after she got personally invited by Maureen. And up from then the ice was broken.
Pride and prejudice were small lights against what made them shine less:
Giving space to conflict, saying what you have to say to each other, fighting the battle and then declaring it over. And so the three of them went ahead; Kaleb, Laura and Maureen. Having had their shares in shouting, crying, accusing and defending.
Oh, but dear people, that is by no means all!
After six months of the separation of Andrew and Laura, a new woman entered the life stage of Andrew.
Such a nuisance, the chronological narration! Since things happened at the same time, but how should I please do that, dear reader, since letters are only to be formed in order. And, what shall I tell you? It was Maureen's work colleague! Don't think of another match-making by Maureen herself, it was an affair starting by online dating, but life doesn't let yourself get away so easily, does it?
The two new "lovers" got down to serious business with such speed that at one point Kaleb got up the nerve to say to his wife, who was still Maureen at the time,
"That's the deal. He'll make her a baby in exchange for her paying off his debts."
Laura had similar thoughts about this sudden love, but did not intend to mention them to her ex, and since it came to his attention, of course, how his former business partner - and what he imagined "friend" - could express himself in such an infamous way. By then, his partner was pregnant.
"He should be punched in the face!",
Andrew was supposed to have said. Unfortunately, however, this manly confrontation never occurred.
A strong fist fight would not have been the worst thing, indeed, it might have been for the better.
Kaleb thought in retrospect. He had even invited Andrew over to settle the thing in one way or the other.
poor coward. Didn't show up.
How exactly it came to this,
the deal that Kaleb still had to pay money to Andrew or in what way Andrew sought to secure the sheep financially, a quality for which he had become known very early on even among close childhood friends, is of little interest.
For the settlement of any claims, the two of them had agreed on a deal with a time limit of one year, after which any claim would be cancelled.
Eventually Andrew tried to get out of the deal, but Kaleb stuck to the agreement once made.
Fast forward another eight years, Andrew told his son, who was about to turn eighteen and lived still under the same roof with Kaleb and Laura,
I will not sit down at a restaurants table with the man who still owes me money.
Since nothing stood in one place for long and was eventually carried on to everyone, Kaleb made a decision. To "pay back" the alleged debts that have not existed since the expiry of the agreed period.
Sitting at the kitchen table, Laura wanted to know,
what drives you to this decision?
I want to take away the argument that allegedly prevents him from making an effort for his son, your son.
Laura became thoughtful.
Difficult. If you do it this way, Andrew will know that our son has complained about it and he will lose that confidence in me and you again, having finally expressed his feeling of how shitty he thinks it is of his father not to overcome his stubbornness.
Good. Then I won't mention it and just transfer the money to him like that.
That's better. Andrew will think I was talking to you, after all, he told me only a few days ago how little he wants to put up with your presence when I asked him about a joint family dinner for our son.
A few hours later she said to him
It always surprises me what decisions you are capable of. It could be interpreted as weakness.
Kaleb then recounted an episode he recently had seen in a series.
"There was the decades-long property boundary dispute where one neighbour had taken down the other's high stand because it was on his side. But the other grumbled and raged all these years about such impertinence and kept rehashing the issue, to anyone who wanted to hear it or not. After the "culprit" finally got the topography officially confirmed by modern technology from a lofty height and saw that he had been right all along, he did what? He went to the property line and rebuilt the high stand with his own hands. End of story."
Laura got beer from the fridge, opened two cans and handed one to her man:
"Cheers. Let's drink to that."
This is my entry for The Ink Well #93 competition. The prompt for this week is "cheers". I almost managed to have it as the last word of this story. Even though it's not required as a must term, it so happened.
This narrative personally cheered me up in many ways. The man who overcomes his ego to get another man into his fatherly role, taking the means of having the other man deprived of an on going argument, shall serve as an example how you can either screw it up or know better.
I wish everybody fun in his writing process, as much as I did have.
Some thoughts. I recently saw a video about photons and their electromagnetic fields. The power is strong near them and it flares out into space.
This reminded me of relationships between humans. The fields we create within the constellations we chose to be in, are quite interesting. They overlap, they interfere. Being in phase alters with being out of phase, you have destructive and constructive interferences through the waves overlapping and then not overlapping. These are not clear cut offs but gradually ones. If you have just two photons you're already having an impressive amount of a field, stretching itself out. Add more photons to the constellation and you get something really powerful. Watch this video, it's worth your time:
Title artwork: Mine. Please respect the copyright.