Alana stood in the kitchen, preparing lunch for Alissa. Alissa was playing on her swing and Aidan was in the seating area playing with his favorite toy. David was gone to gather food and supplies for the week.
“Alissa, lunch is ready!”, she called. Alissa came rushing in to grab a sandwich.
Alana continued standing, gazing at the beautiful beach. She saw movement out of the corner of her eye. At first, she thought that her eyes were playing tricks on her. Then she realized it was true. Two men were heading up the beach toward their home. Her heart filled with joy. By the time I returned, Alana had packed the few items that we would need on the voyage home.
Alana and Aidan were napping in the ship’s cabin.
I was standing with Alissa on the ship’s deck. The ship was about to set sail.
“Daddy, will I get to go to school now?”, Alissa asked.
“Yes. Are you excited?”, I said.
“I can’t wait! I’ll have lots of new friends.”, she told me excitedly.
It took us a week to get back to civilization.
Three months later in Sunset Valley,
We had been rescued by men searching for the animals that had been lost from a wrecked research vessel. The missing animals had tracking devices placed under their skins. We rented a home while Alana looked for a permanent home for us. She took me to see the house that she had found.
“You’re right, it has everything we need.”, I told her. My parents had sued the cruise line in our behalf, and we used some of the money won in the lawsuit to purchase the home.
Things had changed a lot at the base. I had a new superior officer. Her name was Erin Kennedy. We got along very well, and became good friends quickly.
“David, I have read the reports from your previous commanders and from what I have seen these past months you have a lot of potential. I would like to spend extra time with you and help you make up for the time that was lost while you were on the island. Then you can be promoted more quickly.”, she told me.
“Thank you Erin! I would really appreciate your help.”, I told her. We began staying late after work, and occasionally she would have me come over to her home. Sometimes she would come to our home, and we would go over the procedures and regulations that had changed in the time we were castaways.
When I came through the door, Alana grabbed me and kissed me. “I’m glad you made it home for dinner tonight!”, she told me happily. She saw Erin enter the door behind me and gave her a welcoming smile. “Hello Erin. Are you going to join us for dinner?”, Alana asked her.
“Actually Alana, I am sorry, but we have already eaten. I left a manual that we need in my office, and so we came here to study.”, I told her.
“Oh well, at least you are here.”, she told me. Alana glanced at Erin. Her eyes were fixed on David with a hungry, longing expression in them. Alana was shocked! Erin wanted David. When Erin felt Alana’s eyes on her she quickly changed her expression and smiled at her.
“Does David know?”, Alana wondered. Later that evening, Alana examined herself in the mirror. She had gained weight now that she was five months pregnant. She was feeling very unattractive. She had never doubted David’s feelings for her before.
“Erin is attractive and slim. She and David have a lot in common.”, Alana thought to herself. She pushed those doubts away and decided to take coffee to David and Erin in David’s office. I was sitting in my chair, reading the section that Erin had indicated.
“I can tell that David feels the same way that I do.”, Erin told herself.
She walked over to one of the paintings on the wall. “David, I can’t make out the signature on this painting. Who painted it?”, she asked. I rose and walked over beside her to look at the signature. I was shocked when Erin suddenly grabbed me to her and tried to kiss me. At that moment, Alana walked through the door. I managed to pull away from Erin. When she saw me and Erin in what appeared to be an embrace, she dropped the tray in shock. Then she quickly turned and left the room sobbing.
“Wait Alana!”, I called. I chased after her. Alana raced into our bedroom and slammed the door shut and locked it. I could hear her sobbing inside. I rushed back to the study. “Erin what the h!#& was that?”, I yelled at her.
She looked shocked at my tone. “I thought that you felt the same way that I do. That you were just feeling nervous about making the first move.”, she explained.
“I don’t know what gave you that impression! I love Alana, and I would never betray her like that. You and I are just friends. At least we were friends. Now I’d just like you to leave!”, I told her.
Alana was laying on the bed sobbing.
Her sorrow turned to anger. “After all that we have been through, he cheats on me now! When I am five months pregnant with our fourth child!”, she raged to herself.
She got up from the bed and threw some clothing into a suitcase.
I heard Alana out in the hall. I rushed out of the study, seeing the suitcase in her hand.
“Alana what are you doing?”, I asked her.
“I’m leaving, David!”, she answered.
“Wait! Let me explain!”, I said.
“Right now David, I don’t even want to hear your voice.”, she told me and left through the front door.
Erin came from the study. “David, I know that I can’t have completely misread your signals. I know when someone is interested in me, and whether you want to admit it or not, you are.”, she told me. “Alana knows that. That’s why she left.”
I could not stand being in her presence for another moment. I am not a violent man, and I have never hit a woman. However, I knew that if Erin remained in my presence, I would throttle her. I turned to look her in her eye.
“Erin, you have caused the person I love the most in this world, great pain and sadness. You need to leave now!”, I told her firmly.
This time Erin left, but she still wasn’t convinced that David did not have the same feelings for her that she had for him.
“Where can Alana have gone?”, I wondered.
After Alana checked into the hotel room, she didn’t bother to unpack her suitcase. She stretched out on the bed. Tears threatened to spill over again. She held them back.
“How did it come to this?”, she asked herself.
David called his parents to see if Alana was there. She wasn’t there nor was she at her uncle’s home. “She must be in a hotel.”, he thought to himself.
The next morning, Alissa woke up and went to the kitchen expecting to see her mother preparing her breakfast. She was surprised to see her father there. He was usually at work by this time!
“Good morning Dad. Why aren’t you at work?”, she asked.
“I’m not going in today.”, I told her. “Why don’t you grab a bowl of cereal before the bus comes.”, I suggested.
“Where is Mommy?”, Alissa asked.
I had been expecting the question and dreading it at the same time. “She went away to be by herself for a little while. She’ll be back soon.”, I told her.
Alissa finished her breakfast and went to school. I continued standing in the kitchen lost in thought.
Could I have somehow given Erin the impression that I had romantic feelings for her?”, I asked myself honestly. “No.”, I thought back over my conduct with her since we first met. I had been friendly and nothing more. I knew that there was only one woman who I wanted, and that was Alana.
“After all that we have been through, why couldn’t she at least let me explain? Why didn’t she trust me like I trusted her with Tarquin?”, I asked myself.
I had not slept all night long, and I did not realize that it had begun to affect my thinking. I was angry with her when I should not have been. I wasn’t thinking about the fact that she was feeling insecure and unattractive because of her pregnancy. Her hormones were effecting her emotions.
“David, I’m sorry I didn’t listen.”, she said.
“Well, I am sorry too Alana. You should trust me just like I trusted you about what happened between you and Tarquin.”, I told her.
“What does Tarquin have to do with anything?”, she asked angrily. “You were with Erin willingly. Tarquin forced me to go with him, and you just stood there watching him take me!” She hung up the phone.
Right after speaking with David, her cell phone rang. Erin’s name was on the caller ID.
“Hello Alana, I just wanted to tell you that I am sorry that you had to find out about David and me that way. We didn’t try to fall in love. It just happened. We never meant to hurt you. Thank you for not standing in our way.”, Erin said and then disconnected the call.
That afternoon Alana went to see a divorce attorney. As she sat in the waiting room, she felt anxious and deeply saddened.
Thornton Wolff walked through the waiting room of his law office. He noticed the lovely young woman, sitting and waiting for her appointment with him. Her face was vaguely familiar. He continued into his office and had his secretary show the woman in.
“Please have a seat.”, Thornton invited her.
He quickly checked her name on her preliminary interview form, and then he remembered who she was. She and her family had been shipwrecked and survived for quite a long time on an isolated island. They had been back in Sunset Valley for several months now.
He remembered feeling admiration for her when he had read her account of their experience. He had thought what a strong woman she must be.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Mrs. Fermin.”, Thornton said. He studied her for a few moments. She appeared to be close to tears and trying to compose herself. He opened his desk drawer, and pulled out a box of Kleenex. He placed it before her on his desk.
When she had composed herself, he began questioning her gently. “How can I help you today?”, he asked her.
“I need to get a divorce.”, she said. Alana could not believe that those words had come out of her mouth. Yet, here she was, planning to end her marriage to David.
“Has something happened that caused you to take this action?”, Thornton questioned.
“My husband is having an affair.”, she told him with a quivering voice.
Always before, Thornton was strictly business-like with his clients, but there was something about Alana that touched his heart. With all that this couple had been through together, he couldn’t imagine her husband cheating on her.
“Do you have any evidence of that?”, he asked her.
“I saw them with my own eyes. I caught them embracing each other in our study. I believe that it has been going on for quite a while. David goes to her home regularly, and they spend a lot of time outside of work together. She called me and told me that they love each other. I should have realized it long ago.”, she said sadly.
“Have you confronted your husband?”, he continued.
“At first, I just left the house and went to a hotel. When I called him to talk, he snapped at me and brought up a horrible experience in my past. He has changed. He is hardly home and he spends most of his time with her. I have seen the way she looks at him, and I know that it is true.”, Alana told him.
“Who is she?”, Thornton asked.
“She is David’s commanding officer, Erin Kennedy.”, Alana answered.
Thornton knew who Erin Kennedy was. Since she was David’s commanding officer, he knew that carrying on an affair with David was a breach of several military regulations.
“How long have you known?”, he asked.
“I found out last night.”, she said.
“Divorce is not a decision to be made hastily. I suggest that you give yourself a few days. Talk with your husband, and then see how you feel.”, he advised.
Alana remembered her conversation with David that morning. He was not the man she knew anymore. She had believed that he was totally focused on his career now. The time away from her and the children bothered her, but she had excused it. Now she knew that he had been cheating on her with Erin.
“I’m not going to change my mind. I don’t want to speak with David. There isn’t any point. He loves Erin now. They have so much in common. She called me this morning to make sure that I know they love each other.”, she told him.
Thornton noticed that Alana was very pale.
“Have you had lunch today?”, he asked.
“No. I haven’t had any appetite today. “, she said.
“I don’t know a lot about pregnant women, but I know that you need to eat. Come and let me take you to lunch.”, he suggested, surprising himself.
“Alright.”, knowing she needed to eat for the baby, Alana agreed.
I had forced myself to try and get some sleep. I had slept for a few hours. After I awakened, I had tried calling Alana’s cell phone throughout the day. All of my calls went to her voicemail . She would not accept my calls. I couldn’t blame her, remembering what I had said to her that morning. ____________________________________________________________ David and Alana’s new home is Wolff Pack Manor created by: dreamsong1968