Found the Other Woman

The sun was beginning its descent from the sky. Ralph and Pastor George had replaced the destroyed part of the fence. Supplies will arrive tomorrow to complete the project.

“Hey, guys. Will you sit down at the kitchen table. Gretchen has some paperwork to show you.” Said, Tank.

“Drink your smoothies.” Said, Tank. “The two of you need vitamins and minerals. You both look spent.” Said, Tank.

Bert and Bea rushed into the kitchen. Bea and Bert ran up to Chief Day. He bent down to give them each a doggy treat.

A loud cry came from Grace. The crying stopped.

Gretchen, Cora, and Susan entered into the kitchen. Pleasantries were shared amongst each other. Tank made sure everyone had a smoothie placed in front of them. He considered the group to be out of shape. “You all need to be thankful I’m here.” Said, Tank.

Officer Shape walked into the room with Grace in his arms. She was drooling and cooing all over the young police officer. This brought smiles around the room.

“I can take her.” Said, Cora.

“Nah. We got this.” Said Officer Shape as he wiped the drool off of Grace’s face. He stood swaying the bundle of joy.

“Cora and I were able to find the woman in the picture. She is the sister of Mary. The one Ralph kissed.” Stated, Gretchen.

“Said sister is in a sad state of affairs. We had the Sherriff do a wellness check on her. They found a woman trying to commit suicide. She is in hospital at this time.” Said, Chief Day.

“Ralph you are not to see Mary. According to the Sherriff’s report, you are the causation of Mary’s sister going into the deep end.” Said, Chief Day.

“I have no intention of seeing or being with either woman.” Snapped, Ralph.

“Good.” Said, Chief Day and Officer Shape in unison.

“The research isn’t showing either sister as Susan’s harasser. We will continue that case until someone is caught.” Said Officer Shape as Grace was playing with his face.

“Ralph, we are done will you please talk with me?” Asked, Susan.

“Yep.” Said, Ralph.

“New surveillance equipment will be delivered within a couple of weeks. Yours truly will install the devices.” Stated, Tank.

“Ah, Chief Day.” Said, Officer Shape.

“I’m going home to change into police issued clothes. We all know that Connie is the town’s gossip. “Said, Officer Shape.

“Go.” Said, Chief Day.

Officer Shape placed a wiggly Grace into her mother’s arms. He smiled at them both. Then waved goodbye to the group.

A silence fell over them.

“Cora and I are going back to work.” Said, Gretchen.

“Tank let’s go over the security plans.” Said, Chief Day.

“Just the two of us.” Said, Ralph with a smile.

“I will keep this short. Tank is driving me crazy with the heart-healthy diet on steroids. Will you please bring me a large Hawaiin pizza in a couple of days?” Asked, Susan.

“Sure.” Said, Ralph.

Another Woman

Another WomanRalph, Pastor George, and Chief Day removed themselves from the Horizon property. The men were walking to their prospective vehicles, Officer Shape drove up the driveway. Tank pulled his one-ton truck behind the cruiser.

Everyone greeted each other. The conversations were short, yet all were positive. Ralph noticed Chief Day pull out his smartphone. He walked away from the group. Tank and Officer Shape made sure the women’s items were placed in the home. 

Pastor George smiled as his wife, Michelle, pulled her car to the curb. She got out of the vehicle while the trunk popped open.

“Hey, Babe. Will you and Ralph help me with these groceries?” 

Both men went right to work carrying the bags in for her. They entered the kitchen to be received with an order. “Finish the task you are doing. Then head out to chat with Chief Day. He’s in the backyard waiting for the two of you.” Stated, Tank.

Within a minute, both Ralph and Pastor George walked up to Chief Day. Ralph was stunned at what he was viewing. Pastor George looked at Chief Day. “How did this happen?”

“Susan brought this to my attention. She mentioned the fence is on the “Honey Do.” list.” Said, Chief Day.

Ralph nodded his head in agreement. 

“The damage to this fence wasn’t done by a force of nature. Someone came by with an ax.” Said, Chief Day.

“I’d better get to work.” Said, Ralph.

“I’ll help you.” Said, Pastor George.

“I’m staying on the property. This is a crime scene. Go get your supplies.” Said, Chief Day.

Both men began to walk away from Chief Day. 

“Need I remind you. You are allowed in the kitchen and the bathroom off from it.” Said, Chief Day.

Ralph gave Chief Day a weird look. He walked past him. There was a piece of pink paper on the ground. “Don’t pick that up.” Said, Chief Day.

Chief Day read the note out loud. 

My Dearest Ralph.

Soon we will be together, my love. We have many ways of getting rid of Susan. Permanent. See you tonight!

Ralph picked up the photograph on the ground. “I have no idea who she is.”

Anger

“Husband of the year you are not. You are rectal trash of the year.” Yelled, Chief Day.

“Who do you think you are?” Snapped, Ralph.

“You don’t even love your wife.” Yelled, Chief Day.

“Take that back!” Shouted, Ralph.

“Susan is a slave in this house.” Shouted, Chief Day.

“Watch your mouth, Henry, (Chief Day).” Stated Ralph. He slammed his hand on the table. They all watched, Susans’ favorite mug bounce and shatter to the ground.”

“Now look what you’ve done.” Yelled, Chief Day.

“Susan is going to kill me.” Said, Ralph.

“My Emily made that before she died.” Shouted, Chief Day.

“Boys!” Yelled, Susan.

“Susan your blood pressure.” Said, Ralph.

“Shut up!” Said, Susan.

“I told you to divorce him.” Shouted, Chief Day.

“Both of you stop! Now!” Yelled, Susan. She took several deep breaths. Both men chose to sit down. No one spoke for a minute.

“I have a few things to say.” Said, Susan.

“I found this in the kitchen cabinet.” Said, Pastor George, as he walked onto the deck.

Susan took the mug from Pastor George. Sure enough, there was Emily’s signature, a heart with the letter “e” in the middle. Susan took the mug from him. “Thank you.” She said.

“I want all three of you to listen to me. There have been changes to all of your lives. Anyone that chooses to disobey me will have consequences to pay.” Said, Susan.

Susan chose to stand while she continued. “Michelle will be here in a couple of minutes. She has taken the duty of running this household and hers. Gretchen, Cora, and Grace will be working here and living here. Tank and Greg, (Officer Shape) are the two men allowed on this property. Ralph, you will be staying at George’s (Pastor) home.” Said, Susan.

There was a moment of silence.

“Are we clear gentlemen?” Asked, Susan.

“Yes.” The said in unison.

“One more thing. I was taken to the hospital earlier this morning. Ralph’s, fiance told me they’re waiting for the divorce to be finalized before they marry.

Guilt

Everyone had left the Horizon home. Ralph was sitting in his office. Not sure if the breakfast he just at was going to stay down. The landline was ringing off the hook. Ralph chose to ignore them. The computer continued to pop up notification from all of his social media. The continued racket of noise was causing a headache. Ralph chose to take the landline off the hook. Moments, later he shut down the laptop. The smartphone was placed on vibrate. The top drawer was its new home.

A happy memory between Ralph and Susan popped into his head. “That is the perfect thing for him to do,” Ralph said out loud.

He walked into the kitchen to find the “Honey Dew” list they created several months ago. Ralph pulled out the clipboard from the closet. He stared at it for a minute. “Where did all those checkmarks come from, “Ralph asked out loud.

Words from the emergency room doctor rang in his head, “Susan is doing too much. She needs to rest, exercise, and change her diet.”

“Nice job, Ralph,” he muttered to himself.

His queasy stomach was taken up a notch. The clipboard was placed back in the closet. Ralph made himself a cup of ginger tea. He took it out on the deck. Several sips of tea, his stomach didn’t feel any better.

“You deserve to feel like crap. Look at what you did to Susan. All for a fling. A stupid fling. My marriage is over for sure. My best friend….” Ralph began to weep.

The bottom of his t-shirt became his kleenex. “How do I fix this? What do I tell Susan?” Ralph asked to no one.

“You tell her the truth. The truth will set you free.”

Ralph’s head popped up with the tea splashing out of the cup. “George!”

“You look like a reject.” Stated, Pastor George.

Ralph stared at his friend. “You heard how well I’ve been treating my beautiful bride.” Said, Ralph.

“Not sure where you are going with this.” Said, Pastor George.

“I’m up for husband of the year.” Muttered, Ralph.

“What is going on?” Asked, Pastor George.

“I had an affair. The woman I encountered chose to post pictures of us all over the Internet. Susan found them before I told her.” Whispered, Ralph.

“Are you ill? Mad?”

“No George. I made a huge mistake with temptation.” Said, Ralph.

“That slipup had me taking your wife to the emergency room at 2:00am.” Growled, Chief Day.

The Facts

Ralph needed to sit down. He heard the front door open. Bert and Bea ran into the kitchen to greet him. Susan walked in with Chief Day by her side. She looked exhausted. “Good show old, boy.” Whispered, Ralph.

“Hi.” Said, Ralph.

“Hello.” Said Susan.

“Let’s all sit down.” Said, Chief Day.

“Susan and I spent the night doing research. We are going to share with you our findings.” Said, Chief Day.

Ralph felt his heart pumping in his chest. Or is he about to have a heart attack?

“Ralph had an acquaintance with a woman. She wanted more in the relationship. She has posted a picture of them kissing on my Instagram account. The photo has been deleted.” Said Susan.

“Officer Shape found a disturbing post on my Twitter account. He found a descriptive comment on how to kill me.” Said Susan.

“We are working with all law enforcement to find this person.” Said, Chief Day.

There was a rap on the kitchen sliding glass door. “That better be Officer Shape.” Mumbled, Chief Day. Sure enough, there stood the young police officer.

“Good morning.” Said Officer Shape.

“Cora has offered to assist us with the investigation at hand. She will be taking care of Susan’s online marketing or social media.” Said, Officer Shape.

“Most of the cases will not be discussed here. You all understand the necessity of this. Susan has chosen to be under house arrest. For lack of words.” Stated, Chief Day.

“I have been hired by Ralph as a social media consultant. My other duty is to drive Cora and Gretchen to where ever they need to go. The most important is to protect Susan. Her primary bodyguard is Tank. He is to arrive sometime this afternoon. You all know he has an extensive military background in this field.” Said Officer Shape.

“We will be upgrading my security system at home. Under my watch, nothing will happen to anyone living on my property.” Stated Chief Day.

“Ralph.” Said, Susan.

“Yea babe.”

“I’m going to Bermuda.” Replied, Susan.

Bert and Bea followed Susan out of the kitchen.

She Knows

Susan wasn’t there when Ralph woke up. “I really blew it this time. I guess we are headed to divorcing.” Muttered, Ralph.

He walked into the kitchen to utter silence. Ralph found an empty coffee pot. Nothing was out for breakfast. A note from Susan was founded. 

My dearest Ralph, I’m with Chief Day.

Love, Susan.” 

He flipped the piece of paper over. Nothing. “Remain calm, Ralph.” He said to himself.

Within minutes the front doorbell rang. Ralph opened the door to be greeted by Bert and Bea. Their waggy tails and barks of joy broke the silent home. Gretchen, Cora, and Grace followed. 

“Ladies, it’s 6:00 am.” Said, Ralph.

“Susan texted us last night.” Said, Cora.

“She stated you’ll be lost this morning. By the looks of this kitchen….” Said, Gretchen.

Gretchen busied herself in preparing the coffee and breakfast. Cora placed Grace in her playpen. The living room was temporary. The baby monitor was turned on and in the kitchen.

A text message was sent to Ralph.

We are on our way.” Said, Chief Day.

Gretchen came back into the kitchen with a laptop. “This screen is easier for all of us to read.” She said.

“She knows.” Mumbled, Ralph. 

“My world will never be the same without, Susan.” Whispered, Ralph.

Apologized

The words were ringing in Ralph’s head, “I want a divorce.” Yelled, Susan as she left the house.

“How do I fix my mess?” Asked, Ralph to no one. Chief Day, took the dogs. The quietness was adding to Ralph’s already anxious mindset.

“A glass of ice tea might do the trick.” Said, Ralph, as he walked into the kitchen. He placed his tea on the counter. “Say, God, will you help me?” Asked, Ralph.

Nothing happened. No flashes of lightning nor a burning bush. He did feel peace, albeit this was short-lived. Ralph, heard Susan, walked in through the front door.

His heart began to thump a bit faster, sweaty palms, “blasted anxiety.” Muttered, Ralph.

Susan continued to coach herself to breathe as she walked at a delayed pace. She could feel her heart pulsating in her chest. “I hate being worried.” Whispered, Susan.

“Hi.” Said, Susan when she walked into the kitchen.

“Hi.” Said, Ralph. He took one look at her face and knew something was wrong. Her suntanned face was white. “Shall we sit in the media room?” Asked, Ralph.

“Will you please bring me a water?” Said, Susan.

“Thank you.” Said, Susan. They both sat at opposite ends of the large entertainment sofa.

“I do not want a divorce.” Said, Susan.

“Nor do I.” Said, Ralph. They both took a deep breath. A small smile fell across their faces.

“I am sorry that my anger got all over you.” Said, Susan.

“Please accept my apology for breaking my promise.” Stated, Ralph.

“I need time.” Said, Susan.

“Do you want me to leave?” Asked, Ralph.

“No.” Said, Susan.

Silence fell between the couple. Ralph closed his eyes for a few seconds. Those seconds were minutes. He noticed that Susan was asleep. He got up and placed a blanket over her.

Communications

“Thank you all for coming.” Said, Ralph.

“Uncle William (Chief Day), has brought me up to speed.” Said, Gretchen.

“Pastor George and his wife Michelle were not able to attend our meeting.” Said, Chief Day.

“Why am I here?” Asked, Cora.

“Give me a moment.” Chief Day said, to Cora.

“That’s why we wanted everyone to meet.” Said, Ralph.

“Not everyone is here, Ralph.” Stated, Chief Day.

“I am responsible for my actions to Susan. When she gets back from her walk, I will begin to mend the damage.” Snapped, Ralph.

“The threats to Susan’s life are a police matter.” Said, Chief Day said, to Ralph.

“Officer Shape will be Susan’s bodyguard until this all blows over. My goal is to wrap this up in an efficient and professional manner.” Said, Chief Day.

“I will be keeping close taps with Susan’s Instagram account.” Said, Gretchen.

“Cora you will report to Gretchen anything you find suspicious. You know the social media world the best.” Said, Chief Day.

“You got it.” Said, Cora.

“Any questions?” Asked, Chief Day, as he looked at his smartphone.

There were none.

“Time for all of us to go. Officer Shape is bringing Susan back home.” Said, Chief Day.

Bodyguard

“We’re not sure as to who is responsible.” Said, Ralph.

“This person has left evidence that they are after you, Susan.” Said, Chief Day.

“What?” Asked, Susan.

“Babe, it’s true. I’ve seen the pictures.” Said, Ralph.

“Ralph and I decided you need a bodyguard. I found a temporary one, while Tank is away.” Said, Chief Day with Ralph nodding his head in agreement.

“Ralph Horizon, how could you!” Shouted, Susan as she slammed the palm of her hand on the coffee table.

“Babe, your blood pressure. You need to calm down.” Said, Ralph

“You broke a promise.” Shouted, Susan.

With a calm voice, Ralph said, “We will discuss that when we are alone.”

“Chief Day might as well hear what I need to say.” Shouted, Susan.

A rap on the sliding glass door occurred. “I got it.” Snarled, Susan.

“No, Susan.” Said, Chief Day while he opened the door.

“Greg, your timing is perfect.” Stated, Chief Day.

“Susan, meet your temporary bodyguard.” Said, Chief Day.

“He’s Officer Shape out of uniform.” Snapped, Susan.

Susan felt her heart accelerating in her chest. She needed to think fast. “The dogs and I are taking a walk on the beach.” Stated, Susan through gritted teeth.

“I’ll be coming with you.” Said, Greg, (Officer Shape.)

“Fine!”

“When my blood pressures lower itself, Ralph, you will talk to me.” Stated, Susan.

Greg, Susan, and, the dogs were gone.
“That went well.” Said, Ralph.

The Monster

“Hey, babe.” Said, Ralph.

“I might regret this, but your advice was spot on. Playing Pickle Ball was the best thing for me.” Said, Susan.

“Glad I could help.” Said, Ralph.

He gave Susan a quick kiss on the lips. The front doorbell rang. “Where are Bert and Bea?” Asked, Susan.

“Chief Day gave them a ride in his cruiser.” Said, Ralph with a smile.

He opened the door to find two excited Chihuahua’s. They ran through the house to their food dishes in the kitchen.

“I need to chat with the two of you.” Said, Chief Day.

“Okay.”

“There is a fresh pot of coffee and fresh fruit.” Said, Ralph.

Chief Day looked at Susan. She shrugged her shoulders. “Sounds good.” Said, Susan.

“What’s up?” Asked, Ralph.

“The shenanigans of Connie and Nancy are child’s play compared to the diabolical one.” Said, Chief Day.

“Before we talk about police matters, I need to share with you.” Said, Chief Day.

“We are all ears.” Said, Ralph, and Susan in unison.

“Tank was overwhelmed being with Cora and Grace. He is in the cabin. Tank did not specify how long he will be gone.” Said, Chief Day.

“The cabin is his safe place.” Said, Ralph.

“Tank thanked me before he left.” Said, Chief Day with a faint smile.

“This is a good sign. He is starting to trust people.” Stated, Susan.

“Nancy News is the official editor of our local paper. She starts tomorrow morning.” Stated, Chief Day.

“Okay.” Said, Ralph, and Susan together.

“Gretchen has taken it upon herself to help Cora. I have a hunch these two will be good friends.” Said, Chief Day with a smile.

Chief Day handed a piece of paper to Ralph. “Gretchen took notes. She wants you to keep them.”

“Now we have a resident in our peaceful community that wants to hurt people. Officer Shape has confirmed this is the same person that hacked into Susan’s Instagram account.” Stated, Chief Day.

“How serious is this?” Asked, Susan.

“This human being PhotoShopped a picture that Nancy drove over Emily’s dog. You were able to find the picture on your page, Susan.” Said, Chief Day.

“The dog died of a heart attack. Got the official report from the veterinarian.” Said, Chief Day.

“Why would someone want to do this?” Asked, Susan.

“I will not bore you with the laundry list. Our job is to find out how this person’s mindset makes them tick.” Said, Chief Day.

“My job is figuring out who is the targeted person.” Stated, Chief Day.