Jeremy pulled into the parking structure and parked the small white car into the first space he saw. He didn’t bother going to the payment kiosk but simply got out of the car and began walking towards the exit. “Fucking bitch!” He thought. “I’m going to kill that asshole!” The parking lot was a three level structure on the North side of campus. Jeremy knew where he needed to go. He crossed the crowded bike path without looking. “Watch it!” someone yelled, but Jeremy didn’t notice. He had only one thing on his mind, all he could see was red. He had to find the man that had broken his family. The man who had taken his wife and carried on right in front of his face for over a year.
A half hour earlier, Jeremy had been talking to his wife. “I’m leaving you.” she had said seemingly out of the blue. He had been floored. It seemed impossible. Had he been so caught up in the new business to notice how bad things had gotten? His mind began racing. There had been numerous odd incidents with other men over the past couple of years. He had ignored them or dismissed them. He had believed her stories of unwanted harassment. He hadn’t really ever been passionate about her but thought they were at least honest and committed to the marriage and family. “Is there someone else?” he asked. “No.” she answered. “I gotta go.” With that she turned her back on him and walked out the door. He stared after her for a while still in shock.
He had been so busy with his new Animation business working 18 hour days while also trying to be a parent to his two small children, Trevor and Randy that he hadn’t thought of much else. Trevor was a bright, creative and precocious boy of 7. He was happy, gangly and floppy like a big puppy before it grows into its body. His little sister, Randy, was 3. She was quiet and introspective even at that age. Sometimes he would look into her bright blue button eyes and wonder what she was thinking. She was an enigma often hardly saying a word, lost in a world all her own. The whole family had moved recently so he could be closer to his animation studio and his wife Ina could be closer to her job too. She had gone back to work about 18 months before working as a masseuse and fitness trainer. The extra income had allowed Jeremy to pursue his dream of getting back into animation and being his own boss. It had also allowed them to move into this large new rental house closer to town.
As Jeremy pondered his new situation he realized there had been signs that Ina may have been seeing someone else. After they moved Ina had seemed distracted. She hadn’t been very interested in nesting into their new place. She didn’t seem concerned about the kids going to new schools and having no friends. Jeremy had been taking his lunch hours to go visit his son at his new school. It broke his heart to see Trevor standing all alone at the playground. He rounded up some kids and got them all playing four-square but the next day he was there by himself again. Jeremy agonized over it but Ina hadn’t seemed worried. Randy was at a new preschool and suffered equally when Jeremy dropped her off. She would climb to the top of the outdoor play structure to wave at him as he pulled out of the parking lot with big tears in her eyes. It broke his heart and he couldn’t understand why Ina wasn’t more involved. Ina had been dressing nicer too. She had lightened her hair and even wore a bit of make-up every day now. He had assumed it was because she had more time and money now that she was working. But maybe it was something else. Maybe it was SOMEONE else.
Jeremy remembered Ina had been keeping a diary for the past year or so. He hadn’t thought anything of it before but as he stood looking out the front door he began to wonder WHY she had felt the sudden need to write. People write in diaries because they need an outlet for their feelings. The more he thought about it the more it bothered him. He walked back through the house to their bedroom. It still felt strange like it wasn’t his house. They hadn’t been there more than 3 months yet. He looked around the room. They had a Queen bed with a white comforter on it and a couple of red throw pillows. there was a bedside table with a small lamp on one side and a tall dark brown dresser on the other. “Dresser.” Jeremy thought. He walked the few steps to the large dresser and examined it. As if knowing where it would be he pulled open the third drawer down. She had her jeans in this one. He pulled back the top pair of jeans and there it was. It was a small hardcover book with a red Oriental Persian design over a yellow woven cover. There was a red ribbon bookmark about 3/4 of the way into the book marking a spot. Jeremy took hold of the ribbon with his index finger and thumb and opened the diary.
“Today is the day!” it read in bold aggressive letters covering the page. There were hearts and stars doodled on the margins. Clearly she had been planning to tell him about her leaving for some time and was excited about it! Jeremy turned back a few more pages. “John Let me take him in the bathroom. I was super nervous but excited. Jeremy was in the next room with the kids…” RED. Everything turned red in front of Jeremy’s eyes. He read a few more passages his vision beginning to blur with tears. Looking at the dates he realized the affair had been going on for over a year. “John” was her main client. A wealthy successful writer who had regular massage and fitness training with Ina. He was married with a son of his own the same age as Trevor. John had been married before and had 2 kids from that marriage also. He was 20 years older than Jeremy, white hair and about 30 pounds overweight. “That asshole.” Jeremy thought. He had befriended Jeremy, inviting he and Ina out to dinner and even over to their home to swim in their pool. He wasn’t the kind of guy Jeremy normally liked, but he had done his part or so he thought in order to be a supportive spouse. Now, he, THEY had been deceiving him. They had been plotting to break up his family. Jeremy couldn’t stand the thought of his children going through a divorce. It was one of his greatest fears. Now Ina and John were going to break their hearts and there wasn’t a thing Jeremy could do to stop it. Or was there?? Jeremy dropped the diary on the bed, grabbed his car keys and got in his car. It had only taken 10 minutes to drive to Campus. John was giving a speech there. Ina had gone to support him. Jeremy knew that’s where he could find them both.