The next day was a work day so I called Cap at home bright and early and told him the short version of the story and told him I would be late. He asked if I needed the whole shift off and I told no, that I would just be late.
So, with that, I checked to see if English was gone and true to her word, she was. I had fairly mixed emotions; after all I had known her my whole life. But there was a part of me that was honestly relieved because I just did not know how long I could last with all the complications that was the dysfunction called "our relationship."
When the twins got up and came downstairs, I was smoking and playing with the blueprints. I asked them to come over to me and sit down. Joey reminded me they had chores to do and I told him they were going to wait; I had something I had to talk to them about. I put one arm around Jimmy and the other arm around Joey and told them their mother left and this time for good.
Joey asked what they done this time and I told him absolutely nothing, it was all her. She wanted her freedom and just didn't want to live here any longer. Jimmy had tears falling from his eyes and said "She doesn't love us does she?" and that broke my heart when he said that. I hugged him and told him "She'll always love you in her own special way so no worries there. She just doesn't want to live with us. It'll be OK. We've done it before and we'll do it again."
Joey then perked up and said ""Cool! You can marry Tabby now!" Jimmy replied "Yeah then we can be a happy family with her as our mommy. We love her." I told them to slow down; I needed time to get over their mother first.
So after all that was out of the way, we proceeded with our morning chores and such and took our meds. They were late for school and I was late for work and when I arrived, the Engine and the Squad were both gone. So I had a seat next to Henry and lit up a cigarette and started to play with my blueprints. I always brought them to work with me for something to do.
I got an idea to gut the house and barn and start from scratch. I wanted Joey and Jimmy's rooms bigger, the Master Bedroom bigger and the house in general bigger and a more modern barn. The twins love playing in the barn and in the hay so I could probably give them a climbing wall, rope and rope swing from the rafters and a bunch of hay for them to play in their own little corner of the barn. I'm sure they'd love it.
Problem was where would we live during construction? Guess we could live in the house and once we can actually live in the new house, move in and take the other house down if that makes any sense!
A little while later, the crew came back and Dane Smith was filling in for me. Dane and me were good buddies and once he got Sagourney parked, he hopped out and said "Stoke Me! What the hell is up?" and I said "Stoke Me? You sure as hell aren't my type!" and we both busted out laughing. Cap just shook his head and said "I don't know about you two" and Dane replied "Keeps things interesting." I thanked him for filling in for me and did my usual inspection of my Dearly Beloved.
So after I was officially put on the clock, I strolled back into the dayroom and greeted the crew and seen Chet was looking over the blueprints. I sat down next to him and said "Find anything interesting?" and he said "Hey Mikey? Is this supposed to be plans for a simple Tack House or a sophisticated mansion?" and I wanted to slap him silly when he said that. Instead, I chased him away and told him he picked the wrong day to f*** with me.
Marco's antenna of caring went immediately up and said "Are you OK Mike?" and I didn't want to lie to him so I said "Not really. Been a rough twenty four hours in the household." Before anyone could respond, Cap asked me to come to his office so that's where we went. He closed the door and we sat down and he asked me how I was doing and I told him many emotions were going through me and he said he could only imagine.
I told him the twins took the news fairly well and not so well at the same time if that made any dam sense at all and he said it did. He was concerned with their stability and well-being and I told him I was too. He asked if I'd make it through the tour and I said I would. I had my smokes and my blueprints and they would keep me busy. He offered his help if needed. I thanked him and with that, he dismissed me from his office.
I went back into the dayroom and assumed my position on the couch. I knew the guys wanted to know what was ailing me but I had no desire to talk about it so I didn't.
The rest of the shift was fairly busy. We had several calls and even a few overnight. So I was pretty tired when I got home the next morning. My soul ached for the ashes but I was too tired. I fell in bed and slept soundly until Tabby woke me up around supper time!
Just as we were sitting down to eat, the doorbell rang and it was the postman with a certified letter. I signed for it and went back into the kitchen and sat down. I glanced at the return address and it was from Ward and Ross Attourneys At Law and I opened it and there was a letter that advised me to contact them immediately that they were representing Levi English in a very important matter.
I heaved a deep sigh and handed the letter to Tabby. She read it and said "Wonder what that's all about?" and I said "Hard telling. I call them right now and see." So I did just that. I was so pissed when I got off the phone that I slammed it down and threw it as far as I could it being hooked to the wall and all.
By that time the twins were done eating and Tabby told them it would be best if they went out to play which they did. She then asked me if I was alright and I told her "No, I'm not! That stupid, ignorant psycho bitch wants to fight me for the Ranch! She told me she would do that because I specifically asked her if she would! Shoulda got it in writing. F***ing lying bitch!"
Tabby asked if she could give me a thought and I said "Of course, you're family" and she smiled warmly and said "Let's not fight her. Give the place to her. It is hers after all. We can get us a new place either built or buy one. I'm sure there are places out there that have mega acreage like this place." I told her that would have to be Plan B. Plan A is fighting for the right to stay here because my name was on the deed too. I told her I was going out to the ashes to try to make sense of it all.
So outside I went slamming the door so hard the house might have shook! The twins were playing tag when I got outside and I wondered how in the Name of God English could pull this on them and their stability and well-being? She didn't love them and that was painfully obvious. I wondered if she ever did love them. I didn't much less give a dam about me. I could live anywhere.
This was the only home they knew for two years. They loved it here. I'd fight to my last breath to keep it for them. But would it be enough? Only time would tell.