Hi, I'm Deuce. We haven't met yet, but we will.
I've known about you long before auditions began.
And I've always told him I aim to be your friend.
There are children involved, after all.
You are no doubt lovely, and gentle and kind.
He has top-shelf taste though his budget is sometimes inflated.
He says he is going to wife you soon; very, very soon he tells me.
I think he intends that to stun and sting.
But I am already quite numb from the earlier blows.
Though we are not exactly divorced yet, I tried that whole kinstugi thing.
The gold we found in Rome's mountains could not heal or seal us, and all the King's horses and Prince Simon's men, couldn't put us back together again.
It takes both sides holding their broken parts, together.
While I must note the ease with which two decades have been discarded, it is only a reminder for myself.
You must not read into my tone a longing or desire to change this tide.
We don't crash onto such shores without first losing a battle with the raging sea.
This letter is simply a note of welcome, a word of warning, if needed.
Have you met Ace, yet ?
There was a time we were not permitted to speak of her, nor the son she bore him in their youth.
A lot more in common than you'll realize at first.
There will be differences, but more-so, the similarities.
In the beginning, Ace offered a similar courtesy to me, though she was more brief and to the point:
"He's a liar and I don't care who he dates" she said.
She was finished then as I am now.
I know stories are going to differ, mileage will vary.
Even now, he would have me believe fanciful versions of my own story, assigning himself roles of both victim and hero, while I am cast as villain.
Some days, he is nearly successful.
If I hadn't seen his fingerprints wrapped around throats for myself, or if I could forget that night my own breath was obstructed as he carried me down the hall by my head, almost he'd persuade even me.
His current version, as he recently shared with our youngest daughter during their visitation, depicts me leaving home in search of some love, new.
"I didn't do this," he told her "it was your mom who left me."
She is young, but not too young to remember the yelling and the fear he doused our home in, the struck match of grabbed throats and the hold-your-breath encounters when he wasn't very kind.
She remembers the Christmas tree, sailing down the stairs and the splinters of wood when he killed that dining room chair.
After all, it wasn't even that long ago.
She remembers him telling us all to go... and stay the frick gone, too.
I remember a similar tale, about Ace looking for someone new, leaving him behind and bewildered, holding their baby son.
Later, on a VHS tape I found, the little boy, handed a cordless phone: "You want your Mama?" he asked "Call her and tell her to come home."
Years later, he would ask me if, in a conversation Ace and I had on the phone, she had finally admitted to cheating on him.
"I did what I needed to do to get out." she'd said, which he counted as a resounding "Yes."
"I knew it!" triumphantly, him.
He hadn't had all the proof he purported to in the beginning, and the question still lingered in his mind. But now, at last, their bloody divorce was justified.
She would have to tell you more about how he came to be briefly keeping their son, but I imagine it was not unlike the way he came to be holding mine.
Hear me: his keeping their son does not equal her leaving him behind.
When he had not paid child support in some time, (just you watch how much I have to prod him) he told me to tell her to ask that old alleged boyfriend to help her.
Ace gently pointed out how long it had been since they'd divorced. How odd to still have that guy's name on his lips.
She was remarried (not to the alleged boyfriend) and he was remarried and they both had children with somebodies new.
I am telling you, it had been many years and three new children long.
Alas, his suspicion and grudges have staying power.
In advance, I apologize if this cramps the life you hope to build.
It may not creep out right away, which is what makes it harder still.
You think he's happy to be building a life brand new, with you.
Then you find an "Aha!" in his pocket from an argument, long past due.
You're going to see (eventually) that it runs deeper than her or you or me.
There's something tangled in his biology.
If you are even a little bit pretty, Three- as you almost have to be,
you may wish to listen carefully to me.
There's something deep inside him that finds you too good to be true.
He's so lucky to have you.
He's not quite sure how he pulled this off... and that's where the doubt comes in.
Surely it is too good to be true.
And he will place the burden of proof on you.
This is an impossible thing... to prove what is not nor ever has been.
You cannot reason with a wild imagination.
Family, friends, it matters not.
You must always place him first-er than first.
He knows that he is jealous, gets crazy in love.
He finds the notion romantic.
He wants to completely consume you.
What is a love that does not fully possess the object of its desire?
I will follow Ace's lead here, she knew that I would have to just see for myself to understand. She offered very few explanations or defenses for his claims.
I asked her directly a few times, because I had begun to suspect things I'd been told did not align.
Myself, I will answer any questions that arise, but I already suspect against what odds.
It must seem that I want no one to have him if I may not keep him myself.
I point you to the various offers he made for us to reconnect, from July through December.
A point is reached with the lying where you have no choice but to accept defeat, despite wanting to believe.
You find yourself dwelling in a land of pure imagination... no ceiling to shelter under, no walls to lean on and certainly no ground on which to stand.
It isn't that I didn't want One heart, forever.
It isn't that I wanted something new.
I was no longer able to endure the conditions he set for reaching ever after, wanting as he did, to remove the happily and replace it with taunts to just die.
So, as we wait, I offer you a set of short proofs, verified easily by sources other than my words.
If he hasn't lied to you about these things, you are off to a good start.
If these topics haven't come up yet, you now have the advantage of his being forced now not to lie.
If you find there are already discrepancies, I suggest you confront them together now, while he's in the "everything-is-brand-new" phase.
But Three, do not blink because 'new' dissipates with speed.
1.) Did he graduate college? Where did he attend?
(No, but he loves to tell people he did. Some classes through work and a semester unfinished at - -U.)
2.) Did he attend the school for the team he cheers the loudest?
(No, but he loves to tell people he did.)
*I remember when he breathed a sigh of relief that he no longer had to keep up this particular facade. For years, he had been telling me and various employers it was true. I was so happy to see him embracing truth. He was going to enjoy life so much more without having to keep his stories straight. I mean, I liked him for who he was at that time - without an impressive back-story, without degree or alma mater. I believed others would, too.
A few years later, I overheard him telling our waitress that same familiar tale, now resurrected and demanding a feast of brain. I found myself wondering why he wanted to impress her so. It wasn't flirtation- for she was our mother's age old... perhaps it was insecurity? I never could understand why this little inconsistency was more valuable to him than the life we'd built, tooth and nail, together.
Or why he didn't just return to school and make it true.
3.) Does the money he spends freely belong rightfully to him?
(Ask the IRS and a man named Nevermind)
4.) Did his second wife really leave him and steal their kids or did he angrily demand his freedom?
*(Refer to his own words (in the gray bubbles) here:
(there are more bubbles than room to share them)
5.) Was he the victim of theft, with a money hungry wife who tried to sabotage their livelihood, or did he play the bully who, not able to force her back into a volatile home, locked her and children out cold? (again, gray bubbles)
In closing Three, I have nothing against you.
You really shouldn't be here, and if he could be depended on, maybe you wouldn't be.
But neither would I or the children I love.
Perhaps He and Ace would be nearing their 30.
But she would miss some pretty amazing turns for good, too.
Each person only gets to choose for themselves.
Now you deserve informed consent as you choose.
Not only Ace, but another woman in his life told me he was going to lie. She said that I should accept it and expect it. She sort of asked me to see past it.
My internal response was along the lines of " He lies to you perhaps, but not to me...he likes me."
Even then Three, he was lying.
He did, continued to and will.
Of course, I hope I am wrong.
Maybe this change is real.
From where I was left standing, (at the cash register, unable to buy them dinner)
I have to let you know our account is left unsettled.
He hasn't made things right.
From the bag he left me holding, he continues to pull out justifications for the terrible things he said.
"Go drive from the tallest bridge you can find" is just something you say when you're having a bad day.
Feigned apologies weren't real.
Marriage Tip for "Making it to 50": shower her in profanity.
I'm telling you to adjust any secret expectations you may have of being honored or cherished on days whether good or bad.
Though I must point out the danger in order to remain a decent person, I understand too, why you probably cannot hear me just now.
No matter what happens or doesn't, for the sake of the kids and all peace, we must make an effort to be friends.
There will be no "Told you so's," nor "Should have been me's" from me.
Best wishes to you both and welcome to the family,
Your new friend,
P.S. I promise these letters won't always be so heavy. Next time I will share recipes or family memories you should know.