Sitting outside, in the dark, at our smoking table, on our second cocktail, Richard dialed Jim's number. He didn't put the conversation on speaker phone. I don't know why I didn't insist, but I think instinctively I knew I was pushing the envelope already. The first part of their chat was all about Richard expressing his remorse. His declarations of guilt made me nauseous. I had heard those words of regret way too many times. It's not that I didn't believe he was sincere. I just didn't care that he was sorry. What good is sorry if I knew I could never forgive him?
He apologized to Jim, but he didn't ask for forgiveness. Perhaps he was starting to believe he didn't deserve any.
Yuckolla! I was so over seeing my husband, the man that I always thought was my pillar of strength, become a limp-ass jelly fish! I had to turn away. I know it would not have gone well if Richard had not been contrite and humble, but Damn! I would've paid good money (not to Jaymie or Jim, but to the Gods of Payback!) to hear my man say something like, "Jim...your daughter used me for financial gain. I used her hot, young bod to get my rocks off. Let's just call it a day and give Shawn her half of the cash back, then you can get on with your miserable little life."
Hey...we all have our fantasies. Don't judge me.
After the prerequisite apologies, the debate began and it became crystal clear that Jim was determined to hear Richard say the cash had never been a loan. Daddy Jim became One Note Johnny, beating the same dead horse relentlessly!
"Jaymie insists the money was never a loan."
My husband, the attorney, was ready for this argument. "It doesn't matter, Jim. Half of the money she received belongs to Shawn."
"I want to hear you admit that you gave Jaymie the money."
"I can't do that Jim."
"Just between us...is Jaymie lying to me? Did you loan her the money?"
"It is a mute point. Half of the money is Shawn's and she wants it repaid. I intend to back Shawn up in this request. Shawn has been hurt badly. She needs this to help her get past the betrayal."
Richard looked at me with pleading eyes! "I can't do this!"
My eyes told him, in no uncertain terms, "Don't you dare let me down!"
I won't bore you with the repetitive dialog of the rest of the phone call. The bottom line is, without a handshake or a signed contract, an agreement was made.
It was an agreement within a stalemate. By the end of the deliberations, I was the only winner. Richard never admitted the money was a gift or payment for services rendered, but he sure confessed to being a deplorable stereotypical middle aged adulterer. Jim never found out if his daughter was lying about the money being a loan to save a small shred of her dignity or if she was merely a naive, school girl that couldn't say no to hundreds of dollars being thrown her way for a quick roll in the hay.
I won. Jaymie was going to repay $500 at $100 a month. The agreement was Jaymie would make the checks out to a charity, chosen by me, send the checks to me at work and I would forward them to the proper address after verification. All very business like.
The kink in the agreement...no future contact with anyone in her family. Cased closed. Cutting me off cold-turkey from Jaymie. I believed she was the only person that could quiet the quandaries that haunted me constantly. She was like my crack pipe!
You all know what happens to people coping with addiction withdrawal, right?
The next few months were not gonna be pretty.