Terry’s Old PI Files – The First Wife Stalker

One of my first cases was probably one of the simplest ones I’ve ever been involved in, but easily the most memorable.

Frustration... but who's at fault?

Frustration… but who’s at fault?

A woman walked into my office and stated that her husband was being incredibly unfaithful. There was quite a story after, but it still boiled down to infidelity and wanting proof for divorce hearings. After explaining my pricing, she opted to just put a GPS tracker on the family car, so she could always find his whereabouts.

The GPS Tracker

The GPS Tracker

That was that. I thought that would be the last of this, but it’s interesting where circumstances falls in the strangest places. About a week later, a fellow walks in and tells me about the week from hell he’d been in. You see, he was separated from his insanely jealous wife, and had started to build a life for himself. He had a new bachelor pad, social friends and more importantly, a new girlfriend. But suddenly, his soon-to-be-ex wife was showing up everywhere he and his girl went. They could be in a picnic in the woods, there she would be. A public restaurant? There the wife would be in the next booth. He even saw her trying to find him in a movie theatre during the show! Needless to say, he really wasn’t quite thrilled.

Equally Frustrated... but why?

Equally Frustrated… but why?

When he told me when the timing as well, the proverbial lightbulb magically clicked on above me. My heart kinda sank as I was absolutely sure that his wife was the lady last week, but what to do? I couldn’t explain that his wife had probably bought a GPS tracker from me. So, girding myself for possible discovery, I sat him down and explained that someone may have put a GPS tracker onto his vehicle. We went through the defense options, and in the end, he opted to buy a special Radio Frequency detector that could find such GPS devices.

All was well in the world again… or so I thought. A week passed by, and I honestly put this whole affair out of my mind. Strange how when you’re right, fate seems to always want to have a hand with the joke!

The original woman who came in, and asked for my help again! You see, the tracker had done it’s job too well, and she was always able to find her “wayward” husband. She was able to prove he was “cheating”, but then suddenly she noticed her husband started going back and forth to Edmonton. So one day, she started to follow the signal for a full day, only to find out she was following a GREYHOUND bus. She didn’t know what else to do, but we chatted for awhile after…. (what happened later is another tale)

Catch the Greyhound!

Catch the Greyhound!

Not long after, I received a phone call from the gent, who told me that he DID find a GPS device and attached it to a bus out of town. He was pretty sure that was the problem, because he had 3 days of uninterrupted peace and quiet from his wife. Needless to say, I found the whole thing amusing.

So what lesson to impart? Nothing that’s mind breaking or soul shattering, except maybe… what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. ūüôā

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From Terry’s PI Files : The 3 Wives – Wife #1 and the Teen Lover

Through the years I worked in investigations officially and unofficially, none were as enigmatic to me as the 3 wives. These 3 women, all in successful businesses, relationships and so on, were mothers, power negotiators and more. Yet from when I first met them (all within the same year), to when I saw them last, they all had the same problem, philandering husbands and yet refused to break away.

Today, I’m going to cover the first one. She’s since threw the jerk out, but there was a pretty long period where she just wouldn’t pull the trigger on this guy. She was clearly an emotionally abused woman, without much self confidence. Attractive and still young, she had apparently caught her husband once with her neighbor but refused to give me the full details.

Still, what she DID give me was more than enough to work with. And more importantly, the guy had the habit of using her laptop to contact his lover through messenger and the like. EVEN more so, he liked to use her car for quick trips out to the office or wherever as opposed to his ridiculously powered Hummer.

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It was a fairly easy sting as stings go. I placed a GPS tracking device onto her car, so I would have a record of his comings and goings. With her permission, I put a data logging program into the computer. There, now I had whatever he would write online. (By the way, if you ever find yourself in the need to find out if your computers are being abused by your employees or kids, I can’t begin to recommend properly the software Spector Pro. Trust me on this.) Finally, I resorted to plain old PI work.

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After about 2 weeks, I was ready. We’re all people of habit. You and I might like going to a certain cafe a few times a week, or certain restaurants, a bus stop, a favorite path to jog around in. These are all examples that with the help of GPS, I had his. I also had a LOT of rather incriminating emails written in code names that indicated that there was not only an affair going on, but a pretty hot and heavy one.

On Tuesday I noticed that he would go to a certain parking lot at 3 pm every day. It was close to a good sized strip mall, a city community rec centre, and… a large high school. This got me thinking, as my client still hadn’t told me much about the neighbor. Doing a routine check, I found out that 3 persons lived there, a father, mother and a daughter. As the mother was in her late 30s, I assumed that was the possible partner. But now… was it the daughter? I went to the parking lot to find out.

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It didn’t take long. A rather attractive teenager, maybe 16-17 ran across the street, and into his car. They then sped off, and not far behind, I followed them to a house that apparently had a basement suite. Well, that was enough info (and pics), and I went off. I asked to meet the client, and she asked me to see what else I can find online before meeting.

I had done a cursory examination of the email files before. Nothing too serious, just looking for anything that might be a smoking gun (which was most of it), but all of it was still under code names. This time, I looked into it seriously, and soon found quite a few pics that made the word compromising seem mild.

I won’t go any further into the lurid details. The client had proof that her husband had seduced a teenager and kept a secret love nest. The girl, as distasteful as it was, was officially at the age of consent at the time (over 14 yrs of age), and as she was the one who did a ton of porn selfies, the law wasn’t quite clear on whether to charge her with creating her OWN self child porn willingly.

She stayed the with guy for another 2 years before kicking his ass onto the curb. There were other related matters she would bring me in, but none as surprising as those early days.

As for any lessons? Well, I guess, never be so cheap or stupid to use the laptop and car of the wife you’re cheating on? Outside of that, nope, no idea of anything else.

But as she was the first of three who stayed as my clients throughout the years, I never quite understand the power of love, hate, obsession, safety and security until I met them. Wait until next week.

 

Adventures in the Spy Biz : What NOT to do when you’re Cheating Pt 1

A few years back, I was requested by a client to see if I could give her a hand. I had been working at Spy City as the store manager for a while, and we had long since established ourselves in Calgary as a place of last resort.¬† We dealt with the people who couldn’t get help from the police, needed to get evidence and find a means to protect themselves.

In the almost 7 years I’ve been there, I can honestly say that I’ve prevented some child abductions and saved I don’t know how many women from serious physical and emotional abuse. There are stores and restaurants that I’ve stopped internal theft and¬†outright assaults. Information I’ve gathered have stopped a murder and made life easier for helpless seniors. Needless to say, I really have to write a book about all this one day, but the most prevalent type of case I’m involved in usually has something to do with infidelity and the like.

Well, with my work, I’ve gotten much more involved in some cases than simply selling product or advising companies. Why take the risk? I’d like to say it’s because I love being a spy for hire, or try to emulate my favorite childhood tv show Magnum PI. I might even say that with my strong belief in Chivalry, that maybe it has something to do with being a White Knight and helping the damsel in distress. But really, in the end, if I ever do get involved in a case, it’s more because the person in trouble simply trusts me and her situation is dire, and I just can’t look away.

Now there are plenty of pretty serious cases, but there are a few that were also pretty hilarious. So let’s get to a few tips to the Cheater on what NOT to do, and I’ll give a bit of a summary.

1) When you’re having a nooner, do NOT use the Company Van

A few years back, a wife had intercepted her husband’s cell phone message from his secret lover. He was supposed to go to a motel at the outskirts of town, and be available for an hour of bedroom acrobatics. Since the wife was a housewife who didn’t drive, she turned to me to see if I can get some evidence¬†ASAP.¬† My problem, he was going to his nooner the next day, and the exact motel wasn’t mentioned. ¬†Still, I knew that there were only so many possible places, so I drove up and down this strip of 16 Ave NW and tried to figure it out.

I had barely gone 2 blocks when I noticed the work van. Now, normally, trying to find a single work vehicle in a large neighbourhood would be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. But this particular vehicle was with a company that’s quite popular in Calgary, with especially visible cartoon like characters all over the sides. Needless to say, it took me less than 2 min to find the place, and being a motel, I just waited around with a camera and got the evidence when the client’s husband and lover left the motel. Easiest tracking of a client EVER.

2) Don’t post your topless pics to try to impress your lover on FACEBOOK and TWITTER.

You would think that this would be a no-brainer, eh? I mean, Anthony Weiner is by far a great example of what can be found out. Apparently, NO!

My client was admittedly had a bit of a tech-phobia. She had barely any idea how to use her computer, and had not touched social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and the like.¬†Her husband, being a little tech saavy, had no such restrictions, and was using his own Facebook page as a means to impress a friend with topless beach pics and the like. Worse, he was encouraging the target of his affections to make comments and so on. It really didn’t take me very long to get evidence obviously.

3) Do NOT get a mother angry. Not unless you really want to become a eunuch.

There’s an old saying, the female is the deadlier of the species. I prefer the ol’ saying, “Hell hath no fury than¬†a woman scorned.”

When a family is about to be broken up or endangered and young kids are involved, I find that women are always going to find unusual levels of strength and anger to protect her cubs. I’ve also found that they tend to be ESPECIALLY vengeful for the family being damaged in the first place.

To my experience, when a guy is cheated on, 9 out of 10 times he’ll just do what’s needed to confirm and then leave or break things off. When a gal is though, and kids are involved….. well,¬†6 out of 10 times she’ll do what’s necessary… and THEN do even more to continue to make his life a living HELL long after the breakup!¬† I’ve got cases that has lasted over 5-6 years where I found the evidence a long long time ago and they’re still after the guy’s head. Needless to say, I should give presentations at wedding encounter workshops.

That’s enough for a start for now… but I guarantee that you’ll be more than a little amused.¬† Same bat-title, same bat-channel!

The New Frontiers: Breaking the Cycle

“The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlyn, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That is the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then‚ÄĒto learn.”

-T H. White, The Once and Future King, Unknown

Fathers, be good to your daughters. Daughters will love like you do. Girls become lovers who turn into mothers, So mothers, be good to your daughters too

– John Mayer, “Daughters”

Since Xmas,it’s been a hell of a roller-coaster life. ¬†Here’s my recap for new readers (you can read the full story in “The Days Before Tomorrow“).

  • 29 years ago, I met a girl who I loved. We never did end up being a true couple, but still ended up in love with one another.
  • Almost 22 years ago, I deliberately broke her heart, and mine, out of what I believed to be the greater good. (Covered in The Days, Pt. 2)
  • 21 years ago, she married a man she liked, not loved, out of confusion, spite and so on. (Covered in The Days, Pt. 3)
  • 20 years ago, she gave birth to my spiritual step-son, Terry, named after me and appointed me as his godfather and guardian should something happen.
  • 18 years ago, she gave birth to my spiritual step-daughter, Georgia, also named after me, and again appointed me godfather.
  • 10 years ago, she divorced that man and tried to reconcile the years with me, of which I was unavailable physically, and as I ponder, possibly even emotionally at that time.
  • 9 years ago, she was killed by a drunk driver, and I was banned from the kids as a possible kidnapping risk (covered in The Days, Pt 4)
  • 2 years ago when Terry turned 18, he looked for me and found me on social media. He then started to watch me from time to time wondering if he should approach me or not (explained in Unintended Consequences)
  • Last Xmas, both kids finally did, and I wrote the Days over several weeks for them to explain the whole story of their mother and me. (explained in The Days, epilogue)
  • Last month, we were reunited for the first time. While it’s wonderful to be back in their lives, I find out that history is about to repeat, as Georgia is very much like her mom. (Covered in The New Frontiers)

In the past month since reuniting with “my kids”, I’ve been forced to navigate between my obligation to the kids, loyalty to myself and my own family, and the memory and last wishes of a woman now 9 years gone. ¬†Georgia, upon finding out the full story of her mother, myself and the mistakes made by all parties involved, has distanced herself from her father and grandmother. For better or worse, she has told me that I am, and have always should have been, her father. More so, she, at the tender all knowing age of 18, has decided to marry a 24 yr old Mainland Chinese foreigner who I have no idea if he’s even a Canadian citizen. Finally, as her “one, true dad”, it is my responsibility and duty to give her away at her sudden rush wedding in September.

Damn it. I hate it when people know how much importance I place duty and honor as part of my life. I hate it when my beliefs in modern Chivalry are tested at such extremes. More so, I believe she has a point. Georgia in another world and time, should have been my daughter. She should have been the little girl I’ve always wanted to raise, and be there for her first day at school, her first date and first night at the prom. In her, I see so much of her late mother, and while I have no regrets of the life lived thus far, I do wonder about that path not chosen.

I don’t believe for a second that this is right. I didn’t earn the right to be her dad. I’m not the natural father who did all of those crucial life events with her, but the past is forged with heavy chains that hold us all still. ¬†My love’s ex-husband still refuses to talk to me, and so far as I can tell, wants me to deal with this mess. The grandmother is not an ally either in this matter, as she’s been cast out with her son-in-law. Making matters worse, she still bitterly despises me for my part in the choices that eventually led to her daughter’s death. ¬†Terry, well, he’s a great 20-yr old kid who may know his sis too well, and has advised me on when not to push it too much.

In the end, the choice has been left to me, and I’ve been undecided long enough. September is coming up fast. ¬†Friends who have followed The Days have been advising me, and I came to a conclusion finally. ¬†But it was a conclusion I probably always knew would have to be.

This is wrong. Period. ¬†And 20 minutes before I started writing, I told her. (She’s not a happy camper.)

Probably not to the surprise of anyone despite sage counsel, I will NOT step away. I will not get into a family war, or be the cause of one like before. ¬†But until either her father or Georgia smartens up, or hopefully both, I will support her in any decision that will give her time to properly live a little bit first. If she moves in with the guy, and I get a proper chance to know him, I might even consider giving her away, but ONLY if there’s no hope of reconciliation between her father and herself and I’m satisfied that they’re in it for honest reasons.

All those years ago, extreme choices I made led us all into a place that I could have never imagined possible. Subsequent choices that my 1st love made, turned a tale of lovers lost into an outright Greek tragedy. That was the beginning of a cycle of hurt, of sorrow and lost chances. I can’t let this cycle repeat with her daughter. I won’t. She needs to be free of this legacy of what us, her mom, her dad and myself did.

More so, I need to be free. I just want a fresh start with T & G. Is that really too much to ask?

To Georgia, my beloved goddaughter, this is my decision and my reasons.

I fully believe that any marriage in the here and now, is a mistake, and is a decision based partially on defiance and maybe even anger against the sins of your late mother and your fathers…. both of us.

I WILL support you in any way I can to live a little, travel a little. In the semester to come as you study law, why not consider moving in with him for a little bit. If it’s honestly love, and one worth pursuing, then what’s the harm of a little time to give you a chance to study and live. I need to be assured that he is a good man and this is something that has an honest chance, and that’s something I don’t have right now. I’ve known him for 2 1/2 hours in real face to face time, and to put it honestly, all I want to do right now is to “grab the proverbial shotgun” and chase him off.¬†

I love you. I always have. I am proud of your achievements. You remind me so much of your mother, my heart honestly aches with the pain of loss and sweet memory.

But I can’t support a mistake, especially one without your true dad at the altar. Georgia, I will be a part of the solution, not one that continues the cycle of mistakes and anger. There may be no hope between your dad, your grandmother or me, as too much has happened. But there’s always hope for you and them, and they acted always to protect and guide you.

Think about it. I’ll be here for you.

The Days Before Tomorrow … Pt 3

“Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned,” – William Congreve

“Hatred ever kills, love never dies. Such is the vast difference between the two. What is obtained by love is retained for all time. What is obtained by hatred proves a burden in reality for it increases hatred.” – Gandhi

“I was born when you kissed me, I died when you left me, I lived a few weeks while you loved me.” – Humphrey Bogart

In all of my wildest dreams, I never saw that coming. We were close in so many ways, even though we weren’t a typical couple over the years. But, it was because we weren’t a normal couple that I had made my mistake in thinking that this was something that could be solved in a sudden dramatic fashion. To put it mildly, I was stunned, and remained so for the 2 or so hours where they both told me how they fell in love, how they both felt guilty about me, how they wanted me in their lives no matter the distance and more. To them, I was now family, like the happy go-lucky brother. In all honesty, I felt a bit like I had created a bizarre version of Frankenstein’s Monster, one that was now coming for my blood for the sin of brutal creation.

So I played the game a little further and served as their Best Man, and I think I played my part well. Should I mention about the bachelor party I hosted? The actual event at the altar where I smiled and cooed, all the while wanting to leap out of a window? How about the wedding banquet, quite modest thankfully, but still filled with those little games that everyone loves to watch. No one said if I looked upset or angry, though her parents did take me aside and told me that it was my fault that this happened and I should have been there on that altar instead. But realistically, my only thoughts were on how much I wanted this to end, and to wash my hands of everything and disappear from sight.  Little did I know that even long after the night ended and I returned to Montreal, she had other plans in motion to keep me close.

A few short months later before Xmas, I was told there was a surprise coming.  While admittedly not particularly thrilled, I had to admit I was a bit curious to see what she had in mind.  I was pretty much expecting maybe copies of the wedding photos?  A thank you gift?  Maybe a visit?  Who knew what it could be really?  I was still feeling the sting of the wedding, and I knew in my heart of hearts that this mess was entirely my fault.  I mean, I knew she would be upset with losing me, but I never in a million years thought she would rebound in such a strange and unexpected way.  Little did I know, that was just the beginning.

On Xmas Eve, they came around to my door bearing gifts.¬† I wasn’t surprised, as I expected something along these lines. The meeting was brief, as they had other doors to knock and people to see, but they did tell me to keep my New Years’ Eve free. I should have lied and said I had plans or something, but that would have been futile. All of those years of written notes and secret whispers had made her a human Terry lie detector for the most part (with of course the exception of when I shoved her). So I went about my daily holiday business of too much turkey, tons of family and friends and so on, but my mind remained a bit at unease knowing THE day approaching.

New Year’s Eve actually started to be fun. Being the geek I am, they surprised me with a private room and a few matches of Laser Quest of all things. It seemed to be a genuinely pleasant approach to that night that I never expected. There was of course a blind eye to the case of sparkling wine brought into the room, several pizzas and laughter between the 3 of us and their friends all around. We talked and reminisced, went over the elementary to college years, the disastrous first date ever, odd arguments about horror movies and so on, and I was honestly starting to relax and enjoy the company. Famous last thoughts I suppose.

Throughout the night, I noticed that while we were all enjoying the bubbly, she had stuck to apple juice and so on. She was never much of a drinker, but then, it was New Year’s Eve. And as the final few minutes of the year arrived, she stood up and poured a very small amount of wine into her glass and made a toast. First was a toast to her new husband, then her friends and family and then as she put it (and I so have those words burned into my brain in 24 point Helvetica type), “To Terry, the dearest friend, sweetheart and soon to be UNCLE and GODFATHER TO MY SON.” I so dearly wished right there and then for those laser pistols to be fully functional and lethal so I could shoot myself.

There was a lot of cheering and toasting that night. I felt sick and left the building, trying not to faint or throw up on the ground. It was a particularly cold night then, but I honestly didn’t even notice as both shock and a bit of fury had gripped me. I thought I was done and over with her, but now I saw that she meant every word about keeping me close. And as with stupid me and my code of chivalry, I felt obliged to say yes when I wanted to just scream. I looked back at the door to Laser Quest, composed myself, went back inside and apologized for my sudden reaction and accepted the honor. Months later, I got to meet my first godchild ever, and could you believe the coincidence? He was named Terry too.

By the way, did I happen to mention how unusual it would have been for me to be the Godfather? I was born and raised catholic, and lived across the country to boot. She was protestant, though He was catholic as well. Moreso, my belief in the Christian faith had already begun to wane back then (I’ve since become Atheist) which didn’t exactly make me a very good candidate. She didn’t care, and if He did, He didn’t tell me then. So annually, I would send gifts and notes to my godson to read when he was older, and every so often I would see them in Montreal or I would go there. A few short years later, Terry was followed by a second child, a sweet little girl named Georgia. I should have guessed, as my middle name is George. But if things were getting weird, she didn’t let me know. ¬†(I’m a bit thankful there weren’t more kids. My full name is Terrence George Bing Nung Lo, which incorporates my chinese name as well. ¬†Somehow I imagine in a parallel universe a kid named Bing being teased mercilessly in a playground.)

This game went on and on, and I would make my regular phone calls to the family and talk to my godkids. He had become a successful restaurant manager while the wedding and children derailed her studies in law, but still managed to get a degree in accounting somehow. I stayed in Montreal, finding new loves time and again, but somehow always watching them go up in flames in one way or another (Those tales are for another soap opera tale in the future). Still, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be, as we all found our lives going their own separate paths as they should.

It was a Saturday in July that I called to wish lil’ Terry a happy birthday. But instead of the formalities of saying hi and so on, Terry passed me on to his grandma. She was expecting my call, and wanted a chance to tell me her mind. She had told me that HE had left, and moved away with another woman with kids of her own. She, my 1st, was now a single parent to the 2 kids, and that custody was entirely hers and that HE didn’t even contest it. Her mom then told me the rest of the story, of the fights and the counselling that went on in the background. The regrets she had by acting so rashly by marrying him, and the hurt and pain behind it all. How She had insisted on naming both kids after me, and that I had to be their godfather. Her mom confirmed all of my suspicions and more, and then lectured me about how it should have been me and her daughter from the start. Many more words were passed on, but the final word was from the Court of BC. I was faxed copies of the divorce papers, and besides “Irreconcilable Differences”, there it was written in HIS handwriting just under HIS signature:

“She’s still in love with that f***** and did this to hurt him.”

End of Part Three

—————————–

The Days Before Tomorrow, Pt. 1
The Days Before Tomorrow, Pt. 2
The Days Before Tomorrow, Interlude
The Days Before Tomorrow, Pt 4 – Those Left Behind
The Days Before Tomorrow, Epilogue and Answers
The Days Before Tomorrow, Afterword

The Days Before Tomorrow … Pt 2

“The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men,
Gang aft agley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promis’d joy!” – Scottish Poet, Robert Burns

“You always hurt the one you love
The one you shouldn’t hurt at all
You always take the sweetest rose
And crush it till the petals fall” – Songwriter Alan Roberts, Sung by Peggy Lee

So there was the impasse.¬† She didn’t want to leave.¬† She didn’t want to leave ME.

As we walked together after that moment, she couldn’t imagine life without my irregular notes in her door, or the awkward silences as we both danced around our feelings all of those wasted years.¬† I couldn’t imagine the nights not spent talking on the phone as the lightning roared and the heavens thundered.¬† Just the way she would grin silently as classical played on into the air, or the scent of her hair.¬† So many things I realized I would miss.

The following day, I secretly skipped class and went to talk to her mom.  She had long known about our almost secret relationship, and was always encouraging me to take it to the next step.  In her eyes, her daughter had a boy who truly cared for her, was kind, considerate and sincere, but more importantly, one who cared enough for her girl to give up his world.  And I did, so the plans proceeded.

I made myself less available day after day, and the notes became shorter and shorter.¬† Comments on life and love, spirit and music on the page evolved into simple gossip and banter about my “brothers”, inane school events and complaints about the Quebec government.¬† I tried to portray a callous, unfeeling Terry who was unworthy of anyone.¬† I ceased to walk over to meet her in the mornings, and would “forget” about our rare special evenings in exchange for nights of popcorn and movies alone or with my best friends.¬† The campaign, I knew would be long and hard, and I was going insane in thought.¬† My spies in her midst, her mother and father would continue to argue and rant on their end to ensure her departure and feed me information.¬† It wasn’t very successful, as she saw through the whole ploy with laser like accuracy.¬† Worse, she tracked me down at my favorite McDonald’s (well, yes, I wasn’t much of a foodie admittedly back then), sat down, told me to quit it, and kissed me on the cheek.

Time was running short, and I really didn’t know what else I could do.¬† The problem with having written hundreds of pages of my feelings and thoughts to her, is that she knew me fundamentally deeper than any person alive.¬† Deadlines on events that deal with life situations weren’t really something I was particularly good at, especially when considering¬† it was with one who loved me so well.¬† So I went back to her parents and we talked one more time. In the end, we all agreed, there was only one action left to do… and it’s one that has always scarred and shamed me in so many ways.

The day we broke up was not a particularly exceptional day, but it’s one I will always recall.¬† For those who know me, I have cherished in my heart the code of Chivalry and the pursuit of knightly honor to be my most highest belief.¬† In fact, that dedication was always greater than what I once believed as an evangelized youth, my comic books, movies and geekdom highlights.¬†¬† As the days counted down to the final cut off to accepting the scholarship came close, all I could think was acts of desperation.¬† My sweet girl¬† had it in her mind that she wasn’t leaving and was just going to wait and work a bit until a time would come when we both could leave and excel.¬† But in the meantime, the days had become a monotonous routine, where we would meet, then argue about the lack of time left, then kiss, then allow her to enrapture me with the joy of her presence and then argue again, and then have her remind me that I’ll be forced to quit it pretty soon so I might as well stop there and then, and the day would progress as it would.¬† This time, I added a few more factors… the presence of her parents and a deliberate dedication to be ugly, to be angry and to be evil in the basest manner possible.

I won’t go through the full details, but the ambush was successful in raising the tension.¬† Voices were loud and angry as we were pleading and begging, and then (and with prior secret approval) accusations about me would be made and so much more.¬† But in the end, as it all came to a head, I did the one thing I didn’t want to do but realized was the only thing I could do to turn her passion away… I raised my hand, and in front of her family, shoved her hard onto the floor and started the first move to a follow up action.¬† Her mother knew I might had to do that.¬† Her father didn’t… and with that shove, the air in the room stood still.

I was thrown out by her dad, and justly so.¬† He didn’t punch me, but I honestly hoped he would.¬† Since growing out of elementary, I had never raised a hand in anger against a woman ever, and I couldn’t believe I actually did.¬† She looked out at me from her living room window, stunned, and angry.¬† She was always strong willed, but with that one act, I shattered every image and belief she had in me.¬† And as dearly as I wanted to run back in to hold her, to apologize and beg forgiveness, the anger of her father had put an end to that.

She called. I didn’t answer. I wrote no notes. I never walked with her again. Camelot had fallen, and to free her, I shattered both our hearts.¬† And in those months to come, we had no more contact no matter how much we both wanted it.

Here is where fate decided to give me a good s***kicking for my audacity to strike a woman.¬† In those months, I got word from her mom about how depressed she was, and how all our efforts might go to naught if she dropped out instead.¬† I had done my job too well.¬† But to tell her that I attacked her to force her to go to school and it was orchestrated??¬† I foresaw a pretty angry woman getting off a plane, and then throttling her family, and then me.¬† So what to do, what to do … when inspiration hit.¬† Maybe if I had a friend show her around, cheer her up, maybe she’ll improve and I even knew who to befriend her.¬† He was an old friend of mine from childhood, who moved to that city long ago but we still kept in touch.¬† Friendly, outgoing, emphatic and simply a nice guy, I asked him to see if he could look her up and gave him the full story on the event that drove her off so he had some reference.¬† That wasn’t a great idea in hindsight.

Months more went by, and as the days passed, while I missed the regular notes and her presence, I still did my best to go on.  The first summer was the hardest or so I thought.  When lightning struck, I looked up and closed my eyes trying to imagine her near me, letting the sound of thunder rumble through my body.  I still wrote, but this time it was notes to no one.  And as the notes piled, the amount slowed down to a smaller flow, and then a trickle, and then none.

It was in August that I got a call.¬† My buddy who I had asked to keep an eye on her was in town.¬† Considering that I really owed him one, I wanted to hear everything, but more importantly, offer some payback for a favour I never could really ever repay… or so I thought.¬† So feeling nostalgic, guilty and 100s of other feelings, I met him at le Biftheque for a good ol’ fashion steak dinner.

I always loved that restaurant.¬† The old classic wood and barn look that hasn’t changed in decades.¬† The dim lighting and the chuckwagon red and white table clothes.¬† The fresh bread baking all the time, filling the rooms with the scent of utter joy and pleasure.¬† And most importantly, the booths, where I walked over to meet him… and HER.¬† My sins had come to roost.

Awkward really doesn’t even begin to explain the next few hours.¬† I was stunned, guilty, lovelorn, angry, sad, and probably everything else you could expect. ¬†Honestly, if I had the chance to put my fist through the wall, I probably would have gladly.

As the evening progressed, I barely heard anything they were telling me to bring me up to speed. ¬†Eating was probably the last thing on my mind, but I focused as best I could to ignore the banter… until the last few words.¬† While he was keeping her company to cheer her up, they fell in love.¬† And with me as a lesson for the follies of not making a final decision, they decided to get married as soon as possible and flew back to Montreal to ask for my permission.

You know, they say the road to hell is paved in good intentions? ¬†It definately is. ¬†In my “good-ness”, I was the architect of this Titanic, but now looking desperately for that chunk of ice on the horizon to put me out of my misery. ¬†And on they talked, and explained, and then came the special request, an iceberg worthy of this ocean of hell.

“Terry, we want you to be the BEST MAN.”

End of Part Two.

—————

The Days Before Tomorrow, Pt. 1

The Days Before Tomorrow, Interlude

The Days Before Tomorrow, Pt. 3

The Days Before Tomorrow, Pt 4 – Those Left Behind

The Days Before Tomorrow, Epilogue and Answers

The Days Before Tomorrow, Afterword

The Days Before Tomorrow … Pt 1

“Well life has a funny way of sneaking up on you
When you think everything’s okay and everything’s going right
And life has a funny way of helping you out when
You think everything’s gone wrong and everything blows up
In your face” – Alanis Morrisette, “Ironic”

”They say when you meet the love of your life, time stops, and that’s true. What they don’t tell you is that when it starts again, it moves extra fast to catch up.” – Ed Bloom, Big Fish

“The magic of our first love is our ignorance that it would never end.” – Unknown

This will definately become a multi-part blog, as it’s a pretty long story.¬† It’s one that’s probably worthy of a soap opera, and it literally spawns over decades.

It’s a tale never written in full, but it’s time that its told, even in summary.¬† It’s about a pretty special girl who I will never forget, and in many ways never forgive as well. It’s about love and loss. It’s about passion and fate, pride and stupidity.¬† It’s about obsession.¬† It’s about hatred. It’s about the law. It’s about the moral right against the legal right, and how it’s so hard to tell where the line between the two is sometimes. And in the end, it’s simply about a girl, who loved a boy, who loved her back, and how they both lost one another.

But to tell the tale, I have to tell you a bit about how it all started.  Just to let you know, because some people are still around in this whole mess, including 2 innocent kids who I still love so all names have been concealed save mine.

When I first saw her at the community pool, I think I could honestly say that I was just breathless.¬† It wasn’t one of those teen flashes of “babeocity”, where hormones ran rampant and hearts flew. I was just stunned.¬† There she was, in her simple 1-piece swimsuit, her smile and that look… that look that turned me into a deaf mute.¬† Again with the buts though, this was a time when I was young, insecure and painfully shy.¬† I aspired to be the knight of olde even then, but all I could pretend to be was the new squire to be ordered and ridiculed.

I wasn’t one of the cool crowd back then.¬† I was the geek, the kid who was nervous and self conscious and jittery.¬† I was the one who everyone liked, but not necessarily would invite to a night out for a drink and would be far more at home in a basement playing Dungeons and Dragons than watching a football game.¬† So while I was struck by her, I was equally intimidated by her as well.¬† It was like a “5” was striving to win a “10”.

So the first few weeks went, with course after course learning how to rescue dive, to perform CPR, use a spinal board and so on.¬† There I was, longing to know her and being too shy but it took the secret “summer friend” event at the YMCA to change things.

In the day, I was working for the YMCA as a day camp counsellor and then would bike to swim classes.¬† To promote friendship among the staff, a secret summer friend project was launched, whereas a summer friend would get to do something special for another one secretly based on names picked out a hat.¬† Simply put, I kinda sucked as a secret summer friend.¬† With my busy schedule, I kept forgetting to do something special for my “friend.”¬† But my secret friend rocked!¬† One day, I went to check my personal mailbox, only to find a bag full of fresh baked cookies!¬† Pretty jazzed by the gift, I brought it to swim class and lost pretty much all inhibitions and offered them to HER.¬† The cookies rocked, but what happened right after rocked ME.¬† She kissed me on the cheek,

From thereon, we were great friends.  We were always sitting together during classes, talking, joking and chatting, working out times to go out together and so on.  It was a glorious summer, and as the weeks passed, my feelings grew ever more.

But as all good things, classes came to an end and I dreaded the time to miss her presence.  With that, I knew I had to take one great chance.  Fortes fortuna juvat.  Fortune Favours the Bold.

It was the day of the final swimming exam where we had to “rescue” each other, take each other out, and perform mouth to mouth.¬† Everyone walked in ready for the challenge. I walked in not caring at all for that one, as I had a greater challenge in my hands…. a bouquet of roses.¬† Before class started, I faced her, and quietly gave her the bouquet, and secretly reveled in my glorious action.¬† I didn’t give her a chance to answer.¬† I didn’t give her even a word explaining it all.¬† I just showed her that I really, really cared for her.

The exam went on, and we all performed as expected.  Swimming a few miles in the pool in the different styles.  Diving in one way or another.  Dealing with panicked swimmers.  But then came the mouth to mouth, and it was her turn to rescue me.

Well, here I was, “unconscious” and partially “drowned”, doing my best to pretend to be a swimmer in distress.¬† I was partnered up with her, and I just really hoped that I didn’t have really bad breath to make her exam unpleasant.¬† Nope. It was so far completely from unpleasant that she honestly did take my breath away.

It was a typical procedure of course.¬† Tilt the head.¬† Check for breathing.¬† Clear the airway.¬† Pinch the nose. Take a deep breath.¬† Cover his mouth with yours.¬† Begin to secretly give him a french kiss in the middle of a mouth to mouth exam knowing he won’t endanger your mark and hope he doesn’t freak out.

Yes people, that was my first french kiss.¬† She knew I reveled in flustering her with the roses, so she french kissed me in a very unusual way, and in the one place where she knew I would never run.¬† Each “kiss” had to be quick and short, but as her tongue touched mine each time, the moments lasted damn near forever.

That was that, the gauntlet was thrown, and we would become close in our own clumsy way.¬† Over the years to come, she and I would walk together in the morning every day before she would get onto her bus to school.¬† We were both from different school districts, so I never saw her in the weekdays much.¬† But we would write to each other day after day, note after note found awaiting the other.¬† On weekends, she would be with her friends, and I with mine, but still grew close through our words and our rare moments together. And… always, whenever possible, we would sit close, stare into the heavens and watch the lightning and the thunder play their dance in the night skies.¬†

By the end of that first year, I knew I was in love with her.  And I believed she loved me too.

Fast forward a few years, and as ever, we just couldn’t seem to keep a regular schedule together. We both had other boyfriends, girlfriends, dates and flings, but we always found ourselves together a few months later.¬† Each time was chaste, honourable and proper.¬† We loved each other, but weren’t quite sure HOW to love one another.¬† We both kept ourselves pretty busy and just kept passing one another by like 2 ships in the night.¬† We were young and stupid, and kept finding barriers to keep each other apart, yet would write to each other like crazy and still find ways to let our words touch the other.

We were now university students, but she was always in many ways far more focused than me.¬† She had won a full scholarship far away, and I was so proud and happy for her.¬† But, and again always the but, there was a problem.¬† She didn’t want to leave.

Was it because she was afraid of leaving Montreal?¬† Afraid of being alone in a new school?¬† We spoke, discussed, talked, argued and communicated in every way that was possible over days with the matter going no further ahead.¬† Her family was concerned, and I was worried beyond belief.¬† Such opportunities rarely came, and I didn’t want her to miss out on this chance of a lifetime.¬† And being a typical male, I saw it all in a black and white matter, when she showed me her one overwhelming argument in one burst of communication I never considered…. a kiss.

It was a long, deep kiss, full of longings, hopes and dreams.¬† It told me everything about her, her heart and what she wanted without saying a word.¬† I was the reason why she wouldn’t leave. No more… no less.

And with that, I started my plans to do probably the singly most noblest thing I’ve ever done, and probably the stupidest one as well.¬† I started to conspire with her parents to break her heart and shatter this almost a full relationship for good.¬† My logic, break her heart and drive her away to school where she can focus and become a great lawyer.¬† The problem? Logic never really works well in matters of the heart.¬†¬† And from that moment, a mutual journey began.¬† It was one that would run over 20 years and tie our lives and several others together in ways that I could have never ever foreseen.

End of Part 1.

The Days Before Tomorrow, Pt. 2

The Days Before Tomorrow, Interlude

The Days Before Tomorrow, Pt. 3

The Days Before Tomorrow, Pt 4 – Those Left Behind

The Days Before Tomorrow, Epilogue and Answers

The Days Before Tomorrow, Afterword