A feeling of foreboding
Joellen boarded the train to New York the same day Brent left for Miami. She told the children they were going to visit their aunt Brenda who hadn’t seen them in two years and wanted to get to know them before they were all grown up.
She had gotten Brent’s itinerary off his computer scheduler and dropped it by Monika Novotny’s office. Monika told her not to email or call her except from a pay phone. She said she didn’t want any traceable communication between them until after she served Brent with the separation papers. She had gotten all Brent’s financial records and was already working on a property division proposal.
“We’ll hit him before he has a chance to develop a game plan,” she told Joellen.
“He’s going to be so angry,” Joellen said.
“No angrier than the wife he cheated on,” Monika retorted. “Let’s remember, you’re the injured party here, with two children and a home to maintain. And I have the perfect P.I. for this. He’ll be all over your stray dog. I asked him to get video.” Monika grinned and pushed a paper over to Joellen for her signature.
And so it was done. Joellen put it out of her mind, which was easy because she had thoughts of North Karlson and the cravings she felt to have his body next to hers. She even stopped worrying about the intensity of her desire. They met at three different motels before she left with the children. he last time they met, she cried when he got up to leave.
“I’ll get up to New York somehow,” he said. “Maybe after Sunday service I can take Monday off, come up in the afternoon and see you in the evening. The children can stay with your sister and we can spend the whole night together. Maybe go out to dinner and see a show.”
So they agreed. This thought kept Joellen going or she might not have had the will to leave at all.
The day she left, she had a feeling of foreboding, as if taking this step would lead her so far from the life she knew that she might end up nowhere with nothing. At the train station, with the tickets in her purse and the children trudging reluctantly beside her, she thought about North and tears pricked at her eyes. This was supposed to be a happy time of year, a time for family and giving thanks for your blessings. And here she was, on her way to see the sister she had hardly spoken to in four years. What was she thinking?
“Mom,” Jamie’s voice broke her mood. “We have to get on now. He’s waving at us.” Jamie pointed to the conductor who was signaling to hurry up.
“Is Aunt Brenda going to be on the train?” Noreen asked, looking up at the tall steel steps she had to climb.
“Aunt Brenda’s in Brooklyn. I told you already,” Joellen said and took Noreen’s hand, too absorbed in thoughts of leaving North behind to realize that Brooklyn had no meaning for Noreen.
Joellen helped Noreen up the steps and then asked Jamie to go next ahead of her. She handed him their bags and climbed aboard. Noreen looked frightened as the train wheels creaked and the conductor blasted the horn.
“It’s okay, Norey. Let’s find our seats,” Joellen told her.
Wheeling the heaviest bag, Jamie wobbled down the aisle toward their seats as the train snaked away from the station.