Paul stayed in his office all night with the door shut. Sam tried to sleep but she tossed and turned throughout most of it. Sam finally drifted to sleep about 4:00 am.
She awoke around 6:00 am. She lay in the bed quietly, trying to listen for any sounds coming from the office. She heard none. She held her breath but still all she could hear was the sound of her heart beating in her ears. She quietly rolled out of bed onto her feet and as silently as possible, walked toward the office. Shaking she put her ear against the door. She heard nothing. Hesitantly she turned the knob and peered in. The office was in even more chaos then she had last seen. Now he had pulled all his computer software out and started organizing it in stacks as well. But amidst all the piles there was no Paul.
Sam went out of the office pulling the door closed behind her. She listened for signs of any activity in the house. There seemed to be none. Sam went back towards the kids rooms. She peeked in and saw Lynn sleeping in her bed. She tiptoed down the hall and peeked in on Todd. Todd was not in his room. His bed was unmade and looked as if he rolled out and just left.
Sam ran to the front window in the living room and looked to see no SUV parked where it should be in the driveway. Sam’s heart began to race again. Paul had gone somewhere with Todd sometime between 4:00am and 6:00 am. Where could they possibly have gone? Instinctively, Sam threw on some sweat pants and tennis shoes, grabbed her purse and car keys and ran to her car. Her mind was racing. Where could they be?
Her first stop was the city park up the street from their house. When she got there she circled the perimeter in her car looking for signs of them. She saw nothing. She drove further up the street to Todd’s school and again circled the property but saw no sign of them. The last place she could think of was the Community College a bit further up the street.
As Sam got closer to the College she spotted the SUV parked outside the baseball field. She quickly pulled in the parking lot. As she approached the truck she didn’t see them but did see a large hole in the glass of the passenger door’s window. Her heart raced faster. She kept walking toward the baseball field. She saw them. Todd was standing in the field with a glove on. His father standing 10 feet away in the silk boxers Sam had given him and tennis shoes. Nothing else except a baseball glove. Todd looked over at Sam and Paul followed his stare to look at Sam as well.
“Oh so you found us.” He yelled.
“Yes, I was a little worried. I didn’t know you were going to practice with Todd this morning.” Sam tried to keep her voice calm.
“Yeah,” Paul yelled over to her, “We are fine. We will be here a little longer.”
Sam could tell he wasn’t in a good state of mind but she was afraid if she pressed him it may get ugly in front of Todd and he was going home in a few hours.
“Ok, I will get moving home then. Hey I noticed there is a hole in the SUV’s window.” Sam wanted to see how he reacted to the information.
“Yeah. Must be some kid messing with us.”
She could tell that wasn’t true but again didn’t want to cause any more problems. “Ok. I will see you guys soon at home.”
When Sam walked back toward the truck she looked again. All the shattered glass was on the outside of the vehicle. There was no glass inside. The object that broke the window had to have come from inside.
When Sam got home she walked in to the kitchen and slumped into a chair. Lynn had by now gotten up. She was in the kitchen pouring a glass of juice.
“Hey,” Lynn said when Sam walked through the front door. “I was worried. I woke up and no one was here and the cars were gone.”
“Lynn your dad is still having a lot of problems. When he returns with Todd and we have an opportunity, I want you to take Todd back to his mom’s and I think it would be best if you went back to your apartment. I think it will keep him calmer with less people here. Plus I don’t want to expose Todd to any behavior he may not understand.”
“Ok. I am scared Sam.”
“I am too honey.”
When Paul returned with Todd he promptly returned to his office and shut the door. Sam hurriedly went to Lynn and told her it was time to go.
At the door Sam hugged Todd. “Hey sorry buddy, your dad got really busy with a project but he says to tell you he loves you too. We will see you soon.”
“Love you too.” Todd said and looked deep into her eyes. This sweet child that already had so much anxiety, without saying a word, told her he knew that his dad was not well. Tears welled up in her eyes. She leaned over and hugged him hard again. She hugged Lynn thanked her and told her she would call soon.
After the kids left, Sam walked into the kitchen. She started washing the few dirty dishes in the sink. This was simply something to busy her hands as her brain kept going through everything that had transpired this last week. She knew she was an intelligent person but she was so overwhelmed. She couldn’t find a starting point in solving this enormous problem.
While washing dishes she heard the office door open. Sam caught her breath. At this point she had no idea what to expect next.
She tried not to look visibly frightened, but she was. Paul came out carrying computer components. He placed them on the kitchen table then turned and went back in the office. Seconds later he re-emerged carrying more computer parts. They were a very technologically savvy family and owned several desktops and a few laptops. Gratefully, Sam thought about her laptop safely stowed in its case in the backseat of her car. Hopefully he would not think of it. He had started disassembling all the computers and soon the kitchen table was covered with hard drives and motherboards.
Sam didn’t know what to say but Paul must have picked up on her stunned silence.
“We need to improve our security. You don’t know how people can get into your private information.”
“You think people are getting into our computers?” Sam cautiously asked.
“People think they are safe,” he kept repeating, “but you can have people listening to everything. People think they are safe on the phone too!”
He was intent on completely disassembling all the computers.
Sam glanced at the clock on her bedside table. It seemed impossible, she had slept 2 hours. Had Lynn been in with her father for two hours?
Lynn came over and sat on the edge of the bed next to Sam. Her worry and fear was palpable and clearly readable on her young pretty face.
“Are you ok Lynn?” Sam asked as she sat up to sit next to Lynn on the bed.
Lynn turned to Sam “He is sick again.”
“Sam, I can tell by his eyes. He gets this look in his eyes. He is getting sick.”
Lynn turned her distressed face toward Sam “No. His Bi-polar disorder.”
“I haven’t seen it since his divorce from Alyssa. He seemed so healthy. But I am scared. It was so bad before. I remember she had him on this medicine and he would just stand and stare out the window.”
“What medicine..wha..I don’t understand.”
“My mom said he would get weird with her too, after the bone marrow transplant. I am so scared Sam.”
Sam saw and felt Lynn’s fear. It was contagious. Sam started trembling. She was so confused but she saw how upset Lynn was.”Ok Lynn. Don’t worry. I will figure out what is going on.”
Lynn went back to her bedroom. Sam got up. Still shaking, she walked back to the office door. She could hear a lot of movement on the other side. She put her ear up to the door. She could not picture what he was moving around but he seemed to be in the middle of some very labor intense project. She could hear him mumbling but could not make out the words.
Sam put her hand on the doorknob and took in a deep breath as she turned it. She slowly pushed the door open.
The office looked as if a hurricane had blown through. File drawers were open with piles and piles of files and papers stacked around the floor. Paul was in the back storage area. He came out shuffling backwards dragging three stacked file boxes behind him.
He saw Sam. “You know part of the problem is I haven’t been organized since we met. I am always very organized and I haven’t been paying enough attention. I need to get everything back in order.”
Sam didn’t know what to say. The last thing he was doing was putting things in order. She watched him open the boxes which contained years and years of invoices and paperwork from past jobs. He rapidly pulled them out and he ran around the office placing piles next to piles.
A story based on true events
After her first marriage didn’t succeed, Samantha could only hope and wish to find a great guy to spend the rest of her life with. Right when it looked as if her prayers had been answered, she faced the overwhelming reality that nothing is ever perfect. She married into a crash-course on bi-polar disorder. Not only did she have to learn quickly how to function in a relationship with a mate who was battling mental illness but also the evil of a person who used her husband’s vulnerability to manipulate and abuse the entire family.