She Left Her Husband, But He Found a Disgusting Way to Get Back into the Family – Story of the Day
Olga had to escape from her difficult marriage—she needed to find a way to get out. But despite her efforts, her husband managed to find a terrible way to get back to the family.
“You call this food? Look at this steak here—I told you I wanted medium rare … do you see the blood here? Do you? Cause I don’t,” Frank said and proceeded to jab at the steak in front of him violently. “You see that? You see that? It’s like a piece of rubber! Can you chew that? Are you expecting me to chew that?”
He proceeded to take a few more jabs at the steak with his fork, before tossing the plate across the kitchen table, and into the cupboard standing by the wall. The plate shattered upon impact, as well as the glass panels on the cupboard.
“I can’t believe I am coming home for this …” Frank mumbled to himself as he walked away towards the living room.
Olga stared at the broken glasses on the floor for a solid minute, trying to hold back the tears … Joey was right there, and he was only five years old … she couldn’t let him see this. She could not let her son see his momma cry like that. She had to be strong.
Joey sat there by the table, his head buried in his hands … it was too much for him to bear, and it was better for him not to say anything, or daddy might give him a good beating. Daddy always does when he’s angry.
After another few minutes of deafening silence, Olga finally walked towards the wreck and started cleaning up the mess. She took out a garbage bag and proceeded to pick up the broken pieces, one by one, and into the black garbage bag. The broken shards cut through her fingers as she picked up the pieces, but she has grown accustomed to the pain.
It wasn’t the first time, and it won’t be the last for sure—she needed to find a way out, and it had to be quick. At least for Joey, if not for herself.
A few hours later, Frank simply passed out on the couch in the living room, when the TV was having a rerun of the baseball game from last week. She walked back to the bedroom and huddled herself with an old blanket, no longer able to contain her tears.
She thought about where she could go—her family had practically disowned her after having Joey before getting married. This was her only family. She had nowhere else to go.
She couldn’t just run away by herself either … she couldn’t let Joey stay here with Frank all by himself. God knows what would happen to him … Joey didn’t deserve this—maybe she did, but not Joey. Joey deserves something better.
That night she took out her suitcase, stuffed whatever she could in it. Then she went to Joey’s room, carried him to the backseat of their ‘95 Honda Civic, and she drove off to Colorado.
She bid farewell to Kansas, and whatever association it had with her. Everything would be over, and she would try and live a life away from this mess. A new hope. A new beginning.
Or so she thought.
It was a year after she left Kansas for good. She simply stopped talking to anyone she knew back in Kansas—not that there were many, to begin with. It was time to start a new life, and that she did.
It was chaotic at first—they had nowhere to stay and simply jumped between motels. But after a month or two, she found a job at a local diner in Denver. It wasn’t much, but at least it was enough for a one-room studio on the outskirts. Every change was a change, however minor.
As for Joey, it took him some time to adjust to his new surroundings. But he finally started laughing again, as a normal child should. He would stare out the window in the afternoon and smile at the birds outside beneath the bright blue sky, at times gesturing to his mom to come over and look at the birds with him.
The birds would stand on the telephone wires outside their window, looking back at them. They might fly away whenever a car rolls on by … but they would always come back to the wires, always looking back at them, always cheerful …
But suddenly the phone started ringing in the house.
Strange … thought Olga. Not many people would call at this time of the day. Intrigued, she went and picked up the phone.
“Hey …” a familiar voice said at the other end of the line and it sent a shiver down Olga’s spine. She recognized the voice—of course she would … why wouldn’t she? He was the man she was married to, however unfortunate that was. But how did he get ahold of her number? She had no idea.
But there was something different about it, about his voice. It was soft and tender … just like the time she met him back in high school. Lord, it felt like a lifetime ago.
Yet fear got a hold of her, memories of his wretched stench flashed before her mind, and before she knew it she hung up the phone.
The phone started ringing again.
She took a deep breath and decided to answer it anyway—she needed to resolve this, and that was the only way she could truly move on.
“Hey … I—I know I haven’t been a good father or a good husband … I—I’m so—sorry for what I did. How’s Joey? Is he alright?” Frank said, and there was a strange meekness in his tone.
“He’s fine. How did you find this number?” asked Olga.
“Look, I started going back to the Church, and … I don’t expect you to forgive me, but I do want to visit Joey. He’s my … our kid after all,” he responded.
He did sound different for some reason. His voice grew much softer … meek even.
“I can drive to Denver and meet you guys there—I just want to see you and Joey. Let’s be adults and talk it over?” he asked.
She looked at Joey, staring out of the window, looking at the birds outside. Frank might be a horrible person, even that is an understatement—but he was Joey’s father after all, and Joey deserved growing up with a father. If Frank could change, maybe things could be better for Joey.
Reluctantly, she agreed to meet Frank the next Sunday.
They agreed to meet in a park the following Sunday. It was a public place and if Frank started acting up, there’d at least be people around to stop him. Olga had thought the whole thing through—it would be fine, she and Joey would meet Frank, and see how he was doing—maybe he did change. Everything does.
Frank was already sitting on the bench when they reached the park, and Olga could see his truck parked at the street corner. He was clean-shaven—and she had to admit that it was quite an astonishing sight. He even had a shirt on—she couldn’t remember when was the last time she’d seen him with a crisp shirt on ever since their wedding day.
While Joey was playing with other kids in the park, they had a long conversation about what happened during that one year. A lot can happen in one year, and not just for Olga—Frank talked of his own personal problems, how he came to realize his mistakes, how he realized he needed a change, the conversations he had with the priest …
Perhaps a man could really change.
“It’s getting late. Let me walk you guys back … come on buddy, let’s go,” Frank signaled Joey to come towards them.
On the way back, they talked about the people they knew back in Kansas. Oh, good ol’ George got married again? Lord, what’s that, his fifth marriage? What about Marianne who lived by herself in that old shack? She passed away? God rests her soul … Did her son Jack ever make it back though? He stayed in Japan? I heard they have good food there. And Brendan who lived downstairs? Texas? Really? Everybody is moving to Texas these days …
As they approached the apartment block, they could see a big crowd gathered outside, police cars and firetrucks all around the building, rings of black smoke rising up in the air. It came out from their window.
“Hey! What’s going on here?” Frank began questioning the people around them.
“Someone must’ve left their stove on,” an old lady chimed in.
Olga looked at the window in the distance, unable to hold back her tears—her new life, her new beginning, all gone up in flames … Did she really leave the stove on? Maybe she did. She couldn’t remember—she was anxious when she left the house in the morning. She wasn’t herself. Maybe she did leave the stove on … maybe she did …
Frank seemed to have taken notice of Olga’s tears, and realized something was awfully wrong.
“Is—is that …?” he began asking, but before he could finish his question, Olga simply nodded.
“Oh God …” he held Olga’s head in his chest, holding Joey’s hand with his other hand.
“Hey, if you don’t mind, you still have things at our place … you could stay there until you find a new place,” he suggested.
After making a few phone calls, they drove back to Kansas.
Their old house looked … familiar. Everything remained in the same place, yet they looked somewhat distant. But that stench … it was still the same. The smell of week-old pizza boxes infused with microwave pasta. Even the kitchen of the diner she worked in smelled better than this.
And in the corner of their backyard, Olga could see a pile of empty cans, stashed into a massive pile that was impressive in its own right.
“Hey, umm … yea, I am not really good at taking care of myself, am I?” Frank made a snickering remark as he stared at the empty pizza boxes.
“I’ll fix them up while you guys get some sleep,” Frank said as he walked towards the bathroom.
Meanwhile, Joey simply stood there in silence.
The next morning Olga woke up at around seven in the morning—the morning ray shone through the window, and it was still a horrific sight. The pizza boxes had been moved from one corner of the room to the other, with a few extra cans by their side. The TV was still on, this time having a rerun of “Die Hard”—how inappropriate considering Christmas was still half a year away.
Meanwhile, Frank’s mobile phone kept ringing, but he was so deep in his sleep he didn’t even notice that.
There he was, passed out on the couch, yet again. His white shirt is no longer white—it was a mixture of soda stains and God knows what. She wasn’t sure if she could even call that shade yellow … it looked a lot darker than yellow.
Did she make the right decision to come back here? Maybe she should’ve found a motel instead. Even the cheapest motel she stayed in looked better than this, and that’s saying a lot.
As she was drowned in her own thoughts, her mobile phone rang—an unknown number this time.
“Hello. Is this Mrs. Foreman?” the voice asked.
“Yes, who am I speaking to?” Olga responded.
“This is Sheriff Miller from Parker Police Department. Look, about that fire in your flat. We checked the CCTV and noticed a man entering your house earlier that day. We managed to find the guy and brought him in for questioning. He said someone paid him to do that,” the Sheriff replied. “He said he never met the guy, but he has his number. We’ve been calling the number all morning but nobody answered,” the Sheriff added.
It all made sense now, thought Olga. She walked to the backyard and quietly told the Sheriff her address, and that she knew who that was. Within an hour or two, the police got into the house and took Frank into custody.
Joey woke up in his attic bedroom and looked at the snow outside—too bad the birds are gone now, but the snow … how splendid, how beautiful. The morning fog lingered on in the distance among the treelines, everything was so serene, so majestic …
He wondered when the birds were going to come back.
“Come down Joey, the pancake is getting cold!” Olga shouted.
And how serene that was, Olga thought to herself. It’s been a few years since she left Kansas—Frank was charged with arson and was being locked up in God knows where.
But here she was, in Anchorage, Alaska, the end of the world, anything that Kansas’s not. The divorce papers had been signed—she even got a restraining order against Frank.
The snow started falling again, and the Christmas lights were all around the neighborhood.
Let’s just hope they won’t play “Die Hard” on TV again.
What can we learn from this story?
Children deserve better. Whatever happens, never, ever drag children into the drama. And even though we might make some poor decisions in life, it's never too late to change. We might not be able to change the past, but we can always change the future.
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For another great read, find out what happened when the daughter of a rich woman mocked a poor girl with a disability during a dance class.
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