Earlier this year, I published excerpts from my first book, Love Fraud — How marriage to a sociopath fulfilled my spiritual plan. Between now and the end of the year, I’ll publish some more. To start the series from the beginning, read:
By Donna Andersen
I discovered proof that my husband, James Montgomery, was cheating on me. In fact, he’d had a child with another woman. Finally, I could leave.
The marriage was over. But at that moment, my soon-to-be ex-husband was on his way to my home, the home that I paid for, in Atlantic City, New Jersey. I couldn’t let him know what I had discovered. I didn’t know what he would do, and I didn’t want him to trash my house.
I decided that I would leave Florida while he was gone. I also decided that I wouldn’t say a word to him until I knew that he was on the plane, flying back to Orlando.
I had three days.
I would take everything that was mine, and all the Titanic artifacts.
I would sell my car and take his car, the Thunderbird, which was leased in my name.
Suddenly, adrenalin flooded my body. From the garage I retrieved the packing boxes that I’d emptied only six weeks earlier. Working like a madwoman, I filled the boxes and taped them shut.
The afternoon flew by. At 5:30 p.m., I knocked on my neighbor’s door—she was still expecting to come over for dinner.
“I’m afraid I can’t cook for you,” I said when she answered the door. “I’m too upset. I just found out that my husband is cheating on me. He had a child with another woman.”
“Why don’t you come in?” she invited sympathetically.
I did. She gave me a glass of wine, and the name of her lawyer.
I didn’t sleep well that night, thinking of all that had to be done so I could leave. It was a long list, and the next morning I started early.
I told the rental agent for Brittany at Waterford Lakes that I was breaking the lease. She said I had to give written notice, and we were still liable for the rent. I didn’t argue—rent would be dealt with later.
I called the furniture rental company and told them to come for the furniture. The lease was in my name—I was through paying for James’ adventures.
I called U-Haul and rented another truck and trailer. Luckily, because James had paid the American Express bill, I could charge the rental to my Amex card.
I called my neighbor’s lawyer and made an appointment for the following day.
Then I had to sell my car. In the few short weeks that I’d been driving around Orlando, I noticed many used car lots offering “Cash for Your Car.” I brought my 1990 Ford Probe to two of them.
“How much do you want for it?” the first owner asked.
“Fifteen hundred,” I replied.
“I can offer you $1,300,” he said.
“I’ll think about it,” I said.
I drove to another lot.
“How much do you want?” the second owner asked.
“Seventeen hundred,” I answered.
He thought about it. “Well, let’s take the car for a ride.”
The used car dealer drove as I sat in the passenger seat, praying that the wheel wouldn’t make its screeching noise. The car behaved perfectly.
The dealer offered me $1,500—the price that I wanted. He said to come back the next day with my car title and he’d have a check for me. As I left, I thanked God for the small miracle of the quiet wheel.
Back at the apartment, I continued packing. I worked quickly, and sealed boxes were piling up. The phone rang. I took a few moments to gather myself, then answered. It was James.
“Hello, Donna,” he said.
“Hi,” I said, as casually and pleasantly as possible. “How was your flight?”
“It was fine. I got in on time.”
“How are you?” James asked.
“Oh, I’m fine,” I said, nonchalantly lying through my teeth.
“How are we?” James asked, emphasizing the “we.”
“Fine,” I said, putting a note of surprise in my voice. “When are you going to New York?”
“I’m leaving in the morning,” James said.
“That’s great. Be careful going up there, and let me know how you make out.”
“All right, Nuffles,” James replied. “I’ll see you on Friday.”
No you won’t, you bastard, I thought to myself.
As I continued packing, I took anything I had paid for and anything I might be able to sell—such as the new television/VCR James bought. I left everything that belonged to my husband.
The packing was almost done, but I still faced a dilemma: What should I do about James’ computer? I didn’t pay for it—that Sylvia Banning woman did, whoever she was. I knew, one way or another, I’d still be dealing with James on the Titanic, and he would need the computer. But maybe it had information that would be important in my upcoming divorce.
I brought up the computer issue when I visited the lawyer, who, upon seeing the baby photos and birth certificate, said I certainly had grounds for divorce. First he said I should leave the computer, then he said I should take it—the information was probably important. When I got home I disassembled the machine, but I was still unsure. The decision was postponed until morning.
The furniture rental people came and took everything away. I was amazed at how quickly they emptied the place. That night, in an apartment containing nothing but boxes, I spread sheets out on the bedroom floor and lay down to sleep, with my dog, Beau, curled up beside me.
End of year special! Love Fraud print version on sale for only $5.95!
Love Fraud: How marriage to a sociopath fulfilled my spiritual plan, is available in the Lovefraud Store. For a limited time, the original, hardcover edition, autographed by Donna Andersen, is on sale for only $5.95. That’s less expensive than the ebook! And, the first edition is more detailed than the ebook, with more than 100 additional pages. Buy now.