Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Gone Too Far (Part 2)

As I sat in the waiting room of my attorney's office my mind began racing. I had so many questions; I hope I'd be able to get some answers in the one hour time I was allotted. How in the hell did I let this happen? Tears began to form in my eyes as the reality of my situation once again set in. I was betrayed, not only by my best friend, but by my husband as well. There was no way all of this just conveniently happened at the same time. One thing was for sure, in addition to finding out how I could get out of this mess I was also going to inquire about a divorce.

I was finally called into my attorney's office. At this point I was beyond consolable. I had to pull it together. While my attorney was understanding of my situation, she still had a business to run - and a schedule to keep. I did the best I could through hyperventilating breaths and tear filled eyes to explain the mishap. She asked me if I had the receipts, contracts, and agreements that I've signed for myself. I gave them all to her, including the ones from the department stores. I was hoping she could find some loophole that would allow me to return everything. Thank goodness I didn't wear any of the clothes yet. The home wasn't in my possession yet nor was the closing cost paid. As far as the car goes, I only added 250 miles on it.

The car! Shit!

Angie left with one of the cars that I co-signed for. I went from being emotional to pissed in point five seconds flat. I told my attorney there was a vehicle I co-signed for that was not in my possession nor was it in this state. She asked me if I had any idea where it might be. I told her it could be located in the Las Vegas, Nevada area, along with Angie and some of the other items I was responsible for obtaining. She said she would take care of everything. I was running out of time for my consultation. I had to address the divorce situation while I had the chance.

"Mrs. Sampson, before I go I also need to address my marital status. I want to get a divorce. I know my husband is behind this and no longer wish to be married to him."

"I can understand. Let's take this one step at a time. If what you say is true and he is behind this we will have to get law enforcement involved. He and the other party may be in for some serious time. Then you should have no problem filing for an uncontested divorce. Until that time, I can draw up the papers for a legal separation if you wish."

"That will be fine."

"I'll have my secretary call you with the fee when the documents are ready. I'll call you personally once I get to the bottom of this." She said, with the mounds of paper I gave her.

"Thank you so much, Mrs. Sampson. I don't know how I got into this mess, but I appreciate you helping me get out of it."

"You're more than welcome. I will be in touch."

I left my attorney's office feeling somewhat relieved. I still had some major concerns but they were officially in her hands - literally. My next stop was to go and apologize to my old boss. I prayed the entire way there. While I was certain I wouldn't get my old job back I felt that I owed him a serious apology. I walked in the office and felt like everyone was staring at me. Not paying them any mind I made a beeline to my old boss' office.

"Come in, Kayla." He said without looking up from his computer.

"Hi, Mr. Thompson. May I speak with you for a minute?"

He motioned for me to take a seat while still staring at his computer. I could tell he was reviewing reports. I wanted to leave, but this was my chance to right all of my wrongs from the past two weeks. Even if things didn't go back to the way they were, I wanted to start over fresh with no situation left unresolved. Five minutes later, he took off his glasses, folded his hands, and stared right at me. I decided to speak up before allowing him the chance to lecture me on professionalism, tact, and whatever else was rambling through his mind.

"I apologize." I started off. "I was completely wrong and unprofessional in the way that I left my position. I not only made myself look bad but it was also a bad reflection on the company. I've been - well, I was - an employee for this company for almost four years. While my manner of departure was less than desirable for all parties involved I take complete responsibility for the way I left. I'm not here to beg for my job back. I already have paid the consequences of my actions in more ways than you'll ever know. However, I was always taught that when I wrong someone it was my duty to accept responsibility and rectify the situation. The only way I can do that at this point is to apologize to you and everyone in the office that was affected by my abrupt departure."

Not knowing what else to say, I took a deep breath. Mr. Thompson sat expressionless. I could tell he was processing every word I said. What I couldn't tell was what kind of effect it was having on him. Time began to move slowly. It was more than I could bear. Not expecting a response, I began to stand up to leave.

"Kayla, I admire your initiative to take responsibility for your actions. I also admire the fact that you chose to come into my office and speak with me face to face instead of through email or over the phone. On behalf of the company I accept your apology."

With that, he wished me well on my journey and hoped everything worked out in my favor. I wasn't offered my job back, but I also wasn't expecting it. We shook hands and I departed from his office. As I walked out I felt yet another sigh of relief. I guess now I had no choice but to look for another job. I didn't know what would be said about my departure when other companies would call for a reference, but I prayed that it wouldn't be too negative.

For the rest of the week I searched for a job. I got a couple of interviews for the following week. Things were starting to look up for me once again. Friday, I went out to purchase a suit for my interviews. While I was out shopping my attorney called.

"Hello?" I said hesitantly. I didn't know if it was Mrs. Sampson or her secretary.

"Hello Kayla, this is Mrs. Sampson. How are you doing?"

"Things are starting to get better. While I wasn't able to get my old job back I do have a couple of interviews next week."

"That's great to hear. I'll be brief as I have to leave for a court appearance in a few minutes. I've contact all of the vendors that you've told me about and they said due to the nature of the situation they are willing to drop all charges provided you return the merchandise within seven days. All of your accounts have been notified of the pending returns so all you'll need is your ID to identify yourself. Since the homes were never closed on the sales went into default. Once you return everything you will be in the clear."

"That's great!" I said, practically screaming in her ear. "But what about the car  and the other things I can't get to? How will I return them when I don't know where she is?"

"Those items, including the vehicle, have been reported stolen to the police. They have officers in Vegas tracking her down as we speak. Don't worry, you won't be held responsible for them either. None of these purchases are valid since, once again, you didn't have the money for them."

"Thank you so much, Mrs. Sampson."

"You're welcome. Also, your separation paperwork will be ready by Tuesday morning. You can come by the office any time after then to pay and pick it up. My secretary will call you with the fee details. I have to go now. If you need anything else please let me know."

"I certainly will. Thank you once again."

That, by far, was the best phone call of my life. I rushed home, bagged every piece of clothing, jewelry, and merchandise I purchased and headed for the stores. I was determined to return everything today. With a very strategic plan I was able to return the merchandise and arrange for the car to be picked up from my house the next day. By Sunday evening my life was once again back to normal. I still hadn't heard from Justin or Angie, but at this point I had no desire to hear from them ever again.

A month later I was free. I had finally got an office job as an executive assistant. I actually liked working for Mr. Haynes. He was very understanding of my situation, admired my work, and vowed to only judge me on my performance instead of my past mistakes. I was three weeks into the job and already felt comfortable. I moved out of the house unbeknown to Justin or the bank, not that I cared. It was in his name so that would be his responsibility. I even called to ensure they knew of our pending separation so that I wouldn't be held responsible. Once I completed my end of the legal separation paperwork Mrs. Sampson quickly expedited the processing in court. Justin was nowhere to be found so I was considered an abandoned spouse. If he didn't show up within the next year I would be granted an uncontested divorce. I still had no clue what happened to them, but I made a promise to myself not to care. Before, I though Angie gave me the worst birthday present ever. Now I see that it was truly a blessing in disguise.

New job. New place. New me. I guess the joke was really on them.