A collection of short stories and journalistic commentaries depicting my simple life
and how I fit in with the modern day universe of our times

COST OF LOVING



Delia liked to think that she was not a stupid woman, but what she had been was vulnerable. She was at her most vulnerable in 2001 when she first met Dave.

            Before then, she had been married to her first husband Tony, she'd had a good job in the city and through a course of natural progression, she gave up her job when her children came along - first a boy and then a girl and now she had a third on the way.

            Tony too, had a good job; they had a beautiful London home, two large cars and all the other perks that a large wage brought with it. The present was good for Delia and the future looked golden. But then, out of the blue, the couple split up. The divorce was bitter and she never felt so alone. With three little ones in tow, her life now revolved solely around her home and looking after them.

            It was then, in April 2001, that Dave introduced himself via a social networking site. They connected at once and began e-mailing each other, together they would communicate online straight through the passing nights, constantly laughing and chatting away. That was when Dave told Delia he was an international accounts manager, based in Riyadh, Saudi-Arabia. Just like Delia had once done, Dave had to travel a lot - Europe, Japan, and Australia. Delia was very impressed at the similarities between his high flyer status and that of her previous career.

            Delia wasn't too badly off financially. She'd kept the family home and Tony her ex paid the mortgage and gave her money for the kids - nearly £2000 a month. But Delia missed male company and wanted to share her life with someone again.

            Dave flew into London regularly. "Let’s meet for dinner," he suggested and in the May, he arranged to meet her at the London Hilton. Next they were to go off to see Simple Minds at the Royal Albert Hall, but at the last minute he cancelled, claiming that his grand-mother had died. Delia was somewhat disappointed to say the least, but she met with him again the following month. At this meeting, Dave showered her with all kinds of gifts including a diamond necklace he said he'd had imported from Riyadh.

            "It’s too much," Delia protested.

            "Anything for you," he smiled. And together, they had a wonderful time taking the kids to Brighton for the day... She felt she'd met someone very special.

But there was one very dark cloud on the horizon ... Cancer.

            "It’s in my pancreas," Dave said sadly. "But I'm getting treatment for it in Saudi. The very best that's available." He was so positive about it that Delia felt sure he could beat it. In the June, Dave returned home to Delia in London after his treatment. His head was shaved because his hair had fallen out in clumps, he'd told her but he still managed to take Delia and the kids away for the weekend to visit the steam railway at Sheffield Park in East Sussex.

            Brilliant! She thought dreamily, here was a man with a similar lifestyle to Delia's. He was a man who was extremely generous to her, and got on well with her children. What was there about him, not to love? She asked herself. Dave even proposed to her that same day, on bended knee too. Sure, it had been a whirlwind, but Delia felt positive he was a good man and he was very right for her.

            "Yes," she smiled.

            Dave had it all planned out for them, a diamond De Beers engagement ring, a dream wedding in the Caribbean, the works. He set about arranging it all. The children were thrilled, they wanted a father figure back in the family, and Dave was fast becoming just the man for the job.

            In August, Dave moved in with Delia. He'd quit his job in Saudi to be with her and the children. This was no longer a dream for Delia, it was actually happening. All her dreams were becoming a reality. He'd left all his stuff back at Saudi and arranged to have it all shipped over, it would be there within a couple of months. He was also due a lot of money, in bonuses and commissions from his company. That was coming too.

            He promised Delia he'd soon have another job lined up, after all, he had many skills he could call upon. For instance, he was also a qualified scuba diving instructor. In the meantime they'd just have to get by on her money but it would only be weeks at the worst.

            It was September now, and Dave had to fly off to America on business. No problem thought Delia, my ex used to take trips like that all the time. It was normal standard practice in their walk of life. But there was a nagging problem. Delia was worried about money. Between the cancer treatments and the trips abroad, Dave wasn't bringing in any money at all. But how can anyone pester a man with cancer about something as trivial as money? She was convinced he was good for it and it would all right itself in due course. That was when her headaches began.

            February brought more bad news. The dream wedding in the Caribbean had to be called off.

            "I'm so sorry," Dave said gently. It was all down to money again. Delia put on a brave face.

            "Its fine," she smiled somewhat disappointedly. But even worse was yet to follow...

            Dave had now been told he had problems with his legs. They were covered in bandages, the poor thing. Had the cancer spread? Delia thought. Her headaches, getting much stronger now.

            They married in early May at a registry office in Basingstoke. It was a surprisingly small affair for Delia and from Dave's side, only his mother came along. He pleaded with Delia not to mention the cancer for fear of upsetting her. Delia foolishly played along.

            It was a small but beautiful ceremony. An intimate affair with exquisite food and wine, all paid for by Delia of course. The only let down to the day, was that Dave's vintage Ferrari, somehow didn't make it to the wedding. The battery was flat she was told. He turned up in one of his other cars instead, it was only a battered Alfa Romeo. More headaches...

            Still the wedding was over now and it was time for the honeymoon. They were off to Disneyland in Paris. Although an official honeymoon, it was mainly for the kids. And once again the bill and further headaches came Delia's way.

            The kids were happy, and to a certain degree so was Delia, but she was getting more and more worried about the money. She'd already remortgaged the house, that's what they had been living off for the previous year and now the money had run out. She decided it was time to confront the situation.

            "Dave," she asked, "where's all the bonus money, the cash from your business deals? We can't go on living off my borrowings forever..."

            Dave smiled and gave a hint of a shrug.

"Sailing close to the wind makes you feel so alive don't you think?" he replied. Whatever could he mean? Alarm bells started to ring for Delia. Even though Dave was everything that Delia could have ever wanted in a man, there was something now that just didn't feel right. Her head was constantly banging by now, harder than ever before.

            Things weren't looking good at all. Dave was trying to persuade Delia to hike the mortgage up again. When they'd first met, it was for £125,000 and early on in the relationship he'd asked her to up it to £175,000 so he would have money to spend on deals that he was trying to pull off. That money had all gone now and he was asking Delia to up it to £300,000. She couldn’t and wouldn't do it and he wasn't happy at all.

            His moods started to worsen. He was fast becoming a perpetual slob around the house and furniture was now getting thrown during their arguing. Delia tiptoed her way around him now, not wanting the kids to see the full extent of her relationship mistake. They'd only been married for six months and she was already thinking of divorce. And, almost as if by magic, Dave's cancer was practically becoming nonexistent , it was now becoming obvious that it had all been nothing more than a scam, and the banging in Delia's head was getting still louder and louder.

            The very last straw was when Dave went behind Delia's back and asked her mother to lend him £20,000 for a lucrative deal. A deal that would secure an instant £5,000 payback with an additional £120,000 to follow. Luckily, her mother refused Dave the loan and had the foresight to tell her daughter all about it. Delia knew she was heading fast for bankruptcy now and had to find a way to bring this man down. He was now pushing for a divorce himself, in a bid for his freedom from her debts and Delia would cry herself to sleep at night, worrying about how to get out of this awful mess.

            Knowing there must be some form of evidence of Dave’s past deals and overdue commissions on his computer, Delia logged herself in to track down the missing money. She was in no way prepared for what she found next – Dave had been trawling through numerous online dating sites. He had been searching for women. Women in their mid thirties, women that were in some way damaged and vulnerable after previous bad relationships. Wealthy, wounded women, just like Delia had been. He was obviously setting up another sucker to replace her. He was now showing his true colours, he was nothing more than a simple conman.

            It was November now and still nothing had got any better. The debts were still piling up. The tempers still flaring up and the headaches were almost crippling. Fresh demands for divorce were coming thick and fast but Delia held firm. There was no way this monster was getting away scot free, she thought. Becoming a free agent once again, moving steadfastly on, to his next victim. Delia still had no idea of how to sort things out, but she knew that whilst she was still married to him, he was trapped. That certificate of marriage ensured that her debt was still considered as his debt too and there was no getting away from it for him. But still, she knew that as things stood, it was only ever going to be a stalemate situation.

            All through that month, Delia contorted her aching brain for a solution to her problems. And every single night she drew a complete blank. It wasn’t until the 26th that that evil man Dave was finally brought down. The war was finally won, but even then it could only be classed as a somewhat shallow victory with a somewhat disappointing outcome.

That night, it was Delia's headaches that had scored the winning point, releasing her from all her troubles in one foul swoop, as her aching brain haemorrhaged during her sleep. Delia was dead now, and Dave was to inherit her full estate. The children would go back to Tony under the terms of her will. But more importantly, it was finally time for Dave to pay off his dues.



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Its my own fault really, its all about what I see in the world, and how it all translates for me.

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