They came face to face at the park during their son's soccer game. He had hoped to sneak in, watch his son for a little while and leave unnoticed. It was not to be, she saw him the minute he left his truck. Bonnie was surprised that J.W. was there. She approached him and told J.W. she was worried about him.
If it wasn't so sad, so hurtful, so heartbreaking, it would be funny. She's worried about me? She's the one that snuck out of the house while I was at work, taking the children with her and she's worried about me? Now she's worried about me? Now after breaking up our life and home, J.W. thought.
It had been five days since Bonnie had left and this was the first opportunity that J.W. had to see Bonnie or his son. He still hadn't been able to see his daughter. J.W. hadn't seen them because he didn't know where Bonnie and the kids were living.
"I just want you to be happy J.W., "Bonnie said. "I want both of us to be happy; I want us to be a family again."
"Happy? You damn right I'm happy, "J.W. responded. "As soon as we can get all the legal stuff done, I will be ecstatic." He was really hurting and said some things he shouldn't have.
"What are you talking about? What legal stuff? I didn't leave to get a separation or divorce, I want us to work through this and get back together."
"Well you certainly have a funny way of showing it. You want us to be a family huh? Is that why you ran off with the kids and left me? Is that why you and the kids are living god knows where? It's because you want us back together, BULLSHIT Bonnie."
"It was getting impossible at home, that's why I left," Bonnie tried to explain. "For a week solid you stayed at work as much as possible, you were always angry and wouldn't talk to me when you did come home. Every time I tried to explain, you told me to shut up or you left. I thought if we had some space from each other that when we did meet we could talk things out better. Without all the anger, you know? I've tried to call you every day since I've been gone."
"I would never hurt you or the kids Bonnie," he told her. Why did you have to leave?" His sorrow and hurt washed over her like a big wave.
"It wasn't the fear of you hurting us, it was the wall of anger you erected and hid behind. It wasn't a good environment for the kids or for us. Please let's talk after J.R.'s game," Bonnie pleaded.
J.W. didn't respond to Bonnie, he just stared at her for a few seconds and turned back to his truck. "You're a hypocrite, you don't care about me; you're a liar, you lied to me about your meeting! It was a date. For all I know you were unfaithful too," he told her.
Before she had a chance to say anything, he spun the tires as he drove away, spraying her lightly with gravel and dust. J.W. knew he should listen to what Bonnie had to say but he had seen her with that man and the image kept running around and around in his mind's eye. He was hurting too much right now to listen to her ... As he drove off he thought, Yeah I'm happy alright; I'm so happy I can't stop crying.
J. W (Jake Wilson) Riley and Bonnie (Bonita) Henderson met some twelve years prior to this confrontation. Bonnie was a 25 year old insurance adjuster for the local office of a national company. She was a leggy, very attractive young woman. Sleek, dark complected, auburn hair, with startling blue eyes, she could turn any man's head. Bonnie certainly caught J.W.'s eye.
He had been involved in a minor fender bender and brought his truck in for an inspection by the insurance adjuster. And that happened to be Bonnie. J.W. hadn't really planned on getting the truck fixed, but his accountant advised him to get it repaired. The bean counter said that a truck with collision damage wasn't worth as much as one with the damage fixed. So J.W. made the appointment with the adjuster and to file a claim against the other driver.
J.W. had never really been a ladies' man, he felt more comfortable with the workers and builders than he did with women. He just didn't feel that many women would find him attractive because of the facial scar marring his good looks. Other than the scar, most women would find him very handsome. That scar gave him an inferiority complex, at least where women were concerned.
J.W. had run afoul of a table saw that kicked back a 2 x 4 right into his face as he was walking past. The board sliced his cheek from the corner of his mouth up to the corner of his right eye. It wasn't really horrible but it was more than noticeable. The scar stood out more as his face got tanned by the sun. Whenever a woman looked at J.W., he thought they were looking at the scar and he would shut down. He had thought about plastic surgery but couldn't seem to find the time to take off work so he kept putting it off.
About a year and a half after the accident the doctor told him that he could smooth out the skin around the scar but there would always be a very noticeable line of scar tissue down his face. J.W. decided that if he would still have the scar why go through the surgery and opted not to have the work done.
It surprised him at how attracted to Bonnie he was. She was very pretty but it was more than that. When they met and introduce themselves, she didn't seem bothered by his looks at all. The more time they spent talking, the more at ease J.W. became. They spent about thirty minutes doing the insurance thing and J.W. signed the paperwork. He didn't want to leave her, but their business was finished.
"What does the J.W. stand for?" Bonnie asked pointing to his signature, J.W. Riley. She already knew his real name because of the paper work involved. Bonnie didn't want for him to leave either.
"Just waiting," he answered. He didn't know where he got the nerve but he was going to ask Bonnie for a date.
"Just waiting? Just waiting for what?"
"Just waiting to find out when I can take you out to dinner," J.W. said smiling at Bonnie.
Bonnie had been attracted to J.W. too, until he turned and she saw the scar. J.W. was very tanned and the scar was a white line running down his face. She was a little put off until she looked into his eyes. He had the most gentle eyes she had ever seen. During the inspection Bonnie had asked questions she didn't really have to just to spend a little more time with J.W.
"I think tomorrow night would be about right, don't you?" Bonnie replied with a big grin.
The next evening they went to a the steak house for dinner and Bonnie and J.W. found out more about each other than you normally would on a first date. Bonnie had gone to college for two years after high school. The she decided to spend two years in the Peace Corp in Africa.
She was dedicated to the work, but the corruption of the war lords and tribal rulers quickly disillusioned her. When her tour was over she came back to her home town and started working for the insurance company as a claims clerk. After three years she had worked her way up to a full time adjuster.
"You're pretty young to own your own company aren't you? You're about 30 right?" So tell me your success story. Bonnie wanted to know more about J.W. and teased him a little to get him to talk about himself.
He nodded and told her how he came to own the small construction company specializing in custom homes. J.W. had worked for the largest home builder in the area for eight years after he got out of high school. He took classes in design and architecture at night for those eight years.
Two years ago he left the builder to branch out on his own. J.W. knew he could build better homes and give the customer more "bang for their buck" and at the same time make a more than decent profit.
While he worked for the builder he met several of the home owners as they inspected the construction of their new house. J.W. made it a point to answer their questions in a friendly manner and tried to put them at ease. One man in particular, William Jasper, was very impressed with the young construction foreman and approached J.W. when his house was finished.
William Jasper was one of the richest men in the state and he knew quality workmen when he saw one. The house that had just been completed was for his daughter and he asked J.W. about doing sort of side job.
Mr. Jasper wanted a summer cabin built on his property at a nearby lake; actually the term cabin was misleading. This "cabin" was to be about 5000 square feet. J.W. told Mr. Jasper that a house couldn't be built on a part time basis and the J.W. couldn't afford to just take off from his full time job. J.W. thanked Mr. Jasper for the confidence he showed in him and thought that was the end of it.
Two weeks later J.W. got a call from Mr. Jasper asking if he could meet with J.W. on Friday afternoon about 3:00 at a local coffee shop. No reason was given except that Mr. Jasper wanted to talk about the house. J.W. naturally thought it was about the house he had just completed and agreed to the meeting. He wanted to take care of the problems, if any, with the just completed house.
At their meeting, J.W. was stunned by the offer made by Mr. Jasper. He wanted J.W. to quit his job and build the cabin for him. Mr. Jasper would set up accounts at all the construction supply houses, pay the workers, and pay J.W. a salary until the job was completed. J.W. would be the contractor, ordering supplies, hiring the sub contractors and scheduling the work.
.... There is more of this story ...