Service Society
Chapter 16: Hotels and Hospitals

Copyright© 2011 by Lazlo Zalezac

Breaking the silence that had held reign since leaving the house, Will asked, "What are we doing here?"

"We'll be staying here until your mother gets out of the hospital," Dexter answered thinking he had told them they would be staying in a hotel suite with him.

He was stopped at a light waiting for it to change so that he could make the turn into parking lot of the business suite hotel. The place was a little distant from the house, but he had chosen it because it had a set of long stay suites arranged like townhouses. It was also the only one he had found with a three bedroom unit.

Sarah looked up from her phone, glanced at the sign of the hotel, and said, "I'd have thought you'd be living in an apartment by now."

"I am," Dexter said.

"So why are we at a hotel?" Will asked.

"Because my apartment is small," Dexter answered defensively.

"You're a dumb ass," Sarah said.

"Excuse me?" Dexter said.

"All divorced fathers get an apartment big enough for the kids to visit," Sarah said.

Based on the experiences of her friends, there was a natural progression to a divorce. It all started when the father moved out of the house to live in some low cost motel for a couple of weeks. Then he got an apartment close to the family that was of a size sufficient for the children to stay in. There were a few months while the father tried to remain in the kid's lives. Of course, that became hopeless after a while. The father then married some young bimbo, and started a new family, after having successfully destroyed the old family.

Dexter said, "That's if they expect their kids to come for visits."

"Unless they've moved in with their girlfriend," Sarah said turning her attention back to her cell phone.

"I don't have a girlfriend," Dexter said angrily hitting the steering wheel with the palm of his hand. It infuriated him to be accused of having stepped out of the marriage when he was the innocent one in this whole mess.

Will shook his head at the exchange. He couldn't see why they had to stay in a hotel when they had room enough at home. He said, "We could have stayed at home, where I'd have my computer."

"I'm not stepping foot inside that house," Dexter flatly declared.

"Why not?" Will asked.

"Your mother's boyfriend is there," Dexter said.

"There's no guy there," Will said.

Sarah said, "Mom has never brought another man home with her."

Dexter said, "At least she's being discreet."

He found it ironic that her discretion was making him look like the bad guy. With texting there weren't conversations to overhear. Cell phones made it possible to step out of the house and make calls in relative privacy that a landline didn't provide. All his wife had to do was point the finger at him and he was automatically assumed guilty.

Sarah said, "She doesn't have a boyfriend."

"If she's telling you that, then she's lying," Dexter said.

The light changed. Driving a little faster than was appropriate, Dexter pulled into the parking lot of the hotel. He had checked in earlier so he knew where to park. He had also filled the kitchenette with soft drinks and microwave meals.

"She wanted you to talk to her," Sarah said without looking up from her phone. Her fingers were flying over the keyboard.

Dexter replied, "If she wanted to talk to me she would have texted that. Instead, she texted that she wanted a divorce. She was probably in bed with her asshole boyfriend recovering from a dozen orgasms when she texted me."

Surprised, Sarah looked up from her phone and said, "Jane agrees with you."

"Who is Jane?" Dexter asked.

"My friend. I'm texting with her," Sarah said.

Stunned, Dexter looked in the mirror at his daughter. He couldn't believe that she was sharing details of this conversation with her friends even while it was happening. He shook his head in disgust.

"Lisa says that the first one who asks for the divorce is the one who is cheating unless the spouse catches them doing it," Sarah said.

"So Lisa is an expert," Dexter said. He wondered if Sarah was busy texting Lisa as well.

"Her mother has been divorced twice," Sarah said.

"So I guess that makes her an expert," Dexter said sarcastically.

Sarah replied, "She says it is always the guy who cheats first."

Not bothering to reply, Dexter pulled the car into a parking space close to the suite he had rented. He wanted to get this conversation over as soon as he could.

"We're here," Dexter said.

Neither kid bothered to reply. Will got out of the car and went to the trunk to get his suitcase. Dexter hit the trunk release. Sarah remained in her seat texting her friends.

"Sarah, we're here," Dexter said.

"I heard you," Sarah said.

"Well, get out of the car," Dexter said.

"I'm in the middle of a conversation," Sarah said.

Dexter rubbed his forehead trying to stave off a headache. Giving up, he got out of the car. Will was waiting for him with a suitcase in his hand. Dexter looked in the car at Sarah. She was still busy texting her friends. He headed up the walk to the suite. Will followed him.

"Home suite home," Dexter said, opening the door and wondering if Will would pick up on the pun.

"Which room is mine?" Will asked.

Pointing to a door, Dexter answered, "That one."

Without saying a word, Will went into the room. Dexter waited for him to emerge. After a minute of waiting, he went outside to see what was keeping Sarah. The car was empty, but the trunk was still open. He went over and found that Sarah's luggage still occupied the trunk. He looked around wondering what had happened to her.

"Damn it," he swore while wondering where she had gone.

He grabbed her bags and closed the trunk. Irritated, he carried the bags to the suite and deposited them in the last bedroom. He sat down on the sofa in the living room and rubbed his face with his hands. He felt like he was herding cats.

The door opened and his daughter entered the suite. He asked, "Where did you go?"

"I went to the office," Sarah answered. She held up the key to the front door and said, "You walked off without me."

"You were sitting there like a lump on a log," he countered.

"I was in the middle of a conversation," she said.

Dexter exhaled loudly. This weekend was going exactly like he had thought it would.

Will finally emerged from the room and asked, "So when are we leaving?"

"Leaving? We just got here," Dexter said.

"I know," Will said.

Dexter said, "We're staying here the whole weekend."

"Aren't you going to the hospital?" Sarah asked.

"What hospital?" Dexter asked.

Sarah shouted, "The one where mother is!"

"Oh, shit," Dexter said.

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