Robin and Lance were cordial to each other, making sure they were both included whenever an event involved the children. That was easy enough to do as Lance never planned anything for his children and would just appear in time to be seen if there was a party or school event.
At the birthday party for Bruce, in which all of his classmates, all of Robin’s family and friends attended, Lance took Robin aside. “I have some really exciting news!”
Robin could not care less about Lance’s news, but her kids were watching. “Really? What is it?”
“I just accepted a position in Mississippi. It is a huge opportunity for me and Sheila has agreed to go with me.” Sheila was the same woman Lance had been having the affair with so many years earlier.
Robin could not help but hide her surprise, “You what?” she asked.
“Keep your voice down Robin,” Lance said between gritted teeth. “Can’t you just once in your lifetime be happy for me?”
“Happy for you?” She chuckled, “you can’t possibly be serious when you ask me that question. I specifically turned down a job before Angel was born so that you could ‘keep rising’ at the office you were working for, only to have you leave that job as soon as I told you I was pregnant.
“You wanted to try your hand at something different and I supported every single one of your decisions. If that isn’t being happy for you, what is?”
Lance shrugged. “Do you have to turn everything into a huge fight? I simply wanted you to hear it from me before someone else told you. Sheila and I are getting married at the end of May and I start the new job on June 15th.”
“Well congratulations Lance! Where do your children fit into this equation? Not that it makes too much difference; you’re barely a part of their lives now!”
“I’ll let you know once I’ve settled in exactly what my plans are,” and he turned around and left…without even saying good-bye to either Angel or Bruce.
By the time Christmas rolled around the kids had stopped expecting to see their father. He’d managed to move to Mississippi and get himself in a community that did not accept children. “How could you do that?” Robin asked when she found out. “If they don’t accept kids you can never have the kids out for a visit.”
“Why would you think I would want them here?”
“Because they’re your children!” she said and slammed down the phone. That conversation occurred in October and she hadn’t spoken to him since then. On December 1 when the child support check did not arrive she tried his number only find that it had been disconnected. She tried to get a hold of him through the company he went to work for and they said they’d never heard of a Lance Hughes.
Lance was a landscape architect and really did not have to work for another company at all; he could go into business for himself if that’s what he chose to do.
Links to earlier portions of the story: