Chapter Ten; Part Three
I take a deep breath and dive back into the dossier that Yuri has provided me. It gives more details about TAP, including that investors poured close to $50 million dollars into it. I blink at the number. I was expecting it to be a few million or maybe ten at the most. It’s more than I thought it would be, even though it’s still peanuts to most venture capitalists. There’s an interview with Richard Liang in which he threatens to kill George, but I can’t tell if he really means it or if he’s just letting off steam. Scott Huang takes a more legalistic approach by threatening to sue George. Both of these statements came after George went back to San Francisco. I find out that they managed to put a lien on George’s assets. My mouth drops because that’s not easy to do, and I wonder if they have a judge in their pockets. Things were pretty grim for George for the next year. I have to wonder how he kept Rowena in the dark about this, or maybe she knew. Just because she didn’t tell me about it doesn’t mean she wasn’t in on it. From her point of view, why would she tell me? I’m going to have to call her again, which is the last thing I want to do. On impulse, I start another post.
I don’t understand wanting to be kept in the dark in a relationship. Let me explain. I’m not a very confrontational person, but if I’m going to be with someone, I have to trust them. If I don’t, then I’m only half present in the relationship, if even that. I know everyone has secrets, and it’s healthy to keep some things to yourself. However, I don’t understand not wanting to know something major about your partner. Take, for example, a man who has two families in different states. Even if he is a master at dissimulating, you have to know on some base level if you’re one of the wives, right? Even if he has a job that allows him to travel freely around the country, there has to be a little voice in the back of your mind that tells you something is wrong. Nobody can keep up that façade perfectly for a lifetime. Whether it’s a slip on the kid’s birthday or calling you by the wrong name, I firmly believe there are tells, even if you choose to ignore them.
I had an affair with a married man when I was in my mid-thirties and he was in his forties. We saw each other once a week, which was all I wanted from him. It was light and fun, and we were together for over a year. During that time, he would call me while he was in the car with his wife sleeping and his kids watching cartoons on their tablets or whatever we watched videos on in those days. We consistently went over his minutes for the month, and since his wife managed their money, he had to explain it to her. Personally, if the person I was in a monogamous relationship with talked over thirty hours a month on the phone with someone who wasn’t me, I’d be a tad suspicious. In addition, we met on the Wednesday nights every week, and he told his wife he was going bowling with the guys. You mean to tell me she didn’t ask any of ‘the guys’ ever about those bowling nights?
I know it’s common, and I know it’s more a matter of denial than actual not knowing. It’s still sad to me that so many people settle in their romantic relationships to the point where they’ll take crumbs rather than expect a whole cake.
This post just flows from my fingertips, and I do minimal editing before I publish it. I get several responses within minutes, most of them revealing secrets they’ve kept from their partners or secrets of their partners that they discovered well into their relationships. PeeVeePee confesses, “I had a torrid affair with my husband’s best friend five years into the marriage. It only lasted a month, but he told my husband a year later because he was mad at me for not resuming the affair. His wife had just left him for other reasons, and he got it into his head that he was in love with me. Never mind that we had nothing in common except for sex—he decided we were soulmates. I begged him not to tell my husband, but he refused to listen. Fortunately for me, my husband is a very forgiving man, and we’re still together. It’s been two years, and there are still rocky moments, but we’re more in love than ever.” WestVirginiaMountainMama writes, “As hard as it is to be cheated on, it’s even worse to find out that someone has cheated on your kid. My son is sixteen and is the last of his friends to start dating. Not because we forbid him to date, but because he’s an awkward and shy boy. When he finally got his first girlfriend, my husband and I were so happy for him. He was giddy for a month, and then, he shut himself in his room for three days and wouldn’t come out. When he finally did, it was to tell us she cheated on him with a friend of his. It devastated me.”
Everyone has a story about cheating—either being the cheater or being on the receiving end, or both. Some of the stories end with reconciliation, but the vast majority conclude with a messy breakup. I have a few comments about the immorality of cheating, but I don’t publish them because they don’t add anything to the conversation. There is one particularly heartbreaking story by FaerieTales, and she writes, “When I was twenty-seven, I was pregnant with my second child by my husband. My first birth was a difficult one, so I was on bedrest most of the time. At first, he was the sweetest man as he doted on me hand and foot. He refused to let me do anything that might be remotely harmful to our unborn child. Then, in my second trimester, he began to change. He started working late, and when he was home, he wasn’t as attentive as he once was. He’d leave me in the bedroom for an hour or two without answering the ringing of my bell. Which he gave to me, by the way, insisting that I use it liberally. Never mind that we both had Androids and I could easily text him. He wanted to make sure I could reach him as necessary. To make a long story short, he was having an affair with his secretary. The day I was in the hospital giving birth to our daughter, he decided to leave me. That was three years ago, and I haven’t heard from him since. He hasn’t held his daughter once.” My heart aches as I’m reading, and I just want to wrap her in a comfy duvet and sing her to sleep. Her next paragraph is more uplifting, however. “A year ago, I met a man who not only willingly became the father my daughter never knew, he adopted my son as well, and he treats me like a queen. I finally feel my life is back on track, but it’s been a long, arduous road to reach this point.”
I close out that browser and return to the brief that Yuri gave me. Scott Huang died seven years ago, but Richard Liang is still alive and living in Richfield. He’s retired by now, and he’s sitting very pretty with his second home in Tampa, his silver Audi, and all the luxuries a man could want. Reading about his wealth makes me wonder how much money Mr. Tsai had when he died. I don’t have to wonder, however, because Yuri has included a copy of Mr. Tsai’s will in his brief. I don’t know how he got his hands on it, but I’m not going to question his methods. Mr. Tsai died with only five-hundred thousand dollars to his name, excluding assets. I lift my eyebrow because that seems low, though I’m not sure why I think that. If he was hurting for money, that could be why he decided to bilk me and my sisters out of our inheritance. It gives me something to think about at least. He’s left it all to Rowena, which isn’t surprising. I wonder if she knows how much money he had, and I have a hunch she doesn’t. This will is going to be a nasty shock to her if she thinks he had more money than he did.
I go to the kitchen to grab a Diet Coke and to digest what I’ve just read. There seems to be no end to the secrets Mr. Tsai harbored. I’m glad that Yuri has been able to dig up so much about him, but it’s too much at one time. I still have several pages to read, but I have to take a break. I go outside to smoke, mindful that I’m smoking more than I usually do. I need to be careful because there will always be a reason to smoke, and I don’t want to become a pack-a-day smoker. Three cigarettes a day is my upper limit, and I’m close to passing it. I vow to keep an eye on my consumption so it won’t get out of hand. I stop after I’m done with half my cigarette and carefully put it out. I bring it inside and put it back in the pack. Onyx and Jet come running to greet me, and I go in the kitchen to give them a few treats. I’m hungry, so I heat up more of the Thanksgiving leftovers. I’m going to have to throw them out soon, which is a crying shame. I get a text from Rembrandt saying he misses me. I text him back saying I miss him, too, even though truth to be told, I’ve been too busy to miss him. I summarize what I’ve learned so far, and he’s appropriately appalled. We set a date at his place tomorrow night, and I’m looking forward to it.
I have to admit that I like having him as a regular in my life, even if I don’t want to live with him. Suddenly, I’m glad I turned James down, even though we probably would have been hot together. I remember when I was in my early twenties, I would have done almost anything for a night of passion. At my age, however, a one-night stand isn’t worth very much. If I need to get off, then I can just use my hand. So, I guess I have to admit there is more to sex than just scratching a physical itch. I still don’t think it’s sacred, but there is an emotional aspect to it. I’ve never heard the choir singing while having sex, but I will admit there are times when I feel like having sex is going to church. Scratch that. It’s better than going to church. If religion could bottle the feeling you get when having great sex, they would fill the pews every Sunday.