One of the things that happens when you leave a house in a rush is that you overlook things: You forget to pack clothes you need, and a razor.
Or, in the case of The Departed, you leave your personal computer and Windows Home server on, with no password set.
My father spends some time going through the system. The first thing he discovers is porn, although saying he “discovered” it is probably not quite accurate: It is the haystack one must look through to find the needles. I knew that there was and figured there was more, but I had not really guessed the extent of it. His email inbox was full of the stuff: subscriptions and messages that had not gone to his spam folder – things he signed up for.
After that, I spend some time looking through his email. He’s still using his home email account with his iPad, which means I can see the emails he’s sending.
The first thing I see is an email to his stepmother. She’s worried about him, she says. And his reply is well, he had to leave, because he was afraid of me. I had refused to deal with my anger issues, he says, and one time I even hit him.
He leaves off the part about what happened first: How I got a faint positive pregnancy test one day, and then a few days later was doubled over with abdominal pains and then a period. How he didn’t stay in the room when I told him – refused to make eye contact, walked out and went upstairs. I didn’t expect him to truly console me – though I hoped – but I expected him to at least stay in the room. I raged and screamed and finally he said, “Go ahead and hit me. Go ahead.”
And I did. I hit like a girl and wished that at some point in my life, I’d learned how to hit someone and do some damage.
That is his story – I had anger issues and assaulted him; he had to leave. He tells this story over and over during the proceedings. I owe him an apology, he says in the arbitration papers. I never apologized for my anger issues.
There’s another email, too, that I find odd and have to do a bit of research to figure out. In it, he is receiving an confirmation of a new email account. But it’s odd, because it’s a sub-account of someone else’s – it’s part of someone else’s Comcast account.
I do a little digging, and come up with a name: A man who lives not far from The Departed’s first wife. From what I can work out, the man has a divorced daughter who lives with him, and she has a child who goes to school with The Departed’s son.
I mention this to The Lawyer when he hears my story, and he asks me, Is there someone else? Because I hate to say it, but that’s what it sounds like.
I have no proof, I tell him, it’s just rather odd that he’d open this email account through another person. Why do that? Open a gmail account or hotmail if you need a new email quickly.
My father disagrees with this: There is no “other woman,” he says, except in his mind.
We are all perplexed, but The Lawyer says, legally, it doesn’t really matter. It just makes no sense; there should be a reason for these things and we all look for one.
Over a year later, though, my father would seem to be correct.