What was Stacey Rankin to do when her husband of more than ten years decided to leave her for another woman and wants a divorce? When you are a mother of three in a small town? When everyone including your best friend knew what he was doing behind your back? You pack up your kids and move to another state. Stacey may have found more than she bargained for when she found herself getting close to her landlord Charles Stanton who has been betrayed by someone close to him. Will she learn to trust men again or be lonely?
He left us. He filed for divorce and just left. He told me that he didn’t love me anymore and that he had a younger girlfriend. I’m only thirty-four years old. Sure I don’t look like I did ten years ago but I’ve had three kids in that time. Yeah, maybe I’ve let myself go but do our vows mean nothing to him. I don’t know what I’m going to do. It’s going to be all over town tomorrow. Our divorce is going to be all the talk. I have my babies to think about. I haven’t had a job since Dustin and I was dating. Once we got married he didn’t want me working anymore. I have to find a job soon. He was so gracious to let us stay until the divorce is final. What about his children? I had hidden in the closet so my kids wouldn’t see me break down again. “Mom!” Mom where are you? I wipe my nose and eyes before my son Isaac found me sitting on the floor with my knees tucked under my chin. “Mama, Are you okay? You look sad.” “I’m okay my sweet boy. Did you get your homework done?” “Yes, ma’am I did.” “Did you help your sister?” “Yes mama I did. Just a few more weeks and it will be summer mama.” “Yes, baby, you’re right." “Do we have to move out of the house?” “Not just yet son but soon.” I get the kids fed, bathed, and in bed before nine pm. By the time I get everything cleaned and put away, it’s already eleven pm. Instead of going to bed, I fire up the computer and look for places to live and work. Do I want to see their pity faces once the news is all out there? Wait… I’m sure somebody saw them out together at some point right. I grab my phone off my nightstand and flip it open. I start a new text to my best. “Hey, chick got a question for you.” Now I wait. I don’t have to wait long. “Hey lady. What’s up?” “Did you know Dustin was having an affair?” I hope that I am wrong and that she doesn’t know anything about it. My phone starts to ring and I hear, “So he told you huh?” “You knew he was cheating on me and you didn’t think to tell me?” “I’m sorry Stacey, I told him to tell you, or I would.” “Oh, he certainly told me when he served me with divorce papers. How long have you known, I ask her.” “Two or three months, she says.” I feel numb when she confirms my fears. I simply hang up and turn off my phone. That’s it, we are out of here. I open up a map and close my eyes, I take a deep breath in and point. I open my eyes to see that we will be packing up the house and moving to Dubois Wyoming in the next few weeks. He won’t care where we are. He made that very clear when he had me served and left with his new girlfriend. How could he do this to our family? It just shattered any faith I had in men. We had been together for over a decade and had three children together and this is how he treats us. Fine, you know what? We will make it without him. I’m done crying now, now I’m pissed off. I’m bitter and pissed off. Who does that tramp think she is? No no Stacey, you can’t put all the blame on her because it takes two. I turn off the computer and grab my things for a bath. As I let the water heat up my mind begins to wonder. How am I going to support myself and my kids? I will start looking for a job tomorrow. I need to look for a job that I can do while the kids are at school and daycare and be home with them at night. One where if the kids get sick I can leave and go pick them up from school. One that I actually have experience doing and that’s working as a waitress. That’s what I was doing when I met Dustin. He looked good walking into the cafe I used to work at. He was wearing a black hoodie and jeans with a ball cap on. He was so handsome I nearly melted when he talked to me. He was new to town and having been born and raised in Midway Utah I would defiantly know where was hiring. We shortly started dating and within a year we were married and soon came Isaac. It was a beautiful wedding. Our colors were blue and ivory. All our families came and supported us in our union. I climb in the tub and relax where are we going to live? I would be packing up everything and moving us almost six hours away. I need to do what’s best for my kids and that’s moving away. After relaxing and doing a lot of soul searching I had finally made up my mind. I crawl into bed just after midnight and curl up in a ball. Just let the anger fester and you will have the strength to move on. The next morning I wake to my two-year-old on the monitor saying, “mama, mama, eat food." I slowly make my way to his room and scoop him up. I walk over to his brother who shares a room
with Liam and said, "Morning sunshine it’s a brand new day.” I watch as Isaac stretches and yawns trying to open his eyes. “Just five more minutes mom, please.” “No can do buddy we got to get up and around before the bus gets here.” I quickly change Liam and get him ready for the day. I leave him in the room with his brother and walk across the hall to my baby girl Penelope’s room to wake her and help her get ready for school. After everyone is dressed and fed I head upstairs to change into a beautiful summer dress and sandals. “Mom, the bus is coming soon, Pen says.” “I’m coming sis, I holler from my room.” I rush down the stairs and scoop Liam out of his highchair. We race to the end of the driveway and sure enough, here comes the bus. I wave to the two older kids and walk with Liam back into the house. I decided that once I put him down for his nap I will start filling out applications and look for rentals. The morning goes by quickly as I clean up the mess from breakfast and do some laundry. I plan on telling Dustin at court next week that we are packing up and moving. This heartache is going to make me a stronger woman and mother. I hope it does at least. Once I put Liam down for his afternoon nap I set down at the computer and start looking for places to rent. It’s like it was meant to be, on the first page was a nice looking house on a few acres. This could be the place. Three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a nice kitchen, and a fireplace and it seemed to be in my price range as well. I scroll down the page and find the number to contact the landlord. Ring, ring, ring… “Hello, this is Charles Stanton speaking.” “Hi, yes my name is Stacey Rankin and I was calling about the house you have for rent, the three-bedroom.” “Oh yes, Miss Rankin, it’s pretty cut and clear. I want the first and last months for a deposit.” “Okay could you hold it for me until say July, I ask?” “Are you serious right now, he asks?” “Yes, I’m completely serious. Look my husband served me with divorce papers the other night after telling me he was leaving me for a younger woman. I have three kids who are eight, five, and two. We live in a very small town and soon everyone will know my business and I really don’t want that. We live in Utah right now but I want to move us somewhere else so we don't have to look at the faces of people who pity us.” “Ma’am, can I think about it for a few days before I decide?” I sigh out "yes I guess that would be reasonable.” After giving him my number so he could call back when he had decided we say goodbye and hang up. Now to look for a place to work so we can afford a place to live. I’m going through the listing and find a waitressing job open at Rusty’s Cafe which is just a few miles from where the house is located. Feeling good I call about the job ring, ring “Hello thank you for calling Rusty’s Cafe this is Susan how can I help you?” “Hi yes, my name is Stacey Rankin and I’m calling about the waitressing job I found online?” “Oh yeah, do you have any experience waiting tables, Stacey?” “Yes, I do. I haven’t done it in ten years but I’m sure it hasn’t changed any from then till now. I’m sure I could use a refresher though.” "When can you start Stacey?” “Well, I live in Utah and my husband decided to tell me he was leaving me for a twenty-two-year-old and then I was served with divorce papers.” “So if you live in Utah why are you asking for a job, she asks?” “Because I’m moving me and my three kids to Dubois Wyoming in a few weeks, I tell her.” “Can you be here by May fifteenth?” “Yes ma’am I can my kids get out of school on April twenty-eighth so that gives me plenty of time to get there and situated, I say.” “Okay, I’ll give you a thirty-day probation period since I don’t know you, she tells me.” “Sounds just fine to me ma’am.” “Call me Susan. I’m the manager at Rusty’s who is my husband by the way.” “Okay, I’ll see you then Susan.” “All right now bye-bye.” I hang up the phone and for a brief minute, I was happy. I go to check on Liam and he’s up playing with his toys. “Hi, mama’s handsome boy. How was your nap little man?” “Good mama.” “Oh good, that makes mommy happy. Are you ready for a change and snack, I ask?” “Yes, mama.” After changing Liam we set out for downstairs to get a snack. Grabbing some cheese and pretzels we head to the living room to watch his favorite cartoon Blue’s Clues. It was better than the stuff Isaac and Pen watched. I can handle Blue and her friends. We watch Blue until the kids get home.