June 5, 2009

Part Two

Sam Cassidy married his high school sweetheart. After getting his engineering degree he took a job in the Carolinas. After a few years, the plant he worked was slated to close and at the age of 30 he found himself far from home and out of work. Getting back to his small Indiana hometown took all of their savings. They rented a dumpy house in a run-down neighborhood.

He got on with a local plant and just when things were looking bright he was caught in the downturn of the early 1990's and again found himself out of work. Never again he vowed, and his new career began. Sam was driven to succeed. His attention to detail and logical mind made him very good at managing money and seeing market trends. His franchise grew as clients brought in new business and word of mouth spread his reputation.

The day-to-day pressures began to mount. Every minute failure or lack of perfection depressed him. He had to have everything just right in his life. He loved Linda and the kids more than could be imagined, but Linda had to dress the part -- they were important people. Sam decided the needed to go to a different church. When he told Linda she should lose a few pounds they really had a fight! That she could not see the point depressed him further.

The vacations and cruises help mend the fights. New jewelry helped. Sometimes Sam took a drink or two. That drowned the voices in his head that told him he had to do better. A vicious circle took over his life. He would get depressed. He would get drunk. Ashamed at his weakness, he would get depressed...

Shortly before he was arrested for Public Intoxication, Sam and Linda had a huge fight. She loved him, but she said he had changed. He said she was fighting him, all he wanted was for them to be successful. He even moved out for a while. He begged her to take him back, what would people think? Already some clients had asked him if he had a girlfriend? It might hurt his business he begged. She took him back and he promised to change.

Linda paid the bail for the PI charge. He promised to quit drinking. He meant it. Luckily the incident passed the only public report of his arrest a small blurb in the police blotter. For some months there was an uneasy truce in the house. That Linda remained distant depressed him. That he wanted a drink brought his spirits lower. He tried to smile and hid his feelings deep inside.

Fall came and with it the devastating losses in the stock market. he lost money, and more importantly his clients lost money. Some blamed him. He went to visit an important client. The farmer lived out in the outer reaches of the county and Sam took a terrible berating. In the end, the wealthy farmer knew it was not his investment brokers fault, but he was angry over losing more than a third of his wealth in a few weeks.

Sam took it personal, and it was more than he could stand. he stopped at a small liquor store and bought some vodka. He hid it in his desk. A nip here and a nip there and no one will know the difference. Things bounced along for a few months.

One Thursday Sam came to work in a bad mood. he and Linda had fought the night before. He could not remember why, but she knew he had been drinking again. Linda actually cursed at him, he had rarely heard even a 'damn" from her lips in more than20 years of marriage! He was so disappointed in himself. He reached for the vodka in his desk. By nine o'clock he was too drunk to work and told his secretary he was going out for a few hours.

He headed for home. As pulled in the drive he hit the garage opener, but the door did not open. He realized this as he skidded to a stop too late. The door was buckled. He knew Linda was going to be mad when she got home from work. His alcohol riddled brain told him the best recourse was to leave and think it out. He drove to a nearby supermarket and parked. "Think, Sam, think". Instead he passed out.

Customers noticed the BMW parked sideways in the lot and called the police. A man was either dead or passed out behind the wheel. Perfection was now about to be unattainable for Sam Cassidy.

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