Finally, as my confidence returned, I again felt the desire to become part of the civilized world. I was cured and, on the way, to recover from the lethal risk of destruction. I had resurrected into the future of a new life.
I returned home to Brisbane where I rediscovered the joy of having friends, new and old, around me and I was reabsorbed into the circle of other people’s life and again I was part of the world.
Soon after my return home, I receive a letter from a Sydney solicitor. He was acting on behalf of Clare and she was unexpectedly asking to settle our marital situation with a divorce.
I fell into despair again. I had lost all my contact with her since that morning we had the last breakfast together on the eve of my departure for Bangladesh. It was a considerably long time since I had last seen her.
That woman had always used her malevolent influences in my life. In our fifteen years of marriage, I can consider only our first two had been reasonably good. Then she started to develop that stupid conception that marriage was sacred.
‘Marriage is for ever in front of God.’
It was her constant motto that she used so well to barricade and justify herself when I twice asked for a divorce on my return from Brazil. She never wanted to listen to any of my arguments on that subject. Instead, she made my life more miserable. She had been the one that had stopped me from forming a new and a better life with Juanita.
In the end Clare had abandoned me, but not before taking all my savings. The house, in which we lived for several years, was now empty and wrecked.
Tenants had lived there for some time and they completed the havoc, leaving behind costly damages. Carpets had been ripped up, timber shutters had been removed and burned and half of the floor tiles had been smashed.
But this wasn’t all. The bank, on Clare’s request, had taken out a second mortgage on the property in my name. Clare had used the Power of Attorney that I had signed at the time I started working overseas. The bank was now demanding the repayment of that money from me.
She had completely destroyed my life and taken away all my possessions, love and wealth. Now Clare was securely hiding somewhere in Sydney enjoying her usual life of grandeur.
Finally, Clare had discovered that being still married to me wouldn’t enhance her complete freedom. Or was it the fact that she couldn’t get anything more from me? I was definitely in her way and that was reason enough.
I was bitter. In my subconscious some degree of love for her must have still existed, or else why hadn’t I strongly forced our legal separation at an earlier stage?
I thought it was time to take my revenge and reject her proposal to divorce. But then I saw a light at the end of the tunnel, a possibility to go back to Juanita.
But where was Juanita? Since I had returned, I had failed to contact her. Letters had been returned unanswered to me, and as well I found her telephone had been disconnected. It was most likely that she had moved away and my hopes to find her were remote.
Two weeks later I bumped into Margaret. She was Clare’s best friend. Maybe I would finally discover what really happened to Clare and the reasons why she moved away without explanation. After our first greeting, I got straight to the point with Margaret.
‘I’ll buy your lunch in return for some answers. I need to know more about Clare just to reach a decision. She asked for a divorce.’
I certainly aroused her curiosity and she was more then eager to exchange her knowledge about Clare.
She started her story with a hint of mystery and curious words, ‘I always thought that Bobby had power over Clare. She became so infatuated with him. But she wasn’t the only one.’
‘Since Bobby had opened his beauty parlor in the centre of Surfers Paradise, his place had become the most popular with the local wealthy women and he was the talk around the city.’
‘Bobby was handsome. He was tall, blonde with flashing blue eyes and a gorgeous smile. Most of all he was young and the circle of middle-aged women adored him. He flirted with all of them, particularly with married women, who were the one’s that mostly desired him and tried to bribe him into their alcoves with expensive presents. In other words, he was the typical Gigolo and he well knew how to receive a handsome return for his good services with those women.’
‘I could never explain how Clare fell into his trap so easily. She was the cold calculated woman capable of getting advantages from the men she met. I admit she had many lovers. All of them belonged to the higher social class and I couldn’t see her involved with a Gigolo, when she could have any man, she wanted. Mostly, in the past, she had looked for a fling lasting only a night with wealthy married men. A simple way to satisfying her womanly needs, have what she wanted and then say goodbye without any distress, and no consequences for the future.’
‘But no. At that time with Bobby, she acted completely out of character, showing how infatuated she was with him. I saw her talking hysterically to him in front of others, in the salon. People soon gossiped about her indiscretion and the way she had lost her coolness with someone much too young for her and with the reputation of a Don Juan. She was jealous of him and often went to his salon to remonstrate that he had slept the previous night with some other woman instead of her.’
‘Clare had become quite insane and she tried to buy the exclusiveness of his love. On his twenty-fifth birthday, she presented him with a new Porsche. Many said at the time it was quite an extravagant gift. But she couldn’t buy his love.’
‘Of course, she had been wronging all the time. I tried to convince her that he wasn’t worth it and she would never possess him, and she would soon be sorry. It was only the beginning. Bobby became the devil in her life. To have him, even if for only a single night, she started to give him more that she could afford financially.’
‘She went over the limits of decency and common sense. Friends started to desert her. She received bills larger than she could afford and the banks sent demand notes to pay back the money advanced to her credit cards. When those painful notes started to reach her, Bobby distanced himself from Clare. He let her know that it was finished. He laughed at her demands to return the car and the other expensive presents she had bought him.’
‘She had no choice. In a short time, she became the laughing-stock of those that knew her, and she eventually disappeared from the city circles she used to frequent.’
‘Somebody, months later, told me she had seen Clare in Sydney, but she kept her hiding place and her new life secret. Since she left Queensland, I haven’t seen her.’ ‘This along with her request for a divorce leaves me completely perplexed. Something drastic must have happened to her. Divorce is something that she would never have considered before. I only hope it will work out for both of you. I’m mainly concerned for you now because you have been the one that has paid so dearly for her deception. I hope that you will keep me informed of future developments.’
End Part 2