Stiles Parsons had not heard from Arcadia Thiessen since well before he visited Tabernacle Calderone at his home and told Calderone what he knew of Arcadia. Nor had he heard from Bonham Trudeaux since they had lunch together at the Hard Slog Café and Bonham gave Parsons a copy of the photographs he had of Arcadia. Parsons was surprised when Bonham telephoned him and suggested they have lunch again at the Hard Slog Café. He agreed and arrangements were made to meet at 1:00 pm the next day.
Both men were in good spirits when they arrived at the Hard Slog Café. There were only a few patrons and they easily found a table away from other ears. After ordering their food and drink, the conversation soon turned to Arcadia. Parsons saw the mood of Bonham dip as soon as he started talking about her.
Bonham said, “I have not really heard from Arcadia for some time. I have telephoned her a few times, but she always says she has not got time at the moment to talk with me and she has never called me back. She does not reply to my text messages either.”
Parsons was very interested to hear this news about Arcadia and he decided not to tell Bonham about the divorce of Arcadia, unless it was absolutely necessary.
“How did you meet Arcadia?”, Parsons asked.
Bonham: I had dinner at a hotel near my work and I noticed Arcadia was sitting with another woman, apparently having dinner also. On my way to the toilet I overheard some of the conversation they were having.
“Arcadia told her companion, ‘I am trapped in a bad marriage’.
“Her companion replied, ‘I know what that is like’.
“Neither woman appeared to notice me, but I noticed they were each wearing what appeared to be wedding rings.”
“When I was returning to my table after I had been to the toilet, Arcadia was sitting alone and she made a point of saying hello to me as I walked past her table. After I had finished my meal, I went to the bar to get another drink and I noticed Arcadia was sitting alone again at her table. After I bought my drink I walked over to her table. She invited me to sit down and talk with her. Her wedding ring was very visible.”
“It did not take Arcadia long to tell me she was ‘trapped in a bad marriage’. I cannot remember the specific details of the story, but I remember she had a good story to go with her ‘trapped in a bad marriage’ line, so I believed her. I got the impression I was not the first man she had picked up in a bar. I recall her companion was still around at the time of that conversation, but I am not sure precisely where. I think she was talking to some other men.”
“In seemingly no time at all she agreed to go to my place with me. She did not seem to have any difficulty telling her female companion either. From what I could see, her friend had no objection to Arcadia leaving with me.”
“When we got to my house, sex started almost as soon as we closed the front door. The sex did not last very long. Arcadia said she had to go home to her husband and children. Before she left we exchanged contact details.”
Parsons: “When did you see her after that night?”
Bonham: “We exchanged text messages the next day and for several days afterwards. We saw each other again about a week and a half later. Again we went to my house and Arcadia was a very willing sex partner.”
Parsons: “When did you go to her house?”
Bonham: “About three (3) weeks later Arcadia said I could see her at her house because her husband and children would not be around for several hours. So I went to her house and we had quite a lot of sex there.”
Parsons: “How often did you go to her house?”
Bonham: “I went a few times. I think it was the third or fourth time when I took photographs of her. They are the photographs you have seen. She was not shy about any of it.”
Parsons: “Did the ‘trapped in a bad marriage’ topic come up much?”
Bonham: “It came up a couple of times, but it was never a significant topic of conversation. All I really know is that Arcadia was a very willing participant when ever we spent time together. I had quite a bit of contact with her and then it stopped, without any explanation.”
Parsons thought this was not the right time to tell Bonham about the divorce of Arcadia. He also thought it might help the mood of Bonham if he changed topic of conversation.
It seemed to work. They spent about thirty (30) more minutes having lunch at the Hard Slog Café talking about happier topics and then they both went their separate ways.
The Babysitter Contacts Arcadia
Isabella Evanescence, the babysitter, thought to herself, she had not heard from Arcadia for ages, so she decided to call around to see her. Arcadia was home and invited her inside.
Isabella could tell immediately that something was wrong with Arcadia. Her clothes were dirty, her personal hygiene was poor and she had a significant smell of body odour.
Isabella ask Arcadia what was the matter and Arcadia told Isabella about the divorce.
Isabella said, “Arcadia, you are a mess. Why don’t you have a shower and clean yourself up? You can talk to me while you are doing it.”
Arcadia was not very responsive. Isabella been took her by the hand and lead her to the bathroom.
Once they were inside the bathroom, Isabella said to Arcadia, “Do not make me undress you”.
As Arcadia was undressing, Isabella turned on the water in the shower. Arcadia got in the shower and started cleaning herself and washing her hair.”
Isabella said, “Now Arcadia, tell me what has been going on.”
Arcadia told Isabella, “I will tell you some of what I told May Huddersfield, my relationship counsellor. Calderone accepted a job at a catering company in Cairns, North Queensland and relocated to Cairns with the children. My only physical contact with the children now is during holiday periods. He has also formed a relationship with Friday Rauschenberg, who works for a florist and has no children of her own. In fact Friday has moved in with Calderone and our children.”
“Because I am not employed, I am finding it difficult to fund the necessary air travel between Melbourne and Cairns, which would enable me to have contact with the children. So at the moment contact consists of telephone calls, video calls, email and text messages.”
“I am not coping very well at all with my new family situation. There had been a series of abusive telephone calls, text messages and email to Calderone because I could not see the children. Calderone said he would suspend all contact until they stopped. I went to pieces and caught a train out of town. After about a week away I returned home.”
Isabella said, “I assume Calderone left you because he found out you were cheating on him?”
Arcadia: “In his Court documents Calderone said that for at least eighteen (18) months prior to our separation I had been having an affair with Garlick Duckworth, a guy from Sydney. I travelled often with my work to see him and spoke with him most days by telephone. We also sent lots of text messages to each other.”
Isabella replied, “It was obvious to me you were cheating on your husband. All those times you rang during the babysitting and asked me to look after the children for the entire night. It was very suspicious behaviour on your part. I also saw you a couple of times when you came home and you obviously were not wearing underwear. That you were having an affair for eighteen (18) months with a guy from Sydney is not really surprising to hear. I am surprised your husband did not know about all your men here in Melbourne.”
As Arcadia got out of the shower Isabella could see that Arcadia heard what she said and was having trouble saying anything in reply.
Isabella: “So I guess I will not be getting any babysitting jobs from you any time soon?”
Arcadia did not answer.
Calderone Telephones Arcadia
Their conversation was interrupted by the telephone of Arcadia ringing. Isabella answered it and discovered it was Calderone.
“I did not expect you to answer the telephone, Isabella”
“Arcadia was in the shower. I put her in there. She is a mess”, Isabella said spontaneously.
Calderone: “I am not surprised to hear you say that. I suppose by now you know what has happened between Arcadia and I?”
Isabella: “Yes. Arcadia has just told me. I am glad that you have found some happiness.”
Calderone: “Thank you. Arcadia is supposed to ring the children today and speak with them, but she has not been doing so and I have had to ring her and get her to talk with the children.”
Isabella: “I will put Arcadia on for you”.
Isabella then handed the telephone to Arcadia and she had a conversation with Calderone. Isabella could hear Calderone reminding Arcadia that she was supposed to ring the children for contact and she has not been doing so.
Arcadia said little in response and then had a brief conversation with the children.
When the telephone conversation ended, Isabella said to Arcadia, “You really need to get yourself together. Your life is now a train wreck. Your children deserve much better from their mother.”
Arcadia looked at Isabella, then looked down at the floor. She said nothing in reply.
Isabella said, “Arcadia, I am leaving. Maybe we will talk later.”
Isabella then left the house and drove home.
Augustina Fotheringham Visits Arcadia
Four (4) days later Augustina Fotheringham visited the home of Arcadia. Arcadia was wearing the same clothes she had on when Isabella left.
Augustina said to Arcadia, “You have lots of dirty dishes in the kitchen sink and you do not seem to have done any washing for a while. You also look and smell like you have not showered for several days. That in its own way that explains to me why I have not heard from you.”
Arcadia said, “I am not coping very well.”
Augustina: “It is hard to know where to start here. Can you manage to stack the dishwasher whilst I get some washing started?”
“OK”, Arcadia replied.
Augustina: “We have made some progress. Do I need to put you in the shower as well or can you manage to do that by yourself?”
Arcadia was a little shaken to hear the suggestion that Augustina put her in the shower. That would be the second time in a week a friend and visitor had put her in the shower.
She said, “No, Augustina. I can do that myself and I will do it when you leave.”
Augustina: “What a transformation you have made. From a great life with wonderful privileges and perks to this, were apparently even basic household chores are now beyond you. All because you had to indulge yourself indiscreetly with just about all the male attention that was paid to you.”
“Since we last spoke, I have made more enquiries about you. It seems you have been unfaithful to every partner you have had, except that horrid Garlick Duckworth, who was only interested in free food and easy sex. Leaving aside your husband for a moment, it seems it never occurred to you to spend time with the very small number of nice men who have been in your life from time to time. Had you done so, the situation in which you now find yourself may have been avoided.”
“I have seen this before, you were drunk on the attention and thought you were untouchable. Rarely does that situation end well. I cannot spend any more time with you at the moment, but I can see you again next week. Hopefully we can make some progress with you.”
As soon as Augustina left the house, Arcadia went and had a shower.
A Birthday To Remember
The next day Bonham Trudeaux remained perplexed by and unhappy with the lack of real contact he was having with Arcadia. He decided to go to her house and see if he would have any better luck with that approach.
When Arcadia greeted him at her front door Bonham could see there was something different about her, but he was not sure what it was. He told Arcadia he had wanted to see her for some time, but she would not have any significant conversation with him.
“I have been going through a difficult time”, Arcadia replied.
Bonham made it clear he wanted to have sex with Arcadia and she did not object.
Their uninspiring sexual encounter had not been underway long when the mobile telephone of Arcadia rang. Bonham could see that the caller was Calderone. Neither of them stopped having sex because of the telephone call. The ringing stopped and then shortly thereafter recommenced. Arcadia fumbled to answer the telephone call and Bonham endeavoured to continue with the sex.
Arcadia told him to stop, which he did.
Bonham could then hear all of the conversation between Arcadia and Calderone.
Calderone: “What have you been doing? Today is the birthday of your son and you were supposed to telephone him”.
Arcadia did not bother answering the question of Calderone. She just said, “Put him on the telephone.”
During the conversation between Arcadia and her son, Bonham got dressed and went home.
When the telephone call with her son was completed Arcadia did not want to speak with Calderone, so she hung up.
Calderone Wrote To Arcadia
Arcadia was used to Calderone writing to her by e-mail. Hard copy mail was new territory for them. The contents of the letter was new territory for them too. In short Calderone told Arcadia he was very concerned about her behaviour and the impact it was having on their children.
“I want you to consult a psychiatrist. I want to know what is going on with you. Your decline has been significant and you seem unstable. I think you need professional help. Unless and until I see a satisfactory psychiatric report on you, I will not make the children available to you for any contact whatsoever.”
When Arcadia finished reading the letter she fainted.