Hope Cavendish, a female former work colleague, telephoned Arcadia Thiessen and invited her to lunch. Arcadia accepted and they met in the Loaves and Dishes Café about ninety (90) minutes later.
After some initial pleasantries and ordering their food and drink, the conversation turned serious.
Arcadia told Hope, “Tabernacle 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. Calderone told me Friday has met our children on several occasions and everyone has got along well together.”
“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.”
Hope replied, “The news on the job front is not good from my end. It is common knowledge that you abused your work travel entitlements chasing after that appalling man in Sydney. One reason I know about that horrendous man is that you tried to get him a job with us and I was given the task of doing a background check on him.”
“I am also well aware of your behaviour when you travelled for work and so are many other people, that you always cheated on your husband. You had a great job and you abused its privileges. Men still ring from time to time wanting to speak with you, by the way. More than your extensive infidelity, the chat about you is your exceptionally poor judgment. I am ten (10) years older than you and have been in the industry longer than you. I expect that your poor judgment will be a factor in you getting or rather not getting employment in our industry.”
Arcadia: “I have an appointment to see a relationship counsellor tomorrow. She was recommended to me by a friend.”
Hope: “I think that is a good move on your part. Something tangible needs to change for the better in your life.”
As Hope was speaking Arcadia received a text message from O'Jones Delahunty, a man she had met at her gym, asking her if they could have sex again.
Hope heard the sound of the text message notification and asked Arcadia about the message. Arcadia told her.
Hope told Arcadia, “I am happy to try to help you, but you have to make an effort too. Guys like him are unlikely to do anything positive for you.”
“I have to go back to work, Arcadia. Maybe we can catch up again soon.”
Hope then left the Loaves and Dishes Café and returned to work. Arcadia stayed there for about another twenty (20) minutes thinking about what Hope had said to her. Then she went home.
May Huddersfield - Relationship Counsellor
When Arcadia walked into the office of May Huddersfield, she noticed the relationship counsellor was not wearing any make up. That was an indication of what was to come. A candid interaction, which dealt with things as they really are.
“Augustina Fotheringham has told me a little about you. How are you coping with your new family situation?” Huddersfield asked Arcadia.
“I am not coping very well at all”, Arcadia replied.
Huddersfield: “Is it true that you disappeared for a short time?”
Arcadia: “Yes. 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.”
Huddersfield: “I am not surprised contact with the children was suspended by Calderone”
Arcadia: “It is made more difficult for me because Calderone seems to be coping well with the new arrangement and so are the children. Friday Rauschenberg, his new girlfriend, also seems to be getting along well with everyone.”
Huddersfield: “You brought this on yourself. When you were sleeping with all of those men, you did not want to be with your husband and children. You were pursuing your own entertainment. Were any of the men with whom you were sleeping at all interested in forming a family with you and your children?
Huddersfield: “They were only interested in having sex with you?”
Huddersfield: “I thought so. Your situation has got worse since your husband introduced his girlfriend, Friday, to the children.
Huddersfield: “Now you have been separated from your children and they seem to be doing well in the company of their father, you have changed your attitude.”
Huddersfield: “We need to talk about:
- Why you thought it appropriate to be unfaithful to your husband with these men, especially as none of them were interested in forming a family with you and your children.
- Why did your focus move from your children?
- Why did you put your job at risk in acting this way?”
Huddersfield: “There are other questions too. But that is somewhere to start. That will give you something about which to think before we next see each other.”
Arcadia then walked out of the office of May Huddersfield and sat on the bench in a park nearby. She was overwhelmed by what Huddersfield had said to her. She was trying to take it all in, as well as compose herself. It was another demanding experience for Arcadia.
After about forty (40) minutes, she made her way home.
A Visit To The Doctor
Once she was home Arcadia stayed home. She ventured out three (3) days later to see her doctor. The news was not good. Her doctor informed Arcadia she had contracted genital warts and would need to have them treated immediately.
When the doctor asked from whom Arcadia might have contracted them, Arcadia was surprisingly candid about her sex life.
She said, “I have had too many sex partners for me to know.”
The doctor, “You need to contact them, so they can seek medical treatment, if necessary”.
Arcadia could see the doctor was taking detailed notes of what was discussed during their consultation.
Make a List, Check It Twice
The pain and inconvenience of treating the genital warts she had contracted was minor compared to what was involved in telling her sex partners she had contracted them. Arcadia knew the most difficult person to tell would be her husband, Tabernacle Calderone.
When Arcadia arrived home from the doctor she started to compile a list of all her sex partners who may have caused her to contract the genital warts and to whom she may have transmitted them. Whilst their contact details were rarely important previously, they were vital now. She realised that her list was far from complete.
None of the telephone calls were pleasant for Arcadia. In fact some were extremely unpleasant. With each unpleasant telephone call, the thought of telling Calderone about her situation became even more difficult. Arcadia knew that after all her abusive telephone calls, text messages and email to Calderone, nothing about this news would be received well by him.
The next few days were very difficult for Arcadia. After contacting several, but by no means all, of the men on her list and enduring the unpleasantries of the conversation, Arcadia decided to send Calderone a short email to tell him. She knew she did not have the strength to tell him by telephone.
It did not occur to Arcadia to contact Augustina Fotheringham or Hope Cavendish and discuss the situation with either of them until after Arcadia had sent the email to Calderone informing him about her genital warts. When Arcadia contacted Augustina, Augustina said she would visit Arcadia and support her whilst she made the remainder of the telephone calls.
It was clear from the telephone calls that there would be no relapse into careless sex for Arcadia, at least for the time being.
Bad News Travels Fast
Calderone was not a happy man when he read the email from Arcadia informing him she had contracted genital warts. He expressed his displeasure loudly and Friday Rauschenberg enquired as to why he was making such a fuss. An angry Calderone immediately showed Friday the email from Arcadia. The response from Friday was a little more subdued.
“So now we have to go to the doctor because of your wife”, Friday said to Calderone.
“She did not get them from me”, Calderone said to Friday, not really in reply to her remark.
Friday and Calderone then had a discussion about Arcadia and her sex partners, which lead to a discussion about their own respective sex partners. Candour was the order of the day, inspired by the surprise news from Arcadia.
The mood of Calderone and Friday improved when their respective doctors told them they did not have any genital warts, nor did they have any other such infections.
Calderone made it clear to Friday that he thought Arcadia had several more sex partners during their marriage than she had previously admitted to him. Friday said she had similar thoughts. Friday could see Calderone was angry about the betrayal by Arcadia. She acknowledged his distress and disappointment and tried to change the topic of discussion to something more pleasant. After about ten (10) minutes she was successful and the mood of Calderone significantly improved. Friday felt her mood improve too.
A New Dawn, A New Day
The next morning Calderone was in much better spirits. The children were playing happily in the back yard and Friday was in the kitchen drinking a cup of tea.
Calderone said to Friday, “I would like you to move in here with the children and I, permanently”.
Friday responded, “Is this because of the news about Arcadia?”
Calderone: “No. I have been thinking about it for some time. I believe it is the correct thing to do. The recent events with Arcadia merely confirm my view”.
Friday: “Have you discussed this with your children?”
Calderone: “I asked them if they had any objections. They both said they had no objections. They seemed to like the idea.”
Friday finished her cup of tea and said, “I would be very happy to move in here permanently with you and the children”.
There was then an extended passionate kiss between Calderone and Friday. When it was finished Calderone called the children into the kitchen. They came without much delay.
He told them, “Friday is going to be living here permanently with us”.
The children were excited by the news and spontaneously hugged both Calderone and Friday.
“I think we can call that a yes”, Friday said to Calderone.
“It seems so”, Calderone happily said to Friday.
Calderone Wrote To Arcadia
Arcadia had not heard from Calderone since she wrote to him informing him about her genital warts. She had completed her task of contacting all of her sex partners for whom she had contact details and telling them about her genital warts situation. None of it was a pleasant task. Most of the men were not happy to hear the news and made sure Arcadia was aware of their displeasure.
Arcadia was not keen to hear any more bad or unpleasant news.
She was devastated by the news which greeted her when she opened the latest e-mail from Calderone. It read, “Friday Rauschenberg is moving into the house with the children and I. The children are very happy about the news.”