Nina and Sam had one of those turbulent short marriages. They hit financial disaster, had relationship issues, so separated and sent the children to live with his mother getting them away from ground zero.
Nina felt confident his mother, with whom she had a good relationship, would be an excellent stop gap. She hadn’t know, that Sam had gone behind her back and taken the children to live with him and his new wife.
Obviously that did not work out and the children were returned to the Grandmother.
By then, Nina, in another city, had married a fine man named Jacob and had a child with him.
Her interactions with her sons always began with her reaching out, always ended with their rejection of her.
In this way, there was no place for guilt. She had tried. Her first attempt, her second, on and on, always ending with their extolling of their Grandmother as a ‘Great Mother’ always culminating with whines about everything they didn’t get, and, of course, refusing to live with her.
Years years later, when Sam’s wife left him, he had no one. In loneliness he had emailed Nina, not expecting much.
However, Nina, who read the separation, divorce, loss of custody, an opportunity, was not angry. In fact, she was grateful.
If it hadn’t been for Sam’s actions she might never have gotten this chance at a life.
As Nina began to email Sam it became clear that keeping their contact secret from their children gave them a peculiar upper hand.