Sam suffered regrets and pain when he thought of the sons he had with Nina.
Often, he would go over every aspect, cursing himself for taking them from his mother in the first place, to trying to fit them into his new marriage.
Their anger and resentment proved to Sam that everything he had tried to do, from getting them into a better school to teaching them how to play chess, was an issue and he kept trying to make it right with them.
Year after year, Sam tormented himself.
The ‘boys’ were adults when he began corresponding with their mother, Nina.
When they had separated, they agreed the children would live with his mother until they were financially stable. But he had raced to his mother, grabbed the kids, so that at divorce he would get custody and pay her no alimony, no child support.
Nina had decided that instead of destroying her life, abandoning her studies, passing opportunities, she would go on with her life. And when she was strong and capable, she would attempt to regain her children.
By the time she was capable, the boys were totally against her, wanted to stay with Grandma, who they hailed as a Great Mother.
They would vehemently state how Great Grandma was, then begin to whine and complain about not having a birthday party or being taken to the zoo.
Nina found this double speak rather interesting.