Welcome back to another chapter of Random Branches! In the last chapter, the eldest children of the two couples aged to children, Minerva learned from her aunt that her aunt’s not her mother. Mindy and Obi had a strained relationship due to Mindy’s work schedule. And at the very end of the chapter, Obi overheard someone on Mindy’s phone call her baby and imply that the night before was amazing. And now on with the story!
Obi took a few deep breaths. “Who is this guy and why did he call you baby? And how can a late night working session due to a deadline being moved unexpectedly be amazing? And why would you need to get away from me to see a coworker?”
“I initially resisted. But it was hard. He was so charming and my type…”
“I thought I was your type? That you had determined that I was your soul mate?”
“I know. And I thought that before I met him. I honestly did. But he was persistent. He didn’t seem to take no for an answer even though I told him I was married. And… and I eventually cracked.”
Mindy’s mouth opened and closed before she said, “A few years. Since about six months after we got bought out and I got a new boss. He brought in some of his current employees with him. I’m sorry.”
“YOU’RE SORRY?! If you were sorry you would have only cheated once and told me about it! Not continued the relationship! That’s why you didn’t want to have a second child. Because you were cheating and wanted to have his child. Not have another one of mine. And you caved to the surrogate idea to keep me off of your back! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need some alone time before the kids come home so I’m not so damned pissed off.” Obi then stormed downstairs. He heard Mindy follow so he stepped into what he thought was an empty study and locked the door.
“Locking doors is strange for you, Obi,” Leia said before she noticed that something was wrong. She approached her brother and lightly held his arms, “What’s wrong, Obi?”
Obi blinked not having expected his sister to be there, though as he thought about it, it wasn’t surprising. This was where she worked, much to Mindy’s chagrin. She got the lockable office. “Mindy. She… she cheated on me. Has been for a few years now.”
“Shit, Obi. I’m sorry,” Leia said and pulled her brother into a hug, “What do you think you’re going to do?”
“I don’t know. I think I might just divorce her. She cheated on me for years. With the same guy apparently. I can’t trust her to tell me she’s dumped him. And even before then she seemed to love her job more than me or our family. I… I just loved her and she… she…” Obi lost it and just cried into Leia’s shoulder.
Leia just let her brother cry into her shoulder.
Minerva headed downstairs to show her aunt a draft of a story that had had some corrections made on it that she didn’t understand. Aunt Leia understood writing. She was an author. She approached the door and was about to grab the handle when she heard someone crying. It sounded like a male’s voice. She saw Uncle Max upstairs so it must have been her dad. So she walked upstairs.
“Uncle Max, do you have a minute?” Minerva asked.
“Yea, what’s the question?” Max asked.
“Why is my dad crying downstairs in Aunt Leia’s study?”
Max blinked. He had heard the raised voices coming from Obi and Mindy’s bedroom but hadn’t paid attention to the details. And now Obi was crying. Or who Minerva thought was Obi. “I don’t know, Minerva. I’ll go ask. Stay up here, though, ok? And if you see Hermione tell her the same.”
Max knocked on the door. “Obi, you in there?”
Leia opened the door and let him in. “How come you were expecting Obi in here?”
“My guess is Minerva was coming to see you and got to the door and heard Obi crying. She came up and asked me why.”
“Mindy was cheating on me with a coworker for the last few years. I just found out an hour or so ago. Shit, I didn’t want the kids to find out there was a major problem this way.”
“How about Mom and Dad had a bad argument and Dad’s just upset right now?” Leia suggested.
“That could work,” Obi said.
“Now dry your eyes, walk upstairs and tell your daughter. It will come better from you,” Leia ordered.
And so, Obi told his daughter. Minerva nodded in understanding and went downstairs for homework help from her aunt, content with the world for now.
And then Obi thought. Long and hard on what he wanted to do. And what was best for Hermione, Minerva, James, and Albus. And he thought back to when he was a kid and his parents were going through their extended confrontations. What had hurt them the most wasn’t that they divorced. It was the constant fighting. The constant tension. And so, Obi made up his mind. He loved Mindy, but her betrayal had shaken that deeply. He got Max and Leia to agree to take the kids out to get ice cream. So that all the yelling and screaming in the world could be done without risking a kid overhearing it.
“Mindy, we need to talk,” Obi said that evening.
“Later. I’ve got to finish this proposal,” Mindy said and attempted to head to the study.
“No. Now.” Obi fumed. This was also another reason for it. She loved her job more than she loved her family.
“Fine. What is it that you need to talk about that’s more important than my proposal?”
“Us. You aren’t going to change. You’ve got different priorities than I do and they’re conflicting priorities.”
“What… what do you mean?”
“For me, family comes first. The case can take another day if Minerva has a recital or needs my help on an assignment. And I don’t charge for family time. You. Your job comes first. Can’t bother taking a nine month break to have a second kid. My sister had to be a surrogate. When her being pregnant was more of a burden on her career than on yours. If she gets pregnant, they have to shoot more carefully or write in the pregnancy for the show she’s in. You, you would maybe be on maternity leave for 3 months. And you proved with Minerva that you’ll just work from home for that.”
“I do care about our family! Why do you think I work such long hours?! Your job isn’t reliable!”
“I have a constant stream of clients, Mindy! What part of that is unreliable?! And we aren’t hurting for money! No where near it! I got a fair amount of money for my help in taking Darius down. Not to mention we got Grandpa Sinbad’s share of it which we used first to buy this house and pay for college, but a lot was still left over. So we split it three ways. I know I mentioned that to you, Mindy. There is no need for such long hours. You just love your job more than your family.”
“No I don’t…”
“Then why would you not want to even hear what I wanted to discuss before you tried to delay this conversation? You know what. I’m tired of waiting for you to convince me you’re going to change when we both know you won’t. I want a divorce.”
“Fine. But I get the kids and the house.”
“What in the world, Mindy?!” Obi yelled, “You think you’re hindered now with your job, you’ll be even worse off as a single mother. And your name isn’t on the deed to this house, Mindy. Max’s, Leia’s and my name are on the deed. You will never win the house from the divorce. And the kids barely even know you. You do realize that Minerva thought Leia was her mother at one point? What color skin does Albus have? Whose hair color does he have?”
“The kids belong with their mother! And it’s best that they don’t get uprooted! Therefore I should be allowed to stay. You should have to leave.”
“Can it. We both know the house request is bullshit. So what is your problem?”
“You wanting a divorce! It hurts my standing at work…”
“There you go again with your job! What about you love me? Or what will the kids think? No, it’s your work showing it’s true colors as your first priority.”
The two of them continued to go back and forth until Obi heard Max’s car pull up. “That’s it for now. I’m not doing this in front of the kids. My parents bickering tore me and my sisters up. I’m not doing that to my kids or Leia’s.”
And that’s it for the chapter! Will Mindy make the divorce painful or will she realize that’s not in the best interest of the kids? How will Minerva and Albus take their parents being divorced? How will Obi handle the divorce? Find out in chapters to come!
Progress towards Obi’s Goals:
- Become Private Investigator – Achieved Chapter 2.19
- Complete 30 cases – Completed about 12 cases
- Snoop 10 locations
- Write 5 papers on findings
- Reach level ten of Private Investigator Career – He’s at level 5
- Go through 5 garbages and 5 mailboxes – Gone through 3 of each
Progress towards Leia’s Goals:
- Master Painting Skill – She’s at level 8
- Master Writing Skill – She’s at level 10 – Completed behind the scenes Chapter 3.8
- Paint 20 paintings – Painted 8 paintings
- Be friends with parents – Completed Chapter 3.7 behind the scenes.
- Get 5,000 in royalties (or sell 15,000 from paintings) – She’s got like $3271 in royalties
- Paint family pictures (spouse, kids, parents if alive)
- Join book club (if applicable) – Joined book club Chapter 3.10 behind the scenes
Progress towards Max’s goals:
- Join Film career (Plumbob Pictures Backlot, may need to place it) – Achieved behind the scenes Chapter 3.1
- Max writing
- Max charisma – Level 10 – Completed behind the scenes Chapter 3.8
- Become level 5 celebrity – 4 stars
- Have kid – Achieved Chapter 3.10 with the birth of Hermione
- Reach Level 10 of the Actor branch – Level 7 – Featured Actor
Progress toward’s LTW’s
- Obi Wan – Perfect Mind, Perfect Body: Level 10 Logic, Level 10 Athletic – Logic is at 5, Athletic is at 9
- Leia – Professional Author: Earn $4000 a week in royalties – currently earning $4000+ a week – Completed behind the scenes Chapter 3.8
- Maximus – Superstar Actor – Featured Actor – Level 7