The next day was Sunday and I wanted to go to 'Park N Swap' to see Mike. I dressed in my favorite Ditto jeans, tight shirt and clogs, paid special attention to my makeup and hair. I wanted to look my best for Mike and hoped to spend time alone with him that evening.
I went into the office and asked Cheryl if Mike was around. Cheryl rolled her eyes as she told me that Darla was with Mike. I asked who Darla was. She told that Darla was a new vendor who sold western clothing. She worked at Dillard’s, did Levi jean print ads and was very interested in Mike. Cheryl told me that I should watch out for her, she was spending a lot of time with Mike since I was gone.
I told Cheryl that I was going on the lot and if she saw Mike to let him know. I walked up and down the isles stopping to talk with vendors that I knew. I ended by going to Sandy’s ticket booth and stopped to fill her in on my adventures in Buckeye. She said that things around the house had been quiet and she would be glad to get back to school tomorrow. I left to go back to the office to see if Mike was alone.
Cheryl was busy with a vendor, but she tilted her head towards Mike's cabin indicating that he was in. I knocked on the door and entered after he said come in. Mike was at his desk, but there was a woman standing with her back to the door. She turned and I noticed her eyes flashed an emotion so quickly that I could not determine what it was; instinct told me that it was not friendly. Mike made introductions and asked me to wait outside for him as he had business to finish with Darla.
I left feeling let down. I had pictured a happier reunion. So I sat at the nearest desk to wait. Darla was very pretty. She had long thick brown hair, tall thin body and clothing that was obviously expensive. It was hard to tell her age because she had thick makeup on, later I found out that she had bad acne scars and used a special makeup to cover them.
Darla left Mike’s office and I rose to go in. Mike came towards me, gathering me to him and kissing me soundly on the lips. I forgot Darla and her mysterious dealings with Mike. Nothing else mattered except that Mike was glad to see me. I didn’t care enough to ask about Darla. I would see her at her space and sometimes with Mike in his office, but instinct told me that if something was going on it wasn’t significant.
I asked if Mike would have time after work to spend together, but he said he had to get home tonight. Next Saturday would be better for him. Helen was pushing him to spend more time with the girls and they were going through court ordered marriage counseling 2 nights a week. He would have to start going home each night after work. Helen was starting a new job and he needed to support that. He promised me that as soon as the counseling was over, a court date would be set for the divorce, and he would have more free time and was already looking for a place to rent in AJ.
I left Mike feeling upbeat about our affair. I was glad he was moving forward with his divorce; not for my sake but for his family’s sake. Mike was so unhappy with Helen. Mike was constantly complaining that he would go home to unwashed dishes, unmade beds, and Helen's bitching. We didn’t spend much time together that evening but planned to next weekend. Tomorrow meant back to school and I was glad.
My time at Apache Junction High School was very good for me. I was a forward on the JV basketball team, had Drama for last period and worked in the office after lunch. The week after holiday break was very busy. JVBB team was scheduling group photos for the year book the next week and the office was in hyper mode for graduation preparations. I found that I enjoyed working in the office atmosphere and had good relationships with the staff.
Mike and I were not able to see each other during this time period because he was going home each night after work. His home situation was very explosive and he never gave details. But I really didn’t brood over the situation. I felt that things would fall into place as they were meant to be. I have always been a subscriber to "karma" and I was very busy with my Drama class working on short sketches from the Carol Burnett show.
We were performing them 3 times a day the week of January 9 for students, faculty and parents. I was doing several skits that Carol Burnett and Harvey Korman did as an elderly couple who would sit in rocking chairs on their front porch and talk. This part meant that I would have to be in makeup about an hour before going on. I learned to use stage makeup to age my face, a gray wig that was rolled and pined up and a flower print dress with matching purse. We had several dress rehearsals before the holiday break and my partner and I had the characters down pat.
Monday’s performances were well-received. We got standing ovations after one particular skit where the couple fought over sleeping habits. The original skit was full of innuendos and sexual dysfunction but we got so into the skit that we started improvising, and the audience loved it. The scene ended, not as intended, with my partner falling over in his rocking chair as if suffering a heart attack.
I went rushing from that performance to the bathroom to get cleaned up for JVBB team photo for the yearbook. Boy was on a high that day. But when I got home that night Aunt Tina informed me that mom was in the hospital with complications from her surgery. She was feeling OK waiting for test results and Aunt Tina said that she would take me on Saturday to see her.