- Author: Paul Goldman
Book online «Duplicity - A True Story of Crime and Deceit Paul Goldman (the mitten read aloud .txt) 📖». Author Paul Goldman
A TRUE STORY OF CRIME AND DECEIT
PAUL T. GOLDMAN
Published by Paul T. Goldman atSmashwords
Copyright 2008 Paul T. Goldman
To my son Johnny, without whom I may not have had thestrength to take a stand, to finally say “enough,” and to fight forhis future.
The events recounted inDuplicity reflect thelast four years of my life and reveal, with shocking detail, thecriminal activities carried out by a nefarious group of people who,consequently, stand to lose everything, including their freedom. Inthe interest of protecting the innocent, the names of people andcertain places have been changed.
Aside from that, however, this story is as accurateas it is unbelievable.
May 27, 2010
“Dinner's ready,Johnny,” I yelled to my son over the sound of his favorite show,Sponge Bob. I skewered the hot dog off the grill, and walked into thekitchen. It was a perfect Florida evening for a barbeque, thetemperature in the low 80's, with a gentle breeze.
Before I could return to the grillto tackle the burgers, my cell phone rang. I glanced down to seethat the call was from Bob Thompson.
“Hello, Bob,” I answered,curious to hear what news Audrey’s second husband and second victimhad for me. I was her third.
“Paul!Sorry to bother you,” he shouted into the phone.
“No bother,I just… ”
“Did you hear the news?” he interrupted. Apparently, he didhave news and I took a deep breath in anticipation. Giveneverything we’d both been through with Audrey, I always had toprepare myself for the unimaginable.
“No. What’s goingon?”
“Audrey was arrested thisafternoon, about an hour ago.”
“You’re kidding! By whom?The cops? The feds? The state?” It could have been any of themsince they were all investigating her. My mind began torace.
“By thestate, for her assaulting you at the Shop N’ Go.”
“Well, it’s about time.That was over two months ago. Thanks for letting me know. I'll talkto you later, Bob.”
I hung up the phone andlet the news sink in. Was this only the first of many arrests tocome? Would Audrey finally be brought tojustice for the many lives she had destroyed? Would her true selffinally be revealed in all its depravity?
I thought back to my first encounter withAudrey at the West Palm Beach café and how beautiful she looked.From the beginning, I was so taken by her.
When we married, I thoughtI had it all. A beautiful wife for me, and siblings for Johnny.Now, it was all gone. Where's my family? I wondered. I'm aloneagain, because of Audrey. I tried so hard to build a family, but itwas snatched away from me by the evil machinations of a womanwithout any sense of morals or remorse, a woman who, if she had herway, would see Johnny and me lying in the gutter right now,homeless and penniless. And laugh about it.
I silently scolded myselffor allowing her to have such an effect on me still.Later that evening, I pulled up the policewebsite and found myself staring back at the woman who had plannedfrom the day we met to destroy me. The image of her mug shotrevealed a haggard expression that was beginning to show signs ofthe life she had chosen.
I still couldn't believe what I had gonethrough. How had I let it all happen? How had I managed to get sofar from the life I imagined for myself? And how on earth did Isurvive Audrey Munson?
Or had I?
August 6, 1999
Spending hours surrounded by cold, gray wallsin a four by six cell gives a man a lot of time to think, thinkabout what opportunities he may have let get away and how life maybe passing him by. As I stared at the grayness encompassing me, Ifelt trapped and alone despite being surrounded by others whoseoutlook seemed as dim and hopeless as my own. How did I get here?What did I have to look forward to? If only I had a window, I mighthave found some comfort in the day’s light. But, alas, I was leftto stare at my mind numbing computer monitor and the blank walls ofmy cubicle. Was this my life’s sentence?
To make matters worse: August 6, 1999 was myfortieth birthday, and I was still single.
I was an East Coast transplant who foundhimself in eternally sun-lit Orange County, California, where mostof the residents were tan and, thanks to the latest in fake tanningtechnology, the rest were orange. I filled my days processinginsurance policies while watching other people find love, startfamilies, and realize their life’s ambitions. I seemed to bewatching life go by instead of taking part in it.
“Hey, happy birthday,Paul! The big 4-0!” The exclamation was provided by my co-worker,Rob, who had sent his wishes through a gaggle of black balloonsthat managed to herald my entry into “seasoned” adulthood, while atthe same time mocking it. The pile of cards on my desk sent byother co-workers determined to commemorate my birthday (orcommiserate over my age) was also a testament to the sarcasticcelebration of life’s halfway mark. Images of balding, hunched overold men, weighed down by life and life sized bifocals seemed to bethe favored motif among Hallmark patrons. Thankfully, I still hadmost of my hair.
“Right, thanks Rob. Andthanks for the card.” I motioned to one of the countless black oneson my desk, all of which did nothing to improve upon my graysurroundings.
Excepting the rumors of a possible cake comebreak time, this was certainly a miserable milestone.
“Got any plans tonight tocelebrate this great occasion?” Rob asked as he genuinely seemedinterested in what I intended to do.
“No. Just a quietevening.”
“Why don’t you come overto the house later? You know how Cheryl and the kids always love tosee you,” he asked hopefully. Was that pity I detected?
“Thanks, Rob. Really. ButI’ve got some reading to catch up on at home.” At least I was sureI could find something to read other than the junk mail and takeout menus. Was it really only ten a.m.?
The day passed with little fanfare todistinguish it