For the past several days I have been involved in some drama you would not believe.
Crazy stuff. Soap opera stuff.
I'll have to start at the beginning.
I have this very good friend. We'll call her Chloe. Around the beginning of the year, Chloe began talking to a man a lot. We'll call him Richard.
Richard had two daughters named Anna and Audrey. Anna had leukemia and needed a bone marrow transplant so Richard had to fly up north because he could be a donor. To make matter's worse, Anna had her own two daughters named Naomi and Renae. Naomi, at only 2 years old also had leukemia and was very sick.
Richard flew there, went through the painful process of being a bone marrow donor, and struggled with the sickness of both his daughter and his granddaughter. He cried to Chloe nightly on the phone. Chloe was there for him, talked with him, helped console him. Eventually, over the course of the next six months, both Anna and Naomi died from the leukemia. Very tragic.
Richard came back down to Florida and wanted to see Chloe. She's not sure exactly why, but Chloe kept Richard at arm's length. Chloe has children of her own and a busy life and wasn't ready to involve someone so heavily into it. She felt sort of heartless, but couldn't seem to let herself get close to Richard. However, she continued to speak with him and console him over the death of his daughter and granddaughter.
Then, on Thursday, the unthinkable occurred. Richard sent Chloe an email that informed her that Audrey and Renae had been in a terrible car accident and both were killed. He again had to fly up north and was again devastated.
Chloe was heartbroken. She felt terrible that she had kept this man at arm's length and vowed she would not do it again. She would be there for him as she knew she should! She could not believe the heart break this man had to go through!
So Chloe talked with Richard while he was up north helping his ex wife, Theresa, deal with the death of all of their children. Chloe consoled him again. Even though Chloe had plenty of her own problems to deal with in her life, she set them aside and tried to be there for Richard.
Richard sent Chloe many emails while he was away. At one point Richard was so distraught that his ex-wife actually sent Chloe an email from Richard's computer telling her what he was going through and how she would need to be strong for him and not to turn her back on him again.
At one point, Chloe asked Richard if he would send her some pictures of Anna and Audrey and the babies because she hadn't seen them and she wanted to put a face to the stories. Richard sent pictures of Anna and Audrey first. They were beautiful girls. One was a wedding picture. It was stunning.
A little later Richard sent Chloe pictures of the babies, Naomi and Renae.
And they looked like this:
Chloe, The Man, and I spent the better part of last night playing private detective and unraveling a tailspin of lies we could not believe.
It began when I used a wonderful little thing called Google Image Search and entered the married name of Richard's first daughter. Lo and behold, on the first page was the wedding shot he had sent earlier. But oddly enough, Anna's last name did not match Richard's last name. Strange, no?
Upon asking Richard, he said that Theresa had remarried another man, Greg, after they had divorced and the girls had taken his last name. But there was another problem.... a Google search of Anna's maiden name turned up a baby, Mary, that she and her husband had welcomed into their family that Richard had never mentioned.
When Chloe asked Richard about this baby, he explained that this baby had died very young due to a heart condition. Ah, another tragic death! Of course.
The next big clue was an obituary found from just this past February for Theresa's supposed second husband, Greg. This obituary clearly stated that he had been married to another woman for the past 23 years and was survived by his daughters Anna and Audrey, and granddaughter, Mary.
What the french toast, RICHARD?!
Before long The Man was pulling up property records, marriage certificates, domestic court records, etc. The Man (aka Super Sleuth) could not stop. The sleuthing went on till the wee hours of the morning and Chloe kept confronting Richard. Richard's stories kept getting crazier and crazier! We had practically an entire family being killed off in tragic circumstances, VC Andrews like affairs between step siblings and hushed broken marriages.
It was all very interesting.
Finally, Chloe got off the phone with Richard, a soap opera swimming in her head at past 3 in the morning. We had determined with property records that Richard and Theresa were married not before, but AFTER Greg and Theresa. Anna and Audrey were not Richard's daughters, but his step daughters, and both are alive and well. Naomi and Renae never existed but the sweet little Mary does and is happily thriving with her parents who are both very much alive.
This morning Chloe received an email from Richard dumping the whole truth in her lap. The whole truth that the three of us had uncovered ourselves last night. Chloe is a little dumbfounded today, understandably so. The Man and I are a little dumbfounded ourselves.
We're not 100% sure why Richard would have fabricated such an intense tale. To get sympathy I suppose? Perhaps he has a career in dramatic fiction? Who knows?
Anyhow - Chloe is glad to get on with her life and The Man is glad to get some sleep. I'm just glad to have something to blog about.