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He had an affair with the wife of a couple they had become friends with.  The tragedy that followed changed our lives forever.  

It all began one summer when they started partying almost every Saturday or Sunday with four other couples on the grass next to Jim and June’s house.   

We roamed around on our bicycles with other kids we knew who lived in that neighborhood or brought our gloves and played catch in the street, threw the football around or maybe even got a little game going,  two against two, on the grass.

The men played poker while the women hung out in the kitchen or sat in a circle outside on the grass smoking, drinking and laughing not far from where the men were gathered guffawing, teasing each other or being serious depending on how much money was in the pot.  

There was a bucket with beer and ice.  Bottles of booze on a table next to the beer.  A lot of drinking  going on.  

My mom drank Manhattans.  She wasn’t a sloppy drunk.  You’d hardly know she was drunk until her temper flared.  

One time in the middle of the afternoon her temper flared.  .  

My dad told her to go home and get more money.  She got pissed and stormed off across the street where the car was parked.   

When angry, she growled and muttered under her breath.  Passing by me she growled at me to get the hell in the car.   

I still don’t know why she wanted me to ride along.  Maybe in her drunken state she thought she’d stay home to embarrass him. Maybe she thought if both of us deserted him it would  cause him further embarrassment.  

She growled all the way home about the money as if I wasn’t even there.  I stared straight ahead afraid to open my mouth.  

continued …   

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