Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Anatomy of a Divorce - Part 14: Injunction

Shirley picked the torn pieces of paper out of the waste bin.

It was only two days after Brian had gone to see Liz at the matrimonial home that he was served with the injunction order. A burly-looking ex-policeman type had called at his office and handed the papers to him personally. If it wasn't for the man's physique, Brian might have thrown them straight back at him. As it was, he had accepted them with a meek "thank you".

Brian had read through the papers with mounting fury. A statement from Liz exaggerating events out of all proportion and the order itself telling him that he couldn't approach within 100 yards of the matrimonial home - his home - were enough for his temper to break. He had ripped the papers to shreds before he had even read the notice telling him that he had to appear in court in seven days' time.

It had seemed like a good idea. He wasn't getting anywhere writing to Liz's solicitor, so he thought he would go and speak to her direct. She would be reasonable - she always used to be.

But she had changed. She refused to talk to him at all, repeating that any communication between them should go through her solicitor, and getting him more and more annoyed.

He had known at the time that he shouldn't do it, but he couldn't help himself. He had forced his way into the house, knocking the front door into Liz's face in the process. As he stormed towards the kitchen he noticed his daughter Sophie crouching on the landing, petrified with fear. He turned back to Liz, who was now kneeling by the front door nursing a bloody nose, and he filled with guilt.

"Oh, you've really done it now." She said.

He knew she was right. "I... I'm sorry. I didn't mean to...", he stammered.

"You'd better leave, before I call the police." Liz warned.

"No... don't do that... there's no need..." His voice trailed off as Liz reached across the hallway for the phone. Suddenly, the anger rose in him again and he snatched the phone from her.

Sophie began to cry. Liz lifted herself to her feet, one hand still covering her nose and blood seeping through her fingers. Brian could see that she was shaking.

"I... really think you should go", she said. It sounded more like a warning than a request.

Brian glanced up the stairs towards Sophie. The sight of his daughter with tears streaming down her face was enough for the rage within him to melt away.

"OK", he said softly. "I'll leave."

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