Kathleen left Scott six months before his death because of his addictions. He loved his fine whiskey and his assorted women, most of them lonely seekers who came to Sedona looking for spiritual enlightenment from high-priced New Age gurus.
And Scott knew where to find them, often corralled at some hotel bar murmuring about the spiritual wonders they had experienced in Sedona that day and charmed them easily into his finely-spun web of lies and deceit. A superb dinner at one of Sedona’s high-priced restaurants, a bit of close dancing, and the lonesome women fell easily into bed with him hoping this would be more than just a one-night stand. And, often it was, until Scott grew tired of the New Age babble they spouted with enthusiasm, believing everything in their lives were related to the crystals they hung around their necks.
Kathleen’s Irish-Catholic stoic temperament carried her through most of her trials with Scott, his belligerent language and behavior toward her, never seen in public. However, it was his last volatile attack that finally forced her to face the state of her empty marriage.
That day was crushed into her consciousness.
Business at Buckley Hardware—often the gathering place for local merchants to meet over a steaming cup of coffee—had grown stagnant with the opening in town of a large discount hardware chain, threatening the base of Scott’s power within the community. It never mattered to Scott that he and his brother, Philip, owned ten other hardware stores throughout the state. For Scott, the Sedona store was his baby, his personal pride.
On that day, Scott called Kathleen at home, something he rarely did. She heard an edge to his voice and asked if something was wrong. Besides a sagging month-end financial report on the Sedona store, Scott told Kathleen he had spent a frustrating hour on the phone with the U.S. Forest Service District Ranger.
“This land trade with the Forest Service is getting on my nerves. Now I’m told the property has to go through some kind of search for archeological artifacts. Frankly, I don’t give a good goddamn that a stinking Indian decided to bury his relatives on my land 500 years ago!”
When Kathleen put the phone down, she had a vague sense of uneasiness, but the feeling passed as she worked through the day, trying to finish a free-lance writing assignment for Arizona Highways. She didn’t hear Scott as he entered the house that evening and was unaware of him as he stood silently watching her from the doorway of her office, anger clouding his dark features as he gulped from a Jack Daniel’s bottle that he’d grabbed a moment earlier from the bar.
“That’s all you do, you bitch, work at that goddamn computer!”
Kathleen jumped at the sound of his voice and instantly got up from her desk.
“Scott! I’m sorry. The time got away from me,” she said, acting confused, having been engrossed in her work.
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