It was awkward the first hour or so Robert’s children seemed rather taken back that their father was dating someone. Their voices had a tone of anger saying it “was too soon and this wasn’t the right time for a serious relationship.” When Gina recalled her first formal meeting with the girls she witnessed a control and power that in her mind was not normal. Robert always gave into the girl’s demands but not this time. He asked each of his daughters to apologize to Gina for their behavior. This was also a missed sign by Gina.
Gina went to Robert’s house on the weekends and sometimes during the week. They would have dinner together, play cards, watch movie or just hang out. Gina didn’t pay attention at first but Robert was calling her cell phone a few times a day. And when they were not together or Gina was out someplace for the evening Robert would ask that she call to let him know she made it home.
When Gina did not call one evening Robert panicked and waited at her house until she arrived. He said he was worried when she did answer his calls. Look she told him I realize you haven’t been in a relationship for quite some time but I don’t like being so crowded. Gina suggested they cool things off a bit. But Robert promised to be better and not crowd her then he told it was because he was in love with her and he never had these feelings before. Tax time was around the corner and Gina had to get ready for the last minute stampede of clients in a rush to have their taxes prepared.
Robert began to drop by her home almost every evening with a cup of Starbucks coffee for Gina while she worked. Gina would stop was she was doing for ten minutes they would talk and she would go back doing her work on the computer. Sometimes Robert didn’t leave and would fall asleep on the living room couch watching television while Gina prepared client taxes in her office located at the far end of the house.
A week or so after tax season Robert handed Gina a key to his house. She did not want to accept it but Robert insisted. Soon afterwards Robert was showing up at her doorstep with mocha latte’s in hand hanging around until it was time for Gina to go to work.
Gina said at the time she brushed off the early signs of smothering behavior because she truly felt Robert was harmless and she enjoyed spending with him. Robert was by all appearances a warm, gentle and loving father. Gina also mentioned a few times in our conversation how impressed she was with the way he took care of his wife.
Time passed and the two began spending the majority of their free time together. Gina’s childhood friend was terminally ill and she texted Robert to say she was leaving for the airport to be with her and would call me when she returned. Robert was already in her driveway when she sent the text. He knocked on the door said he was stopping to see her anyway and offered to drive Gina to the airport.
With Gina by her side her friend died the following day. There was no reason to stay through the week so Gina changed her flight and returned home. Exhausted and stressed she had a few glasses of wine and went to bed. The following morning as she was pulling out of the driveway there was Robert. Gina said he was rather irritated with her that she didn’t call him when she got home. Another sign Gina completely missed.
The following weekend on the patio, Robert got on one knee and proposed marriage.