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Brokedown Palace (Ken)

I recently made a submission to The Museum of Broken Relationships: 


"In the summer of 2010 we were preparing to move into our new house in Tucson, Arizona. We spent weekends at antique fairs and shops finding all the perfect things to fill the rooms. One day I stumbled across a little wooden soldier with a round head and a drab canvas overcoat. Ken was in the Army Reserves and I liked the idea that this humble soldier would stand watch at our home when he was away. 

We moved in at the beginning of August and only a couple of weeks later, while we were still unpacking, Ken lost his job in a mass layoff at Fort Huachuca. He panicked. There were very few options for jobs in our area, and we could barely afford the house payment as it was. He started sleeping on a cot in his office, often staying up nights to do job research. He suggested we take a trip to do some scuba diving in Mexico over Labor Day, to relax, forget about our troubles over the long weekend. 

Late Sunday night we returned home to find the inside of our house flooded ankle deep - the tiny hose to the ice maker in the fridge had a hole in it and had been spraying water for three days. Nearly all of our belongings were waterlogged and ruined. The house was unlivable. 

About a month later I found out that Ken had tampered with the hose - he had intentionally flooded our house for the insurance money. He had also taken out an insurance policy on my life just prior to our scuba trip. Had he planned to drown me in the ocean and lost his nerve? There were other deceptions, too. He had maintained a relationship with his former girlfriend and those trips away, the ones where my little toy soldier was standing guard, were rendezvous with her. 

I packed up my remaining belongings and moved back to Idaho."

Listen to a longer version of this story here