Missi Brandt had emerged from a rough few years with a new sense of solidity.
When she finally did meet him in person, her relief was even more profound.Richie was tall and charming, a good talker and a good listener who seemed eager for a relationship.When Missi got fed up—Why did I get out of a crappy marriage just to be in this crappy relationship?—some new tragedy would happen (his mother died; he was in a motorcycle accident), and she’d be roped back in.Richie had lingering medical problems from his time in the service, and Missi was constantly having to drop him off at or pick him up from the hospital.
He was always canceling plans, or not showing up when he was supposed to.
When Missi “liked” his profile, he sent her a message right away and called her that afternoon.
They talked about their kids (he had two; she had three), their divorces, their sobriety.
The wallet also contained a couple of credit cards belonging to someone named Linda. She’d had a nagging sense that something wasn’t right in her relationship, but she’d shaken it off as her being untrusting.
These mysterious objects in his wallet, though, seemed to affirm that Richie was engaged in some larger form of deceit, even if she didn’t understand all the details just yet.
When Missi googled Derek Alldred, half a dozen mug shots of Richie—Derek—popped up, alongside news articles with alarming phrases such as career con man and long history of deception.