For years, I had put up with the indifference of my husband and son. I worked hard for my family and it seemed that no one noticed exactly how hard I worked. I wasn’t the main breadwinner, but I worked a full-time job and took care of everything at the house.
I did all the cooking and cleaning along with the yard work. Allergies were the excuse that had been used by not one but both of the males that lived in my home. They deemed the housework to be a woman’s work and there wasn’t a day that they helped me.
The years slipped by with both of them not only not helping me, but they began to berate me when things weren’t up to their standards. My husband, Adam criticized my looks, weight and any other thing about me he could.
My son Garrett had started out as the kindest child I had ever known. Over time, his father molded him into someone that I can’t recognize. Over the last five years, I had learned to never hope for anything other than verbal garbage coming out of either of their mouths. I spent my nights in the guest room wondering where I had gone wrong in all this. What had I done in my life to deserve the shit life I had?
The answer was nothing. I had been raised to be the perfect southern lady and not argue with my husband. I had to follow the teachings of the church that the man was head of the house and therefore he could do no wrong. What a load of bullshit!
My family, as well as Adam’s all knew how I was treated and nothing was ever done or said to stand up for me. I was told that I needed to pray that God would give me the grace to be more understanding. Adam and Garrett loved me, but I was the one causing all the problems in our family.
For years I let myself believe all that shit and now I just couldn’t make myself think of it. My eyes had been opened and I couldn’t look past it any more. There was no excuse in the world for how I’d been treated.
I discovered a writer who wrote solely about men ruining women and all the weird ways it would happen. Some stories would work out for the couple, but others didn’t make it. I didn’t begrudge either type of ending because I knew there were times when forgiveness was the right thing. I knew that there was a possibility that things would work out and make the couple stronger.
For me, though, the last three hours had proven to me that I wasn’t in one of those types of relationships. Even though I had been married for twenty years today, there was nothing left to save. I was not only losing my husband, but my son as well.
I had gotten a text from an unknown number that told me I needed to check in on my husband. It was odd, but so many things over the years had been odd. I had often thought he was cheating, but had never had the proof to show. I also didn’t have any support and a small child. Today, though, I have a seventeen almost eighteen-year-old who could make his own choices in life.
The text came in at three in the afternoon. I didn’t know if it meant that there was an accident or that it was something else. Adam had worked second shift most of our marriage, but in the last two years he had switched to first shift. That meant that right now he should have been at work.
I called and was told he didn’t work today. He left this morning and had told me he would work late. That was strike one. I went home and found my son in the driveway getting ready to leave for his part-time job.
“Garrett, have you talked to your father? Is he alright?” I ask.
One thing I tried to do was make sure that my son could never say that I was mean to him. No matter what he threw my way I would always treat him the same with all the love I had.
“Why do you always fucking ask me? Don’t you know by now that neither of us gives a shit about you? If either of us had something to say to your pathetic ass, we would tell you! Just leave me the fuck alone. And while you’re at it leave Dad alone too. He has something much better with her. I don’t see why he hasn’t left your fat ass yet!” Garrett yells and gets into his car and leaves.
Over the years, I had learned to not show how much they hurt me. I saw how happy it made them to treat me like I didn’t matter and I wouldn’t give them the satisfaction. I would go into the guest room and turn on the loud fan I used at night and only then would I let my emotions out.
That little room became my safe haven. I slept there and worked there. I only came out to cook and clean. After years of listening to the complaining, I just found it easier to escape.
I often thought about why I didn’t just leave. For a while, it was because Garrett was so small and he was always a daddy’s boy. But the truth was I wouldn’t have been able to make it on my own. Adam had ruined my credit, and I had no way of supporting myself enough to get out. I had no money to put toward a deposit on another rental.
My family would not have taken me in. They would have turned me away and told me I needed to go crawling back to my husband, begging for forgiveness. With a small child who I would have had to fight for custody of, I wouldn’t have been able to make it.
Now, however, it was a different story. It prepared me in ways I never was before. I just needed something to push me over the edge. Part of this was my fault for not standing up for myself and just leaving. I had made myself believe all the bullshit.
My phone pinged, and another text came through from an unknown number. It was an address. I had a general idea of where it was and I knew I wouldn’t have a problem getting there.
I get into my car and put the address into my GPS. I took a deep breath and pulled out of my parking spot. We lived in a three-bedroom apartment. We had never bought a house because our credit was so bad. Adam had always ruined it if we were getting ahead in some way.
It only took five minutes to get to the address in question. I didn’t venture over to this side of town often because I wasn’t one to go out and do much. I had too much on my plate with my full-time job and taking care of everything at the apartment.
I pulled up in front of what used to be the old motel. The town of Centerville was small and the old motel was the only place to stay for years. Six years ago, when it had finally closed, a motorcycle club bought it. They turned it into their clubhouse according to rumor.
As I sat in the parking lot of what looked like the old lobby, I saw that a lot about the building had changed. They had turned the lobby and a few of the rooms into a bar. From what I could see, they had added onto the second building behind it and made more rooms. I guess some men lived there.
I looked up at the sign to see “Sinner’s Pride” written across the front. I snorted a small laugh, thinking of how all the local churches had raised a huge stink about the bar. Liquor by the drink had only just passed, and they couldn’t stand the fact that there was a bar coming into town.
To be three thirty in the afternoon, there were a lot of cars in the parking lot. I guess they weren’t a private bar like I had thought. The building was clean, and the grounds were free of litter, not at all what I had pictured. Although I had never been to a MC’s clubhouse or bar before, I had read some books about them. By books, I meant romances. I knew they were not something I could take as gospel about the biker life.
I closed my eyes and prepared myself for what I might find when I went inside. Adam’s truck sat in the parking lot along with all the other vehicles. Did I want to find something? Did I want to see my husband in a way that I had never seen before? I couldn’t really think of an answer.
Dating and getting married had been a completely different relationship than once we had Garrett. Everything changed once he came along. It was like I was living with a stranger. Now, almost eighteen years later, I still didn’t have a clue what had happened.
At some point I had thought I would ask him, but that was before the name calling and insults. Once those started, I didn’t care anymore. All I knew was that I was not living up to his standards. But then again, I was also brainwashed. Maybe now I would like to know what happened, maybe not. All I know for sure is that as soon as I walk through that door my life would change forever.
I closed my door and slowly walked to the door. I opened it, noticing that it didn’t make a sound. No one paid any attention to the door.
Once my eyes adjusted to the darkness of the room, I looked around. My eyes found what I was looking for. I was right, nothing would ever be the same.