Chapter 6: Same Shit Different Toilet
Over the next couple of months things were going surprisingly well. Darnell was going to work as scheduled and he was even leaving in enough time to be among the group that gets to work that day. His attitude was different, he was taking better care of himself and was treating me better. It was a complete 180. I felt like everything that I had wanted as far as my own family, was playing out. Things were going good that discussions of marriage were taking place. I should’ve realized that things were too! good to be true. I definitely should’ve waited to see how things were going to pan out before I got too comfortable and started making such permanent plans.
It started with Darnell sleeping in some days and when I would ask why he wasn’t going to work, his reply would be “O, there was no work today.” Then, when he would go to work, he would end up back home a couple hours later saying, “Well they think I have vertigo, I couldn’t keep my balance, I kept stumbling and tripping over myself, so they had the company physician come see me and she sent me home with these pills.” Then it would be, he wouldn’t get there in enough time to be selected to work. All for it to boil down to him not working at all, he just stopped going altogether.
One night, while he was entertaining company in the basement, he just so happened to leave his account open. We both were still involved in the site we met on. Mostly due to staying in touch with friends and family. I started going through messages and the things I found really hurt my feelings, I was devastated. He was having romantic conversations with old female classmates, commenting on how good they looked and how he wished he was there with them. Just straight being a man-whore. Family would ask how Darnell was doing and his response would be something degrading like, “Same shit different toilet.” When I brought this to his attention, of course his reply would be, “That’s what you get for going through my shit.”
Couple weeks went by and Darnell came with multiple promises of finding another job, which never happened. Let’s be real, in order to find a job, you would have to go and look for one right?(smh) On one particular morning while I was getting ready for work, I was increasingly becoming pissed because I was tired of working and watching him just lay around, sleep and smoke blunts all day . So I woke him up, I wasn’t rude, I did not curse, I didn’t call him out any names, I just wanted to talk with him about the current situation we were facing. I wanted to talk to him about what needed to change and what I needed from him. It was difficult for him to get up though because he’d been up all night getting high, so he still just laid there. When he finally did get up, the peaceful conversation I wanted to have quickly turned violent.
I’m speaking with Darnell about all the things he was not participating in and the fact it needed to change. His lack of financial earnings will be the reason we’ll once again be without. At this, he is stating all the things he has done to find work and it’s just not working in his favor. He claims he found work, but it’s conveniently 45 minutes away. Which means, I’ll be out of a vehicle and left with riding the bus everyday. Are you kidding me? Hell to NO. I say to him, “You know, I pay the insurance, I pay for any and all maintenance needed and I pay for the fuel. Not to mention, if you get pulled over by police, they’ll impound the car because you don’t have a license. Really Darnell?” My voice is definitely an octave or two above my usual tone. This...pisses...him...thee...fuck...off!
By now he is literally yelling and screaming at the top of his lungs. He has woken the children up and they are now walking back and forth, up and down the hallway that separates our rooms, with worried demeanor’s. I tried to be the bigger person and approach the situation in an adult civilized manner, but now, I’m fed the fuck up with all the bullshit and I’m yelling right back. I’m surprised the police weren’t called because of how loud we were. It’s a really quiet neighborhood and there is also a pastor who lives right next door.
We’re standing at the corner of the bed we shared during our verbal altercation. The last thing I remember is turning my head left towards the door because I saw one of the kids coming. Darnell took that opportunity to grab me by the throat with his right hand and literally choke slams over the bed, hard as hell on the floor and then placed his left hand with the one currently around my neck and is sitting on top of me, choking the living shit out of me. If I didn’t know any better, he was choking me twice as hard than the first time. I had no idea that that was even possible. The two oldest children Antoine and Shante, who were 8 and 10 years old at the time, ran into the room screaming, “Get off my mommy, get off my mommy,” and began jumping on his back. Meanwhile, I somehow managed to knock his glasses off because I was trying to gouge out his fucking eyes, which only seems to make him angrier and he chokes me even harder. The only thing going through my mind though, “I can’t believe this is happening in front of my kids.” The look on their faces while I’m laying on my back, with his huge ass on top of me and my children on top of him, trying to get him off me.
Eventually he gets up from on top of me and my kids are still trying to hold on to him. All while Darnell is trying to leave the house. I’m still in the bedroom trying to catch my breath and make my way to the bathroom for water. I thought maybe a drink of water would help the scratchiness in my throat. I could barely speak, I was terrified. What did I allow my children to witness. My soul hurts at this. My throat hurt, I felt so much pain while choking and gasping for air. I can only assume someone called the police because the next thing I know, a police officer is walking in the bathroom right after me. Apparently when Darnell was leaving the house, the police were already parking in front of the house and were exiting their vehicles.
The officer who accompanied me in the bathroom, started out asking a few, what I considered, routine questions. I’m still choking and gagging trying to catch my breath, this is when I noticed the officer had gone silent. After a few moments of silence, I looked at the officer in the region of his face where his eyes would be. I followed his gaze to what seemed like my neck, I then turned towards the mirror, my eyes about fell out the sockets, you can literally see his hand print around my throat (sigh). I broke down right then and there. It must’ve been a while because long after, I realized I had been left alone.
Another few moments go by and a different police officer comes in. He briefly makes eye contact with me and kind of holds his head down as if disappointed with something. He comes a little closer, stands in front of me and states,”At this moment Miss Desmond we really don’t need a statement or witness in order to take Mr. Bailey in and file charges against him. We can very well tell what happened here today. Especially looking at the strangulation marks on your neck and the fact you’re still gagging.” I really can’t believe this shit is happening again. The officer continues with, “He will be held with bail and will be able to see a judge in a few days. You can come to the station when you’re ready and make a formal statement. We did notify and request EMT assistance. Would you like to be seen?” I just shook my head rapidly side to side indicating no, still in shock of what just occurred. The officer turned to leave and followed behind and stopped short of the door frame and that’s when I saw Darnell seated in the rear of a patrol car. I stood there until the two patrol cars pulled off and were out of sight.
It was still over half the day before the chaos in my house calmed down and my throat was doing a little better. Talking things over with the kiddos, it was just time for him to go.