I still didn’t totally agree with this plan of hers. Even though I knew it was all kinds of wrong, in the back of my mind, I thought it might work. All it takes is that little bit of nudging before you start to believe. However, I knew if I was going to follow through with her whorish adventure for me, I needed to make a few preparations, so I started thirty days before we were supposed to leave. In fact, it was right after submitting the vacation notice, even though I still wasn’t sure I was doing it.
I rescheduled meetings. I made sure the work schedule for my crew was done well ahead of time, so they all knew well in advance. It usually didn’t change. The only thing that did were their days off. Everyone had to work a Saturday or a Sunday, so I alternated those weekly. I figured if someone had a problem with the schedule, then I could deal with it before leaving. I checked and double-checked, making sure that everyone knew what his or her job was and made sure that they did it right.
To be honest, I didn’t expect the main office would approve of our vacation. Usually, it’s much harder for the crew when one person is missing, much less two, with one being the boss. I was wrong. They approved it. My first thought was that this was God telling me it was okay, and that he understood why I had to do what I had to do. Probably not, but I was reaching.
Leaving my assistant, Brian, in charge of everything was a little nerve racking. Even though he was my assistant for many years, pretty much doing my job at times, I had never left him alone for a solid week.
The week before we were leaving, I let him take over. I watched from the sidelines, making sure he didn’t mess up. I thought I would see how he handled it on his own. If he ran into a problem, I was there to fix it, but I wasn’t needed. He ran things perfectly. I didn’t do anything. Then again, he knew my job just as well as I did.
I continued telling myself that I wasn’t going on this trip for the purpose that Tania planned. I lied to myself about why I even tempted to go. I needed the vacation, which wasn’t actually a lie. I hadn’t taken one in over two years and that was just a working vacation for Mike. However, it wasn’t actually the truth either. I knew why I was going. My goal was to get pregnant. Everything Tania drilled into my head made perfect sense. I thought this was going to be a breeze. However, I wasn’t ready to admit it.
Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t just decide to up and fly off across the world, as Tania claimed, and cheat on my husband. I loved him and never even looked at another man. I tried to talk to Mike about our problem because I wanted to find a solution that was beneficial for both of us. Men are from Mars and women are from Venus makes perfect sense to me. Men and women look at things totally different. He didn’t see that we had a problem, but I knew we did.
My husband, Mike Tanner, looked a lot like Mark-Paul Gosselaar from Franklin & Bash. He was one hot, funny man. He charmed everyone that he ever met. The women in the neighborhood were envious, telling me how lucky I was to have him. I watched them flirt with him, undressing him with their eyes, wishing that he was theirs. I never worried about that because I trusted him.
He was rich, good looking, and had the personality to make everyone fall in love with him within the first five minutes. Tall with dark hair; he was the essence of tall, dark, and handsome with the prettiest blue eyes. I tried not staring into them because I could drown in those ocean blues. I truly loved him, so I wasn’t sure that I could even do this plan of hers.
When he and I first started dating, it didn’t take long before he started proposing. Each one was more elaborate than the last. It started at a restaurant and finally ended on a billboard with fireworks going off in the background. The thing that cinched it for me was the picture on the board. He and I were in the middle with a bunch of baby cribs. His proposals weren’t the reason I kept turning him down; I didn’t want to get married. I didn’t want to settle down with just one man. I thought it would be boring, seeing the same face, day after day. Doing all the same things together sounded mind numbing.
There was one thing that I found very attractive about him and that was his dislike of Tania. He blatantly hated her. I could only guess it was because he knew how many times she screwed me over. However, through all that crap, she was still my best friend, so it made things a little difficult. The two constantly baited each other. It was obvious they couldn’t stand one another. She teased and irritated him until he snapped. Usually, I was the referee, stuck in the middle, pushing them to neutral corners, telling them both to shut the fuck up!
He tried seducing me with money and gifts, but the main thing was children. He claimed that he wanted a child in every room. Hell, he wanted his own baseball team! The Tanner Team, Triple T’s – triple threat, as we called our imaginary kids. We both dreamed of the day, they would run through the house, screaming at each other, fighting over tedious things, and we couldn’t wait. That was what finally won me over.
Ten years later, I didn’t have that baseball team. Hell, I didn’t even have one kid. He didn’t seem to have a problem with that, but I did.
Like I said, I tried talking to him until that proved hopeless.
It never failed that he always had some type of paperwork in his hand while laying in bed. Snuggling up to him, I lightly ran my thumb across his semi-hairy chest. “Mike, ya love me, right?”
“Hm?” He mumbled, half-paying attention. He glanced down at me, patting my hand as if petting a damn dog on the head. “Can we talk later? I’m swamped with paperwork right now. I have to finish it or we’re going to lose a lot of money.”
“I’d really like to talk to ya now.”
Sighing, he put down his paper, took off his reading glasses, and looked at me. “Okay, you have my undivided attention, dear.”
Ordinarily, that would’ve thrown me off. It was the way he said dear, which made me change my mind, telling him; it’s not important, go back to work, but not that day. “Just hear me out before ya speak, okay?”
He nodded, watching me with that same look. It reminded me of my father, when I was younger, explaining why I needed to stay out past curfew and him refusing to budge.
“Do ya remember, before we got married, how I wanted a houseful of kids? You remember that, right?”
He sighed but didn’t say anything, just stared at me as I rambled. We had this discussion frequently, though I changed up the dialogue. I didn’t want it to be like a broken record.
“You said it was a good idea as well. You said ya wanted many children, not just one. Then after we got married, the excuses came. First, ya told me there wasn’t enough money. Now, ya have three bank accounts overflowin’ an’ some overseas accounts too.” I paused, looking at him for recognition. “I’m sure.”
He looked shocked for a second as if he wondered how I knew that but then composed himself. I could tell I struck a nerve. Yep, he had some overseas accounts too that he secretly had, so maybe I wasn’t the only one lying. It made me question what else he lied about, but that was for another conversation at another time. However, like most women, I filed the memo – on a red post-it note – in my brain to be discussed at a later date.
He scoffed. “Well, children do cost a lot of money. Sometimes it costs more money than people have.”
“…an’ yet somehow, they all manage just fine. We’re not talkin’ about most people. We’re talkin’ about you. The way ya talk, you’d think they actually eat money before they’re a certain age.”
“They almost do! Have you seen how much formula and diapers cost?”
My eyes widened as I stared at him. I wondered when he even looked at the price tag on diapers, much less formula.
He shook his head. “Don’t look so shocked. I’ve looked into the matter, once or twice.”
“Regardless…” I paused, shaking my head. “Then ya said we didn’t have a big enough house. This house is plenty big for kids. Hell, we could have quite a few. They’d still have plenty of space to have their own rooms. Then ya said we had a pool in the backyard, which was the worst reason ever.”
“I was thinking of our future children’s safety.”
“There’s a fence around it, so there’s no harm in any babies drownin’, so now why do ya think we shouldn’t have one? I’m pretty sure I’ve covered anything else you could bring up.”
He watched me before reaching up, rubbing his eyes. I couldn’t tell if he was thinking of an excuse that he hadn’t used already, or if he was rubbing at a possible migraine. Many of our conversations ended before they began because of the whole getting a migraine complaint.
“Because…” he paused again. He was actually trying to think of a good excuse! “I don’t feel we’re emotionally ready for children yet. You have to be of sound mind to raise a kid. I don’t believe I am.”
I stared at him, dumbfounded. “Then again, I could be wrong. I didn’t see that lame ass excuse comin’. That’s your latest argument? Ya don’t think you’re of sound mind? This isn’t a courtroom, ya know. This isn’t a business risk; it’s a baby!”
“Sometimes I wonder.”
I couldn’t believe him! I rolled my eyes. He knew the right buttons to push to piss me off. Oddly enough, it was usually when we discussed having children. Instead of blowing up at him, I tried remaining calm. Things were only going to get ugly if I got annoyed with him and started yelling. I needed to remain cool under pressure and in control. That’s sometimes harder than you think.
“No one is ever one hundred percent ready, but they take it when it comes. We have plenty. It’d be provided for just fine!”
I wasn’t sure if he agreed with me or if he was trying to think up a new excuse, so I continued. “Honey, I think we should get tested to see which one of us is incapable of havin’ a baby, so we can do somethin’ about it.”
I watched his brows furrow as he glared at me. There was this emotion on his face that I couldn’t place. It was either puzzlement or rage; it was hard to tell. However, looking back at it now; I think it was shock.
“What makes you think one of us can’t have a baby?”
“Because I’m not pregnant yet! We’ve been tryin’ forever an’ nothin’s happenin’! That tells me that something’s wrong with one of us. Either something’s blockin’ my tubes or there’s somethin’ wrong with you. Once we find out what it is, we can fix the problem an’ start havin’ babies!”
Frowning, Mike shook his head. “You just want it too much!”
I rolled my eyes. “That’s the dumbest excuse I’ve heard yet. I think there’s somethin’ wrong. We should go an’ get tested and see what it is. It could be some life threatenin’ thing!”
“I’m not going to the clinic! I told you that from the start!”
“Yes, but what if it’s somethin’ that can be easily fixed? Don’t ya want that?”
“If you want to adopt a baby, then we will. If you want to buy a baby, I’m good with that too. I’m not going to donate my sperm so they can put it inside of you when I can do that myself! Besides, it’s not even guaranteed that you’d get pregnant that way either!”
“I’m not talkin’ about one of those clinics. I’m talkin’ about a doctor to make sure we’re both capable of havin’ kids!”
“No! Now, you can either drop this subject once and for all, or I’ll get fixed so you’ll never have a child!”
That pissed me off. He actually was trying to hold our future children for ransom to get me to shut up? It suddenly jacked up a few hundred degrees in my head and there was no coolness to be found. Hell, there wasn’t even control at that point. “What happened to ya wantin’ your own baseball team? Remember; The Tanner Team: Triple T – triple threat?”
I wasn’t sure why, but he just snapped. The look on his face went from frustration to an angry rage. Maybe if he understood that I was trying my best to save our marriage, he wouldn’t have been so angry. He would’ve understood! He probably would’ve killed Tania in the process, but he still would’ve realized what I was saying.
Turning his head, he glared at me and I thought for sure I was going to drop dead of a heart attack. I never saw him look that angry before. I mean we had our arguments, but this was beyond his anger level. He looked dark and evil as if the devil possessed his body right at that moment.
“I... do not... want… a baby!” He paused between words, getting louder with each one. “Not right now! How much clearer can I make it? Sure, when I was younger, I thought it would be cool, but as much as you and I work and aren’t home…” he paused, shaking his head. “Bringing a baby or two into this house is just stupid. Now drop it.”
He added fuel to the fire with that statement. “What do ya mean how little we are home? I’m home after an eight-hour shift. You’re the one who’s barely home at times. I think that–”
“I said, drop it!” Picking up his papers, he started working again as if that was that. “Jesus! If you want a baby that damn bad, then go adopt one! Get a fucking puppy and you’ll have more to occupy your time with. Leave me alone about a damn kid! You mention it one more time, and I will go get snipped! I mean it!”
He could’ve punched me in the face and I wouldn’t have glared at him any angrier. Who the fuck did he think he was? I wasn’t sure why he thought he controlled what happened in my life. Angrily stumbling off the bed, I marched to the bedroom door, stomping as hard as I could, praying he had the beginnings of a migraine.
If I had any doubts about why I was going on this vacation; he knocked them right out of the park, with a grand slam homerun, right there. I think desperation had a mild case of rage and agreed with me. I turned, glaring at him. If looks could kill, he wouldn’t just be dead, he’d be buried six feet under with grass growing over his grave. I was furious.
“Adopt one, huh? Buy one? Ya really don’t give a flyin’ fuck about kids, so ya just manipulated me into marryin’ ya with a fuckin’ lie! Fuck you!”
He didn’t even look up from his papers. “Don’t slam the–”
I walked out, slamming the door hard enough to make the frame shake.
I stomped down the hall so hard that the pictures on the walls were shaking. I was like a preteen who didn’t get her way. Some might even call it a temper tantrum, but it was stomp on the floor or stomp on his face. I decided the floor might keep me out of prison. I continued my Bigfoot march to one of the guest rooms.
Opening the door, I made sure I slammed it a few times, hard enough that some of the pictures actually fell off, breaking onto the floor. I didn’t care. Once just wasn’t enough for me, so I continued until the tears took over. Locking the door, I pounced on the bed, crying hard for the first time since D.J. said those hurtful words about me.