Vulnerability; Dating

*This story is purely fictional and the similarity of human stories is merely created, well, perhaps some is real and the names and places have been changed to protect the innocent. The picture of Jeffrey Dahmer is from public domain and is nonfictional picture though this is not a story connected to him.

 

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The story begins.

 

She sat reflecting on a cozy warm couch about the woman murdered, terribly mutilated by a man that she met on a dating site. She thought of her own experiences, of course she wasn’t cut into pieces and nor was her body thrown in different trash bins and she had no children, like the young woman who’s story was all over the news. But, at the same time, if one seeks their “soul mate” on dating sites than a risk comes with every encounter.

It was a horrible story and had the young mother made an early decision to screen her dates with an on-line security clearance, this never would have happened. However, like most woman, she herself was far too trusting and desperately wanted a soul mate,” and was willing to risk everything and go without a simple security check. The fear of loosing someone before there was a chance to discover love motivated the lack of discovery.

She knew this fear of loosing someone before love happened all too well. But then again, if someone is innocent they would certainly allow an investigation prior to dating. And, that potential date could also do the same and run a security check on her, as well. But, all they would find on her was “bad credit,” but then again, who would want to date someone who couldn’t keep a checkbook straight? But, she certainly wasn’t an axe murderer, nor had she  been in jail, not even for one night. She was squeaky clean and quite prudish and shy. On-line dating provided a screen she could hide behind and become someone else bolder and more commanding, more beautiful and so forth…

And, the fact that she was deaf and blind wouldn’t be something she must reveal during their first encounter. No, that would be a sure turn-off if they saw the weir magnifying glasses she used to read and drive with. And, only dating sites would make this impossible for her. So, some things she hid from profile bios. She didn’t see her own deceptions and she never thought the men were or could be hiding their own. In fact ~

She believed everything male bio profiles stated.

“I want a relationship with someone forever.” Or, “I’m looking for a wife, a lover, a special woman who can love unconditionally, and who is romantic and loves kisses, and etc. etc…”

Of course, in her eyes, non of them lied or were deceitful, as she wasn’t either. But, the news article was a personal eyeopener for her. She must be more careful and risk loosing someone before a relationship had a chance to blossom and bloom.

 

The picture of Jeffrey Dahmer and other serial killers were in the next article. They seemed so demure, handsome, normal, pleasant, quiet, and intelligent deep thinkers and she found those traits attractive indeed. She realized her vulnerability and in fact she herself is attracted to men who bare these traits except, the hurting of animals…

How could they hurt an innocent animal! She felt again weak and victimized by her own naiveté’s. This is awful, stupid. This could be me one day.

The argument women should have to protect themselves to understand that serial killers, rapers, marryers, and serial people are often charming and the minute a person looks “to good,” or is a “Knight in white shinning armor,” then, here’s your red flag… Run and rum like hell… Away, far away.

This is about relationships that don’t function correctly.

 

So, she argued with herself whether or not she should continue trying to find HIM her soulmate online because of traumatic threatening possibilities, or be open to receive, Prince Charming.

 

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JD

 

It was a fact that she would never use a stupid dating site because her judge of character was keen in her own eyes. So, she believed and during the days she met her soul mate dating sites were new and on the rise. Social media was slim as the internet was just taking off.

As she sat reflecting on the eeriness of the story of the young mother, she also thought about the fact that many years ago, she was married to a man who had several alias’. Her ex spouses identity and alias’ were still a nemesis and perplexed her even after many years post their divorce. How he had been married so many times and his lies were so many, never straight, and to top off his fabrications of twisted stories, he always gave the reply, “My past is my past. We’re all forgiven and I don’t visit there.” At times he got ferociously angry when she “interrogated” him. That was his word, “Interrogated.” He would yell at her, “Why are you interrogating me!” His body language tightened. He bit his lips. His arms and legs crossed tightly either over his chest or leg over leg which couldn’t be moved apart due to control. His stare of disdain and threats were always present. He didn’t have to say another word. His body language said it all. You ask anything else and you’ll be very, very sorry. At the end of the relationship, he walked around the house with a shotgun. They slept in different areas of the house and that loaded gun stayed by his side. She uttered no words.

Then she flashed back to their earlier marital bliss, or never any of that, bliss stuff, but she had all of her five senses. She was neither deaf or blind in the earlier days.

Well, she answered herself, “Why is another woman’s name on a check book from your past and she signs her name with your last name?” The old checks were under old tax records and pictures and perhaps she was snooping, but it was justifiable as there were always rabbit holes every where that popped up all over the place. The check book was just one simple rabbit hole. The next was her name was written in his Bible but was erased out and under the name of a new woman…

Because she fantasized about being married to me. She did that!” He yelled after she simply and mild asked about the name Rebecca that was shared on the checks with his name. Odd, but she dismissed the suspicions due to, why not, it kind of makes sense.

The box of his belongings still sat there and it became a curious place for finding clues and yes, there were more strange names and women that were on important tax documents dated years ago. The Bible also included another female name listed as an ex wife, but it too had been erased and she wondered why her name was never written inside as a spouse. After all she had been married to him several years. This Bible was his favorite and he read in it every morning faithfully so. She noticed he stared many Proverbs. One stared with fresh ink was * It is better to sleep under a leaky roof than to be married to a nagging wife. She asked herself is this one for me? Is he saying something to me knowing that I read his Bible every morning? 

*(Note here Ronnie and Connie)

Now, in the old tax cardboard box she opened returns dated twenty years ago. In 1989 the top included his name and his spouse Ronnie McCarthy and the next years had a different obviously misspelled name, by the IRS, Connie McCarthy. Another anomaly that just raised and eyebrow as no one corrected the document obviously. An over site from The  IRS… so she reasoned. And also began to think there were many, many, numerous incorrect legal documents and what is the likelihood that so many professional people could make similar mistakes. Something wasn’t adding up that two plus two no longer equalled four. And, the rabbit hole was small in the beginning; however, yearly it got more convoluted and just plain weird. The Bible and the cardboard tax box were early curiosities.

She told her family about the oddities she had found and they blew it off stating that she always had a vivid imagination and that she needed to quit being so suspicious and enjoy her life of influence and gifts and shopping sprees and beautiful homes and pleasantries that most women would never experience. Turn your eyes away and ignore as wealthy women do this so they can keep their lifestyles of luxury. The family smiled. We all do this honey. It’s just your wild imaginations. So, she did her best for many years to look away from suspicious behaviors and the many nights spent alone after being told tales of being at the office and working late, sometimes it was four to five days alone and that included Christmas Eves.

 

There Is A Dragon in My Gardwn

 

She had been married the first time to a man who’s family were extremely wealthy and were Virginia tobacco farmers. She knew and appreciated opulent living, but being physically abused was not a part of the family she cared to accept. She divorced him early and paid him to let her go in peace. It cost her an Alpaca rug and six silver Mint Julep tumblers. That was easy enough though her mother was pissed, she kept her physical self from harm and her mental state was temporarily in shambles, but she healed only to repeat the process with a pauper, and then the husband whom she reflects on. He was much more dangerous than the other two. He was dangerous because her family, loved him and saw no wrong doing and believed that she was the over imaginative, problem.

Then, the country clubs recognized her as being “his wife,” and she was elevated to a position of prestige with privileges of sitting at the front tables or being first for many things. She even won many prizes at events by social clubs for being his wife. Her friends were now his, or sort of…. That meant that she was not quite accepted into his circle of buddies and buddies wives. They had their own special very secretive group and she was invited to their parties only during holidays or when the other people of society were included. The other people were also left in the dark and more than likely knew somethings, but those somethings were never divulged to she, the new wife. Just whispers behind her back and fake smiles were felt. Her sixth sense was extremely keen and growing more and more as time passed and more oddities occurred.

Strangely enough, when she went to the country club escorted by her husband, his friends moved into her space when he left. They always had messages which were disconcerting. “You know, your husband really doesn’t want you to ride with him on the golf cart.”

“No?” She said. Shocked that he was so rude and not a Southern gentleman at all.

“No, he’s like me. Totally independent. He doesn’t want you tagging along.” Mr. Asshole left with a smile on his golf cart. She continued to read her book.

The time had passed after the discovery the cardboard box and the tax statements and she did as her family so graciously suggested. Maybe two years passed and since she was a wealthy working gal, she was approach by two men in a remote rural store in nowhere America. They were laughing and felt brave enough to say something to me after they saw my last name on my badge that I was wearing on my lapel.

 

*(note Henry McCarthy)

“By any chance are you married to so and so, Henry McCarthy?” They stared at her. Then they said,
“Oh, we thought you had red hair?” And they were quiet and waiting for a response fro her.

“No, I’m blonde and have been one most of my life. Red-head, huh? Maybe you’re thinking of someone else?”

“No, don’t think so. He introduced her as his wife.” They added seriously stating. The one man looked her in the eye.

“It must be a different McCarthy?” She said insisting they were wrong.

“No. He works for Tankard?” He cleared his throat. *******

“Yes. Yes, he does. He’s in a regional director. You probably don’t know him. He’s works out of The Ivory Tower.” She had a turned up nose and was in denial of their suggestions.

“Ma’am have a nice day. Sorry to ruin it for you. But, Mr. McCarthy from the Ivory Tower left The Hillcrest Country club with his red headed wife on his arm. She had much longer legs than you do.” He nodded and got in his decked out white Ford truck. “Good-Day.” He tipped his cowboy hat towards her and pulled out of the parking lot.

She was literally shaking. Her suspicions and fears were back again. Thinking to herself, was that planned? Did they hunt me down in rural boondocks grocery in Ten Buch Two to tell me my husband had a red head on his arm that he introduced as me? Did hey just say that? That man doubted that I am the wife. He thinks I’m a fake, wanna- be. He was questioning my authenticity.

She drove home literally not knowing what to say or how to act. Thank God he wasn’t home when she got back home. There was more time to think about what to say or not to say.

She called her mother and it was the same old story. “Turn your ears away and head. You see and hear nothing. You are innocent. Appreciate your life, dear. Go have tea with the ladies or afternoon drinks. Everything will be fine.” She mimicked her mother as it was always the same old song. Nothing was wrong but her daughter had an over active imagination.

And life went on as usual; however, one day she had to tell hime the story about the two men.

“Who were they! What did they look like?” Her husband was shaking his head. “I don’t have any enemies. Who are the men?” He insisted and was squirming in his chair.

“Two men in a white beefed up truck in the middle of rural nowhere. i was in a country store.” She retorted.

“What country store?” He demanded.

“I don’t know the name of it, but it;s at a four way stop in Slumberville. That’s all I can tell you.” And, thats all she could tell them and saying they had pot beer bellies was describing all men living in that area and they wore a cowboy hat, black and the other had a red ball cap on.”

“What writing did the ball cap have on it?” He counter interrogated.

“Not sure. He wasn’t doing the talking. Just the man in the black cowboy hat. They thought it was kind of funny, I guess or they thought I was lying about being your wife.”

His body language got tight again. Arms hugged around his chest crossed in front and one leg crossed the other has he sat in his grey easy chair tilting back. He seemed to be grimacing and grinding his teeth. He was pissed, no doubt about that.

She left the room, ASAP. The vibes were heavy and they were angry.

As usual, time in between was uneventful except when he left home Thursday or Friday and came back late Sunday nights, “On business.”

Christmas was coming and the huge grand ball for all the employees was almost there. This year she decided, because she always over-dressed to play it simpler. She purchased a beautiful gold delicately knitted top and black sleek crepe pants that slit up the back and were flared like a skirt. She had the perfect jewelry of gold that made her look like Princess Grace. And, they drove in the rain when the date rolled around.

The crowd mingled and there was several hundred people and an open bar. Slumberville Tankard hired three bands that year. One was a Motown band, the other pop and the other country. The party would last until one or two in the morning and that is how parties are planned there. Everyone looked like country movie stars or just stars.

“Honey I want you to meet … so and so and so and so…” until the hand shaking and the nods and greeting became wearisome. It was soon time for food but before the dinner was served, the open bar was packed and he left her at the table where their names were on cards. He was supposed to win a prize or two that year so they were strategically placed in the huge auditorium. She sat alone for a while continuing to nod to everyone who walked by. The time was getting longer than expected for him to get a couple of drinks so she turned to look in the bar. And there were only two people in there then leaning on the bar.  Her husband was leaning on the bar talking to a woman with ~ red hair.

The woman’s hair about chin length like that man at the store showed her with his hand movements to chin length. She had on a royal blue midi dress made of velvet which was slit up the back skirt and the back swooped low which revealed her long slender back. He heart stopped a minuet. He saw she was looking at him and her. He signaled he was coming soon with two Bloody Mary’s.” The woman with the red hair and blue dressed slipped over to a man who had his foot on the wall starring at them both. He was more visual than she was. She got up from the chair and went to the bar. Her husband introduced the woman as Sheri and also said, “This is Shari’s husband.” And, Sheri’s husband never looked up to greet her nor did he take his eye off his wife nor the situation.

 

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Not quite Sheri’s hair length and a little more curvy, but the dress is similar

 

Once during the evening she had gone into the ladies room. Sheri followed her in there with a couple of women friends. Nothing was said nor any acknowledgement made by either women.

It was just another strange happenstance, thats all. The men in the white truck in nowhere America could’ve been right… Just another red flag, thats all. Clock it up to imagination like mom says.

For Christmas, a present to herself, she visited her first astrologer and psychic since she was getting nowhere with family or his friends. The questions were becoming exasperating and gnawing at her mind. Something wasn’t adding up and two plus two was definitely not four. She was hardly sleeping. The phone rang at odd times and he spoke quietly and would quickly leave the home stating there was a work problem.

During the reading in late December, the astrologer said, “Oh, you’re moving soon. Like within eight months. You will be moving out of town and things should get better for a while.

She agreed that something was not right in the marriage and that the deception was real. At one point she ran out of the session. She says the psychic will finish the reading and whatever she tells you, you can take it to the bank.

So the psychic was confused as she was thrown in the middle of the reading and was clueless, but she continued anyway. She verified all her fears; however, she said, “Your husband is very naughty, indeed, but know its an addiction and he really has no control over what he does. Actually, you are the love of his life. He’s just sick.”

Six weeks after the psychic reading he came in one day from work and said, “We’re seeing transferred out of the state. We will be moving to his grand Texas, back to his hearts desire. The psychic was right.

And it’s here in this story it must be said that their home in which they bought and purchased in Louisiana did have a ghost to top off all the craziness and made her seem madder than the hatter. The ghost was rather aggressive at times, he, the ghost, through crosses across the room many times and while she had packed to leave Louisiana and was resting quietly on the plush carpet floor having her eyes closed, a glass table was dumbed on top of her while she was alone in the house, not a sound, not even music or TV or a radio. Just silence. She knew no matter what, she has to leave. He appeared in mirrors and wore red flannel shirts and a red ball cap and she called him, Her Redneck Ghost. The ghost didn’t seem to like her, but on the other hand, he did many things to gain her attention. Perhaps he was trying to tell her something and she wasn’t paying attention?

However, before the move there would be other instances.

Her son came home in between breaks from college and it was Spring Break. College kids keep late hours and so he also slept late. Meanwhile, she took her younger daughter to a party in town which was fifty miles away and she was to be there early because all the young women were going on a boating journey and a sleep over at a cabin in the woods. So, it was 6 AM when they were scrambling to get dressed, fed, packed and there, 50 miles, by 10 Am.

Suddenly at 06:25 the phone rang and on the other end was an angry woman who demanded to speak with her husband, “Now.” And, assuming positively it was his work, he jumped out of bed, un-showered, unshaven, and in shorts and said,
“I have yo go to get new tires.” He ran out the door, It was a Saturday and he was always busy playing his sport on Saturdays, all day and sometimes into the night.

Okay, I said. Chalking the odd woman on the phone demanding to speak to him, the fact he went out hurriedly without showering, shaving and doing his routine of very excessive hygiene practices and also saying he was going to get tires when a tire store wouldn’t be open until later, just added one more odd event to her marriage of curiosities. She went about her business getting in the car and arriving on time at the boat dock and wishing her daughter off with plans to pick her up “tomorrow.” Since she was near other stores, less rural, she did some errands, picked up her paycheck and proceeded home, but she did a drive by the tire store and his luxury truck was not there, no sign of it. When she arrived back her son was now up and was amxious to tell his incredible story of the night before at the house. This was around 2 PM and she had been gone over 5 hours.

And, there was no sign of Mr. MCCarthy. Her son said he had not seen him all day. Mom and son went into the backyard to sit on the swing. He was so excited to tell his mom, the story.

“Mom, I cam outside at 3 Am to have a cigarette and while I was sitting on the swing in between the trees, I saw a women. When she saw me she went and hid behind that one.” He pointed at one of the trees that sat about 18 feet from my bedroom window. He said, “She glided, between them hoping I wouldn’t see her. She had a white long dress on and her hair was up in a bun or a pony tail. It was dark so I couldn’t see her to well. She had a high color on and it was buttered all the way up to the nap of the neck. She was holding something in her hands and up to her chest.” His eyes were huge and he was talking so rapidly. “I think it was a ghost.”

At the same time, the mother was thinking of the odd call that came at 0625 and the rapid disappearance of her husband whom had not yet returned after 6 hours of having the “tires changed.” She thought of the odd story her son was telling her and the hour that it occurred, could there be a link? Was this the same woman who was in the backyard and who called at dawn?  Was this an apparition? 

It had rained the night before and the backyard was completely fenced. So, and inspection had to be made of the perimeter. How could anyone come into the backyard without the sensor lights, the dog barking and past her son?

Oh, the fence on the side was  broken. The wood at the top of the fence was broken off and on the neighbors side of the fence were two large paint buckets turned over where the fence was broken and to top it off there was one footprint in the mud. And, she knew a ghost doesn’t need paint buckets nor do they break fences to enter private property.

Two nights after that and two moths before moving, her son told her another creepy tale. “Mom, I was up at 3 Am again and was standing on the front porch.” There was surrounding the front a beautiful Souther Porch. “I was standing outside when a sports car backs out of our driveway (behind the house and not seen if standing on the front porch) and pulls out. When they saw me outside they took off over the grass in the front yard.”

“What type of car? What was the color?” She asked trying to sort more little erroneous details.

“I think it was red. I can’t be sure. And I think it may have been a Mustang or something like that,” he tried to clarify, but he said, “It was dark outside.”

The front yard was inspected for tire marks and yes there were some, but very scant and left very little marks. It did drive across the front yard.

And, that was another oddity and her mind was just imagining things, again.

They moved to Texas and they had now been married three and a half years and they both seemed very happy then. He was thrilled to leave Louisiana, though she was more hesitant to leave friends, all she could think about was making him happy.

 

Chapter 2

The move was actually happy and pleasant. New jobs, new people, new beginnings so she honestly believed. Though she made many terrific friends in Louisiana, Texas would probably be just as warmly special.  Leaving behind the best of friends, she would never forget them, nor let them forever depart. She promised to call them and they her, as well.

Soon, after the move they were invited to a huge golf tournament back in Louisiana and it was all paid for and so was the hotel, all expenses including (the wife), who would be attending all the ladies events and was specially invited to join the women’s all day shopping spree on the river where the shops were often fun … So, she bought a huge wardrobe spending a few thousand on clothing and jewelry to dawn herself in the way an honored wife should look.

She was ready to go! Their way had been paid by a husband and wife who seemed remarkably wonderful. She was excited to see them and family left behind there.

At the women event she won, as usual, a trip for two to Las Vegas, and several other monetary gifts. She looked stunning as she was petite, blonde and had apple breasts, but packed an attitude that was unusual. A little quirky, fun and really quite prudish, which was hard to interpret by the on lookers. She smiled a lot and forgot about the craziness she lived in. All that weird stuff always faded away and she saw only goodness. She and her husband spent lots of money, gambling, eating, drinking, shopping and buying others the same. To give up this lifestyle, one would have to be insane.

They all went out that night. She had a gold gown on and gold sparkling high heal sandals. her blonde hair was in an up-do and her toe nails and finger nails were finished that afternoon after the ladies luncheon and before all the women gathered at the pool. Of course the spa was quickly booked up for massages, but there was a reservation made, for her, before the pool party where then Bloody Mary’s were served freely. After the pool party she stole a little nap and at 7 PM she dressed to meet her husband, Mr. McCarthy at the ballroom at the country club.

The Louisiana and Texas crowd gathered in a nice size room holding 300 or more people, husbands, golfers, executives and wives. There were no girlfriends invited. Everyone was sparkling, dazzling and so superficially polite and correct. The dinner was Prime Rib or chicken and the entertainment came after the husbands were awarded and after more prizes came and then the music. Those kinds of nights were absolutely perfect. She felt like she was Princess grace and he wore her on his arm as though she truly was a divine creature. She loved that part of being married to Mr. McCarthy.

Later, everyone went back to their luxury hotels and agreed to go gambling. She changed into something casually comfortably elegant as did everyone else and they all met up at the bar before spending more money. But, money was like a fountain and it flowed smoothly without any interruptions. From the bar everyone branched off and went to their pleasure as far as gambling went, she thought.

Not being a gambler, she decided to walk the mall, shop and retire early for the night by herself. A soak in the hot tub in the center of their hotel room and a movie was her plans.

Suddenly, she was face to face with her husbands finance’s wife. The bombshell woman asked her to go for one drink at the bar and she accepted the one drink offer, which turned into three or four. They stood at the bar together having small talk about husbands, children and the usual, personal plans and dreams. The woman was a voluptuous wife with auburn hair and very well dressed. She was lively, carefree, enjoyed drinking and was flamboyant and sensual. She could see why men were drawn to her and she saw a warm and tender side.

It was getting late and she was getting anxious to continue with her original plans, soak in the hot tub and watch a movie. But, her new friend kept talking lively and was definitely tipsy.

“Hey,” she said. “I want to tell you about what we do for fun. Now, don’t tell anyone. This is our secret?”

She nodded yes, and she had a feeling, a notion of where this conversation was going. “Go ahead, tell, me. I need all the help I can get in our marriage.”

“Really? How so? What kind of help do you need?” She alluded to having my answers.

“Oh, romantic. We need sensuality and the animal desire for each other, again.” She spoke directly with wanting to know more. She wanted to hear what the exec’s wife’s suggestions were for a marriage without physical interactions.

“You gotta be sexy.” She nodded.

She always thought she was… sexy. After all many men had pursued her and she knew she was not lacking. “Okay, go on.”

“You and he must do things that keep your marriage thriving.” She smiled her sheepish withholding impish sneaky grin.

“And, what is your suggestion?” Now she was getting somewhere.

“Well, must husband and I swap partners.” She stepped back and waited for her response.

She knew it. That was what she thought all along. BINGO! She found one answer. These men traveled together and lived in each others back pockets. BINGO! “Really, you swap?” The other wife thought she would be shocked. She wasn’t. She knew the hook and saw it coming. After all, her first husband who’s family were the tobacco farmers was really into wife swapping. She knew couple swappers lingo. She saw it coming. The looks, the leads, the eye and the suggestions and questions and then the hook. The seduction.

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The trail of conversation leads one way. It might be spoken using different smiles, words, thoughts, but it’s all the same sales pitch and she knew the sale very well. BINGO!

“Tell, me,” she asked the woman,”Why would you want to do that? Why be married? Why not be single?”

“Because, Because we love each other and enjoy swapping. It’s what we do and I don’t see anything wrong with it.” She spoke boldly with conviction.

“I see and I do understand your situation. I was married to a man once who demanded the same sexual activities. I began to hate him. he began abusing me physically and I never seemed to live up to his idea of perfection. He wanted to dress me for the other men and women, my hair wasn’t long enough, blonde enough, nor was I fat enough or thin enough. I couldn’t make him happy. For me, swapping would not be an option for marriage. But, saying this, will say, each to his own ting.” She arose from the bar stool. “I’m sleepy now, I’m going to the room.”

“Oh, I’ve offered you!?!” She stood in shock thinking she had said, way too much.

“No, no you haven’t,” she assured her. “Its just I’ve been where you’re at and it’s not for me.” She smiled and turned to leave the bar.

She had to cross the four lane downtown street of the city in the dark by herself and it was raining. But, she made it to her room; however, she didn’t make her bath, nor turn on the TV. No, she sat in the dark sitting in a chair thinking about what had just occurred. What had happened?  Is this what he and his friends do when they travel together? What was that romans ultimate goal? Did she think I would agree and go with she and her husband or did she make deliberate plans for the four of us. A gloom fell over her. She felt like their whore. They paid for the expensive weekend and she ruined it for her husband.

The hotel opened very soon after, It was her husband. He seemed rattled and his night was cut short as his plans were to gamble all night, but here he was asking her, “Whats wrong? Are you all right? Why are you sitting in the dark?”

“Thinking. I’m thinking.” She kept her answers deliberately short. There were no truths shared in this marriage.

He asked no more questions, but he went to bed cuddling her tightly. That too made her wonder why he was so cuddly that evening. He usually was a don’t ever touch me person. Don’t ever touch me! So, why now? This made no sense, but she took advantage of his generous affections that night. He seemed as if he wouldn’t let her go, never. She felt loved by him which was rare. She liked his comforting side.

They didn’t say goodbye to the couple who paid for the weekend. They were not around for breakfast and it was now time to hit the road home. They had a two hour drive.

Chapter 3

Home and back for a week and the next weekend would be another huge golfing tournament in Louisiana at the old country club with old friends. She couldn’t wait. It was New Year’s Eve and of course she had to buy the right outfit. His family would be there and so would her own personal friends. This was going to be awesome!

The next weekend they were off to Louisiana again. She came later in her own car as she had to work, but still soon she would arrive. She drove as fast as her huge SUV would travel 2:45 minutes. She checked into the hotel and made a call to meet up with henry in a couple of hours for a meal at the country club.

Henry didn’t answer his call. She waited and Henry didn’t call back, either. She called him again. No answer, no response. So, she drove out there believing she was interrupting his game of golf. Henry was nowhere around the country club as she greeted old friends, his friends.

“Have you seen Henry?” She asked his buddies and their wives.

“Oh, he’s around somewhere.” This was the common answer.

She went in the bar and there he was sitting with a group of his old cronies, drinking.

“Don’t you check your messages? I thought the plan was to meet up?” She tried her best not to sound pissed or interrogative, but it was hard.

“I told you no such thing.” He took a sip of beer as the others chuckled and the creep that always told her that she wasn’t welcome to ride with her husband was the chief humiliator. But, she will win. She was determined.

She saw non of their humor to be particularly humorous, but sly and hateful.

“Well, are we going to eat?” She asked him.

“I ate already. Go help yourself. They have ribs down the hill and crawfish out back.” And there was no “I’ll go with you.” So, she went bravely by herself and said hello to those she knew.

On Saturday, the women’s’ luncheon, then shopping, visiting, the party, the dinner and the awards followed by a band that played until 2 AM. She had a new outfit for every event. She visited Beth before all of it began and her best friend went with her to the luncheon.

She had already told Beth about the woman at the previous event and what she said. Beth just listened and never gave her opinion. She made jokes, but was really a very good friend.

She and Beth walked into the luncheon wearing their Junior League outfits. They chose their table with Bloody Marys’ and sat to chat. Beth said hello to a few of her friends in the community. The show began.

This year it was a tremendous magic show put on by a Professor of Mathematics at a local University. He was kind of like the old Kreskin. He bent a spoon with his mind. He called women out of the audience and told them things about themselves that no one knew. Some of the revelations were horrifying for some of the women, she assumed, if it had been her,she certainly wouldn’t want others to know those kinds of secrets.

She wanted him to call her out, but then again she didn’t.But, he didn’t. And the luncheon ended. It was a fabulous day with Beth.

As Beth and she were walking out of the country club, the magician said in a booming voice to (she), “Hey! I have to ask you a question.. I was going to call you out, but I didn’t want to embarrass you.”

She tilted her head and say, “What? What do you need to say?’

“Do you know why men cheat on their wives?’ She took a step back.

“What! ? No, no I don’t’,” She silent, opened her ears widely. “Tell me why?”

“Well, it’s not what you think. They don’t cheat for love. They cheat for the thrill of it.” And he was finished with that and she sat there with her mouth wide open.

“Beth. What did he just say to me?” She added looking back at the old retired professor magician, “Are you psychic?’

He laughed, “No, no I’m not psychic. I’m a magician. That’s all.” He laughed and walked away to his old car and drove off.

“You see?” She said to Beth.

“He said men cheat, because it’s for the thrill.” Beth replied.

“No, what did he really say?” She asked for something deeper.

“What are you saying? What do you think he was said?’ Beth turned the question around as she wasn’t certain of where the conversation was supposed to go.

“That man didn’t just come up to me out of the blue and say that. He knew something. He was tipped off by one of the women here before it all began. He said, I didn’t want to embarrass you, so I waited until I saw you privately. He’s not psychic. He’s a magician. He said that. He did it by chicanery. He knew what I was thinking before it all started. And the two women who hired him are my husbands best friends wives. You know the ones that I told you who leave me out all the time. They must have given him information.” She began to wonder why the women would be so cruel or find a joke from it. Did they know something they were holding back? All the questions began again, the rumination, the questions, the questions, the questions rolled over and over and over twenty-four seven…

 

 

Chapter 4  (Thinking and Pondering the loose ends)

Oh, the red flags were everywhere, but she kept the advice of her mother and carried on with the many unanswered questions, as her mother suggested. She did love dressing like a queen and she began to enjoy the hours and days she was left alone, to draw, paint and write. She thought all the time about the loose strings that always led to nowhere.

She began asking questions to anyone and everyone. The curiosity and the mysteries were killing her. Never had she lived in such confusion and vagueness. Her existence and marriage was similar. Was she really married or was she a symbol or a representation of a white picket fence marriage? Was her life real and was there any truths she could grasp other than a marriage certificate? 

His hateful demeaner when he was around the house was disheartening. He loved to exasperate her as he used racial slurs and made fun of “fat” and “ugly” people. He laughed when he saw how upset she was. Once he got in her face using his index finger threatening her with the words, “In my house we say the word, nigger. You understand?” 

She wasn’t raised like that. Growing up in The South, her family never used any kind of hateful conversation. To add, if anything like that was said, then she could be assured that her mouth would be washed out with a bar of soap. So, unkind phrases and words were not acceptable, at all. No, she would not use that word. In fact, while visiting his “Christian” family she said out loud after one member said a racial slur, How can you call yourself a Christian and hate like that? After all, the man who carried the cross for Jesus was a black man.”

When pulling out of their driveway, Henry McCarthy threatened her again, “Don’t you ever again speak like that to my family. They are good Christian people and good Southerners. Period. Do you understand?”

“Yea, sure.” She murmured. She was hoping Henry would leave town, soon. But, since he wasn’t leaving for a while she thought how different her families lives were to his. There was no comparison except they were Southerners.

Henry’s family were Way different. After a little investigation she found links to the KKK in his family. How could she be in this situation? What is her mother thinking? He always put on his Southern gentleman behaviors when he was around her family. He used the proper eating utensils and chewed his food with his mouth closed. He never talked with his mouth filled with food. He ate slowly and methodically and conversed in an intellectual and kind manner. He never sat at the dinner table with a T-shirt on or bare chested. And, if her late father knew this man was linked to the infamous KKK he would tell her she was in trouble. Her mother would have excused his racial slurs because he said it humorously and meant absolutely nothing, by it. Little did her mother know or maybe little did she care that her husband wasn’t joking, at all. He meant every word. he also realized her mother was quite happy with the fact that her daughter, his wifie, as he called her, was once again donned in beautiful garments and had a huge purse. There was very little she couldn’t buy, well almost. And, Money Can’t Buy Me Love, as it was once sung by The Beatles. She sighed. She was fighting a loosing battle and vague ghosts were all around her. Was she loosing her mind?

Henry really didn’t like her mother. He made fun of her pouty-toity personality. He called her a snob behind her back and accused his wifie of being A Yankee.

On the advice of her mother and friends she sought a therapist. After all, the family told her she was terribly imaginative and creative, but in a negative way. “Honey, you can manifest many things. I’ve seen you year after year, but it’s all negative. You need to create goodness and positive, and see things in a good light. Why if anyone had the powers to be a witch, it would be you. But, use your magic and make this marriage good. See all of your life as wonderful. Make your home the sanctuary that any man would want. You can do it. It’s in you. I’ve seen you in operation. Just wiggle your nose dear. Make it so. Be the ball, as you say so often to you husband.”

So, she followed everyones advice and sought a Phd psychologist to help her with her delusions and black magic. She was sarcastic at this point in the game. She saw him one a week for a couple of weeks, then two times a month, then once a month until the therapy was complete. His advice was “Run and run like hell.” He was a quote un-quote Christian Counselor.

She reflected on a conversation she had with Henry’s forty year old son. He asked her one day, “Honey, he called her Honey, How many times has my dad told you he’s been married?”

“Four.” Honey replied.

The son shook his head no.

She tensed up and though this was the perfect time to ask questions, as he was drunk and willing to talk. She clammed up. Fear gripped her when she had one of Henry’s bold faced lies actually hitting her in the face. This was the first actually verification of a hidden untruth, exposed by the light in his son.

For many years she realized it was then with his son, she should have interrogated him. But, her shy demure fearful personality did the controlling. It would be that quite characteristic that would keep her alive. The ability to be quite at the right time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanking all lovely thoughts today

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