So it was all decided. He chose the date, which would prove to be the hottest day of the summer. We went to his friend Claire’s to choose the cake. He made the choice of colors, design and flavor. I was allowed to put in my two cents on the size of the cake which would be three tiers. I worried that it would be too much cake and originally suggested two tiers, but he assured me that three was the best choice. So he had me choose three tiers.
He brought home the wedding topper to surprise me. He and a friend from work, Hannah had made a special trip to the mall to pick one out. Yes, he took his female friend to the mall to pick out my wedding topper.
“Why didn’t you just ask Hannah to go with you to pick out the cake too?” I said as peeled potatoes at the kitchen sink, “Or how about the flowers? Oh wait! Maybe she can pick out my dress.”
“Don’t be a smartass. I wanted it to be a surprise for you.” He said defensively. I put the knife down and washed my hands.
“Well, did you think that maybe I might want to pick out the details of my wedding? Not have some random girl I have never met do that for me? It must have been fun to do something so special with another woman…did you hold hands when you made the final decision?” That was the last word of the conversation. The red mark on my cheek lasted for four days. It stung like hell when his hand made contact with my jaw. I actually felt my brain rattle and my teeth clatter. The tears stung in my eyes as I quietly picked up my purse and left the apartment.
The temperatures reached ninety degrees the day of the wedding, but the weatherman said it felt like one hundred five. Even in the shade of the counrty club shelter house, the air stood still and was hot and sticky. I was nauseous from nerves and pregnancy and was extremely tired from the heat. I didn’t want to be there. My mom Kay had tried to talk me out of it; she knew I could do this without Nicky. But I didn’t want to do it alone. I spent my whole life with divorced parents. I knew what it felt like to wait on my dad to show up on a Saturday and be disappointed when he didn’t. I couldn’t even make plans with my friends for sleepovers because my dad was “required” to pick my sister and me up on Saturday and keep us until Sunday. But he had remarried and his new family took precedence over Diana and me. So we didn’t make plans with our friends and our dad wouldn’t pick us up. I didn’t want my child sitting on the steps of the porch looking for her dad’s car to come down the road and face the same disappointment.
It came time for the groom to kiss his bride. The wedding pictures show it all. His arms wrapped tenderly around my waist and he is leaned into the kiss. He looked like he meant it. My arms hung at my side, I had no energy or want to lift them up and wrap them around my new husband. My husband. Even to this day, it is hard for me to imagine that I was ever married to that man.
The wedding procession line went by quickly. The wedding was very small. Marta was there and was assigned the duty of cutting the wedding cake. Laura didn’t bother to show up at all. She had met a man the same night that Nicky bought me my first drink and she was completely wrapped up in him and his frat brothers. I had chosen Lynette, my best friend from high school to be my maid of honor, my niece Ashton to be my flower girl and my nephew Joey, to be the ring bearer. Nicky had his cousin Bret as his best man. My dad, (for all intents and purposes) Jerry who had walked me down the aisle and his new wife Georgia were there. My mom and her husband Paul, my sister Diana, her husband Chris, and Nicky’s parents Franny and Kip, several aunts, uncles and cousins were also present. The cake cutting ceremony went quickly because of the heat. The icing was quickly melting away and the topper that Nicky and Hannah picked out was sliding off the top. A few gifts were unwrapped but the rest were loaded into my sister’s vehicle when the thunder storm rolled in and flooded the shelter house and most of the golf course surrounding us. When the rain started it took less than four minutes for two inches of water to stop the reception and run all of the guests away. I was told that rain on your wedding day was good luck. I don’t remember who told me that. But if I remember, I am going to slap them.
As we were loading into the car, Nicky ran back to the shelter house to grab the last box and his mother approached the car as I was pulling the bottom half of my wedding dress in with me.
“I won’t give it a year.” She said as she leaned into the passenger side where I sat.
“I’m sorry, what?” I wasn’t sure if I had heard her correctly, “Give what a year?”
“This…marriage. It won’t last a year.” With that she turned and walked back to her husband who was holding her car door open for her.
Our daughter, Addison Renee Bloom had just turned six months old a week before our first wedding anniversary. We had a small get-together at our house with a cookout and cake. My mom, stepdad and his parents came, as did my sister’s family and Nicky’s cousins, who were as close to him as brothers and sisters since he was an only child.
Unknown to Nicky and his family, plans where in the works to for me to leave him. I wasn’t staying much longer. My mom and stepdad knew this, as did my sister. It was decided for sure about a month before the anniversary, the day of the “incident. The only incident that my family knew about that is. They had begged me to leave that day, but I refused. I dug my heels in because I was only one month away from making this marriage last a year. There was no way I was going to let his mother be right about this.
There were many “incidents” leading up to the final one. My parents wouldn’t find out about the others until much later. There are too many to mention, but several stick out like a big red knot on the head.
After the wedding Nicky became increasingly jealous of every man that came within ten feet of me. It didn’t matter what man it was, from one of his own cousins, to my brother-in-law, to an old man in line at the grocery store, it was impossible for me to leave the house that I didn’t get interrogated about everyone that spoke to me during the time I was out running simple errands. The first serious incident after the wedding happened one evening when we were driving home from his parent’s house after dinner. We had pulled up to the stop light into the left turn lane. A car pulled up along my side of the car and by a natural reflex I looked over at the car for a brief second. I was in mid-sentence saying something to Nicky, and as I turned back to look at him, I felt the sting and throb of something hitting my cheek. It happened so quickly and my head smacked into the passenger side window.
I felt drunk and remember Nicky helping me out of the car and walking me to the door of the house. He kept repeating how sorry he was and it would never happen again, and then it would switch to him calling me a flirting slut and I needed to keep my eyes off other men, then back to apologizing and saying he couldn’t help be jealous, that men looked at me all of the time. He told me if I just didn’t wear makeup I wouldn’t attract that kind of attention. God didn’t want me wearing makeup. It was wrong. He said I looked like a prostitute and I deserved what I got.
That night he crawled on top of me even though I was barely conscious and in extreme pain. He told me that it was in the Bible that I had to submit myself to him and I couldn’t deny my husband or I would burn in hell.
That summer he spent a lot of time at the lake with Chuck and his friends. Friends he never brought home, but spent every weekend with, while his little pregnant wife stayed at home, make-up-less and made to memorize her Bible verses. One Saturday afternoon he came home extremely intoxicated. I was afraid to imagine how he made it to the house in the state that he was in. He stumbled in and mumbled something about Hope Somebody being a better woman than me.
“Why can’t you be like Hope?” he yelled pointing his finger at me as he made his way down the hall to the empty baby nursery I had been painting alone. I could hear him in there yelling, but unable to understand what he was saying through the wall and I was too afraid to get close to the door. I had learned to keep my distance. It fell silent after fifteen minutes or so.
I heard the doorbell followed by a singsong “Niiiicky?” His mother. Excellent. Mother Bloom.
“Hello Mother Bloom.” I said when she came out of the foyer into the hallway.
“Where’s Nicky?” She said folding her hands together and laying them across her midsection.
“Uhm…Nicky is a little indisposed.” I said placing myself between her and the hallway that led to the nursery. She looked suspicious.
“Why, where is he?” It wasn’t going to be easy to get rid of her.
“Well, he just got home. He has been out with Chuck and he is very tired,” I wasn’t really lying. “I don’t think he is really up for visitors.”
“I’m not a visitor, I’m his mother. Are you trying to keep him from me?” Her hand went to her chest in her face looked panicked, “What have you done to my Nicky?” I wanted to puke. Okay, Mother Bloom, you want to see your little Nicky?
“Follow me.” I turned and walked down the hall, reaching for the nursery room door handle; I gave it a turn and pushed the door open. I stepped aside and let Mother Bloom walk past me. There lay Nicky sprawled out on his back, the remnants of puke on the front of his “Big Waves” tank top and the front of his silky light blue shorts were soaked from what I guessed was more than one round of urination. The room smelled of beer, puke and pee. He snored loudly and twitched.
“What did you do to him?” She put one hand on her cheek and patted her chest with the other. I looked at her with my mouth gapping and a look of shock on my face.
“What?” I shrieked, “I didn’t do a damn thing to him! He went out with Chuck and got drunk!”
“Don’t use foul language with me young lady. I didn’t raise my son that way and I won’t take that kind of language to being used towards me by a common nothing!” She pointed her boney, perfectly manicured finger at me, “I told him not to marry you. That baby,” she pointed at my now protruding stomach, “that baby probably isn’t even his! He picked you up in a bar, it probably belongs to some drunken biker!”
“No, it belongs to a drunken spoiled brat named Nicky!” The tears stung my eyes as I tried not to give her the benefit of making me cry, “Just remember your precious Nicky went into that bar on his own free will and asked me out; I didn’t go after him, he went after me! Now he is lying here drunk and smelly and I’m the bad one?”
“Well, you must have driven him to drink.” She stood looking at me like she really believed that. She waved her hand in his direction and said, “Clean this up, take care of your husband like you should have done all along.” With that she turned and left the house.
I stood looking at Nicky with disgust. I walked into the kitchen, pulled open a drawer and grabbed the Polaroid camera, returned to the nursery and snapped 6 pictures of my dear sweet, innocent, drunken, puked covered, piss drenched husband. I took the pictures and then placed them in the large family bible that we received as a wedding gift from Nicky’s parents.
I was two days shy of being nine months pregnant, it was a Saturday and of course Nicky had plans to hang out with his friends, who included Hope What’s-Her-Name. As I piddled around the house making preparations for the baby, Nicky spent time talking to people on the phone. His mom called around 6:30 p.m. to let Nicky know that they were at the Phyllis and Bob Henderson’s playing cards if he needed them. Soon after he hung up the phone he left the house without even telling me goodbye.
I spent part of the evening working on the nursery and the other half watching television and eating popcorn. I feel asleep on the couch around 11:30. Around 1 a.m. I heard Nicky stumble into the house cursing about me being a slut; he suddenly yanked me up from the couch by my arm.
“Ouch! Stop, that hurts!” I pleaded, “What is wrong?” I cried. The pain in my arm was unbearable.
“You know what I am talking about!” He yelled back. I could smell the beer on his breath and the spittle sprayed my face, “Who has been here?”
“No one, I have been here by myself all alone as usual.” I tried to break free from his grip, but it only tightened the more I pulled away, “please, let go of my arm, you are hurting me!”
“Well, who have you been talking on the phone to? I’ve been trying to call and it’s been busy all night.”
“Nicky, the phone hasn’t rung all night and I haven’t been on the phone with anyone. I worked on the nursery and watched TV, I swear.” He let go of my arm suddenly and went over to the phone on the desk.
“We’ll just see about that!” He slurred as he punched the numbers three times. *67. He waited until it was obvious someone picked up on the other end, “Who the hell is this?” Pause.
“Bob? Well BOB, what the hell do you think you’re doing calling my wife?”
Another pause as the person on the other end spoke; I could hear the loud muffled sound of a male voice but could not make out what he was saying. I could tell whoever he had called was not pleased by the accusations Nicky was making.
“Oh is that right? Well you know what BOB? You can go screw yourself!” Nicky slammed the phone down and pushed me back onto the couch, “Who the hell is Bob, Tessa? Your boyfriend? Maybe the father of this baby, huh?”
He grabbed me by the arm and yanked me back up on my feet, I stumbled into him and he grabbed me by the neck.
“You know what I should do? I should kill the bastard child and call up Bob and tell him all about it.”
He gripped my face with his fingers and dug his fingertips into my face. Gripping my face he pulled me around the coffee table to the other side. The tears were flowing down my face and I was afraid to say anything. I had no idea who Bob was and I couldn’t believe the words that were coming out of Nicky’s mouth. I instinctively placed my hands over my stomach to protect the baby that was growing inside of me.
“What do you think about that Tessa? Then I can divorce your fat ass and you can go back to being a bar slut!” His face was distorted and evil. The sight of him made me want to puke. With great force he pushed my face back put both hands on my shoulders then shoved me over the coffee table. I turned and reached my hands out to stop the fall, to keep from landing on my stomach. My shin hit the table as I went over it. I manage to land on my side closest to the couch and avoided a direct hit to my stomach. My leg throbbed from the fall and a large bump quickly rose where the edge of the table had hit. It instantly turned a dark red color and I was sure that I had broken the bone. I gripped my leg and the tears rolled down my face. He grabbed me by the arm and yanked my up again.
“Don’t be such a fucking baby! Stand up! Jesus Christ Tessa, why do you have to such a crybaby?” He let go of my arm and I stumbled back to the couch.
“I just have to sit for a minute Nicky; I hit my leg on the coffee table.” I examined the bump and flinched when I touched it. It was too tender to rub, “Maybe I need to go to the hospital. It really hurts.”
“You’re fucking kidding me right?” He laughed a deep sinister laugh, “You really think I am going to spend my hard earned money on a bruise? Shit Tess, grow up!”
He stood and stared at me, with a look that said, “Come on already!” It was a signal for me to get up and follow him. I followed him up the stairs, flinching in pain each step I took. When I didn’t move fast enough for him, he grabbed me under the arm and pulled me along. His impatience with me was painfully obvious.
We finally made it to the top of the stairs and he pulled me into the bedroom. I was glad I already had my pajamas on; I didn’t think I would be able to change clothes at this point. I went to the bed and pulled back the covers to get it.
“What the hell do you think you are doing?” Nicky stood at the end of the bed undoing his pants.
“I’m going to bed.” My voice cracked. I was in pain and there had been too many of these types of nights. This was becoming a common practice. He knew I hated it and yet he insisted on doing this to me; particularly when I was in physical pain. I was beginning to think that hurting me was a turn on for him, “I’m really tired Nicky. Aren’t you?”
“Nope.” He said throwing his jeans into the corner, “Come here.”
“Really Nicky,” I pleaded, “I am really so tired and my leg is killing me”
“Goddammit, get the hell over here!” He yelled. I knew he wasn’t joking around, so I slowly walked over to him, “Well, you know what to do.” He folded his arms across his chest as I lifted my nightgown and removed my panties. I bent over the bed and waited for it to be over.
The next morning I moved slowly around the kitchen as I prepared Nicky’s breakfast. My leg had swollen to almost twice its size, but Nicky still refused to take me to the hospital. He said that it was just a bone bruise and with some ice the swelling would go down. He did allow me to skip church that morning, but I am sure it wasn’t because he was worried about me, but because he didn’t want questions from congregation members asking why I was limping.
We had made plans to go to his parents for lunch, and that he was committed to doing. When we arrived I tried to hide the limp. He mother seemed to notice it, but made no mention of it. His father did ask.
“Tessy-bug. Why are you limping? Is everything okay?” Nicky’s dad Kip had always been kind to me; giving me the nickname the first day he met me. Nicky piped in before I could answer. As if I would tell Kip the truth about his son.
“You know Tess, Dad, always tripping over something!” Nicky laughed like it was a known fact that I was a klutz, “Tried to get on a chair to put something in the cabinet and almost fell to the floor! Good thing the counter top stopped her fall!”
“Maybe we should take you to the hospital just to be on the safe side. Make sure that bun is still safely baking in there.” He patted my round tummy. Kip was one of the good guys. I questioned the paternity of his son.
“No…thanks Dad, I think I am good. The baby is kicking up a storm today.” I reassured him that the baby was doing well. I was the one that was damaged; but it was more than just my leg.
“Well, Bug, if you are sure?” I nodded I was sure. He smiled and went back to reading his newspaper. Fannie came into the den with a tray of ice tea.
“You want to hear the craziest thing that happened last night Nicky?” Fannie said, sitting the tray on the coffee table. She didn’t wait for an answer but went straight into the story, “We were just getting ready to leave the Henderson’s last night after playing cards and Bob got the strangest phone call. Don’t you think that was the strangest phone call Kip?”
“Yes, Fannie. It was strange.” Kip replied not looking up from his paper.
“Well, anyway, this man started yelling at Bob and threatening him, telling Bob to stay away from his wife. Well, I just thought Phyllis would fall through the floor! It took Bob a half an hour to calm Phyllis down and convince her he had no idea what the psycho on the other line was talking about.” Fannie was thoroughly enjoying repeating the gossip from last night’s phone call.
Nicky made no response to the tale his mother has just reiterated. His face was blank and he made no attempts to look in my direction. I would have been doing a happy dance to this news had my leg not been in such pain. My heart was pounding at the knowledge that my case had just been won. It was won in silence, but it had been won. I placed my hand over my mouth to hide the slight smile that drifted across my face.
“What do you make of that Nicky?” She looked directly at her son and waited for an answer. For a brief moment, I thought maybe she knew the man in question was her own precious son.
“I don’t know Mother. Maybe it was someone who dialed a wrong number.” His words came out weak and unconvincing. His mother waved her hand as if to brush the thought away.
“Oh well, I think they should lock people up who make such threats to people. Here we were having a lovely evening and it was spoiled by a lunatic! Lock them all up, I tell you!” She said the last sentence with too much drama. I turned my head to roll my eyes without being noticed.
“I agree.” I said. Both Nicky and his mother looked at me shocked. His mother’s look showed she could not believe that I would actually agree with her and Nicky’s look was for an entirely different reason. I knew I would pay for those two little words later. But for now, I had won.
CLICK HERE to continue to Touching Trees ~ Part 1 Chapter 2
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
© 2013 Copyright Tracy L Lady, Touching Trees. Includes all pictures and text within.