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Touching Trees ~ Part 2 Chapter 7

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      I allowed him back to the house to pack his belongings. He explained that the woman was a tenant at the apartment complex he worked at; he said she had been there for him and he could talk to her; that she listened to him. She was there for him when he was so worried about me during my seizures.

“How long have you been sleeping with her?” I felt like someone had reached in and pulled out my stomach.

“Just this week, I swear Tess. I never wanted to do this to you?” He had started crying. I hated it when he cried. He came over to the bed where I sat and got down on his knees. He placed both of his hands on mine and looked up at me, tears in his eyes, “ I swear baby; I will never, ever do anything like this again. Please, can’t we work this out?”

I looked down at him, on his knees, begging me and I laughed.

“What?” he looked confused. My laughing was not the reaction he expected. I just shook my head smiling and started to cry, but still laughing at the same time.

“I find this completely ironic,” gesturing at him knelt on the floor in front of me, “you here on your knees.  This is how you are supposed to pose when you are proposing, not begging for my forgiveness.”

He sighed in exasperation, he knew there was no use in begging right now. He knew I was too upset to listen.

“Was she good?” I asked.  His eyes widen at this question. Did I really want to know the answer?

“I don’t know,” he quietly answered. He must have thought that was a safe answer.

“You don’t know? Well, that’s just wonderful. Let me ask you this? Did you get to pull out your little boxes of surprises?”  I was getting cocky now, “You know, those little toys you are so fond of?”

“Tess, don’t do this?” He got up off his knees and sat on the bed next to me and put his arm around my shoulder, “You’re just going to get yourself all worked up and I don’t want you having another seizure.”

“Don’t!” I stood up to release his arm, “Don’t act concerned about me! You gave up that right to care about me when you decided to be with her!” The tears were hot on my cheeks now, “What’s her name Davey?”

“Does it matter?” He looked beat down.

“Yes, it does.”  I stared at him.

“Kathy.”

“Kathy.”

~*~

The prison fight was all over the news. Two wounded and four dead. Both wounded were security guards, one security officer died as well as three prisoners.  One of the prisoners dead was identified as Nickolas James Bloom.

I sat in Kip and Fannie’s living room watching the television in complete shock. They had found out earlier that morning when a police officer and the prison warden showed up on their doorstep.  As soon as they left, Kip called me at the school; he wanted to make sure that I got Addison home before the news spread.  I told Clara what had happened and pulled Addy out of her classroom.

“Where are we going Mommy?” Addison asked as she pulled on her jacket, “have you been crying?”

I don’t know why I had started crying when Kip told me that Nicky was dead.  There had been many times during our marriage that I had wished he was dead, but knew deep down I wouldn’t wish death on my worst enemy.

“No Bug, I think I may have a cold. You know how your eyes water when you get a cold,” I smiled at her and helped her put her backpack on, “We are going over to Dawda and Meme’s house for a little bit, just for a visit.”

“Oh goody!  Dawda always gives me quarters when I go to their house!” I felt horrible, in just a little bit we had to tell my sweet baby her daddy was dead. Granted she didn’t know him well, but she knew he was her father. We never spoke ill of him and when she asked why he was in jail, we would tell her that he just made a bad decision and broke the law. We were lucky that she never asked more than that.

I worried that the children at school would start asking her about her dad and be cruel in some way. I felt blessed that hadn’t been as issue.  Now Addison would be known as the girl whose daddy died, not the girl whose daddy was in prison.

We arrived at the Bloom’s thirty minutes later. On the drive over I put in one of Addy’s Britney Spears CD’s rather than turn on the radio in fear that a news broadcast would come on.

“I’m glad you’re here Tess,” Kip met us at the door and gave me a hug, “have you said anything to her yet?” He whispered in my ear. I shook my head no.  I held Addy’s hand and we walked into the living room were Fannie sat on the couch dabbing her eyes with a tissue.  When she saw us, she began crying harder and opened her arms to Addison.

“Oh come give your Meme a hug darling girl,” Addison looked up at me confused, “oh you poor, poor child!”

“Fannie, Tess hasn’t said anything to Addy yet,” Kip put his arm around my waist and guided me to one of the side chairs and nodded for me to have a seat.  I took my jacket off and laid it across my lap.

“Why are you crying Meme?” Addy backed away from Fannie’s strong hold, “are you sick?”

Kip sat down on the couch next to Fannie and lifted Addison onto his lap.

“No, Sweet Pea, Meme isn’t sick,” he looked at me as if to ask if it was okay to continue talking. I nodded yes, “Addy, do you remember last Sunday when you went to church with Meme and me?”

Addy nodded her head and looked directly into his face. Her gaze looked very grown up to me and I knew in my heart that from this moment on, she was somehow going to be more grown up than she should be for her age.

“Do you remember how Pastor Glen told us how we would find riches in Heaven someday?” Kip’s voice was even and soothing, very calm for a man who just lost his only child. Addison nodded again, “Do you know when people go to Heaven?”

“Yes, people go to Heaven when they get sick and die,” she answered matter-of-factly, “like when Mommy’s grandma died. She got sick and went to the hospital. She fell asleep and didn’t wake up.”

Kip looked over at me and I urged him to continue.  Fannie was still dabbing her eyes with the tissue, but she said nothing and let Kip continue.
“Yes, Addy, that’s true. Sometimes when people get sick they die and sometimes they might die if they are in an accident,” his voice remained calm, but I could start to see a glistening in his eyes.

“Yeah, like when my friend’s uncle was in a car accident. She said he died, but she said he had been drinking and that is why he crashed his car into a tree,” Addison looked thoughtful for a moment, “do you think that he went to Heaven? I mean, drinking and driving is wrong and Pastor Glen said that good people go to Heaven.” Kip let out a nervous laugh; I started to worry that he wouldn’t be able to continue on.

“Well, I hope so. I think so. I would like to think that God knows people make mistakes and He would forgive us of the wrong things we do, don’t you?”

“Yeah, I think God is a really good person. Dawda, your eyes are leaking,” she reached up and placed her little hand on his cheek. This was his breaking point and he hung his head.  I quickly left my chair and went to my knees on the floor in front of them.

“Addy, Dawda is trying to tell you that someone that we all love very much had to go to Heaven,” I put my hand on her knee and Kip reached over and gripped my shoulder. His eyes were squeezed shut and his grip told me ‘thank you’ for taking over this unbearable task.

“Who? Mamaw? Papaw,” the look of panic was now in her eyes, of course she would think of my parent’s.

“No, no, no. Not Mamaw or Papaw,” my hand went to her face in an attempt to ease her worry, “Addy…Addison.”  Fannie let out a pained sob that startled Addison so much that tears formed in her eyes. I had to get this over with. She was starting to panic and I was beginning to choke, “Addison, Daddy died last night.”

~*~

The Bloom’s house was bustling with mourners that day of Nicky’s funeral.  All of Nicky’s family was in attendance, the Bloom’s closest friends and members of the country club, several of Nicky’s friends and teachers from his high school.  I felt odd being there, but Kip and Addison both insisted I be there.  My parents came briefly to pay their respects to Kip and Fannie, so I dutifully came as well. The entire day, Addison only let go of my hand to hold Kip’s hand. Fannie was no comfort to her at all; she was completely wrapped up in her own grief.

I felt sorry for her, I didn’t blame her. I couldn’t imagine what it would feel like to lose my only child. The thought of losing Addy made my stomach ache and I had to shake my head to quickly push that horrible thought away.

Davey called the night before, after seeing the news and asked how Addy was. He had been staying with his parents and he knew this was not the time to ask to come home. I was actually missing him and we talked on the phone for over an hour.  I wasn’t ready to forgive him, but I was willing to talk. I didn’t want to be divorced twice in eight years.

So I was relieved to see Davey walk in the Bloom’s front door as I talked to Fannie’s niece, Grace. I excused myself and walked over to him. He reached down and pulled me into a tight hug and then reached down and picked Addison up into his arms.

“My goodness, you are getting too big to pick up young lady!” Addison giggled at him as he let her back down. She turned and ran over to Kip who was sitting on the couch talking to Pastor Glen.

“How are you doing?” Davey put his hands in his pockets and looked down at me. I smiled and sighed.

“I’m rather exhausted actually. I feel so odd being here,” I looked around the room at all the people milling around in black, talking in hushed tones, eating from the buffet table the Bloom’s service staff had prepared, “but Kip insisted. Said Addison needed me here.”

“Yeah, that’s probably a good thing,” we walked slowly toward the entry hall, “well you look really beautiful for someone who is so exhausted.”  He could still make me blush.

“Stop,” I shook my head and looked at the floor.

When I looked up I noticed that a woman with very blond hair had walked in the front door; she stuck out like a sore thumb.  Surrounded by people in dark funeral attire, this woman wore a lavender dress with white high heels and large white earrings.  She made her way through the sea of black jackets and dresses until she was in full view of Davey and me. That is when I recognized who it was. Hope.

“Oh my goodness,” I stared in the direction of the tacky woman, “why is she here?” Davey turned to see who I was talking about.

“Who is that?” he asked watching her make her way towards Fannie. That’s when I saw the young boy she was pulling behind her. He was probably around six or seven years old and was dressed in tiny suit.

“She’s the reason I had the crap beat out of me every other day,” my heart was pounding out of my chest, “she is who I was supposed to be.”

Hope approached Fannie, who stood up as soon as she saw the blond and the little boy.  Fannie didn’t look pleased to see Hope and though I couldn’t hear what was being said, it didn’t appear to be friendly conversation.  Kip quickly approached the scene and the volume of the conversation was getting louder, but only on Hope’s end. Kip leaned in to calm her and took her by the elbow, leading her and the little boy into the kitchen.

I wished I was a fly on the wall; I wanted to know what was going on. But it was apparent that approaching Fannie was a horrible idea, her friend Francis was now sitting with her on the couch comforting her as Fannie held a tissue to her eyes. Addison came running up to me.

“Dadaw is yelling at some lady in the kitchen!” her eyes opened wide with fear. As far as I know, no one had ever heard Kip raise his voice, “she is yelling back saying he owed her something!”

“Addy, can you stay with Davey for just a few moments, so Mommy can go do something really quick?” Addy nodded and I headed towards the kitchen. As I approached the double swinging doors, several staff came rushing out without trays or pitchers. They looked upset and I pushed my way through the double doors.

“I know you set up a fund for her little brat; and I know that she is getting Nicky’s life insurance policy. I checked with my lawyers and N.J. here has a right to it just the same as her!” the woman was standing next to the counter, pointing her finger at Kip. The little boy was sitting at the table eating a cracker and oblivious to the volume that Hope was speaking to Kip.

“How dare you walk into my house making demands? How do I even know that this child belongs to Nicky? Why are we just now hearing about this?” They had no idea I was standing in the doorway. I was beginning to understand what was going on.

“Are you saying this little boy is Nicky’s?” I asked. The both stopped yelling and looked at me. I stared at the little boy trying to see Nicky in his features.  I walked over to the table and sat down across from him. Neither Hope nor Kip made any attempt to move.  The little boy continued to nibble on crackers but looked up at me. His hair was blond, almost white. He did look a lot like Addison, including the light blue eyes that she inherited from Nicky. He had the same dimple in the middle of his chin that Nicky had, and a cow lick at the top of his forehead that looked similar to the million pictures that Fannie had of an elementary age Nicky.

“Hi, I’m Tessa. What’s your name?” I spoke softly to the little boy.

“Nickolas. But my friends call me N.J.” N.J. Nickolas, Jr. He reached into the plastic container and pulled out another cracker.

“And this is your mommy, right? Where is your daddy?” I reached for a cracker, but didn’t eat it. I just turned it over and over between my fingers.

“Hey! Don’t talk to my kid!” Hope started towards the table. Kip stepped in her way.

His lip puckered out, “My daddy’s dead.”

Click Here to continue to Chapter 8 Part 1

Creative Commons License Touching Trees by T L Lady is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Based on a work at https://touchingtrees.wordpress.com.wouldn’t have her. So I stayed, I would make it to the year if it killed me. And it just might.

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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.


Touching Trees ~ Part 2 Chapter 6

TT Cover 2

The next morning as I stood at the bathroom vanity applying my makeup Davey came in and sat the gift bag on the corner of the counter.

“Hey babe, didn’t you open this last night? I found it on the kitchen counter.” I didn’t look at him but I continued applying my mascara.

“Nope,” I wasn’t sure exactly how to handle this. Didn’t I deserve something more romantic? Was I asking too much? Davey knew my history with Nicky; didn’t he understand how important this would have been to me? I was wishing at this moment that it had just been a pair of earrings.

“What’s the matter, babe?” he wrapped his arms around my waist; his chest pressed against my back, his chin on my shoulder and looked at us in the mirror.
I gently pulled free from his grip and walked over to the linen closet and pulled out a clean towel. I washed my hands, dried them and after I hung the towel on the towel rack, I turned to him with a look of exasperation. I shook my head, walked in the bedroom and sat on the corner of the bed. Davey followed with the gift bag and sat down next to me.
“You know when I was a little I used to dream that I was peasant girl, like Cinderella, and that a prince would see me and instantly fall in love with me. He would jump off his white horse, get down on one knee, hold out a beautiful ring, ask me to be his princess and spend the rest of my life with him living happily ever after,” he said nothing and let me continue, “he never once handed me a bag and said, ‘Get to it when you can’”

“So you did open it?” He smiled and looked down at the bag in his hand.  Had he heard me at all?

“Yes, Davey, I opened it. Then I put it back.” I wasn’t sure if I should be mad or not, and I certainly didn’t want to fight him if I was, especially over something that should have been a romantic gift. We had never really had an argument; the only thing that we ever had a truly heated conversation about was his son Justin. Not really about Justin, but about his mother, Janie who would consistently send Justin to us filthy and practically starving.

Justin would behave like a wild animal at the dinner table standing on his chair and reaching for food with his bare hands.  It was almost as if he was grabbing for food before anyone else could; it was if he believed that if he didn’t  grab for his share right then he would go hungry.  Davey explained that Justin’s mother usually chose buying cigarettes over groceries. That left her with buying cheap  macaroni and cheese and hot dogs. That kind of meal didn’t go far between five children, Justin had four additional half brothers and sister at home, all from different fathers.
Justin would grab for food not even caring what he was grabbing for and then complain he didn’t like what he had. He wasn’t used to eating nutritious food and was always requesting items such as ice cream and chips for supper.  Addison would complain to me that Justin’s mom let him eat ice cream for supper and began turning away food that she had always loved before. It was becoming a common weekend occurrence this battle over meals. We couldn’t even take him to a restaurant, where he didn’t crawl under tables and scream that he didn’t like what his father ordered for him. At home Davey began having Justin sit at the table in front of his dinner until he at least tried what was in front of him.  He was stubborn and many evening sat there until bedtime with his arms crossed and his lip puckered out, refusing to eat.

“Didn’t you like it?” He just realized that if I put it back and didn’t put in on my finger that it was a possibility that I was turning him down, “Why didn’t you put it on?”

“Gee, I don’t know. Maybe it sounds cliché, but I kind of imagined that the man I loved would propose marriage to me in a romantic way,” I stared down at my folded hands in my lap, “You know how it went with Nicky and me; I guess I thought you would put a little more thought into it than just handing me a bag.”

“Babe, I’m sorry. I mean we’ve talked about it so much, like we had it already decided. I didn’t think you wanted something silly like me getting down on one knee,” he didn’t even seem to notice that this was important to me. We had talked about it, it was assumed, but woman like romance, I like romance. I was beginning to think I was over reacting, but then decided I deserved the romance.

“It isn’t silly to me,” I said sadly under my breath, low enough that he didn’t hear me.

“Did you say something?”  He slid his jacket on.

“No.”  I stood up and started to make the bed. He walked over and gave me a quick kiss goodbye.

“I hope to see that ring on your finger when I get home,” he smiled hopefully at me and headed off to work.

~*~

     Maybe I am just being silly? I mean, we have been talking about marriage practically since we started dating.  Davey just wasn’t the romantic minded type and I knew that from the beginning. This shouldn’t surprise me, he was simple and he was good me.  I wasn’t giving him enough credit.

As I drove Addison and myself to the school that morning those thoughts ran through my mind over and over. I kept making excuses for Davey and telling myself to not expect so much of people.  I got Addy dropped off at her classroom and headed towards the music room.  After I left the store I was able to be a stay-at-home mom thanks to Kip.  He thought it was important that Addison have me around full-time since she was going to be raised in a one-parent home.  They had already purchased the house for Nicky and I when we were married; I had the car that Paula and my mom bought me and the Grand Am.  Fannie never understood why Kip wanted to help me and they had many fights over Kip’s insistence on helping to raise Addison.  He had to remind her that I was the mother of their only grandchild and he said Addison deserved the best.
After Addison started school I needed something to do, so I took a teacher’s aide position with the school’s music department. My job was to help Mrs. Jewel with anything she needed, from grading papers, to keeping the students in order during practice sessions.  Mrs. Jewel had turned the school’s music department into a national award winning show choir. Every school knew how good our students were and dreaded when they had to face them in competition. Mrs. Jewel’s responsibilities grew every day and I was there to make her life a little easier.

“How are you today Tess?” Clara Jewel came into her office shuffling music sheets around, her glasses propped at the end of her nose.  Every student loved her and every graduate that had ever had her as a teacher always came back just to see her. She loved them all like her own.
“I am good. How are you?” I scrolled through the computer spread sheet double checking the number of deposits made by parents for the upcoming choral competition.
“Trying to get the music down for this competition is going to be the death of me,” she laughed, “I have no idea if these kids are going to pull it together in time.”  I stopped typing in numbers and turned to give her my attention.

“They always do,” I laughed with her, “it’s like magic.”

She plopped down in her chair and flung the music sheets across her desk.  She opened her drawer and pulled out a stack of CDs.

“I know I have an instrumental of ‘It’s a Small World’ in here somewhere,” She continued to sift through the CDs.

“Clara?”  I reached for the spreadsheet I had sent to the printer.

“Mhmm?” She responded not looking up.

“Davey proposed,” I waited for a response.  Clara stopped her sifting and looked at me, her mouth hanging open slightly.

“Are you serious?”  She looked at me over the rim of her glasses, a strand of her silver white hair hanging down in her face.

“Well, kind of,” I explained the bag and the conversation this morning.

“I guess congratulations are in order then?” I wished she sounded more excited, I needed the encouragement.

“Yeah,” I don’t think I was too convincing. I really needed her encouragement.

“Listen, I can’t tell if you are happy about this or not. Do you want to be married?” She took her glasses off, sat them on her desk then leaned back in her chair.

“Well sure. I mean we get along great, he’s good with Addison. I really love him and I’m not getting any younger; I would like to have another baby before the gap between a baby and Addy gets too big.”

“A baby?  You want another baby?” Clara smiled at this. She and her husband never had children and I liked to think this is why she had so much love for her students. They were her substitute children.
I smiled to myself at the thought of another baby. I had never wanted another one with Nicky, but the older Addy got the more I thought about it. It seemed I always saw pregnant women or couples with new babies everywhere we went, I couldn’t seem to escape it.  It totally made my biological clock tick louder and louder.

“Yeah, I would love to have another baby,” the thought comforted me and I knew that I would accept his proposal; but I had a condition.

~*~

     Davey came into the kitchen as I was cooking dinner.  He walked over and kissed my offered check. I purposely kept my hands busy so he would have to look for the ring. He just smiled at me and grabbed my left hand to inspect my ring finger. The diamond clad band glinted back at him and he looked pleased.

“So this is a ‘yes’?”  He wrapped his arms around me and smiled.  I smiled a small smile and started to say something but hesitated. His smiled faded too, “What? You’re wearing the ring right? So that means yes, right?”

“Yeah,” I grabbed his hand and lead him to the table, “but we need to talk about something first.”

“I’m getting worried,” he laughed nervously, “what do we have to talk about?”

“I will marry you,” his smiled returned, “but there is something I want before I agree totally.”

“Okay?” his look encouraged me to continue.

“I want a baby.” His smile faded.  He stared down at the table still holding my hand and running his finger over the ring.  What was he thinking?  I hated his silence.

“A baby?”

“Yeah, not right away of course. I mean I want to enjoy being married to you for a while at least…wait that came out wrong.  What I mean to say is I want another baby before the gap gets too big between a baby and Addy.  Maybe start planning on it by the end of the year.” I looked at him hopefully.

He continued to stare at the ring, but he had let go of my hand. He stood up and walked over to the refrigerator and grabbed a can of soda.  After he opened it he leaned against the island and took a drink.

“A baby. You want to have a baby with me?” I was wondering if this was a good idea, “This is what you want? For me to say we’ll have a baby. Then you will agree to marry me?”

“I guess that is what I am saying,” was I asking too much of him? I was having a hard time reading him.

“Okay.” Really?

“Really?” I smiled at him and jumped up from my chair ready to hug him. He put his hand up to stop me and then spoke.

“I have a term too,” his hand slid down my arm and he took my ringed hand again, “I will agree that we can try to have a baby, but after being married for six months. No sooner and that we get married in October.”

“That’s only a month away.” That was sooner than I had expected. I married Nicky too soon and I had hoped for a longer engagement with Davey. But then again, I was asking for a baby right away and being married before I had a baby would probably not be a bad idea, “I can agree to that, but nothing fancy. Actually, how about we just go to the court house?”

“That’s a deal!” He pulled me into a hug.

~*~

     We stood in front of the county clerk and were married Friday, October 8th.  Davey’s best friend Caleb stood up with him and my friend Lorene stood up with me. I borrowed Lorene’s bouquet from her wedding and I wore a simple blue flowered dress with a light blue vest; Davey wore a brown and tan striped button up shirt and dark slacks.  We decided that going on a honeymoon was not convenient at the time, the kids were still in school and neither of us was in a place to take off from work.  We scheduled our reception for the weekend after we were married and themed it around the season, an autumn cookout.  All of our friends and relatives came, bringing lots of food and their camp chairs. We built a huge bonfire and roasted hot dogs and marshmallows. Davey’s dad, Carl, hooked a trailer to his tractor and we took the kids on a hayride around the neighborhood. The kids played Frisbee and tag and the adults started a lively Euchre tournament; everyone was enjoying themselves so much that the last of the guest didn’t leave until after 2 a.m.  Addy and Justin had fallen asleep in lawn chairs around 11 p.m. and Davey carried them in and put them to bed in their clothes.  We both agreed that the evening had gone very well and we discussed having another cookout before it got too cold outside to enjoy the cool fall weather.

“I am worn out.” I yawned loudly and pulled back the covers, “Are you coming to bed?”

“Yeah, in a bit, I think I will play some online poker for a while. I am kind of keyed up from all the soda I drank tonight,” He had changed into his sweatpants, kissed the top of my head, “You want this light out?”

“Yes, please, “I answered drowsily, he reached over and switched the light off next to my bed, “Good night.”

“Love you.”

“Love you too.”

~*~

“Happy Birthday Dad!” everyone at the table raised their glasses to wish Davey’s dad a happy birthday. The waitress’ at the restaurant had come to the table and sang to him, making him turn fifty shades of red.

“Aww, you kids are too good to me,” he said picking up the box of ratchets that Davey had picked out for him.  Davey’s mom, Jeanne had bought her husband a solid oak display box for his military uniform and medals he had earned while in the service; and Davey’s only brother Josh and his wife Rachel gave him a family portrait of them with their daughter, Monica and new son, Jacob.
Carl picked his favorite steak house to have dinner at and we sat in the center of the restaurant surrounded by other families enjoying a Saturday night out.  The walls were covered in western themed décor and with the holiday season in full gear, red and green garland and white lights were mixed in. It was rustic and charming, and very loud.

Carl and Addison had really taken to one another and she insisted on sitting next to her “Poppy Carl”. The chatter across the table was animated with the two girls talking Barbie dolls and all three kids were arguing about who was going to get the best gift from Santa this year.  Jeanne complained to Carl that he had gotten steak sauce on his new shirt and Rachel who was rocking baby Jacob asked Davey when we were planning on having a baby of our own. Davey laughed louder than necessary.

“Never!” He continued to cut his meat. I stopped eating and looked at him but said nothing.

Never? Oh come on Dave you don’t want just one more?” Josh leaned over and kissed the top of his new born son’s head.

“Babies are too much work, I mean look at all the crap you have to carry around with you,” he emphasized this by using his fork to point at the diaper bag, carrier, toys and bottles that surrounded their end of the table, “pooping every five minutes, peeing, eating, crying all of the time. Dude, I am a working man, I don’t have time to get up and take care of a baby in the middle of the night!”

I wiped my mouth with my napkin and asked to be excused.  I weaved my way through the waitresses taking orders, bus boys clearing tables and people looking for empty seats.  I was heading for the restrooms and prayed that no one would be there when I finally reached it.  I stood in front of the mirror trying to will the tears from escaping my eyes.

How could I have been so stupid to believe that any man could ever keep a promise? I only had one condition to marrying him and he had no intentions of keeping it. I mean seriously? I could have put a ton of conditions with that proposal.   My mind was racing and I was counting on my hands all of the things about Davey that really ticked me off.  The door to the restroom opened and I quickly wiped my eyes.

“Are you okay?” Rachel asked in her tender voice, she knew when I left the table there was something wrong.

“No,” I checked my makeup in the mirror but it was too late. My face was red, my nose was running and my mascara was smeared.  I wasn’t planning on saying anything but it just poured out and told her everything about the weak proposal, the stupid silver bag and the condition that I wanted a baby.  She was very sympathetic and I thought she would stick up for her brother-in-law. I assumed since she had known him longer she would automatically be on his side. I hated that I felt there were sides at all.

She reached over and hugged me which caused me to start crying all over again.  I didn’t want to go back to the table and face everyone knowing that I had been crying and I didn’t want to have to explain what had caused my tears.  I was so angry deep down and I was afraid that if I went back to the table I would have rip into their son, brother and father right in front of their eyes. I didn’t want to cause that kind of embarrassment for him or me.

“I’ll tell them that you aren’t feeling well and went to the car,” she said soothingly, “Josh is ready to leave anyway and I left him with the baby.” She smiled at that last part.

“Thanks,” I hugged her and walked out the front door and sat in the car until Davey and the kids came out.  He helped them strap in and slid into the driver’s seat.

“Do you feel sick Mommy?” Addison asked from the back seat.

“Yeah, just a little tummy ache is all,” I looked back and smiled at both of the kids. Justin asked if his dad could turn the radio on. I didn’t look at Davey and he said nothing in return. He didn’t have to ask what had caused my sudden illness.

~*~

     It seemed from that day on I looked at him differently.  Everything he did annoyed me. From the way he brushed his teeth to how he chewed his food.  I would be mad at him if he fixed a sandwich and left bread crumbs on the counter.  I would be upset if ate his dinner sitting at the coffee table in front of the television, which he was doing more often than not lately.  I always wanted to have dinner at the table as a family, but he parked himself in front of the television from the time he got home until I went to bed. Then after I went to bed he would get online and play online poker.  He didn’t use real money so I wasn’t concerned about his playing, but there would be times I would wake up at 3 a.m. and he would still be online. If I asked him if he was ready to come to bed, he would quickly turn the computer off and come to bed.

As soon as he crawled in he would want to start messing around. When we were dating and when first got married the sex was amazing but lately it was a chore for me.  I was still so upset by the whole baby issue and I felt like he was using my body just to get his rocks off.   I just couldn’t bring myself to enjoy something I very much wanted to do with my husband.  I was afraid to kiss or hug him, fearing it would bring on some sexual advance from him.  He never forced himself on me the way that Nicky had, but I had to force myself to be with him some nights. I would be at the sink doing up a few dishes and he would come up behind me and wrapped his arms around my waist. I thought, ‘how sweet,’ and smiled at the romance of his hug.

“How about a blow job?” He whispered in my ear.

“What?” I turned my head in his direction. He reached up and placed his hands over my breasts and started to caress them.  I pushed them away with my soapy hands.

“Jeez, Davey,” I couldn’t believe that he couldn’t even give me a hug without expecting to get laid right there in the kitchen.  It wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t every single time he got near me.   I loved sex the same as any woman, but I didn’t like to feel as though it was being forced on me.  He was making it sound so dirty and his advances repulsed me.

When he was home and not in front of the television, he was working on a project in the garage. Even when Justin was here for a visit he would head to the garage or out in the yard.  If he was in front of the television and Justin tried to speak to him he would tell him to go play and never look away from the screen.  Of course when it was time for bed he would head to the office and get on the computer.  This became his normal routine.

Four more months went by and it only seemed to get worse.  He started bringing home black bags from the adult book store in town and suggested that we try something “new” every week. One night he would bring home a porn movie, another night it would be a tiny vibrator that he asked if he could use on me.

He was making a trip to that store two or three times a week.  He brought home x-rated movies most of the time, but occasionally he would ask me if I would try this or try that and then the next week he would bring home some sexual toy and show it to me, asking me if it scared me and if I would try it at least once.

His behavior was really stressing me out and during sex I would start crying uncontrollably for no apparent reason.  It would take me well over an hour to stop the episodes and I couldn’t explain to him why they happened.

“Did I hurt you?” He seemed truly concerned, but I could tell his ego was severely bruised.  Any man’s ego would be deflated if a woman cried every time they got near her with their penis.

“No, sweetie, no. I don’t know what’s happening. I just get this feeling deep down here,” I said pressing into my stomach.  It was the truth, the feeling did come from my stomach and it would work its way up into my throat until I couldn’t breathe and pushed out a steady stream of tears from my eyes.  After the tears came, I had no control over any part of my body.

I tried to assure him that it wasn’t him. But it was.  The box in the bottom of his closet was the source of those tears. The box full of movies, toys and magazines was just too much for me to handle. But what truly pushed me over the edge was what I discovered on our computer.

The week before Easter I took Addy to my mom’s to play after she got out of school. I decided to take advantage of the warming weather and went home to do some spring cleaning.  While I was dusting the office I noticed the light to the computer was flashing, which meant that it hadn’t been shut down from the night before.  I sat down in front of it and turned on the screen.  What was in front of me were pictures of naked people in various sexual poses; poses of women with men, women with women, two women and one man, two men and one woman, two men.  As badly as I wanted to look away, I couldn’t.  I saw the chat box at the bottom of the screen and scrolled at the conversation that was left unattended by my loving husband.

Click here to continue to Chapter 7 Part 1

Creative Commons License
Touching Trees by T L Lady is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at https://touchingtrees.wordpress.com.wouldn’t have her. So I stayed, I would make it to the year if it killed me. And it just might.

By posting content to this blog, you agree to transfer copyright to the blog owner.

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.


Touching Trees ~ Part 1 Chapter 6

TT Cover 2

1999

After our girl’s night I became good friends with my neighbor’s sister Elena; she was seven years older than me and she seemed to have her life so together. She was a larger woman too, but she had a confidence that I envied. She was married to a great guy named Mark who was my age and who I knew through mutual friends. He was an all around great guy and he was absolutely crazy about Elena.  She had the most beautiful singing voice and I would tag along with her and Mark when she would sing Karaoke at different bars around town. They had their own special “song” and every time she got up and sang it Mark would get teary eyed. It wasn’t embarrassing; you just knew that he loved her so much that the song moved him. It was just another way they told each other how important the other was to them. They had what I wanted.

     Teresa had gotten engaged a few months back and as Teresa’s maid of honor, Laura was responsible for throwing her a bachelorette party. The wedding was planned to take place in seven months and Teresa was fine with having a party, but wanted to have it well before the wedding; not the night before. Teresa knew she liked to drink and she didn’t want to be hung over for her own wedding so at her request we would have the party a month before the actual wedding day. The night of the bachelorette party Elena came to my house to get ready. She sat on the bed as I put my makeup on.

     “Here, I brought a necklace over for you to wear. I thought it would look great with that black silk shirt you have hanging in your closet.” She pulled out a beautiful silver chain that had a blue sapphire hanging from it.

    “Oh, that is gorgeous, but Elena, I don’t wear that shirt very often. It’s too fancy for Jupiter’s anyway.” I held up a salmon colored t-shirt with Hawaiian flowers on it that said, “Spring Break ‘88”. It was a size too big, but I preferred the bagginess of it. I felt more covered and my curves weren’t as noticeable.

    “Don’t be silly,” she said taking the t-shirt from me and hanging it back up in the closet. She reached over and grabbed the black silk shirt and removed if from the hanger, “Now here, put this on. Trust me.”

     I took the shirt from her and slid it on, buttoned up the front and turned to the mirror to inspect my reflection.

     “Here,” she handed me the necklace. I clasped it and stood back to admire the glimmer of the sapphire surrounded by faux diamonds, “Now have a seat.” She sat my dressing stool in front of the bathroom cabinet. I sat and she twisted my hair into a loose knot and clipped it into place. She took a teasing comb and fluffed the long curls that hung over the twist and sprayed them into place.

    “Ok, now let’s do your makeup, close your eyes please,” I sighed and closed my eyes allowing her to apply the mauve colored eye shadow. She had applied more than I would have, but the way she did was very appealing to my complexion. She applied eyeliner and mascara and then a little blush. She rummaged through her makeup bag and handed me a tube of lipstick. I never wore lipstick. I usually applied a pink lip gloss because my grandmother had always told me that men didn’t like women who wear lipstick. It was kind of funny when I thought about all the pictures of beautiful actresses in magazines who wore bright red lipstick and saw the gorgeous men who loved them.

     “That’s a really dark color.” I raised my eyebrows when I turned the tube and saw the dark plum color.

     “Yeah, it’s gorgeous, huh? And it will look great on your lips. You have the best lips.” She took the tube from me and applied some to her own lips; she pressed her lips together with a smack. “You know some woman pay big bucks to get lips that look like yours.” She handed the tube back to me.

    I applied the lipstick carefully to my lips and looked at the reflection.  For the first time in a long time I saw something I hadn’t in a very long time. I saw I was pretty.

~*~

     “Okay, so here’s the plan. We pick Teresa up at her house at 8; then we head over to Rachel’s house and meet Brad” Laura was talking and waving her hands around as she drove. She never took her eyes from the road, but she talked with her hands alternating one to the steering wheel while the other hand flailed around to make her point.

    “Wait. Who’s Brad?” Elena asked.  Sandy leaned up from the back seat as I answered Elena’s question.   

     “Brad is a frat boy Teresa had a drunken one night stand with a few years ago. Total goober, kind of skuzzy, but a good guy nonetheless; anyway, Laura ran into him the other night, told him Teresa was getting married. They came up with some plan for Brad to be the stripper tonight.”

     Everyone in the car wailed with laughter. We pulled in the adult book store parking lot and piled out. We purchased plenty of party supplies; suckers, gummy candy, bubble gum, ring pops, and necklaces all shaped like penises. We bought Teresa a tiara with a cheesy mesh veil that hung off the back and a sash  that said ‘Bride-to-Be’ written in gold glitter.  It was totally tacky but very cool. Sandy bought Teresa a purple dildo and some motion lotion she said they could use on their honeymoon. Laura grabbed a huge blow up man-doll. I was fairly sure that he would be going home with Laura at the end of the night and not Teresa. I purchased a Pleasure by Chance dice game where you rolled a pair of six-sided die. One die had a sentence that said something like ‘Lick their’, ‘Kiss their’, ‘Touch their’ and the other die would complete the sentence with a single word like, ‘lips’, ‘chest’, or ‘privates’. You had to perform the sentences on your partner. I didn’t know if they would like it, but it looked interesting. It had been a long time since anyone had done any of that with me.

     We drove over to Rachel’s house first and decorated for the party. Rachel even made a cake in the shape of a penis complete with little chocolate sprinkles as the pubic hair, and I laughed to myself that I had seen more penises in this one night than I had in my whole life.  Brad called and said he was on his way; he asked if it was okay if he brought his friend Davey along for moral support. He told Laura he almost chickened out but Davey wouldn’t let him and wanted to come to make sure Brad kept his end of the bargain.

     “What exactly did you promise Brad, Laura?” I asked on the way to get Teresa.

     “Well you won’t think badly of me will you?” Laura looked like she wished she had never made the deal with Brad. I nodded to say I promised, “I told him I would let him play with my boobs.”

     “Oh my gawd Laura!” Elena and I both said at once. Sandy started laughing so hard that she begged us to stop talking about it, crying that she was worried she would pee her pants. Rachel just made a gagging noise from the back seat.

~*~

     We sat Teresa in a kitchen chair in the middle of Rachel’s living room and blind folded her. Teresa definitely looked nervous but played along like a good sport.

     “Guys, you heard Billy, he said no hot stripper guys” Teresa shifted in her seat when the song ‘What a Man’ started playing from the stereo.

     “Oh, don’t worry. We didn’t get any hot stripper guys,” Laura laughed, “we can promise you that!”

     Brad and Davey walked in the room and Davey took a seat over in the corner where Teresa wouldn’t see him after Brad removed her blindfold. Brad was dressed in a button down white dress shirt, white sports socks, blue under wear and black sunglasses. It was a very twisted version of Tom Cruise’s Risky Business dance scene. Brad began dancing and moved towards Teresa and started rubbing against her, she shrilled with laughter at the realization that there was a stripper and she would be forced to endure the dance. She played along and lifted her hands and rubbed the backs of his legs and butt as he danced around her. He grabbed her hand and placed it on the front of his underwear and with his hand over hers rubbed his penis. All of us were laughing and screaming. Laura was up and dancing around enjoying the show. I looked over and saw Davey laughing as hard as us but trying to be silent so Teresa would not suspect there was another man in the room.

    “I know this…! Billy? Is that you?” She hollered out and everyone screamed with laughter again. Teresa reached up and pulled the blindfold from her eyes. The look on her face was priceless. The song ended and the room was completely silent.

    Suddenly Teresa screamed and started laughing and jumping up and down. She threw her arms around Brad and was still jumping.

   “That was awesome!!” she screamed and threw up her arms, “Freaking awesome! Let’s get drunk!”

     Before we left the house, we all took a shot of Jack Daniels which I instantly regretted. I hated whiskey and it made my chest burn. I decided at that moment that I would forego the drinking this evening and enjoy watching everyone else get wasted.  Brad introduced us to Davey and I thought for someone who was here to give Brad courage he was incredibly shy.

      Elena and I sat by Davey and soon they were in a lively conversation.  It seemed that Davey and Elena went to the same school as each other and they were asking about people the other might know. Davey knew Mark and had the same impression of him as everyone else did, he was a great guy.

     Teresa, Laura, Sandy, Rachel and Brad stood in the corner and shared a joint. I had tried pot when I was seventeen but didn’t have a pleasant experience, so I never had a problem turning it down when it was offered.  Elena was above it and not because she thought she was better, you just knew that she would never, ever even consider trying it so don’t even bother asking. Davey just didn’t make a move to join the group so he sat with us and continued to talk with Elena about teachers they both had endured.

     “We should probably get going guys.” Laura said as she grabbed her coat and car keys. I reached over and grabbed the keys from her.

    “As if!” I shook my head at her when she started to say she was okay to drive.  We headed out to the driveway and I slid in the driver’s seat of Laura’s SUV while the girls loaded in the back. Brad convinced Laura to ride with them, I figured since Davey was driving so Brad figured he could get a head start on exploring Laura’s breasts.  I was fairly sure he was going to be disappointed.

     It was definitely a crazy night. Laura and Teresa got ridiculously drunk but appeared to be having the time of their lives. Sandy and Rachel were having a contest to see who could collect the most phone numbers from guys. Brad had passed out in car about an hour ago and Elena had grown tired of the immaturity of the Bride and Maid of Honor and asked me if I would be upset if she left.

     “No, I envy you. If I didn’t have to make sure these people got home safe I would leave too,” I assured her I was fine with her leaving. She called her husband and he agreed to pick her up. She gave me a hug and told me to be safe, and then she whispered in my ear, “You look awesome tonight and there is a guy sitting here who hasn’t been able to take his eyes off of you all night.” She gave my shoulders a quick squeeze and walked out to meet her husband. 

          I looked over at Davey who was watching Laura and Teresa do shots of Apple Pucker. His face winched at the thought of the sour liquor and then took a sip of his beer. He sat the beer on the table, leaned back and jammed his hands in his jeans pockets. He glanced over and saw me watching him.

    “Hey,” He smiled, “Your friends there are kinda nuts.” He tipped it towards them.  I looked over at the two drunks girls who were dancing with some tall dark headed guy. He was sandwiched between them and looked to me having the time of his life. Davey and I both laughed at the intoxicated group.

    “Yes they are.” I agreed. I leaned back in my chair and yawned. I was so ready to leave. I glanced at my watch and saw that it was close to 1 a.m.

     “Tessa, right?” he sat up and leaned on the table.

     “Yeah, but most everyone just call me Tess.” I reached over and grabbed a random beer bottle on the table and began peeling the label off of it. Davey was an attractive guy. Not someone that would make a woman stop and take a second look, but cute in his own way. You could tell he was a worker. His jeans were clean but streaked with dark stains and he had the hands of someone who used them often, they weren’t smooth, but calloused. He had a dark complexion and black hair. He was in his late twenties, but had a hint of gray around his temples. His hair was cut close and he needed to shave, but it gave him a rugged woodsy look. He had chocolate brown eyes and his nose was a little too large for his face, but he was definitely not unattractive.

     We had our first date the following Saturday evening.  I had hesitated when he first asked, not because I wasn’t interested but I made a rule a long time ago that I didn’t get a sitter for Addison on the weekends she wasn’t with Nicky’s or my parent’s, but that weekend my sister Diana called asking if she could have Addy overnight. They wanted to take advantage of the warming weather and take all the kids to the children’s museum, stay overnight at the museum’s hotel, and maybe go to the zoo on Sunday.

     “Hey, Davey, it’s Tess,” I held the portable receiver to my ear as I packed Addison’s small overnight bag.        

     “Tess, wow this is a nice surprise!” He sounded genuinely glad to hear my voice, “What are you doing?”

     “Well I was just calling to see if your offer was still open for dinner tonight?” I zipped the bag shut and set it on the bed.  Addison was on the floor coloring in her coloring books and singing a song about a doughnut that we always sang in the car.
“Absolutely!”

~*~

      During that first date we talked for hours in the restaurant, then hours in his car outside my house. I told him about Nicky and he said he remembered reading about it in the paper and seeing it on the news. Davey said he couldn’t imagine putting his hands on a woman, even if she deserved it.  He said all the right things.  I started to feel like I could trust a man again. It felt nice to be able to open up my heart if even just a little bit.  I was able to breathe easier knowing a decent guy was on my side. He expected nothing more from me than what I was.

     He told me I was beautiful and I believed him. He never mentioned my weight and touched me like he was touching a model in a magazine.  He never looked at other woman when we were out together; he only had eyes for me. Davey went with me Teresa’s wedding and we spent most every minute of our free time together.

     After we dated a little over a month I introduced him to my parent’s and my sister.  He met Addison and I met his little boy, Justin who was a year older than Addison.  He treated Addison kindly and always included her in activities he did with Justin when he would be home for visitations with his father.

      Davey moved in with us three months after we had started dating. He was currently living in a tiny, rundown apartment building across town and he spent so much time at my house it didn’t make sense for him to continue paying rent.  I am sure that people thought we were moving too quickly, a few of my friends mention that on occasion, but overall they really liked Davey and just wanted me be sure I knew what I was doing. They knew that I had been lonely and afraid I would be alone for the rest of my life.  My mom said very little because I think she was worried about that as well and she just wanted me to find someone who could take care of me and take some of the burden off of my shoulders.

      He stepped right into the role of man-of-the-house, maintaining areas that I had neglected. Paul was always offering to take care of things for me, but he had their house to maintain and his health wasn’t the best the last few years.  I didn’t want to take advantage and I had let some minor things go.  Davey cleaned the gutters and took care of the yard; he was always doing something around the house. He said he wanted to show me that he was useful; I already knew this and tried to tell him that I was appreciative of it.  For the first time in my life I wondered if this is what it felt like to be in love.

     The subject of marriage just happened. We never really talked much about it; it just seemed like the logical next step. It became less of an “If” topic and more of a “when” topic. 

~*~

      The day of our four month anniversary a pipe had burst at my mom’s and I went over to help her clean up. It looked as though it was going to be a very long day. While we were there, Addison broke a vase in the living room when she threw a stuffed animal across the room. Paul had simply asked her to pick up her toys, but since she hadn’t had a nap yet she was very grouchy. She believed she had Papaw Paul wrapped around her little finger, but when he laid the law down with her about the toys, she pitched a fit and threw the doll sending the vase crashing to the floor.
On our way home she had fallen asleep in the car and when I tried to wake her up to go in the house she had another meltdown in the driveway. I had to practically drag her in the house kicking and screaming. I would have pulled in the garage but Davey had a “project” in the works and I hadn’t been able to pull the car in for the last week.  

     I was losing my patience and I still had to fix supper before Davey got home. He never expected me to have supper waiting on him, but I enjoyed having it ready and spending “family time” together at the table. But I was beginning to think that “family time” was a bad idea tonight.
I stood at the counter buttering a piece of bread; dinner tonight would be simple, grilled cheese and tomato soup.  I heard the front door open and Davey stomping his boots on the entry rug.

     “Tess?”  He called from the entry hall.

     “In the kitchen,” I flipped the grilled cheese over in the pan.

     “Hey, how was your day? Where’s Addy?”

     “I’ve had better,” I laughed still attending to the grilled cheese, “she’s in her room. She needed a nap in the worst way.”

     I turned from the stove to give my attention to Davey. He looked like he had a rough day as well. His maintenance uniform was stained in something brown and he smelled faintly of gasoline. He came in for a kiss and I wrinkled my nose at the smell but I gave him a quick kiss.

     “I got something for you today,” he nonchalantly sat a silver gift bag on the island, “I am gonna get cleaned up for supper. It smells good.” He turned and walked down the hall.

     I wiped my hands off on the dish towel and reached over for the bag. I looked after him wondering if he meant for me to wait for him to return.  I sat the bag back on the counter and I finished making supper, pouring the soup in bowls and sitting them on the kitchen table.  I had heard the shower turn on, he would be about ten minutes so I called for Addy to come eat before it got cold.  I looked over at the bag again, still unsure what to do with it.  Addison had come running from her room.

    “I’m hungry!” She jumped on her chair and sat on her knees and grabbed her sandwich.

    “Be careful the cheese might still be hot.” I warned and set a glass of milk in front of her.

     Davey came into the kitchen, hair wet and dressed in a white t-shirt and blue sweatpants. He took his seat at the table and waited for me to take a seat. He noticed the bag still sitting on the counter.

     “You didn’t look in the bag?” He said taking a sip of soup.

     “I didn’t know if you wanted me to wait.”

     “No Babe, you can open whenever you want,” He smiled and continued to eat. Over dinner we exchanged stories about our days. I told him about the broken pipe and he asked if he should go over and take a look at it, I told him that Paul and Chris had already taken care of it.  He finished eating and got up put his dishes in the dishwasher and then helped me straighten the kitchen.  After I wiped the counters down and he turned the dishwasher on, he kissed my forehead and thanked me for supper then headed to his recliner in the living room.

    Neither of us mentioned the gift bag on the counter. I ran Addison’s bath and after getting her out I tucked her into bed. I read her a story, we sang one verse of the doughnut song and then I turned her light off and left the room. She was out in just a few moments.

    I walked into the living room and saw that Davey had fallen asleep in his chair watching Monster Garage.  I had hoped to open the gift bag with him but he was snoring and seemed too peaceful to wake. I headed to the kitchen to look into that silver bag. I couldn’t imagine what he would have gotten me. No one had ever just bought me something for the sake of buying me something.  He didn’t seem too overly excited about the gift so I figured that it may be a CD or maybe a book. I had mentioned the other day that there was a new book out I wanted, but I hadn’t thought he really heard me.  Chocolates, maybe it was chocolates. He knew I loved the caramel ones and even though I always used the excuse that I was dieting, I would buy a small bag from the candy store in the mall.

     I pulled the bag towards me and sat on the barstool. There was no tissue paper inside, but a smaller plastic silver bag inside that said Jarrel’s Jewelry on it. Oh, maybe they are earrings? Maybe diamond earrings, I had never owned a real pair of diamond earrings. Is he serious?  Jewelry is kind of a big deal, even if it is just a pair of earrings.  Jewelry is not the kind of gift that you just set down and say, “Get to it whenever.”  Jewelry is the kind of gift that the man stays there and watches you open because he wants to see the look of the woman’s face. That’s what all the jewelry store commercials on t.v. depicted anyway.
I opened the small plastic bag and pulled out a smaller cardboard box, the same color as both of the other bags. I pulled the top off of the cardboard box.  I sighed, another box. This was like one of those Russian doll games. I held the small dark blue velvet box in my hand and looked in the direction of the living room then back at the box.

     I slowly opened the box, the little hinge made a squeaking noise. My heart skipped a beat and my breath caught in my throat. “No…” I whispered to myself, it couldn’t be. …

     Sitting in the white velvet pillow lining was a yellow gold ring with a small diamond in the center and four small diamonds running down the band on each side and a thin yellow gold band that sat next to it. It was a wedding set. Not just a promise ring, but an entire wedding set.  I closed the lid, placed the velvet box in the cardboard box, the cardboard box back in the small plastic bag and the plastic bag pack into the silver gift bag.  I left it setting on the island and went to bed, leaving Davey in his chair.

CLICK HERE to continue on to Part 2, Chapter 6

Creative Commons License
Touching Trees by T L Lady is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at https://touchingtrees.wordpress.com.wouldn’t have her. So I stayed, I would make it to the year if it killed me. And it just might.

By posting content to this blog, you agree to transfer copyright to the blog owner.

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.


Touching Trees ~ Part 2 Chapter 5

TT Cover 2

     I slid the key in the lock and opened the driver’s side door. Chip pushed me aside and slid in the seat. He rummaged through the storage space between the two seats and popped the glove compartment open, pushing papers aside. He even looked in the back and under all of the seats.

“Pop the trunk,” He demanded.

“Get real, Chip, why would it be in the trunk?” I sat back on my heel.

“Just open the damn trunk like I said.” He walked to the back of the car and waited for me to push the release button by the steering wheel. I heard the ‘wa-hump’ of the trunk’s lock popping and the squeak of the hinges as he lifted the lid.

“Damn Tessa, what do you do vacuum the trunk?” He stared into the empty compartment; the only items were the spare tire, a small portable jack, a tire iron and a road side emergency kit Paul had purchased the last time he changed the oil.

“I told you I didn’t have the CD. I put everything of yours in the box I already gave you.” He slammed the trunk lid closed.

“I know you have it, so I want you to go home, find it and bring it back to me.” He crossed his arms, “Now.”

“No.” I couldn’t even believe that he was asking me to do that.
“No?” He uncrossed his arms and leaned towards me as if he hadn’t heard me right.

“No. What part of that are you confused about?”

“No?” He took a step towards me. I was getting tired of this back and forth thing.

“NO! I don’t have your fucking CD and even if I did I would have thrown it out!” I yelled out of exhaustion by ridiculousness of the situation.

He abruptly pushed me into the back of the car. Instinctively I used the keys in my hand as a weapon, jabbing them into his arm.

“Shit! You…bitch!” He grabbed his arm and inspected it to see if he was bleeding. He looked back at me and his hand went straight to my neck, the force was so strong that my feet left the ground as my body slid up the trunk of my car. I flashed back to Nicky’s hand around my neck and for a moment that’s whose face I saw staring back at me. I closed my eyes tight and opened them back up hoping that it wouldn’t be Nicky still standing there. When I opened my eyes, I was oddly relieved to see that it was Chip. When our eyes met, he released his grip and I slid back down the car’s trunk. I gasped in the night air, massaging my neck and still feeling the heat of where his hand pressed against my skin. He turned and walked towards his truck, got in, revved up the engine and peeled out spraying gravel over several of the cars parked nearby.

I bent over with my hand still around my neck, not believing what had just happened I started puking in the gravel. The more air I was able to breathe in the harder I puked. Unable to stand upright, I leaned over with my hands on my knees, crying. The tears burned in my eyes, I reached up and wiped my nose with my sleeve. When I was finally able to stand up straight, I  looked around to see if anyone had witnessed what had just occurred.

The door of the bar was fogged up and I could see the blurry image of Lisa but couldn’t make out who she was talking to. I slowly walked back towards the building, trying to compose myself.  When I opened the door Lisa’s eyes went directly to the red hand print that was imprinted around my neck. Her eyes narrowed at me and she already knew the answer to the question that came out of her mouth.

“What the hell happened to your neck?” She grabbed my arm to stop me in my tracks. I looked at her pleadingly to keep her voice down. I moved in closer to talk to her without others hearing what I said.

“It’s okay. He left, I’m fine” I assured her.

“No you’re not.” She still hadn’t let go of my arm.

“Please Lisa, he’s gone and I just want to let it go.” I tried hard to push the tears back and not start crying all over again. She released my arm and turned towards the door when it opened. Chip stepped back in and she stopped him before he got over the threshold.

“Where do you think you are going?” She asked him.

“To get a beer, you have a problem with that?” Oh crap. Lisa’s posture straighten which added another inch to her already towering height and she looked down at Chip’s balding head.

“Actually I do. Chip you are barred from here until I say you can come back. Is that clear?”

“You can’t do that!” he laughed, “Besides you don’t have a good reason too.” He stepped in further and she grabbed him by his arm.  He pulled it back trying to release her grip without success.

“I don’t need a reason. The only reason I need is that said you are barred.” Lisa looked over at one of the bouncers and nodded to him to come over, “Jose, I think that this gentlemen needs to memorize what the outside of this bar looks like. Would you mind giving him a tour?”

With that, Jose walked Chip out the door and this time Chip did not argue.

~*~

Two more years would pass. Lorene got remarried to a guy she met at the Kabooty after a short six-month relationship. Marta married Ben the year after that.  I caught the bouquet at both weddings. You know that whole thing where the girl that is the lucky one who catches the bouquet will be the next to fall in love and get married? Yeah, that’s a load of crap.

Laura had started coming around again after we ran into each other at Marta and Ben’s wedding. A new club had opened in town called Jupiter’s and we decided to check it out one weekend.  My neighbor Sandy, her sister Elena and a mutual friend of ours named Teresa tagged along.  It was a great night out. I had decided to be the designated driver because I hated the way I felt after a Saturday night of drinking.  I did feel like I had been out too much lately even though I only went out every other weekend, but I felt guilty about going to bars when I had a child.

“You’re allowed to have some fun Tess!” Lorene told me on the phone one night, “Just because you have a kid doesn’t mean you have to stop living! So stop feeling so guilty. Besides what else is there to do in this town? All we have are bars, churches and pizza places. The pizza places only have pizza and churches only have married men. Bars are all that are left!”

I laughed but it didn’t make me feel any better. I had finally reached a place where I wanted to settle down, find someone who would fall madly in love with me and I really wanted to start back to church without having someone holding rules over my head. To have a healthy Christian relationship with someone I could take care of and could take care of me, someone who wanted to get married. Was that too much to ask?  It seemed all of my friends were getting married and soon I would be the only single person left.

Being a single mom wasn’t easy. Sure I had help from my parent’s and Nicky’s parents and I was grateful that I still had a few more years before I had to deal with Nicky and the supervised visitations, but being a single mother was still hard.

I had a good feeling that things were going to start changing for the better. I hoped my feeling was right.

CLICK HERE to continue on to Part 1, Chapter 6

CLICK HERE if you are or someone you know is suffering from an eating disorder, there is help out there and you are not alone!

Creative Commons License
Touching Trees by T L Lady is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at https://touchingtrees.wordpress.com.wouldn’t have her. So I stayed, I would make it to the year if it killed me. And it just might.

By posting content to this blog, you agree to transfer copyright to the blog owner.

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.


Touching Trees ~ Part 1 Chapter 5

TT Cover 2

      Chip and I dated for six months. I was crazy about him and had no idea why. He only complemented me when it benefited him and he was always trying to find a new diet to put me on. He was rather obsessive about it and had me try every diet drug that was put out on the market. He was positive that chromium picolinate was the answer and had me taking three pills, four times a day.  I did lose some weight but not the amount he was hoping and I was eventually told by my doctor to quit taking them when I started having kidney problems. Chip took this as a sign of my weakness and accused me of wanting to stay overweight.

Before his obsessiveness about my weight started, he was actually the first person that I had sex with since Nicky. Nicky had never really been interested in pleasing anyone sexually but himself, so Chip’s eagerness to please me was new and exciting.  I had no idea at the time that I had never had an orgasm and the first time that I experienced one scared me to death. I had no idea that my body could act so uncontrollably. I wanted to laugh and cry at the same time. If I had to imagine what a high on drugs would be it would be that feeling.  I never complained when he wanted to please me.

But he ran so hot and cold and least with Nicky I knew what mood he was in on any given day, Chip’s moods changed minute to minute. One day he would be asking me why I hadn’t called him yet and telling me he missed me and loved me, the next day he would seem mad that I would call and then tell me I was suffocating him.  I never knew what to think. We would be in the middle of a phone conversation and everything would be going fine and he would just hang up. Thinking it was accidental I would call back and ask him what happened, he would tell me that he “was just done talking”.  Other times we would be sitting on the couch watching television, I would get up to go to the bathroom or to get drinks from the kitchen; I would come back and he would have left.  He would literally get in his truck and leave, no goodbye, no see you later, nothing. It was such strange and confusing behavior. We began arguing more often; it hadn’t gotten violent like it was with Nicky, but verbally he could overpower me with his words. He let me know that he was superior in intelligence. But with Chip I held my ground and only felt broken when he would comment on my weight and tell me that I didn’t have the want or desire to be as beautiful as he knew I could be. The way he said it made sense; he made it sound like what he said was the truth and if I believed anything else then I must be crazy.   He started telling me that he believed that maybe I had some mental issues and that I should seek help. He made me doubt myself and I did begin wondering if something was wrong with me.

He was at the house one evening while I was preparing dinner for Addison. I had just sat down at the table with her to watch her because she was learning to use utensils and I wanted make sure she didn’t stab herself or poke her eyes out.

“Is mommy’s girl eating with her spoon?” I would sing song to her; she would smile knowing that eating with her spoon was a good thing and she was proud.

“Why do you talk to her like that?” Chip asked.
“What do you mean? She’s a toddler. How should I talk to her?”

“Well you act like she is going to sit up and answer you.” He laughed and looked at me like I was an idiot.

“Well no, I don’t expect her to answer me. But she likes it when I talk to her.” I just shook my head and turned back to my daughter.

“People think you are nuts when you do that. I have seen them looking at you. Are you completely unaware of it? How stupid it makes you look?”

I didn’t answer and went back to paying attention to the baby. There were many instances that he would try to bend my mind and make me believe that people were staring at me. We would be out and he would lean in to whisper in my ear and tell me that some man or woman was staring at me in disgust.

“See, that guy over there. He thinks you’re disgusting.” Chip would act disgusted too, “Probably wondering what the hell I am doing with someone like you? Probably thinks I’m a chubby chaser.”
I was beginning to get that beat down feeling that I had with Nicky.  I was too afraid to leave; I was too worried that I would be alone for the rest of my life if I did.  I didn’t want another failed relationship. Chip reminded me often that if he wasn’t with me, no one else would want me. He was the only one with patience to put up with me and my “issues.”

One night as we were lying in bed he reached over and began caressing my face,

“You’re so pretty,” he said. It seemed to be a very tender moment and I was hopeful that he was going to say something sweet, “you are lucky to have me, you know that?”

I smiled thinking he was flirting, “Why is that?”
“Not many men would stay with a fat woman. You’re lucky I am here because I am so supportive of you and want to help you lose the weight.”

Damn.

~*~

The break-up was easier than I had expected. When I told him that I didn’t want to see him any longer he made sure that I knew he had already moved on.
“It’s all good, Baby. I’ve been fucking Nikki for a few weeks now. I just stayed with you because I felt sorry for you.” With that he hung up the phone.

Damn.

~*~

I picked the receiver up on the second ring, “Hello?” I answered out of breath. Addison was on the floor playing and I smiled and waved at her as I waited for the caller to speak.

“Is this Tessa?” asked the female voice on the other end.

“Yea, who’s this?” I didn’t recognize the voice.

“Nikki. I’m Chip’s girlfriend.” Are you kidding me?

“And…?” I didn’t have time for this.

“I just called to tell you that I hope you don’t have any hard feelings about Chip breaking it off with you. I mean you can’t help who you fall in love with right?”

Was this girl for real? I had seen her at the Kabooty flirting with all the guys. She always wore a tight white tank top, regardless of the weather, tons of eye shadow and her pitch black air was huge. Lorene joked about how she was a decade behind and that Nikki’s hair was a reject from 1988. I had to remind Lorene that we wore similar hair styles once upon a time. She would laugh and say, “yeah, but we’re hot!”

“Well, Chip didn’t break it off with me. I broke it off with him.” I corrected Nikki.

“He said you would say that.” I could hear her smirk through the phone line, “Anyway…no hard feelings right?”

“Yeah, whatever Nikki,” the conversation was boring me and I started to hang up when she began to speak again.

“I feel bummed for you though, I mean the sex with him is so good,” she put extra emphasis on the ‘so’ and followed the sentence with a nasally snort that I hoped was supposed to be a laugh, “and I hope this doesn’t hurt your feelings too bad, but I just thought you should know. He said that being in bed with you and seeing that wrinkly, fat body repulsed him. He said it was all he could do to get it up and he had to close his eyes and think of me just to get a hard on,” Nasally snort.

No, that didn’t hurt my feelings…maybe if she just twisted the knife a little to the left…

“Hey, Tess, where’s Marta and Lorene?” Lisa the Kabooty’s door checker asked as I walked in. Kip had picked Addison up early so I ran some errands and told Lorene that I would meet her there.

“Ben is taking Marta to the movies and Lorene is supposed to meet me soon,” I smiled at her. Lisa always had a smile on her pretty face.  She stood close to six feet tall and had a rock solid body, weightlifter solid. Men didn’t piss Lisa off if they knew what was good for them. She could bounce a biker out the door just as easily as any of the buff security guards that worked at the bar.  If I ever got in a fight I would want Lisa to have my back.
“You haven’t seen Chip and Nikki here tonight have you?” I asked. I didn’t want to run into them. Even though I was glad Chip and I were done, knowing that he had moved on before we were over still stung and so did the memory of the Nikki phone call.

“Nope, but I will warn you if he does show up. I always wondered what you saw in the weasely little prick.” The smile was replaced with a look of disgust.

I let out a little laugh and shrugged my shoulders. I hadn’t run into many people who were big Chip fans. Most of them would ask me why I was with him. I had no answer for them.
“I really have no idea. Hey I’ll talk to you in a bit, okay?” With that I walked over to a group of friends at the end of the bar.

Lorene showed up about twenty minutes later and we found a table close to the dance floor. It wasn’t long before our table was full from the weekend regulars and it was a good time talking to them and catching up. Lorene and I spent most of the night dancing, drinking shots and enjoying the music. A slow song came on and some random guy had asked Lorene to dance so I took that opportunity to head to the restroom and then to the bar to grab a beer. After I washed my hands and left the Ladies Room I saw Chip standing in his usual spot next to the non-functioning jukebox with beer in his hand. He was standing alone and Nikki was nowhere in sight. I pushed past the long line of women waiting to get into the restroom and I tried to avoid getting in his line of sight. It was hard to get past him and not be noticed, but if I could blend in a group I might be able to get to the safety of our table and Lorene.
I thought I was going to have success when I large biker guy walked between me and the door leading to the dance floor, but I was wrong.

“Tess!” I heard Chip yell across the room. I pretended I didn’t hear him and made a detour towards Lisa and the exit.
“Hey!” Lisa greeted me, “leaving already?” I could tell by the look on her face that she saw Chip behind me and understood my urgency to get out the door, “I’ll stall him.” She assured me as I pushed the door open and walked out into the night air.  I reached into my pocket and realized I left my keys and purse at the table.

“Shit! Shit, shit, shit!” I turned and looked back at the door. I could see Lisa through the glass; she was standing with her hand on Chip’s chest. She was talking to him with a smile on her face, but you could tell she was being stern. If I had to imagine what she was saying to him I would say she was reasoning with him why he should just let me leave. But I couldn’t leave; I was stuck standing in the parking lot.

“Damn it!” I huffed and started to walk across the gravel lot towards my car. I was about two rows from the car when I heard steps behind me on the loose gravel. I picked up my speed without bursting into a full run; but I would if I had to.

“Tess! Come on! I just want to talk to you!” The steps stopped. I kept walking, “Tess! Come back! Please,” He was still standing in the same spot.

I slowed my pace and turned around. He stood there and put his arms up palms out as if to say, ‘I give up’.  I stopped and leaned against someone’s Buick. I was too tired to keep going and my lungs were burning from the fresh air.  I had been breathing the smoke filled air of the Kabooty for the last few hours and my lungs were working hard to push out the bad air.  He walked slowly to where I stood.

“What do you want Chip?” I didn’t look up at him, “What could you possibly have to say to me?”

He stood and waited for me to look up at me. When I did I thought that I saw a glimmer of apology in his eyes. Or I hoped for one.

“I think I left my Cranberries CD in your car.” Seriously?
What?” I looked at him like he was out of his mind.

“Cranberries, you know? CD, Compact Disc?” He said compact disc slowly as if I were too dense to understand the concept. Granted I had yet to install the newest technology in my car, but he had me purchase a portable CD player with a cassette adapter so we could listen to his insanely large alternative music collection. He was almost as obsessed with his music as he was with my weight loss.
“I don’t have your CD Chip,” I said CD slowly to make my point.

“Well, I suppose you won’t mind me checking for myself then will you?” He crossed his arms and stood staring at me.
“I don’t have my keys, I left them inside.”
“I’ll wait. Go get them.” He leaned against a car.

I shook my head in disbelief and walked back towards the bar. When I opened the door and stepped in, Lisa stopped me.

“Are you okay?” She stood up and looked out seeing that he was still standing in the parking lot.

“Yeah, he just thinks he left a CD in my car or something.” I waved off her concern, “I’m going to get the keys and let him look for it.” She rolled her eyes and sat back down on her stool. I headed to the table to get my keys from my purse.

“Hey, where’d you go? I was looking for you.” Lorene ran off the dance floor when she saw me come down the ramp. Her hair was wet with perspiration from dancing.
“Chip’s here. I have to get my keys; he says he left a CD in my car and wants it back. Whatever.” I rummaged through my purse until I found my car keys.
“Where is the little fucker?” Lorene couldn’t stand Chip. She never could. Said he was slimy and gave her the willies.
“He’s out in the parking lot. Listen, I have to get out there. The sooner he gets the damn CD the faster I can get rid of him.”

“You want me to come with you?” She had had enough to drink that she was feeling tough and probably would have enjoyed a good fight.  I laughed at her alcohol induced bravery.

“Ha ha, no. Stay here I’ll only be a few.” I tossed the keys in the air and caught them, “Be right back.”

CLICK HERE to continue to Touching Trees ~ Part 2, Chapter 5

Creative Commons License
Touching Trees by T L Lady is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at https://touchingtrees.wordpress.com.wouldn’t have her. So I stayed, I would make it to the year if it killed me. And it just might.

By posting content to this blog, you agree to transfer copyright to the blog owner.

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.


Touching Trees ~ Part 1, Chapter 2

TT Cover 2

To get the most of this story, please begin with the Prologue, then on to Part 1 and 2 of Chapter 1

1993

My mother went with me to what I had hoped would be my last OBGYN visit. I was almost three weeks overdue and miserable. My weight had gone well past what was recommended. I had gained a total of seventy-five pounds but my doctors assured me with my past eating disorder, this weight gain was merely a safety precaution. They were positive that I would have no issues losing any of the weight. Boy, I proved them wrong! They encouraged me to eat whatever I wanted during the pregnancy and well, I did.
“Things look great, Mrs. Bloom. Nice strong heartbeat. Are you sure you don’t want to know the sex of the baby?” The nurse asked as she ran the wand over my stomach. What would be the point now? Everything we had purchased for the baby was yellow and mint green.
“No, I want it to be a surprise.” I smiled at her, “When can I talk to the doctor? I am so ready for this to be over with. I am way overdue.”
“He should be in shortly. I bet you are excited?” The nurse wiped the cold gel off of my stomach and slid the blood pressure cuff onto my arm, “Have you decided on any names?”
“A few, but none of them sound right. I guess I can’t get used to the idea that I have to give someone a name they will have forever. I just want to make sure it’s a good one.”
“Yes, a name is important; but what really amazes me that we can bring another human into the world. So naming it is the easy part.” She checked a few items off her clipboard, “Okay, I’m all done with you. The Doc should be in shortly.” She closed the door behind her as she left. I reached down and absently rubbed the still prominent knot on my leg.
“What happened there?” My mother asked lifting my pant leg. “Good God Tessa, what did you do?”
“It’s nothing Mom. You know how clumsy I am.” No, she didn’t know, but it sounded convincing when Nicky said it to his parents.
“Did you have a doctor look at this?” She asked still examining the busted blood vessels and the brownish edges that surrounded the deep purple bruise.
“No, I put some ice on it when I banged my shin. It hardly hurts at all anymore.” I lied. “Nicky said if it still looks bad in a week or so, we’ll see the doctor.” I lied again.
“Have Dr. Kirkson take a look at it when he comes in.” She encouraged as I pulled my pant leg down.
“Mom, no, really it is fine. Just let me get past giving birth and then I will worry about my little leg bump.” Just as I finished the sentence, Dr. Kirkson knocked and entered the examination room.
“Good morning Tessa, how are you feeling? Ready to get this baby out I bet?” That was an understatement.
“Yeah, you think it will be soon? I can hardly breathe. The baby is taking up every inch of space.” I stretched my back to emphasize my statement.
“Well, how about today?” He said writing in the clipboard and not looking up. That got my attention.
“Really? That would be awesome! When? Now?” I wasn’t about to give him a chance to change his mind.
“As soon as you can get over to the hospital and get checked in and start the inducement.” He finally looked up and smiled at me.
“Okay!” We finished up the details of what I should expect. How the inducement would proceed, how long I could be in labor and so forth. Reality was beginning to sing in that I could be a mom in less than twenty-four hours.

~*~

“For God’s sake, how long is this going to take?” Nicky paced the floor next to my bed. For someone who didn’t think this baby was his, he was certainly anxious for its arrival. “Can’t you do something to speed this up?”
The nurse looked at Nicky as if to ask, “Are you serious?” I looked at the nurse as if to say, “Yes, he is.” She shook her head and left the room.
“Will you sit down Nicky, you are making me nervous.” His mother chastised him. He was making me nervous too. The shot they had given me was working, the labor pains intensified and since we never bothered to take Lamaze classes (that would require me to leave the house in be in the presence of men), I wasn’t sure how to breathe to ease the pain. I was so ready for the epidural.
The room was full of people. My mom, my sister, Nicky and his mom; Kip and Paul came in and out, my obvious pains made them uneasy. On occasion everyone would be asked to leave the room when the nurse would come in to check my dilation; but for the most part they were all there.
The on-call doctor, Dr. Russell came in the last time to check my dilation before he announced that he would be breaking my water soon. I was very disappointed that he was here and would be the one to deliver. He had no bedside manner and he was very rough when examining me. Even through his gloves I could tell he needed to trim his nails. Every time he got near me I wanted to kick him when he scratched me.
Within the half hour he and a nurse returned with a rolling tray containing medical tools. He made himself comfortable at the end of the bed and was rough when he grabbed me by my hips and pulled me closer. I begged silently for him to be off duty when the time came to deliver.
He reached over to the cart and pulled out what looked like a very long crochet needle and proceeded to explain what he was doing. At this point the room was still full of relatives that also now included Nicky’s cousin Bret and his wife Amy and their two children. I looked over at my mom who sat in a chair to my right and gave her the pleading look to get everyone out. She stood up to ask everyone to leave when Fannie walked over and leaned in behind the doctor and bent down to see what he was doing. I had had just about enough!
“No!” my voice raised and everyone stopped talking and looked at me, “No! You are not watching this!” I looked directly at her and she knew I meant business, “The only people I want in here from now on until I say otherwise, is the doctor, nurse, my mom and Diana. Everyone else needs to leave.”
“What about me, you can’t kick me out.” stated Nicky.
“Oh yes I can. Everyone goes, except those four.” I stared him down. He was not going to bully me here. He stomped out of the room behind everyone else. The doctor proceeded with the procedure. My mom squeezed my shoulder to show she was glad I had stuck up for myself. I would be glad of it only for a short time. I knew the price that I would pay for my short-lived bravery.

~*~

After the procedure was done, I thought that the labor would go much quicker. It actually seemed to slow down. My little breakdown didn’t seem to faze Nicky at all. He came back in when I allowed and treated me more tenderly than he had in a long time. He sat next to my bed asking me if I needed anything. Could he get me ice chips? Did I need an extra pillow? Was my bed positioned right? Could he rub my back or feet? He was starting to freak me out just a little bit. This was not the normal Nicky I had known the last six months.
“The basketball game comes on soon, do you want to watch it or something else sweetie?” He asked looking through the television guide as I adjusted myself to a more comfortable position. The family had finally left when it got dark and the snow started falling. We were expected to get up to two inches before midnight and they wanted to get home before the roads got slick.
“The basketball game will be just fine.” I actually did like the college basketball games, considering we lived in the college town of our favorite team, it almost seemed sacrilegious to miss it.
He stayed at my side during the entire game, continuously asking if I needed anything, checking the monitors I was hooked to, asking the nurses tons of questions, like if there was anything they could give me for the pain. He presented himself as the perfect husband, attentive and loving. I was still trying to figure out if it was sincere or an act for the staff and family. Then I felt guilty for being suspicious. Maybe I should give him the benefit of the doubt. But I just couldn’t get over the happenings between us since right before the wedding and until now. I was torn between hoping that my husband had finally seen the light and admitting that he knew without a shadow of a doubt that the baby was his and I wasn’t a horrible nothing.

~*~

The nurse came in and woke me up around 6:30 a.m. to take my vitals and check my dilation. I looked over at the empty chair where I had last seen Nicky asleep by the end of the basketball game.
“He said he would be back in a bit,” the nurse said when she saw my wondering expression, “said he needed to make a phone call.”
I wondered who he would be calling so early in the morning. He had arranged with work to be off for the next week. They knew that I could have the baby at any time, so he requested the time off as soon as I called him from Doctor Kirkson’s and told him they were sending me to the hospital.
“Hey babe, you’re awake?” He said as he came in a half hour later and kissed me on the forehead, “How’re ya feeling?” Who is this man?
“Yeah, the nurse came in and I just figured I would stay up. They will just be back to do it over in an hour“, I smiled at him and he smiled back, “Where were you?”
“I had to call work. I forgot to tell them something about an order that was coming in first thing this morning.” He said it like it was true. So I didn’t doubt him.
“Oh, cool.” I felt a quick pain in my back and tried arching to relieve it. I reached back unsuccessfully to rub it out when my mom came in the room.
“You should see the snow out there! Everyone was driving so slowly!” She took her coat off and shook it out before hanging it on the hook by the bathroom. Noticing my discomfort she came over to my side, “Are you okay? How are the pains?” She rubbed the spot I was trying to reach and it felt amazing.
“Painful” I chuckled. I had tried to be conscious of how I talked to the nurses and everyone around me during my labor pains, but I am sure that a few times I snapped at them. My patience level went well below negative zero during a labor pain.
I looked over at the monitor that Nicky and I had both been watching with great interest all evening. My vital signs were on top and it would spike up whenever I was having a labor pain, the baby’s vital line were below mine and would peak similarly but not as much. Another labor pain came on and I noticed that even though my line spiked the baby’s line went way down. I panicked a little.
“Nicky? Come look at this?” I motioned him over to the machine. He picked the paper that was slowly coming from the printer and studied. “What do you think that is?”
“I don’t know. Are you in bad pain?” He asked still looking at the paper.
“No more than usual. Can you go ask a nurse?” I sat up straighter in bed. He nodded and started towards the door. Suddenly the door opened and several nurses rushed in past Nicky. He stumbled back as the nurses talked hurriedly amongst themselves and the orderlies.
“What’s going on?” both Nicky and I asked repeatedly. No one answered us. Three orderlies quickly lifted me from the bed using the sheet corners, slid me on a gurney and began pushing the gurney towards the door. I repeatedly begged for them to tell me what was happening.
“Tessa, the baby is in distress. We need to get him out at soon as possible” Dr. Kirkson thankfully appeared next to the gurney as they rushed me down the hospital corridor. I was so happy he made it in time. People who were in the halls jumped back making room for us to get through when the gurney suddenly slammed into a ladder in the hall almost sending maintenance man to the floor.
“Whoa!” yelled one of the orderlies, “keep it steady!” I could hear my sister Diana asking the nurse medical questions and telling Nicky to calm down, it would be fine. Forever the nurse, even when she’s not on duty. I wondered when she had gotten here. My mind was racing with all kinds of questions. Where is my mom? I want my mom! Will they let Nicky in the room with me? Why is the baby in distress? They shouldn’t have let me go so long, they should have done this a week ago! I watched the fluorescent lights on the ceiling whiz by as we rushed down the corridor.
I was pushed through double doors and I heard an orderly tell Nicky, “Sorry Mr. Bloom, no one past this point. Someone will be out soon to give you an update.”
I was lifted off of the table and laid on what looked like a cross. They strapped my wrists to the table. I begged them not to do that; it scared me to not have that mobility of my arms. They didn’t seem to listen to me, but kept working around me. No one explained anything to me. I could hear Dr. Kirkson’s gentle voice but couldn’t see him.
“Dr. Kirkson? Dr. Kirkson? What’s happening? Please tell me.” I was crying hard and I could feel myself starting to hyperventilate. I felt his hand on my shoulder and he looked down at me. I could only see his eyes through his glasses, his face was covered with a surgical mask, but his gaze was kind when he explained what was happening.
“Tessa, dear. The baby’s heart rate has gone way down. Dangerously down. We need to get him out right now. He is just worn out; the labor was just coming along way too slow. He just gave up. We are going to get him out now, it won’t take very long. But I need you to be calm and trust me okay?” His words calmed me, but only a little, “Pretty soon you’ll be waking up to a beautiful son or daughter. Do you trust me?” His eyes were so kind, I believed he wouldn’t lie to me. I nodded my head and let the anesthesiologist place the mask over my mouth and nose.
“Okay, Tessa, count to ten for me…” One…two…three…

~*~

“Mrs. Bloom? You have a beautiful baby girl.” I couldn’t open my eyes, but I am fairly sure I heard an angel say it.

~*~

“Oh Tess, she’s so pretty.” My sister gushed over the baby as she held her. She was a big baby, weighing in at nine pounds, ten ounces and she was twenty-one inches long. Her face was round and pudgy. She wrinkled her forehead like she was in deep thought. Her eyes were the clear blue color of Nicky’s and she had his chin. He couldn’t deny her if he wanted. She had my bow lips and my flaxen hair. She was perfect.
“You should have seen him, Tess. When those doors closed in his face, it was awful. He just dropped to his knees. He cried.” She ran her finger down the baby’s nose and lips as she retold the story of when the orderly wouldn’t let Nicky follow me into surgery.
“Cried? Nicky?” I felt horrible. Maybe he really did love me.
“Yea.” She patted the baby and rocked her when she started to fuss. She put her nose to Addison’s head and breathed in, “oh, I love the smell of babies. It doesn’t get any better than this.”

~*~

“Good morning Mrs. Bloom. We need to get you up and walking around.” The nurse came in to help get me mobile before I could go home. She helped me swing my legs off the side of the bed and put slippers on my feet. I slowly put on the robe that my mom brought me and pulled myself into an upright position using the IV pole, “Now take it slow, and don’t overdo it the first day.”
She smiled at me and went back to writing in the chart at the end of my bed. I took steps towards the window to look out at the snow that had fallen the night before Addison was born. My room looked out over the visitor parking lot. Large mountains of snow stood on each corner where the snow plows had kept busy clearing the lot. I caught sight of our car, a red Honda Civic sitting close to the entrance.
Nicky’s here? I wondered to myself. I could tell that the car was still running by the exhaust coming from the pipe in the cold winter air. Why is he just sitting out there? A grey jeep pulled up next to our car and I saw a small blonde with hot pink earmuffs and a neon green parka vest jump out of the driver’s side door. As she was walking around the front of the jeep, I noticed Nicky get out of our car and met her in front of both vehicles. They stood very close to one another. She talked with her hands. They never stopped moving, and she touched him often when she spoke.
Her head went back in a laugh and I could see her breath in the cold air. She laid her hand on his chest and he put his hand over hers. His next action made my stomach come up into my throat. He put his hand on her face and pulled her to his mouth. It was a passionate kiss. Not a peck, but a deep passionate kiss. Right there in the hospital parking lot of the hospital where I just gave birth to our daughter, the same daughter that we almost lost.
When I woke up from the surgery, Dr. Kirkson came in to assure us that Addison was just fine. That they got to her just in time. When they delivered her she wasn’t breathing and had no signs of a heartbeat; but they managed to bring her to and that only time would tell if there were any lasting effects of the lack of oxygen. But as far as they could tell, she was very healthy.
I had to look away from the scene transpiring in the parking lot and turned towards the nurse who was straightening the bed.
“Are you okay sugar?” My paled expression must have alarmed her, “Do you need to rest?” I hadn’t gone far enough to rest, but I did have the urge to crawl back in the bed and never get out.
“No, no, I’m fine. Do you think it would be okay if I walked in the hallway just a bit?” I said walking in that direction before she had time to answer.
“Sure, just let me follow you with a wheelchair”, she grabbed a chair and followed me out the door. I got halfway down the corridor when I saw my Mom, Diana and Chris getting off the elevator. I smiled at them.
“Hey, hey! Look who is up and at ‘em!” Chris said carry a big stuffed rabbit in his arms.
“Nice bunny you have there,” I said and tweaked the bunny’s nose.
“Yep, you think she will like it?” He turned the rabbit to look at it and straighten the big pink bow around its neck.
“Sure, when she can focus her eyes, I am sure she will love it.” I laughed and realized I no longer wanted to walk. I turned and my Mom and the nurse were talking about the perfume my mom was wearing and where the nurse could buy that particular brand. “I think I better sit down.”
“Sure, sure! Here have a seat and we’ll get you back to your room. Maybe you could just sit up in the chair for a while. Okay?” Diana took over the chair so the nurse could get back to her station and pushed me back to my room as the rest of my family followed.
Chris walked over to the window to sit the rabbit amongst the balloons and vases of flowers that had trailed in since I checked in to the hospital and flooded in once Addison arrived. I felt the need to keep Chris away from the window, I didn’t know if Nicky and the mystery lady was still making out in the parking lot.
“Hey! Chris, dude!” Nicky strolled in at that moment carrying a bouquet of pink carnations. He walked over and shook Chris’ hand, “How’s it hanging?” What a jerk. I rolled my eyes and looked towards the window.
“Hey Bloom,” Chris could never get used to saying ‘Nicky’. Who could blame him really?

Nicky went through the motions of the loving husband, even after everyone who had visited throughout the day had left. He continued asking if I was comfortable, if I needed anything, he kept acting perfect. But this time I didn’t feel guilty for wondering if he was sincere. I knew that it was an act and in this play, I was playing the fool.

CLICK HERE to continue to Touching Trees ~ Part 2, Chapter 2

Creative Commons License
Touching Trees by T L Lady is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at https://touchingtrees.wordpress.com.

By posting content to this blog, you agree to transfer copyright to the blog owner.

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.


Touching Trees ~ Part 2, Chapter 1

cropped-tt-cover-2.jpg
To get the most out of this story please start with the Prologue, then Part 1, Chapter 1

      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

Creative Commons License
Touching Trees by T L Lady is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at https://touchingtrees.wordpress.com.

By posting content to this blog, you agree to transfer copyright to the blog owner.

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.


Touching Trees – Part 1 ~ Chapter 1

TT Cover 2

To Get the most out of this story, please start with the Prologue Entry.

Chapter One

     Why is it that I don’t feel forty-two? I mean, how am I supposed to feel? At some point shouldn’t I feel like an adult and not some lost, love-starved nineteen-year-old girl? I should have matured in the love department, gained some wisdom over the years. But I haven’t. I don’t think so anyway. My name is Tessa Bloom and I am a professional single person.
By that, I don’t mean that I am a professional person who is single but a person who is a professional at being single. This is not by choice, but by destiny it seems. I am a woman who can attract a man, but can’t keep a man. Oh, they say they have fallen in love with me. They say that I am perfect for them. They say I am beautiful, smart, funny, bubbly, and intelligent. I have heard it all. But one thing that they can all agree on is that they can’t commit to me. So, you are probably wondering why? Well…so am I.
Do I want to be single? Well, no. As long as I can remember I have always wanted to be married. I had the same dream every young girl has. You know the one, meet the perfect guy, have a beautiful wedding, get the house with the white picket fence, have a few kids while keeping the perfect body and live happily-ever-after because you would never, ever get divorced the way your parents did.
When did I finally realize that wasn’t going to happen? Maybe two hours after my marriage to Nickolas (Nicky) Bloom began or maybe the day after I filed for divorce, one year later, because I couldn’t compete with a woman named Hope and I wanted to live to see our daughter grow into a woman. Or, maybe I realized I was meant to be single after the six years it took me to meet husband number two, David Sooner. Or maybe it was a year into that marriage when I realized that Davey was a sex addict who spent more time on the internet porn sites than with his wife or the two years later that when again, I was forced to file for divorce because while I was on a school trip with my daughter, Davey was on a field trip in our bed with a woman named Kathy. It could have been a year into an on-again-off-again relationship with Waylon Baxter that spanned six wasted years. But more than likely it was at the end of that six-year-relationship when I found out that the one man that I thought would never cheat me had been talking and texting with a woman named Breena for the last two years. He said she was just a “friend” that he knew from school. They must have been really good friends. Maybe it was the men I dated in between those relationships who tried to “fix” me for being overweight or not being like their exes…who knows.
But then I met Tommy. Tommy Monroe is my tree. So if I couldn’t make it with Tommy, maybe I was destined to be single. Because my branches are all twined around him and he isn’t standing next to me anymore.

     For years I settled. I settled for mediocre. Not necessarily mediocre for someone else, just for me. I just think I wasted a lot of years convincing myself that the man that was in front of me was the man that I was supposed to be with. I was so afraid of being alone, that I just settled. Don’t get me wrong, on some level I loved them all, in some strange way. But Tommy wasn’t a “right now love”, or “a good love”, he was a “great love.” You know the one that when you close your eyes and try to imagine your life without them, it hurts to the core? Yeah, it’s that kind of love.

Rewind: 1992

     Nicky was cute. I mean really cute. We were in our early twenties and we were both a little wild. He likes to tell people another story, that I was the only wild one in our relationship but I sat back and watched him party hard many, many times. You see we met where no two people should ever find a potential husband or wife…in a bar. Like I said we were both young, hot and liked to dance. Every weekend my two friends, Marta and Laura and I would head out to a local dance club called The Homerun and that is just what every single (and some not-so-single) girl or guy would try to find: someone to hit that homerun with. It was the place to be on a Saturday night and we three girls were the hot regulars that the bartenders knew by name and who never permitted to pay for drinks. Either the cute bartenders offered them to us or a guy would send the drinks to our table. I left the house with a twenty dollar bill and I came home with a twenty dollar bill, unless it was my turn to pay for gas and back then that was a mere five dollars.

Laura was the first to notice Nicky. He was sitting at the table behind us with his friend Chuck, a short, pudgy guy who still had acne and wore thick glasses; but Chuck had a great smile and an awesome sense of humor, he could make any woman laugh and blush. Nicky was tall, blond and tan. He had perfect white teeth and he was dressed better than most of the woman in the club. He was an Adonis and he knew it. The night Laura caught sight of him I wasn’t paying much attention to anyone, let alone any man. I had spent a few weeks in the hospital receiving treatment for an eating disorder that I had been suffering from for several years. While there I was made to gain fifteen pounds to my one hundred five pound frame five foot four inch frame before I was allowed to go home. I did so, but not pleased about it. I knew that the weight loss was getting out of control, but I was still not over being ridiculed in school as being a chubby girl at one hundred twenty pounds and over a guy I had dated that kept telling me, “You know if you just lost fifteen more pounds, you would be perfect.” I look back at pictures now and wonder what in the hell was I thinking? I was so thin! But that evening I was not in the mood to be on the hunt for men, I was feeling sorry for myself and feeling fat (I would love to go back in time and smack myself and then smack that guy who wanted me to lose fifteen pounds!).
After several drinks Laura decided to make her move on Nicky and Marta and I had bets on whether he would take her bait. I thought absolutely, Laura was beautiful and she had a domineering personality that most men were afraid to say “no” to. Marta thought that Nicky would say no thanks and that Chuck would make his move on her then. Let’s just say I went home with twenty-five dollars that night. It looked like Nicky and Laura only had eyes for each other, and the night ended with them exchanging numbers and a brief but intimate kiss outside the car. As the designated driver I tapped the steering wheel impatiently ready to head home to my nice warm bed and Marta sat in the back sighing at another night of not meeting her knight in shining armor.
The following Saturday evening we made plans to meet Nicky, Chuck and Chuck’s sister Sarah at the club. Nicky and Laura danced a few fast ones and then a slow one came on and it looked like things were getting pretty cozy. Suddenly Laura looked over at our table. Laura’s head went back in a “what?!” at something that Nicky had said to her. In two seconds she had stepped back, looked at him in disgust, looked at our table and back then back at him again. She walked away from him and back to our table mid song and flung herself into her chair.
“What the hell happened? Did he say something offensive?” I asked her completely concerned that my friend had been offended by some sex-craved insensitive jerk. Marta leaned in curious as I was. Laura’s facial expression was calm, but her eyes looked intensely wild.
“He wanted to know if my friend was single.” I looked over at Marta. He was interested in Marta? Well good for Marta! Not to be mean, but when Marta went out on the town with Laura she usually ended up being the third wheel. This should help boost Marta’s self-confidence, she could use a little.
Marta was a very pretty girl, but next to Laura with her perfect blond hair, perfect body and witty personality, Marta’s dirty blond hair, small breasts and shyness didn’t really attract the men that hung out at the club. Marta would do better to find her future husband at a church event, sporting event or a party at a friend’s house.
“Marta!” I whispered at my shy friend, “Did you hear that? He wants to know if you are single!” It may seem insensitive that I would dismiss Laura’s obvious disgruntlement of the situation; but Laura had had her fair share of men. It was only fair that Marta got her chance at a good looking guy.
“No you dimwit! Not Marta! You!” She whispered louder than necessary. Me? He was asking about me? I turned and scanned the room. I saw Nicky standing at the bar talking to Jason, the bartender on duty. Just before I turned back to my friends he looked my direction, smiled and lifted his to me. What an ass, I thought to myself. I hadn’t given him any reason to even look my direction.
“Well, forget it.” I said folding the corner of my cocktail napkin, then quickly using it to wipe up the condensation that was dripping from my bottle of beer. “What happened with you two? Things looked like they were going really well. What did you say to him?” I said almost angrily.
“I didn’t say a damn thing Tess. I guess I just assumed that he was really into me. I guess bringing you into every conversation we had on the phone this week should have clued me in. I mean that kiss last weekend seemed to say, ‘I really like you’.” Laura actually looked lost for a moment. She wasn’t used to rejection. I hate to admit it, but got a little satisfaction from this.
“Are you mad at me?” It occurred to me at that moment that she could be, “I honestly had no idea Laura, I swear!”
“I know! I know! No, it’s okay. God, this sucks!” Laura reached into her purse and pulled out her lipstick and quickly retouched her lips.
“Sucks for whom, Laura?” Marta spat out suddenly. She had been so quiet the last ten minutes I had forgotten that she might have had her hopes up that it was finally her night. “I mean seriously Laura? It must really suck for someone like you, who walks into a room and every man within a fifty-foot radius drops at your feet like your some freaking goddess?” Oh shit. Marta was mad!
“What?” Laura put her hand to her chest and put on her best ‘who me?’ look she could muster.
“It must be so hard for you to have men throwing themselves at you left and right! Is it so hard for you to see that maybe, just maybe some hot guy might actually think that Tessa or even I could be attractive enough?” Marta was tearing up her napkin as she talked, tearing and tearing into teeny tiny pieces.
“It’s okay Marta, I’m not interes…” I began to say I wasn’t interested in being sloppy seconds, but reconsidered that I might actually hurt Laura’s feelings if I finished that sentence. Luckily, Marta cut me off mid-way.
“No, Tess! Laura has to be told that she isn’t the only goddess at this table.” With that Marta stood up, grabbed her drink and walked over to Chuck and his sister. “Chuck? Would you like to dance with me?”
Chuck flashed his smile, handed his beer to his sister and led Marta to the dance floor. Laura and I just stared blankly in their direction trying to put together the pieces of what we had just witnessed. Laura looked back down at the table, than calmly spoke to me.
“Tessa,” she said without looking at me, “I knew last weekend that he was interested in you. I just chose to not see it. I really wanted him to like me. So I ignored him when he first asked me about you.”
“It’s really okay Laura, I wouldn’t want to be with someone who used my friend to get to me anyway”
“That’s not what he did. When I went over to ask him to dance and he said yes, he asked about you right away. I told him that you had just broken up with your boyfriend and you were kind of on this whole ‘I hate men’ roll right now” She looked up at me sheepishly knowing that what she told his was not true, and she waiting to see if smoke would roll out of my ears. I chuckled.
“Really?” I looked over at Chuck and Marta who had finished their dance and were now leaning in to one another at his table talking back and forth. “Well, that’s… well, that just kind of sad Laura.”
“Are you mad at me?” Laura looked so pathetic and beautiful at the same time. She really did make me sick sometimes.
“No, but this does mean one thing.” I said pulling my compact out of my purse and checking my face and hair.
“What’s that?” Laura asked.
“It means I am going over there and letting him buy me a drink.”

~*~

     “Hey Jace.” I smiled at the bartender.
“Hiya Tess, what can I get you?” Jason asked as he took money from a tall red headed girl sitting at the bar.
“Whatever he is buying me” I turned and flashed a smile at Nicky.

~*~

     “Are you absolutely sure?” Nicky asked sitting on the couch. I sat on the floor, my face red from crying. We had been dating for four months and had started talking about moving into an apartment together; but this was something that we hadn’t planned so soon into the relationship.
“Yes” I croaked out the word in a hoarse whisper.
“Let me see it” He said taking the stick from me and staring at it like the pink line would magically disappear if he stared at it long enough.
The next few months were a blur. I went from being crazy about this guy to wondering what in the heck I was doing with him. And I had agreed to marry him. It wasn’t your traditional marriage proposal. It wasn’t the romantic proposal every woman dreams of.

“Well, I guess we have to get married.” he said as he took a bite of his pizza. It was so matter-of-fact to him. He was more engrossed in the slice of pizza his was consuming then of the life changing decision we were making.
“I guess.” I looked around the restaurant to see if anyone was aware of what was happening at our table. “We don’t have to I guess. If you don’t want to I mean, we can just get the apartment we looked at and live together,” He stopped eating and looked at me like I had sprouted an extra eye.
“Yes we do! What will people think? Seriously, my parents would just crap. We are getting married. Case closed.” He said ‘case closed’ so that meant ‘case closed’.
“All right. So when?” I put my half eaten piece of pizza down, I had lost my appetite. His attitude took on a different form, he perked up and smiled.
“Anytime you want sweetie. How about an outdoor wedding? Wouldn’t that be nice? Something small and simple. Claire can make the wedding cake and Donna and James can sing. The minister that married my parents can marry us. Won’t that be great?”

To be continued…will Tessa go through with wedding? What will marriage to Nicky be like? Is he her tree? Will he give her what she needs to let her branches grow?

CLICK HERE to continue Touching Trees ~ Part 2 Chapter 1

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Touching Trees by T L Lady is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at https://touchingtrees.wordpress.com.

By posting content to this blog, you agree to transfer copyright to the blog owner.

© 2013 Copyright Tracy L Lady, Touching Trees. Includes all pictures and text within.

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.


Touching Trees – A Story of One Woman’s Journey to Find Love and Survive.

TT Cover 2

PROLOGUE

      Years ago I would drive to work each morning and back home each night and I would pass by an area of town that was being developed into commercial businesses. An area that had been mostly woods was being cleared for buildings, and the only trees that remained where two tall trees that stood side-by-side at the edge of the construction. Each day I passed, I would seek them out.  They intrigued me. Day after day, month after month, both trees stood there, so tall, they were the same height and neither had many leaves.  They looked wise. You could tell that they had been growing for many, many years. The reason these two trees demanded my attention each day was how they leaned into one another, the tops of their branches entwined with each other as if they were holding hands.

The romantic in me imagined that these two tall trees that had grown up side-by-side for so many years and were now realizing that they could soon be parted as the home they had always known was rapidly changing from a green wooded retreat to grey concrete buildings, parking lots and light poles. They were holding onto one other for dear life. One last touch before they too were removed to make more room for a concrete jungle.
I passed these two trees for years and each day I thought maybe they had been spared of the destruction of nature that had surrounded them. Maybe, the developers had cut down all of the trees they had planned to and that these two old souls were left to continue out their lives clinging to one another.
Touching Trees is what I began calling them, Touching Trees. Could two trees be connected the way that human’s souls connect with each other?  Could two trees connect with each other on a level that no human can understand? Do they depend on one another to survive? I didn’t know, but it was a comforting thought.
They touched in a way that I would imagine two people would cling to their soul mate to survive. Surviving for one another so the other wouldn’t have the fear of dying alone. Two old souls holding on to one another, desperately grasping for the other; afraid to let go, holding onto that feeling of passion and love and fearing that the moment they were it would suddenly disappear.
You know the feeling I am talking about? The feeling of the first touch of his hand to your face, his fingers caressing your cheek and his fingers making their way into your hair. The passion of when he grasps your hair in his hand and he kisses you, the moment that the anticipation of that first kiss sucks the air right out of your lungs, yet you can still breathe. You can feel your heart beating out of your chest and you are sure that if anyone were around they could hear the loud thump, thump, thump. Every part of your body suddenly wakes up and does a crazy dance you haven’t been able to do since you were a teenager.  A dance that you are afraid will suddenly end and you close your eyes tightly willing the music to keep playing longer.

He pulls away just far enough that he can see your eyes and he smiles a wicked little smile, and you know in your gut that he is feeling that same crazy dance of nerves. You take in the sweet intoxicating smell of his breath and you cling to each other. You’re both clinging to one another, holding on to each other, you can’t get close enough; you can’t press into each other enough. You feel like if you could just press into one another hard enough, you could actually become one person. It makes you feel frustrated and crazy at the same time, because it has never, ever felt this right just to hold someone.
You are two touching trees afraid that if your branches stop touching, the feeling will go away, that one of you will disappear and that frightens you. Will you ever feel this feeling again? Will you continue to feel this wonderful? Is this one man the only who will make you feel this young and excited for the rest of your life? Is this person your other tree?
You question whether the passion with that person is just a physical thing or is it something greater? Is it like the passion that two trees have? Is it a soul mate thing or just a sexual thing? Is it love or just sex?
I took a job that didn’t allow me to drive the same road every day to pass my two trees. When I did drive that road, I looked for the trees. They stood there for a few years longer and I assumed that they would still be there, eventually they didn’t cross my mind as often.

One afternoon not too long ago, I was driving and a song came on the radio that reminded me of someone who I had fallen very much in love with and that question popped into my head, “Will this feeling always be here?” And then I thought of my trees.  I went out of my way that day and drove the road to them. When I came to the spot where they had always faithfully stood, I saw that only one of the two remained.
She stood there alone, still leaning into where her mate once stood. My heart ached for her. Wondering how long had she stood there alone and how long would she last without him?  Was she strong enough to stand there without their branches touching, giving each other strength? Would she get so lonely, that the few green leaves she had left would fall, her limbs dying one by one until she would rot away? I actually cried, feeling her loss as if it were my own and feeling a twinge of guilt for not coming sooner, as if that would have made a difference.
She stands there on the edge of the highway, looking over the parking lot of a car dealership. She stands there all alone, but I wave at her as I drive by.  In the spring, her leaves will return, not as full as the other, younger trees that you can see in the distance, but I know she still has some life left in her.  She still leans towards the ghost of her mate, her branches twisted in a way that if he still stood next to her, they would be entwined. Maybe she doesn’t stand alone as long as his spirit is there. One thing is for sure, her mate had to leave her, but she still survives.

The Story of Tessa Blooms follows with
Touching Trees ~ Part One of Chapter One

Continue reading about how she seems to attract all the wrong men in her search to find her “Soul Tree” Is she destined to stand alone? Will her branches fall away or will she continue to survive?

Creative Commons License
Touching Trees by T L Lady is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at https://touchingtrees.wordpress.com.

By posting content to this blog, you agree to transfer copyright to the blog owner.

© 2013 Copyright Tracy L Lady, Touching Trees. Includes all pictures and text within.