Davey came in and sat at the island while I poured the hot water off of the eggs I had boiled in preparation for Easter. I sat them in the sink and ran cold water over them.
“Did you have a good day, HungLikeAHorse69?” I asked nonchalantly. I didn’t have to turn around and look at him, I felt the air leave the room. I turned off the water and stared down at the eggs.
“What?” he asked, but in a voice that was almost a whisper. I turned and looked at him, my arms crossed in front of me. I stared at him waiting for him to read my mind, “Have you been spying on me?” He asked not looking at me.
“Excuse me? Spying on you?” My hands went to my hips, “Spying on you? Why do you think I would have a reason to spy on you?”
He finally looked up at me, I could tell in his eyes that he was going to turn this around and make it my fault. I just knew it.
“What were you doing? Snooping around on the computer?” His voice had gotten louder. Here it came. He started in on how I never gave him sex; that he had to beg for it and that was the reason he had to look to websites for it. That he wouldn’t need those movies if I was more receptive to trying new things. That is why he brought home the toys and movies, to make me a better wife, a better lover. That I should look at those things as learning tools and not think of them as disgusting. Society made them disgusting, he said, made people think they were dirty. They weren’t dirty, he said. He went on and on, trying to convince me that if I just tried some of the things he wanted me to do, he wouldn’t need the websites.
My eyes rolled into the back of my head and it felt as if my tongue had swelled. The room started to blur, I staggered to the kitchen chair, but missed and landed on the floor on my knees. I used both of my hands to hold me up, as vomit streamed from my mouth.
“Tess! What’s wrong. Shit! What’s wrong?” I could hear Davey’s voice, but I couldn’t see him. I remember laying my head on the cold floor, I rolled to my back either by my own will or with Davey’s help. My head moved uncontrollable from side to side, I couldn’t stop it and sharp pains shot through my neck and shoulders. I felt the vomit fill my mouth again and I couldn’t swallow or spit it out. I knew I was choking but had no way of saying I was.
I felt myself being rolled onto my side and fingers reaching in my mouth flushing out the vomit that filled my airway. I could hear many voices around me, but could no longer make out whose voices they were or what they were saying.
I woke up to the sound of my mom’s voice talking to a woman whose voice I didn’t recognize.
“Mom?” My throat was sore and I was thirsty. I felt my mom’s hand on my arm.
“It’s all right, I’m here.” I opened my eyes to see my mom’s comforting smile above me. I felt a tube around my face and in my nose, blowing a cool stream of air in my nostrils. I looked over and saw a nurse checking the bag attached to my IV.
“What happened? Why am I here?” I pulled at the tube in my nose. Where was Addison? Where was Davey?, “Addison?”
“She’s fine, she’s at my house with Paul. Davey called us and told us the ambulance had taken you to the hospital. We didn’t say anything to Addy so Paul just stayed with her and I came.” She put the tube back in my nostrils and methodically stroked my hair out of my face.
“Why am I here?”
“The doctor said you had a seizure. They ran some tests and we should hear something soon. They want to keep you over night just to be on the safe side.”
Davey walked in to the ER examination room and over to the other side of the bed. He placed his hands over my hand. He leaned down towards my face and I could tell he had been crying.
“I’m so sorry. It’s all my fault. I’ve stressed you out and caused this to happen to you.”
Yes. Yes, you did.
Another year had almost passed, I had a total of seven seizures during that year. All the tests came back fine, there didn’t seem to be a logical reason why I had them; I was always asked the same question every time I went to the hospital, “Tess, have you taken any drugs?” I would be asked that question no less than twelve times each visit, by the doctor, the nurses and the techs who ran the tests. I answered, “No,” every time and wondered, ‘Do these people EVER write anything useful down in those clipboards they carry around everywhere?’
One thing we knew for sure are the seizures always happened when Davey and I had a fight. When he would raise his voice at me or move too quickly towards me. If he turned quickly and moved his arm or hand in my direction I would flinch and duck away from him. He only hit me once the whole time we were together and I am not even sure that he meant to do it then and I know he was sorry for it afterwards. We still were at ends about having another child, in my mind I wanted a baby with my husband even if my husband had some serious issues. He started using my seizures as a reason to not have another baby; he said it was too dangerous. The seizures wore me down for days and they were usually followed by a sickening migraine that would put me in a dark room for at least twenty-four hours. I could count on one thing to relieve the stress and that was spending my time with Addison; she was my saving grace. Addy was growing into a great kid even if I spoiled her a little, she was still mine and I wanted to enjoy every minute of her that I could.
She had tried out for the choral group at school and made it. We were both very excited because it was big deal at her school to belong to this talented group and this year they would be traveling to Disney World during spring break and would compete in a competition against twenty other schools. We spent most of the year raising money to pay for the trip. Kip offered to pay for us both, but I refused his offer, wanting to make the trip something Addy and I did together. But it was also out of respect for Davey, it bothered him to know that Nicky’s father was involved in the purchase of the home he lived in and sent Addison and I Christmas money every holiday. I tried to explain to Davey that Kip was a generous man and he feels guilty for what his son had done. But this time I kindly turned Kip’s offer away, and instead Addison and I participated in the school’s fundraisers and on our own we had bake sales and a yard sale. We had made enough to pay for the trip and had money left over to buy souvenirs. Davey opted to stay home, saying he wouldn’t be able to take the time off at work, he said it would be a good time to work on his projects in the garage. I had the internet disconnected a week after the first seizure happened so I wasn’t concerned that he would spend the entire week in front of the computer.
We left for Florida the Friday morning before spring break. The school excused the choral and band students from classes that day since several of the teachers were going as was the principal. We had spent many months preparing and practicing for this and everyone was so excited. No one seemed to want to sleep on the twenty-two hour drive to Florida, including the adults.
The week there was magical. The groups did amazing with the elementary and high school groups coming in first place and the junior high group coming in second in the show choir category, and high school band came in third in the marching instrumental competition. The bands participated in the Disney Parades and it was amazing to see people we knew marching by.
The rest of the week we were able to explore and enjoy the parks. I felt more like a kid then Addison did; I had never expected in my whole life that I would be able to take my daughter to such a wonderful place. I really hated leaving and it was bittersweet as we loaded our luggage on the buses to head back to Indiana.
The bus pulled into the school parking lot at 4:30 a.m. My mom offered to pick us up at that early time to keep Davey from having to make a special trip since he had to be a work by 7 a.m. We pulled in our driveway at 5:15 a.m. and Addy headed straight to her bed. As nice as the travel buses were, with the bathrooms and televisions, the seats were not comfortable to sleep in especially for a heavier person, so I was really exhausted and looked forward to my own bed.
I carried the luggage into the house but decided to leave it in the foyer to unpack later when I woke up. I didn’t want to disturb Davey, so I went to the living room and curled up on the over sized couch and fell right to sleep. When I woke the sun was shining in the bay window and the house was silent. I peeked in on Addison who was still silently snoring in her bed. She was still in her clothes and had her arms wrapped tightly around Mr. Snuggles, her favorite teddy bear. I wouldn’t let her bring him along out of fear that he would get lost or left behind like my favorite bear had been on a family trip to Pennsylvania when I was six years old.
I carried my luggage into our room and laid the suitcase on the unmade bed. I am sure the bed hadn’t been made once while we were gone. Davey’s theory was, “Why make it, you’re only going to mess it up again later?” I tossed our dirty clothes in one pile and carried my toiletries to the bathroom. I closed the empty suitcase and as I moved it to slide it under the bed, it caught the bed sheet and pulled it down the mattress. Something black on the white of the bed caught my eye. I sat the case on the floor and went to inspect. Probably one of Davey’s socks left in the bed. “Does Davey even have black socks?” I wondered. I reached into the sheet and pulled the black fabric from the bed.
Davey had been home for several hours. He sat with Addison on the floor looking at the souvenirs she had brought back with her and then showed him the pictures she had taken with the camera that Kip insisted on buying for her to take on the trip.
“This is A Bug’s Life Tree!” She squealed, “It was SO cool! You had to wear these 3-D glasses and it looked like bugs were flying all around you! There were these mean grasshoppers and stink bugs that really stunk!”
She went on and on about the adventures she had and how much fun she had dancing and singing at Disney World. I was going to let her enjoy this time while she could. No point in ruining this magical time for her. My joy of course had been short-lived just a few hours after returning from home.
After dinner, Addison took her bath and we sat on the couch looking through our adventure again, recounting the funny moments when she met Winnie the Pooh and Minnie Mouse. She laughed remembering Mrs. Jewel’s silver hair standing on end after riding the Rockin’ Roller Coaster with her and also at her friend Alex’s face when they dropped in the elevator on the Tower of Terror. She could have recounted her memories from this trip all night if I had let her; but it had gotten late and I knew I was just postponing the inevitable. I tucked her into bed and kissed her cheeks; this was her new thing to kiss each cheek like they did in other countries.
“Goodnight, Mommy, love you to the moon and back.” She snuggled under the covers and wrapped her arms around Mr. Snuggles.
“Night night Bugs, love you to infinity and beyond.” I closed her door and went to my room. Davey was standing at the bathroom mirror shaving. I could tell he had just taken a shower by the steam that rolled from the bathroom double doors into the master bedroom. I quietly changed into my pajamas and crawled into bed, thankful I had taken my shower earlier in the day.
He came into the bedroom still drying his face on a towel. He tossed the wet towel in the laundry basket.
“I wish you would hang that up to dry before you put it in the laundry.” I stated as I reached for the novel on my nightstand. He reached in the basket, grabbed the towel and returned to the bathroom to hang it up. He came back to the bedroom and went to his side of the bed.
“Did you have a good time?” He asked and smiled at me. He opened the drawer to his nightstand to put his wallet and watch in the drawer. I noticed a handgun in the drawer.
“What is that?” I asked sitting up straighter to get a better look in the drawer.
“It’s a gun.” He said nonchalantly.
“Well, I can see that. Where did it come from and why is it in my house?” I did not like guns. I did not want a gun in the house with children in it. You read all the time were kids find guns and shoot each other on accident.
“I bought it and it is in my house too.” He emphasized the word ‘my’.
“I don’t want it here; and why do you need a gun?”
“I don’t need a gun, I wanted to buy it; so I did.” He closed the drawer harder than necessary.
“So where did you buy the gun? Victoria’s Secret?” I lifted an eyebrow at him.
“What?” He looked at me like I was an idiot.
“I said, did you buy the gun at Victoria’s Secret?” I closed my book and placed it on my lap.
“Have you lost your mind? They don’t sell guns there,” he didn’t make any attempt to get into bed at that time. I think he may have felt something was up.
I reached over and opened my night stand drawer and pulled out a skimpy pair of black lace panties and held them up with two fingers so he could see them.
“Well, I just thought maybe you picked up that little beauty when you picked up this little beauty, “ I shook the panties lightly to make my point. I sat there just holding the panties up for him to see, waiting for him to say something. He stared at them as if trying to memorize them, but I knew he was actually scrambling to come up with a believable story. He was failing.
“I….” was all he got out.
“You need to leave. Tonight. And take the gun with you.” I tossed the panties in his direction and he caught them. I crossed my arms and stared at him. He turned to the closet and put some clothes on. He grabbed a few extra things and some toiletries from the bathroom, tossed them in a plastic grocery bag, removed the gun from the drawer and stood at the bedroom door.
“Where am I supposed to go?” He asked not looking at me but down the hall.
“Well, since you fucked her in my bed last night, maybe she will let you fuck her in her bed tonight,” I replied, “Lock the door on your way out.”
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.
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