1992/1993

Beau and I finally moved in with Luke. Luke’s mom found us a place. I still have no idea why she was involved.

It was not a nice place. I know we couldn’t afford a lot. It wasn’t in a bad area but not someplace I would have picked. I’d always loved in nice perfect brand new houses. This was a reality check.

It was a duplex down an alley. You pulled up to a row of six garages. We each had our own garage . You then walked past the garages, down a walkway and into a courtyard. All the units faced the courtyard. There were two duplexes and one small single unit.

We had one of the duplexes. Luke called me and told me that they had found a place to rent.

It was a one bedroom, one bathroom shotgun house. You walked in to the livingroom, thru the kitchen then the bathroom then the small bedroom. It was $275.00 a month.

Beau was four years old when we moved out. The first time we went there, Beau and I got out of the car and walked down the walkway to our new house. I was holding his little hand as we walked past the single unit. The blinds were open and I saw Beau staring inside. I looked up, into the house and there was pictures, ripped from magazines, pasted wall to wall. It was all pornography. Nothing but wall to wall naked vagina’s. Who in the hell lived here??

I grabbed Beau, covered his eyes and ran past this house to our new house. I walked in and was hit with the smell of mold. It was dingy. The carpet was dirty and so were the walls. Everything in it was old. Old appliances, old sink, old shower. I didn’t even want to sit down.

When I moved out of my mom’s, she mom told me I didn’t have to move, but once I moved I could never come back.

Everything happens for a reason. I was on my own now and I had to pay my way for real now.

Luke was doing construction still. I was still working for the insurance company. I had a car payment and Beau went to a private school. Now we had rent and utilities.

The first night at our new home we went into the kitchen to cook dinner. I had never cooked anything in my life except heating stuff up in the microwave. Luke handed me some polish sausage and told me to start on that and he would cook the rest. I told him I didn’t know how to cook it. He told me to make the Kraft Mac and cheese. I started reading the back of the box. He took the box and handed me the frozen bag of broccoli. I just looked at him. I had NO CLUE how to cook! I started crying. He hugged me and laughed and told me it was alright.

Luke taught me how to cook and I am now a damn good cook. I cooked every night once Luke and I settled in. I didn’t know it then, but we wouldn’t be settled in until years later.

It was way harder living on my own than I thought it would be. We never had enough money and I could not keep the house clean. I was so overwhelmed with doing every thing on my own. When I lived at home as a kid, I had to pick up after myself and I had a chore list waiting for me everyday after school.

Now no one picked up after themselves. There were always dishes in the sink, toys all over the floor and dirty clothes every where. I could not keep up. I was suddenly exhausted all the time.

Luke was also going thru something and I had no idea what it was. He had always worked his butt off but now he was missing a lot of work. I would go to sleep and wake up and he wouldn’t be in bed. When I asked him in the morning where he had been, he anyways told me that he was having trouble sleeping and he was working in the garage.

I’d been noticing that when I got in my car in the morning the seat in my car was moved a little or I would have a little more or a little less gas than I thought I had. When I asked Luke if he was taking my car at night, he told me no. I knew he was lying to me so I wrote the miles down one night and the next morning I had my proof that he was lying. When I told him, he admitted it and said he just couldn’t sleep. I took the key to my car back.

He was still disappearing at night. I couldn’t run to the garage and look because I didn’t want to leave Beau alone or wake him up. One night I decided to yell out my door to see if he could hear me from the garage. It was about 11:00pm. When I yelled, John, the guy who lived in the single unit with the porn all over his walls, ran out of his house at me.

Soon after we moved in the neighbors told us he was mentally ill. He was in and out of the hospital for days at a time.

When I yelled for Luke that night, he ran out of his house and ran right at me. I shut my door and locked it. He was screaming and pounding on my door. The entire top of my door was glass. I was afraid he was going to break it and come in and attack me.

I ran into my room and shut my door and called Daisy’s mom, Ms. Ada. She could hear the banging. She yelled at me to call the police. I immediately hung up and called 911. They came out and arrested John. That’s when I found out what a 5150 was. They took him away for three days and he came back medicated and mellow. That was his routine.

I don’t know why I called Ms. Ada instead of the police. I think it’s because in my family I knew not have any unnecessary attention drawn toward me. My mom says you should only be in the newspaper three times in your life: when your born, when you get married and when you die. That’s it.

After that, I refused to walk past John’s. You were not supposed to drive into the court-yard but I didn’t care. I drove in, right up to my door from that point on. I was furious at Luke for being gone every night.

I called Clint to see if he had any idea what was going on. That’s when he dropped a bomb on me. Luke was on drugs. It all made sense. He hardly worked, he disappeared and I had money missing out of my account all the time. My $3,000.00 engagement ring was also missing. I thought I had lost it but now I wondered.

Also, I had just found out that I was pregnant again. I didn’t know what to do.

I have always felt like I was a disappointment to my mom. When I was young I was always on the honor roll. I was a smart kid. My family always said I was going to be the one who made something of herself. My mom’s family are all blue-collar. There is nothing wrong with that but I was supposed to do more. And I didn’t. And here I was, 21 years old with a 4-year-old, shacked up with my boyfriend who was on drugs and knocked up again.

Luke came home and I told him that I knew he was on drugs. He denied it. I told him Clint had told me. He knew he couldn’t deny it any more. I also told him I was pregnant. He seemed happy. I looked at him and knew that he was happy because he knew I wouldn’t leave while I was pregnant. I made a decision in that moment. I knew what I had to do. I had to leave him. And I had to get an abortion.

I called my mom and told her I didn’t like living on my own. She said she knew it was hard. I told her I didn’t want to live with Luke anymore. She told me that I had better start looking for an apartment.

Well, so much for moving back home. I called my Nana. Nana would never tell me no. I called her and told her I wanted to live with her. I never told anyone why. And they never asked.

Luke came home and I told him two things. One, that I was getting an abortion and two, that I was moving out. He was upset. I had already made the appointment for the abortion and told him he had to take me. We went the next day.

I knew it was going to be bad, but it was way worse than I imagined. Luke had to stay there because I couldn’t leave by myself.

They called me to the back and had me put a gown on. I put it on and as I was walking with the nurse, another girl in a gown just like mine, fainted and fell to the ground. I stopped and looked at the nurse. I was so terrified. The nurse told me that she hadn’t gotten the abortion yet, she was just scared.

They picked her up and led us both into a cramped room with benches on both sides of the walls. There were about 15 of us in there, all wearing gowns, quiet and scared. I felt like a cow in a slaughter-house. I wanted to leave but I didn’t feel like I had a choice.

They called us back one by one. It was going fast. Every five minutes or so, another one of us got called back.

They called me back. I was so scared I thought my knees were going to buckle. No one told me it was going to be OK, I was just another number. I imagine working at an abortion clinic you get desensitized, probably disgusted, by every one’s irresponsibility.

They had me lay on a gurney. I asked how long it would take and I was told less than five minutes. They put me under with anesthesia. It felt like I just blinked my eyes and I was coming too.

There was a girl in the gurney next to me, vomiting.

They got us up and walked us to another room. Same girls as before but now, stunned and out of it, never to be the same again. We would always know what we were guilty of.

They were letting us leave, one by one. People who went after me were leaving before me. I was really out of it but I knew Luke wasn’t out there. They wouldn’t let me leave. I sat there forever by myself. Finally, a nurse told me that she couldn’t make me stay. I walked outside and sat by myself. Luke finally showed up. I was so hurt. He didn’t seem to care.

I was asking him how he could be so cold and heartless. He was driving, chewing on a straw like he didn’t have a care in the world. I was screaming and crying. He finally yelled back, he broke down and cried, told me how much he loved me and that he knew that he screwed up and he had ruined everything.

The next day I put everything in storage and Luke and I went out separate ways. I didn’t see him for a year.

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