Please scroll down for part one!
If you remember, I stopped Part One at the front door of my childhood home... The police had just informed us that my brother had been in an accident and wasn't breathing when they found him. Luckily, the firetrucks had just turned the corner when my brother went down below to rescue his boss, the uncle of one of his best friends... who had been in the belly fo the barge now for at least 15 minutes. Though I had had a very troubled history with my older brother, that day, as we drove 35 minutes to he nearest hospital I remember praying so hard that it hurt. It turned out that the firemen had shown up just in time, they said a few minutes more and the uncle would have been gone, too.
At Wayne's funeral, I met someone. Please don't get the wrong idea... A cousin of Wayne's thought I was cute and asked me out. He was 21 and the only reason why my parents even considered it was because he was a family friend. We went out a few times... on our 5th date we parked in a corn field and "watched the corn grow", as they say. In my defense, you can't keep your kid locked up in the house like a caged and beaten down animal, then let her run free for once. She's going to get herself into trouble because, well, she's not in the cage, hormones are running a muck, and she is out with a cute guy. Couple that with the world being a shiny new place, and she has no acceptable social skills to speak of, you have a recipe for a late night of passionate necking... ect, ect, ect. I was looking for love in all the wrong places, truly.
I got home after my 10pm curfew, at around , oh... 12:30 am. I figured if I was going to get into trouble for being late, I might as well make it worth the pain. My mother decided that since I was now 18, I was out. I was told to pack my crap and not come home after work the next day, and to make sure to leave the bike that I rode to work at home. Late that night I packed what I could... having only a pair of sweat pants to stuff it all in. I walked to work in the dark before sunrise with my tied off sweat pants slung over my shoulder, stiff with all that I could carry. I put my things in the back room of the grocery store... my only plan was to hide in the bathroom and wait until everyone left. I would have to live there until January, I had no where else to go.
The deli lady and an older cashier that I had become good friends with, waited for me while I tried to hide in the bathroom. Finally, one of them knocked on the door and asked me if I was alright. I opened the door and began to cry, explaining my situation. The deli lady, Lila, kindly offered to let me stay at her place. She explained that she had a live-in boy friend , but he would sleep on the couch and I would sleep with her. Her only requirement was that I pulled my weight around the place.
I didn't have a problem with that, I was used to giving 150% at home- and sometimes, my pound of flesh. Often I would come home to find that my mother had spent the day watching soaps, plucking her eyebrows, or talking all day on the phone. This meant that I was forced to pick up her slack when I got home, leaving little time for homework. If I showed the slightest bit of emotion, I was in for it, so my brothers and I became very good at keeping a straight face. There were days that I knew she was just waiting for me to come home, so she could pick a fight. One sided fights that I never won, and fights that would have me bleeding and bruised. That was my life, I knew nothing else.
As Lila drove me to her place, I let out a sigh of relief. Though I had only known this woman for a few months, and had squirreled away the insinuation that it might not be safe for me to sleep on the couch, I knew that it was going to be so much better. I told Lila right away that I would buy my own groceries, clean the bathroom, wash the dishes every day before I went to work, and even make dinner a few nights a week. For the next two months I had more freedom than I had had my whole life. I got to come and go as I pleased, making sure to tell Lila where I planned to be so she wouldn't worry. I stayed at my boy friend's house, or at his apartment on weekends.
I called on my older brother's birthday, the end of November... and my mother slammed the phone down at the sound of my voice. She didn't try to disguise the fact that she was unhappy to be hearing from me, and I heard her and my step-dad arguing. My dad got on the phone and told me it wasn't a good time, and I told him that I wanted to wish my brother a happy birthday.
I heard more cursing, the phone clacking away on the dining room table, and finally my brother's voice. We managed to talk for a few minutes before my mother started screaming in the background for him to hang up.Later I would find out that on that very night, my brother's girlfriend had called and lied about being pregnant, and he promptly passed out just minutes before I had called.
A week later, my younger brother walked in to the grocery store that my family had been avoiding for almost a month. He handed me a card. On my break I opened it and it said that my family was inviting me to come over for dinner... Wow, talk about mixed emotions.
This of course had been my mother's plan all along. She wanted me home, I would guess so that she could put the screws to me once more before I left. She couldn't stand the fact that she hadn't been able to control every second of my life... and secretly I wondered how much worse my 2 younger brothers had been getting it after I left. After dinner, they told me that they wanted me to move back in until boot camp but I had to stop having sex with my boy friend. I felt guilty for being (almost) on my own and happy! On the other hand... I was getting pressure from Lila to rent an apartment with her because the house she had been renting was being condemned. I explained to her several times that I would be leaving for boot camp the beginning of January, and that enlisting was a legal and binding contract. I belonged to Uncle Sam and there was no way out of it, short of death. Yet she persisted, she wanted me to give her money for a security deposit and rent- on an apartment I wouldn't be living in. I felt trapped, but knew my only choice was to move back home. I told them that I would think about it.
A few days later, I told my 21 year old boyfriend the deal. He wasn't having any of it.
"Look, you can go back and visit them... but you can't move back in with them!"
I knew right then that the little voice in the back of my head had been right, it was all about the sex. I didn't have much experience with boys, and had had one boyfriend a few years before (that I only got to go out with because he was the Vice Principle's son)... We hadn't even french kissed! Long story short- we had been best friends for years and decided we liked each other. Since at times he seemed like a brother to me, and considering what my brother tried to do to me... I was so confused and messed up about love. Anyway, I eventually broke up with him, and my current boyfriend would suffer the same fate.
I didn't hesitate, not even a second. "That's it, we're through."
He actually had the nerve to ask why. Men... unbelievable.
If you have read this far, don't give up! I promise to get to the MISU soon. Stay tuned... :O)