Monthly Archives: April 2015

Artsy fartsy

Standard

paint brushes

After my conversation with Glen and Andy I grabbed all of my recent artwork and crammed it into my old art portfolio case from high school, took a shower, threw on my Sunday best clothes, jumped in my car and raced for the business meeting.

As I drove over 80 miles an hour on 5 South I kept replaying my conversation with Andy and dreaming of what could be. “You remind me of myself when I was your age, I also loved the same things that you do and didn’t conform to any accepted style in art or truth that the teachers were teaching. You know I might be able to show your work to a friend of mine in L.A. that owns a gallery up there; if he likes your work he might be able to show your work”

Being able to be a full time, working artist was everything that I ever wanted and I was going to do my best to win over Andy Lakey and hopefully get any opportunity to show my artwork.

I arrived at the Hilton in Del Mar an hour early, parked my old car in the parking lot next to BMW’s, Mercedes and other vehicles that cost more than I would make in three years salary. As I left the parking lot and entered the Hilton I joined a group of over 150 people who were attending the same business opportunity meeting as I was.

I quickly realized that “the meeting,” wasn’t going to be any intimate opportunity to learn about a new business opportunity and talk art with Andy Lakey. The meeting was a “cattle call” and I was a part of the herd corralled into a room for the indoctrination.

As we were corralled into a large ballroom I tried to spot Andy or Glen but was unable to find them because I was given a number and pushed into a seat.

Once everyone was inside the lights quickly dimmed and a video presentation for Do it all Travel came on the screen and we watched a video of interviews with various members of the company that had made a six figure income with the company, bought a new home, cars and taken many fabulous vacations.

I soon became bored and looked at my watch and wondered when the video was going to end. The video finally ended thirty minutes later, the lights came on over the stage and a balding man in his early 40’s, wearing an Hawaiian shirt ran to the stage.

“How you all doing, does everyone in this room want to make more money?” The man asked.

“Yes!” The crowd replied.

“Does everyone want a new car?” The man asked.

“Yes!” The crowd replied.

People sitting next to me actually started to cry with excitement and the atmosphere quickly started to resemble a tent revival meeting.

“Does everyone want a new home or the ability to take nice vacations?” The man asked.

“Yes!” the crowd screamed.

“Good, my name is Roger Smith and I’m going to show everyone in this room how they can do all that and more with Do it all Travel” He said.

For the next 45 minutes Roger Smith and a series of managers and successful people in the company came on stage to share their success stories and sales pitch on why attendees like me should invest in the business opportunity. By the time the meeting was over I was emotionally wiped out, physically exhausted and like a new convert ready to hand over my credit card to invest in the company.

I reached in my back pocket for my wallet and credit cards and realized that I forgot it in my rush to leave for the meeting and smiled because I knew that I just saved myself $300.00 by not purchasing the quick start business kit.

I waited around for Glen in the ballroom, for a few minutes after the presentation and when I was prepared to leave a short, bald guy walked up to me with an excited look on his face.

“Jeremy! Glad to see you, I didn’t think you made it! I’m Glen!” He stuck out his hand and I shook it.

“It’s great to meet you Glen.” I said.

“How did you like the meeting tonight?” Glen asked.

“It was great. I’m very interested in the business opportunity,” I said, trying to act excited….

“Are you ready to invest tonight? The company had marked the quick start business kit down to only $300.00! It’s a steal.” Glen said.

I thought of my rent due the following week, bills and an upcoming car repair and thought of the best excuse in the sales world.

“I’d like to think about it,” I said.

“No problem, just don’t wait to long to get involved with this opportunity because you can get in on the ground floor now but in a few weeks that opportunity will be gone.” He said.

“I know, I’d still like to think about it.” I said.

“No problem, I’ll just give you some tapes to listen to keep you motivated until we talk again in a few days,” He said.

“That would be great, thank you.” I said.

I could tell that Glen was quickly growing disinterested with me because I didn’t want to purchase the “quick start business kit,” and he wasn’t going to earn a commission on the sale tonight. Glen quickly grew depressed and was prepared to leave when Andy walked up to introduce himself to me.

“Glen, this must be Jeremy with you right?” Andy asked.

Glen perked up, “It sure is, I was just talking with Jeremy about the importance of investing in the company tonight,” Glen said.

“Oh, you don’t want to miss out on this opportunity, Jeremy, you won’t find a ‘ground floor’ opportunity like this again.” Andy said.

“I know, I can’t invest tonight, because I forgot my credit card.” I said.

“That’s ok, we can take a check,” Glen said with desperation.

 “I’d still like more time to think about it,” I said.

“I admire a man who knows what he wants,” Andy said.

“Me too,” Glen said as he acted depressed again.

“Jeremy, have you had dinner yet?” Andy asked.

“No, not yet,” I said.

“Good, I’m going out to dinner with a few people involved with the company and I’d like you and Glen to come along,” He said.

“I’d love to, where are we going to?” I asked.

“My favorite restaurant, Jonathan’s by the bay.” Andy said.

Jonathan’s by the bay was a high priced restaurant with nothing on the menu under $15.00 and with only $10.00 cash in my wallet I wasn’t sure if I could afford it but I also knew that the opportunity to show Andy my work might not come again so I decided to accept the invitation.

“I’d love to go to dinner with you guys,” I said.

“Great, you can follow me to the restaurant.” Andy said.

I followed Andy out to the parking lot and was about to get in my car when Andy invited me over to his Lexus SUV to show me his latest paintings.

“Come and see my new work,” Andy said.

Andy opened up the back door to his Lexus SUV and pulled out several different paintings that he had completed within the last week.

“What do you think?” Andy asked.

The paintings had all of the elements of color and shape that I loved about his work and I didn’t know what to say.

“Beautiful,” I said.

“I thought you would like them, did you bring your portfolio?” Andy asked.

“Yes sir,” I said.

“Good, you can show your work to me after we eat dinner, let’s go because I’m starving!” Andy said.

I got in my old 1987 Toyota Celica and followed Andy in his brand new Lexus SUV and several other BMW’s and a Mercedes to the restaurant. We arrived a few minutes later and I parked my car in the parking lot next to a Porsche, and I felt like I didn’t belong there.

“Don’t worry Jeremy; I don’t like eating here either. I only like coming here for celebrations.” Andy said.

“What are we celebrating?” I asked.

“It’s been a very good year for me in art and business and I want to celebrate.” Andy said.

I smiled at the thought of being able to dine in any restaurant in ease to just “celebrate” like Andy without a care in the world.

“Don’t worry about dinner Jeremy, I’m buying!” Andy enthused.

“Awesome! Thank you so much.” I gushed and followed him into the restaurant to enjoy a fine meal and good wine.

Glen and his wife and four other people from the conference also attended the dinner and Andy paid for everyone’s meals and after we had desert and coffee, by 10:30 p.m. and asked me to show him my art portfolio. I ran back to my car and brought it back to Andy, eager for him to examine it.

Andy looked through my artwork quickly and paused as he looked at a few of my best paintings. I waited with heavy anticipation for the verdict when he finally told me what I wanted to hear.

“I love all of it and I’m going to talk to my friend that owns the gallery up in L.A. and see if I can introduce you to him.” Andy said.

I was ecstatic and Andy saw it in my eyes.

 “Don’t get too excited yet Jeremy, it takes a lot of work to break into the L.A. art world but I’m going to do my best to get you a shot at it ok?” Andy said.

“Thank you!” Were the only words I could say as I felt like my dreams just came true, I gave Andy my phone number, address and e-mail address and he promised to call me with news from his gallery friend the following week.

Andy and I shook hands like old friends, said our goodbyes and I drove home on “cloud nine,” more excited than I had been in years, feeling like I was on the road to accomplishing my life’s ambition and nothing could stop me.

I felt happy and euphoric and was not prepared for how the world would change the following week.

Click here to read the next chapter!

Recovery

Standard

images

Losing Becky again hurt. It was a pain that ate away at my heart every hour of the day for the first months after my attempt to bring her back from Oregon and I couldn’t get over it.

I couldn’t understand why she wanted to go back to the abusive relationship she had with her parents when I had tried so hard to save her and give her a normal life. I felt sad, betrayed, abused and could barely move or think.

After I mourned her and spent a long time in anger and denial I slowly began to recover. After a while the pain began to fade and I started to see things clearly again. One day I woke up, looked in the mirror, and told myself that I was going to pull through and survive the pain I had just been through.

I knew that it was time to move on from her and I finally signed the divorce papers and ended our marriage in court. Once I was single again, I took a good long rest and gave myself plenty of time to evaluate my life and emotions.

A few months after the Oregon trip I started to hear from Becky every few weeks when she was able to send me the occasional letter. Life for her was hard. After I left her at the airport in Portland she called her parents and begged them to pick her up. Of course, they came to get her but once she was home, they severely beat her and punished her for weeks.

The last I heard from her, she said that they finally let her outside without supervision from her other brothers and sisters. She continually professed her love for me in her letters but I never wrote her back or spoke with her again because I knew that if I tried to go after her again it would only lead to the same results.

In retrospect I think Becky was in love with the idea of being in love, but when it came time to do the actual work involved in a relationship she was immature and ran from it. I grew tired of the drama associated with her and finally closed the door on our relationship. As months passed I had time to rest, relax, think, and recover from the experience and I started to feel young and healthy inside once again.

One day my cousin, Brian, who I hadn’t heard from in a couple of years, called me to say that his parents planned to give him a two bedroom duplex, that they had owned for years, in Spring Valley, which was only a few miles away from the old house I grew up in.

He said that he was looking for a housemate and I was the first person who came to mind. I instantly liked this idea because I missed my old home town, the familiar streets, places, people, and I also looked forward to living a bachelor lifestyle with my cousin.

Brian and I had always had a great relationship so I immediately accepted his offer and a few weeks later I moved into the duplex and became housemates with him and his Labrador, Tyson.

Once we were together we reverted to our old youthful ways and enjoyed many nights together staying up late, watching movies, playing video games, reading comic books, partying with friends, and enjoying the freedom that came with youth and ignorance.

I was happy living with my cousin and living in the duplex I could regroup and gather my ambitions for the future. The best part about living with my cousin was the art that I created at that time. I finally had a space to work once again for the first time in years and took every advantage of feeding my artistic hunger. At that time nothing could shatter my dreams or break me emotionally again.

As I worked harder on my art I also reconnected with my love for business after I became reacquainted with several of my high school friends that started their own home based businesses and were reaping the awards of the roaring economy of the late 1990’s.

“You have to start your own business! You will never make any money working for someone else!” They told me. I looked at their new cars, homes, vacations, clothing and decided to try starting my own business.

In the late 1990’s and early 2000 the economy was still roaring along, enjoying the prosperity that the country had seen during the Clinton years and in spite of a new president taking office in 2000 everyone, including myself believed that the economic prosperity and peace of mind we enjoyed would continue for many more years.

With this in mind I scoured the internet for home based business opportunities and attended workshops that promised riches from real estate, vitamins, get rich quick books and vacations. After reviewing every business opportunity and get rich quick scheme known to man I decided to pursue a business opportunity in the travel industry with a company called Do it all Travel.

One day I filled out an information request form on the website for Do it all Travel and within a few hours I received a call back from a sales representative in the company named Glen Ferguson.

I talked with Glen for several minutes, answering all his questions about my life, financial situation and ambitions when he asked me the famous question, “What do you want to do with your life?”

“I want to be a full time, working artist,” I said.

My response excited Glen and he told me that he had an artist working in his “down line” and would call him and ask him to join our telephone conversation. Glen put me on hold and I wanted for a minute while he called the member of his down line and within a few minutes he was joined on the line with his guest.

“Jeremy, I’d like to introduce you to Andy Lakey. He’s a member of my downline and has been involved with Vacation Dynamics for almost one year now.” Glen said.

AndyL-210

RIP: Andy Lakey 1960 – 2012

 

Once Glen said the name Andy Lakey,” I knew who he was instantly because he was well known for his famous life story and angel paintings that were sought after by rich and power players in Hollywood.

“Mr. Lakey, it’s a pleasure to meet you, I’m a big fan of your work,” I said, gushing into the phone like a teenage boy talking to a rock star for the first time.

“Glen tells me you’re an artist, what’s your style of art?” Andy asked.

I didn’t know what my ‘style’ of art was because I wasn’t showing any artwork at galleries yet so I said the first thing on the top of my head, “My style is abstract expressionism; I love color, shape, architecture, archeology and design.” I said.

“You remind me of myself when I was your age, I also loved the same things and didn’t conform to the theories or styles of the day.” He said.

“Jeremy is also an aspiring businessman and is interested in Do it all Travel,” Glen said.

 “That’s good Jeremy, because as you know artists need to make a lot of money to live off of and create our art on a full time basis.”

“I totally agree Mr. Lakey,” I said, still blown away that I was talking to an artist of his caliber. By that time in his career Andy Lakey was making millions per year selling his paintings all over the world and enjoying the fruits of his labor after many years of hard work.

Andy talked for a few more minutes and he told me about his successes in the art world and the wealthy clients purchased his paintings until he brought up the possibility of inviting me to the business opportunity meeting for Do it all Travel.

“Glen I think we should invite Jeremy to the ‘meeting’ tonight, what do you think?” Andy asked.

“I think that’s a great idea.” Glen said.

“The meeting,” would be my introduction to the business and my opportunity to meet Andy Lakey and show him my art.

“Mr. Lakey, could I show you my portfolio after the meeting tonight?” I asked.

“I’d love to see your work Jeremy, why don’t you bring it with you and I will take a look after it after the meeting is over.”

Andy said goodbye to Glen and I and clicked off the line leaving Glen and I to our conversation.

“Great guy huh?” Glen asked.

“Awesome, I never thought I’d get the opportunity to speak with him.” I said.

“Well you’ll get the opportunity to do more than that tonight.”

“I can’t wait!” I said.

“The meeting is at the Hilton in Del Mar, 7:00 p.m. tonight.” Glen said.

“I’ll see you there!” I said.

I said goodbye to Glen, hung up the phone and celebrated for a few seconds before getting my portfolio ready to show Andy in the evening. What would he think of my artwork? Would he be able to recommend me to any galleries and help me realize my dream of becoming an artist?

Even though I was supposed to be attending the business opportunity with a mind to get involved in a home based business, my sole purpose for attending was meeting Andy Lakey to see if he might be able to open the door for me to start my career in the art world.

Click here to read the next chapter!

 

Life Story – It Was Decision Day And A Chapter Of My Life Was Ending..

Standard
images

Life Story

 

After a few hours of restless sleep I awoke at 5:00 a.m., quickly got dressed, packed my suitcase and drove to Becky’s house for our early morning rendezvous.

The sun was barely cresting over the mountains, the hills were covered with new snow from the night before, but I couldn’t enjoy the beautiful sight because all I wanted was to get Becky in the car and speed away with her as quick as possible and start our life story together.

I couldn’t wait to get Becky away from her parents and back home to San Diego with me, where we would finally begin our life together.

A good job, a small house, nice car and a solid life waiting for us when we got back but most of all I was prepared to take up the responsibilities in front of me and be a husband and a real man.

By 6:00 a.m I arrived at her house, parked the car up the street, and waited for her to come out just as we had planned.

After waiting ten minutes she didn’t come out to the car and I began to worry.

6:30 a.m: I noticed the lights come on in her parent’s bedroom and I knew that they were getting up to shower, and prepare for work. By 6:45 a.m. as I sat in my car I watched through the kitchen window as her father walked into the kitchen and sat down at the kitchen table to eat his morning breakfast.

As soon as I saw her father come into the kitchen I ducked down in the seat of the car because her father would flip out if he saw me and call the police.

7:00 a.m: I was growing more depressed by the minute as I realized that Becky wasn’t coming so I started the car and prepared to drive away, never to see her again when the side door to her garage opened and Becky quickly came outside, carrying a large, green carry on bag. She quickly walked up the street with grace, got inside and we left.

Success! I was thrilled as we sped away from her house, and away from the prison of her parent’s home. Becky and I traded kisses and held each other as we speeded down the country roads. She looked at the odometer and said, “You better slow down because there’s cops out everywhere along these roads.”

“I know,” I said, laughing.

The further away Becky and I got from her parents, the more we relaxed and began to talk about the events of the last few months and everything we had been through.

We discussed how we wanted to make the relationship work and were going to do everything we could to stay together.

“I love you and I’m so sorry for everything,” Becky kept saying.

 “There was nothing to be sorry for. Everything that we’ve been through over the last two months is history and the most important thing is that we’re finally together!” I said

Now that we were finally together I felt like we could finally move on with our lives. Or would this be the end of our life story?

Emotionally, I was still on edge and wondered if we would get back to the airport together and end up back in San Diego together. So many things had gone wrong over the previous few months despite my efforts to make our relationship work.

As we got closer to the airport in Washington, Becky and I stopped looking over our shoulders for any sign of her parents coming after us and started to relax. We eventually arrived at the airport a few hours later, turned in the rental car, and promptly got in line to wait to board the plane.

Everything was working out perfect and, while we waited, I decided to call my parents and tell them the good news. They were elated. They couldn’t believe that everything had worked out exactly like I had planned and hoped it would.


My parents told me that they told all of our friends and family about my journey and that everyone was praying for Becky and me, anxiously awaiting our arrival home and eager for us to begin our life story together in the warm Southern California sunshine. 

At about 1 p.m. we boarded the plane that would take us back to Portland, Oregon, where we would wait until 3:30 p.m. and board a commercial airliner that would take us back home to San Diego. As we boarded the small plane Becky began to shake and started to cry.

I asked her what was wrong, but she wouldn’t say a word to me. In actuality I knew why she was crying and I that I could get her on the plane and home to San Diego before she could change her mind again and ruin our plans.

Once everyone was on the plane, it departed without delay soon flying over snow-covered fields and mountains on our way back to Portland. Oregon really was a beautiful state, covered with miles of countryside that would make any artist like me go crazy with the desire to paint it. I didn’t have time to stop and enjoy it, though, because the last phase of my plan awaited us.

We arrived in Portland by 3:00 p.m., entered the airport terminal and went looking for our final flight. When we found the commercial jet plane I handed over our tickets and we boarded. I breathed easy and sat down with Becky, dreaming of what it would finally be like when we could be alone together, that night, as husband and wife.

As we sat on the plane, waiting for it to take off, I told Becky of the home I had made for us, and everything I had done to prepare for her arrival but it was evident that she wasn’t hearing a word I was saying. I looked into her eyes and knew that emotionally, she was still home in Lostine, worrying about what her parents were saying about her and doing at that very moment.

Sadly, Becky was still a scared little girl, afraid to venture out on her own without her parent’s approval.

Even though she was 21 years old and legally considered an adult, she was still a child on the inside and I couldn’t reach her…

As we approached 3:30 pm, the flight attendants on the plane readied the passengers for takeoff by putting away their bags and serving peanuts. That’s when Becky told me that she was going to the restroom, abruptly got up and rushed towards the exit. I unbuckled my belt and went after her. She wasn’t heading for the restroom, the door of the plane still ajar, and she was running for it.

“Becky! Where are you going? The plane is about to take off!” I shouted.

She kept running and made it through the door as it was closing and I squeezed through and continued running after her as she raced up the tunnel back to the airport terminal. Once we were back in the airport terminal she stopped running and when I caught up with her she was shaking and crying.

“Becky? What is it?” I asked

“I shouldn’t be doing this!” She said.

“We broke my parent’s rules and demands, God’s laws and will got to Hell for it!” She sobbed, not realizing that this wasn’t supposed to be the end of our life story, but the beginning….

The plane took off without us, there was no way we were going to make that flight and my plans were stopped again, by her. She didn’t want to be on that plane and had bailed on me at the very last second. What else could I do? Give up? Go home and leave her there?

After fighting so hard to make our relationship work since we had been together only to have our plans fall flat time and again by circumstances out of our control or by other people and this time she was the one keeping us apart.

I grabbed Becky’s hand and walked over to the airline counter to exchange our tickets for a flight later in the afternoon and once our next flight was confirmed I was determined to spend the next few hours trying to talk her out of giving up on our relationship once again. I tried every tactic I could think to convince her to stay with me but she didn’t want my love or comfort, and only desired to rejoin her family.

Over the previous months since her father had broken us up and exercised his controlling ways on her I quickly realized that Becky was deeply mentally and emotionally abused by her father and didn’t have and strength of her own to defy him.

Once we were together in Oregon and finally on the plane back to San Diego that I imagined that her father’s emotional grip would be broken and she would willing leave with me but her fathers grip could not be broken and she was running back to him once again.


We found a secluded bench in the airport terminal and for the next two hours I did everything in my power to try and build her up again emotionally so she would board the plane with me again to go to San Diego but in spite of my pleadings it was like there was an emotional “brick wall,” between us and she wasn’t accepting anything that I said. I didn’t understand how she left with me so willingly that morning only to leave me on the plane and walk out on me again, that afternoon.

Finally out of frustration I said, “Becky, you’re killing me, don’t you know that you’re driving me insane?”

“I’m sorry, I’m so sorry,” she pleaded with me.

“Why did you lead me along over the last two months and make me think that you wanted me to come and get you?” I asked.

The longer I sat there on that bench with her, trying to break into her “emotional Hell,” and convince her to come with me, and begin our life story together, I felt like I was slipping into her abyss of confused thoughts and knew that if we weren’t on that next plane to San Diego I would stay with her in Oregon rather than leave her again.

Becky knew that if she didn’t leave with me her only option was to go home to her parents and face her punishment for defying them for the second time in her life, but in spite of the punishment that lay in store for her she desired to rejoin them once again.

“Becky, you don’t have to go back! Your parent’s don’t own you!” I said to her.

“I shouldn’t have defied them, we never should have gotten married and did what we did today,” she said.

Her mind was made up, and she was going to walk out on me again. I was blown away by what she was doing to me and just sat there feeling dead inside.

Finally, by 5:00 p.m. the next plane was ready for departure, so I got up and headed over to the gate to board the plane that would take me, and only me, home. Becky walked behind me silently knowing the fate that awaited her and also knowing that she would never see me again. When I got to the ramp I turned around, grabbed her arm, and pleaded with her to come with me.

 “Becky don’t do this!” Doesn’t our love mean anything to you?” I desperately asked.

“Your parents don’t love you and will only make your life a living Hell when they get you back.” I said.

“I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry.” She sobbed.

I continued to pull her with me to the ramp but she kept sobbing and shaking her head, “No” as travelers around us watched the scene we were creating.

Becky was like a prisoner who wanted to go back to the “hole” and serve more punishment. I was offering her freedom and the chance for a normal life and she didn’t want it.

Before I boarded the plane, I turned to her one last time and held her tightly, knowing that I would never see her again.

This was the last time I could hold her in my arms, caress her beautiful face, smell her long dark hair and look into those bottomless brown eyes.

“You’re breaking my heart,” I cried.

“I’m so sorry!” Becky said sobbing.

“I thought you loved me, I thought you wanted us to be together! That’s why I’m here Becky; it’s my love for you that brought me here! Don’t you get that?” I asked.

“I can’t go with you.” She said.

“Becky, if it takes my entire life I’ll never understand you and I’ll never stop loving you.” I said.

Just before the boarding door closed I grabbed her again, passionately kissed her, and let her go.

“I’ll never forget you,” I said as I walked through the door.

We were so close to being together but in reality, we never had been so far apart. Our life story began and ended in that hotel room on our wedding day.

My journey was a failure, she walked out on me again and I was going home a broken man. I felt more tired and more beaten up than ever before. And at 24 years old, I felt like a tired, old man.

Our short relationship brought nothing but heartache and pain. And now I wanted to lie down and die because I didn’t know if I would ever get over her, and I couldn’t understand the depth of mental and emotional abuse by her father that drove her to leave me for the last time and go back to her family.

Over the next few months I would mourn her absence and deal with the deadness that she had left inside of me.

Click here to read the next chapter!

The Journey

Standard

download

Christmas arrived quickly for me and on what was supposed to be one of the most wonderful times of the year; I was worried sick about the journey that awaited me. The planning and all of the little details involved took weeks to finalize, and as my relatives and friends learned about my plan I gained wide spread support especially after everyone learned the true about who Becky’s father really was and how he treated her.

On Christmas morning my parents drove me to the airport, gave me hugs and kisses, and watched me board the plane. And as I traversed the terminal I mentally went through every last detail of my trip and prepared myself emotionally for what it would be like once Becky and I would finally be together as husband and wife.

It had now weeks since we had spent real time together and yet I could still remember what it felt like to hold her hand in mine, to smell the scent of her hair as she sat next to me, to look into her eyes and have her know my desire for her without saying it. It was those things about her that kept me going during the long weeks that had passed since we were last separated. and it was every other thing about her that made me hunger to return to her once again.

The plane ride to Portland, Oregon only, lasted a couple of hours and before I knew it, I was searching for the next gate where I would sit and wait once again before boarding another small airplane that would take me to a small county airport in La Grande, Oregon, which was very close to Becky’s home.

I felt like a spy on a secret mission to retrieve a priceless jewel from my enemy.

I was on a long journey to an unfamiliar city where I had to navigate my way in the dead of winter through snow and ice to rescue my wife from her vengeful father. By 3 p.m. the next plane was ready for me and the other passengers. We boarded the plane and sat there for a few minutes before the pilots voice announced on the intercom that our plane would be delayed for one hour because of snow and ice. We would stay on the plane and wait it out, hoping that the plane wouldn’t be grounded for the night. I began to grow nervous.

We waited on the plane until 4 p.m. when the pilot announced that the weather had cleared and he’d been given go ahead to fly. I began to relax and wondered about what I would have for dinner that night.

The plane took off. It felt like it was flying smoothly for a few minutes when it began to shake and the pilot advised us to buckle up due to turbulence.

“Shit!” One of the passengers next to me said.

I started to freak out and pictured the plane crashing into a small field, with my parents learning about it the next morning from an early phone call from the F.A.A.

“This can’t be happening!” I thought as the plane was tossed back and forth like a flimsy trashcan.

The other passengers on the plane were also visibly shaken and holding hands. Some were even saying prayers when the pilot’s voice came on the intercom again.

“Folks, as you can see, we’ve hit some bad weather this afternoon and will have to divert to Washington for the night.”

“No shit!” Said the passenger sitting next to me.

“Please keep your seat belts buckled because we will be landing in a few minutes.”

Washington?

After more shaking and rolling, the plane finally touched down in Washington. We exited the plane and were greeted by a heavy snowstorm that blanketed the area with snow and ice. I walked inside the terminal with the other passengers and stopped to look out of the windows facing the runway. There were dozens of other planes that were grounded by the heavy winter storm. When the pilots and flight attendants walked into the terminal I went over to ask them if they thought we would be able to fly to Oregon the next day.

“I don’t think so, sir. The weather report is saying that this is the worst winter storm up here in 20 years.”

“We might be grounded tomorrow,” The pilot said.

My plans were falling apart, again.


Feeling depressed, I went to look for my bags unsure of my next move. Airports were typically happy places for me, full of people eagerly coming and going to different destinations and cities but on that afternoon, the airport in Washington was full of displaced people who all had a glazed-over look in their eyes as they sat around waiting for welcomed news of departures. After searching and grabbing for my bags I found a corner of the airport and decided to lie down and rest. It was going to be a long night. So I accepted my fate and fell asleep.

I slept for a few minutes when someone started to shake me awake. “Son, you better get up.”

I opened my eyes and was greeted by an elderly looking cowboy who was holding his hand out to help me up.

“The airlines chartered a bus to take everyone to the hotel up the street where we can stay for the night,” He said.

I got up, rubbed my eyes and remembered that it wasn’t a dream, and that I was really one 1,000 away from home in the middle of nowhere.

“You look like a man on a mission,” The man said.

“You’re right.” I said.

“I can always judge a man by the look in his eyes,” he said.

“My name’s Angel Johnson,” he said as he positioned his hand for a handshake.

“My mother named me Angel in the hopes that I would stay out of trouble as a kid, he said, laughing.

Angel looked like the classic 1970’s T.V. character, “McCloud”. He was dressed in faded blue jeans, rough-looking boots, a long winter jacket, and a cowboy hat.

cast

“Let me help you with your bags,” Angel said.

“Thank you,” I said, feeling at ease.

“Where you heading?” Angel asked.

“Lostine, Oregon. My plane was supposed to land in an airport in La Grande, Oregon, but it was diverted here because of this winter storm,” I said.

“You have family in Lostine?” Angel asked.

“Yes,” I said.

What I didn’t tell him was that I was on a secret mission to save my wife from the hands of her psycho parents who forced her to accompany them.

“So you’re far away from home?” Angel asked.

“Yes. I’m from California.” I said.

“How about you?” I asked.

“I’m from La Grande, Oregon.”

“I’m heading back from a yearly fishing trip that I go on with old friends,” Angel said.

We walked over to the bus that was waiting for us and were driven to the hotel that was conveniently right up the street from the airport. Once we arrived at the hotel I was feeling more exhausted than ever, and walked over to the front desk and paid for a room for the night. As I walked to my room, Angel came up behind me pulling his luggage and said, “Son, the hotel manager just informed everyone that the airline is going to make another attempt to fly to Bend tomorrow, so everyone is supposed to meet at the front desk by 7 a.m. for our 8 a.m. flight.”

“That’s great news!” I said.

“Just thought I’d let you know,” Angel said as he opened his door.

“See you tomorrow!” He said.

I found my room and once inside, called my parents to brief them on where I was and what had happened that day.

“What’s the weather like at home?” I asked as I looked out the window at the heavily falling snow landing outside.

“Santa Ana, It was 80 degrees in the shade today,” my dad said.

“Save some warm weather for me, okay?” I asked.

“You got it. See you soon, son,” my dad said.

I hung up the phone and wanted to go home that night, but instead, I stuck to my plan and kept assuring myself that it was going to work.

The next morning, I woke up early, showered, and ate breakfast in the hotel lobby. I went over the remaining details of the trip in my head.

Step 1 – Arrive in La Grande, Oregon.

Step 2 – Drive to Lostine, Oregon.

Step 3 – Arrange a meeting point with Becky.

Step 4 – Get Becky and drive like a madman back to the airport to wait for the flight back to San Diego.

“It’s going to work, it’s going to work,” I kept telling myself.

After I finished breakfast, I went over to the hotel lobby, checked out, and was greeted by my new friend, Angel.

“Mornin, I thought you might need this,” Angel said as he handed me a large cup of coffee to go from the hotels restaurant.

“You read my mind,” I said, smiling.

As we sat there talking, the other passengers from the night before began to walk up to the check out counter. Everyone waited anxiously for the bus to arrive and take us back to the airport. Angel and I chatted with ease like two old friends about everything, from bass fishing and country music, to politics and religion, when the bus arrived and we boarded it with the other passengers and to head back to the airport.

“Looks like were on our way now.” Angel said.

“Thank God,” I said in relief.

The bus quickly drove us through the deserted streets and made it back to the airport in minutes. I looked out at the town, wondering where everyone was.

“It’s Christmas day. Nobody will be out today especially in this weather.” Angel said.

“It sure is cold,” I said.

“Bet it’s not like this in San Diego,” he then said.

“How’d you know I’m from San Diego?” I asked, feeling like Angel knew everything about me.

Angel smiled and said, “We better get goin.”

We walked into the airport and were greeted by dozens of angry passengers who were shouting and screaming at airline officials.

“Damn! I’ve got a business meeting today at 3 p.m.,” a businessman said.

“I have to get home to feed my dog,” and elderly woman declared.

“You bastards are always screwing us around,” claimed a young snowboarder.

“Yeah, man, typical bullshit from the Man!” said another snowboarder.

“Screw it bro, let’s go find a bar and get drunk!” another  snowboarder said.

“Must have beer!” They all said in unison as they went looking for the airport lounge.

“I’m sorry ladies and gentlemen, but the airline has informed us that there won’t be any planes coming or going for the next few hours because of ice on the runway,” the airline official said. “For those of you who can’t wait, we have car rental facilities inside the airport that can rent you a car for anywhere you need to go. For those of you who are going to stay and wait you will find our facilities comfortable. We have a Starbucks and McDonald’s in the terminal.”

“When is the earliest that we can get in the air?” I asked the airline rep.

“Probably not until 3 p.m. today,” he said.

That would screw up my plans and I wouldn’t be able to get to Becky’s in time.

“But that’s hours from now!” I exclaimed.

“I’m sorry, sir,” he said as he squirmed out of my way.

“I’m never going to get to Oregon,” I said.

Suddenly, Angel appeared out of nowhere and said, “Looks like everyone is in the same boat.”

“No kidding,” I said.

“I got an idea. Why don’t you and me rent ourselves a car and you can drop me off in La Grande on your way to Lostine, Oregon. I’ve got plenty of cash and can pay for half of it,” He said.

I thought about it for a minute and once again, my overactive imagination pictured Angel murdering me and dumping me on the side of a country road.

I was prepared to say no, but realized that he was probably a lot older than my dad was and couldn’t possibly pull a fast one on me. Besides, I was out in the middle of nowhere, with no friends or family, and decided that having Angel, as my travel companion and guide on this trip was probably the best decision I could make.

“That sounds like a great idea to me,” gleefully.

“Good, because I sure don’t feel like hitch-hiking my way home today,” Angel said.

We walked over to the rental counter, rented a brand-new Ford Focus and quickly got on the road. During the first few minutes in the car, Angel instructed me on how to drive in the winter weather and navigate through the completely foreign weather conditions I had never driven through. Angel really was my guide that day and made me feel completely at ease behind the wheel, even though it was snowing again outside and we continued to pass cars that had gone off the road every few miles, reminding me how dangerous the driving conditions were.

After driving for a while, I started to relax.

“What kind of hobbies do you have, Son?” Angel asked.

“I’m an artist,” I said.

Even though I said it, I didn’t really feel like one because I hadn’t painted or made anything new in over a year because of my relationship with Becky and everything that came with it.

I just didn’t have the heart to touch my art supplies or create anything new.

“An artist, huh?” Angel grinned.

“What kind of work do you do?” He asked.

I told him about my love of modern, abstract art and artists like Picasso, Matisse and Braque and how some day, I wanted to follow in their footsteps.

“Sounds like you have a lot of talent, Son.” Angel said. “Have you produced anything lately?”

I sighed and said, “no”.

“Why not?” He asked.

This gave me a natural opening to talk about my story. I talked for over an hour with my new friend and told him everything about my relationship with Becky and why I was really in Oregon.

Angel sat quietly for a minute and finally said, “son, I got one question for you. Why the hell are you going after this girl after everything she’s done to you? Especially with all your of talents and gifts, it sounds like you can have any girl you want.

I thought it over and said, “I have to try and make it work one last time. All of my life I’ve given up on things when the going got rough and I don’t want to give up on my relationship with Becky, especially if there is any hope left,” I said.

“Well, I don’t envy you with the path you’re walking because you sound like you face a great deal of opposition from her parents and that’s not easy to deal with, especially now that you two are married. You know that what you want to do might not work out right?” He asked.

“I know,” I said.

“It might not work out,” had been one of the main topics of conversation in my family lately. Nobody wanted to see me fail and witness my hopes and dreams fall flat, even though at that particular time my dream seemed like just that: a dream.

“Can I give you a word of advice, Son?” Angel asked.

“Sure,” I said, not knowing what to expect.

“Don’t give up on your other hopes and dreams after your journey is over. Even if your plans with her don’t work out, don’t give up on your art when you get back home. God gave you those artistic gifts for a reason, and I don’t think he’d want you to waste them. Take it from a guy who’s walked in your shoes and seen it all, okay?” Angel said.

“I appreciate the advice, but I’ve got to see this journey through and give it my best shot.” I said.

“I know you do, I just don’t want you to come home a broken man if your plans here don’t work out,” he remarked.

“You sound like you’re speaking from experience,” I said.

“Son, it would take me a few days and lots of beer to tell you all of my stories. Unfortunately I can’t drink anymore and we don’t have a lot of time left together.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“Look,” Angel said, pointing out the window to a sign that read, “Welcome to La Grande Oregon.”

I looked at the clock and realized that we had been on the road for hours. It was already 1 p.m. and time seemed to fly by quickly while we drove on the empty, icy roads.

“Why don’t you drop me off at the town hall? Then I can get you a map and show you how to get to Lostine,” Angel promised.

“That sounds great.”

“I can’t believe that we’ve been on the road for this long!” I said.

“Well, the Good Lord has been looking out for us,” Angel said.

Grande_Ronde_theater

La Grande Oregon

 

La Grande, Oregon, looked like Mayberry and with the prevalent snow-capped rooftops it looked inviting to a tired homesick traveler like me. Once we found the town hall, Angel and I got out of the car and entered the warm town hall building and were greeted by friendly, cordial faces.

“Welcome to La Grande!” A girl behind a nearby desk said to me.

“Ma’am, this young man needs a map of Oregon so he can route out his trip to Lostine to see his family.”

“Well, you’re in luck! I just happen to have one right here!” The girl said.

She opened her desk drawer and pulled out a well-worn map of Oregon. She then proceeded to highlight the easiest route into Lostine. Things were now going exceptionally well and I was developing confidence in my plans once again. While she highlighted, Angel stood calmly next to me and when she was done, we thanked her and walked back outside.

 

We outside looking at the snowy day for several minutes when Angel said, “Son I better get home because I’m dogged tired and, besides you got a long drive ahead of you.”

“You want to go get some lunch or something?” I asked.

“No. I appreciate the offer, but I think it’s time we get going,” Angel said.

Once again, the kind old cowboy and I shook hands like old friends.

“Son, it was great meeting you. Don’t forget what I said about not giving up on your goals or dreams if your plan doesn’t work out okay?”

“I promise,” I said.

“And if I’m ever back here, I promise that I will look you up and take you out for a steak,” I said.

Angel chuckled and said; “I’d take you up on your offer if my doctor would let me eat red meat. Those hippie doctors won’t let old folks like me touch that stuff anymore.”

We laughed and stood there for a few more seconds before Angel said, “You better get goin.”

I thanked him again and we parted ways. I walked back to the car while Angel started up the street towards the direction of an old hotel in town. I got into the car, rolled down the window, and looked up the street for him, but he was gone. “Thanks again Angel,” I said into the wind and continued on my way.

The drive into Oregon could have been a lot worse if I didn’t have an experienced traveler like Angel to guide me on the roads, and give comfort to me after I told him my story.

I was in La Grande, Oregon, only a few hours away from my wife, a few miles away from seeing her again. I was getting excited, so I raced along the snowy roads anticipating our reunion.

En route to Lostine I drove through the remaining little towns with ease until I finally reached Becky’s new home. The town wasn’t much to look at. With no major stores, buildings, developments, stoplights, or civilization around for miles, I could see why this town appealed to her father’s nature. He didn’t move his family up here because of the great weather and atmosphere. Fred moved his family to Lostine because he wanted to hide them from the real world, keeping them locked up in his own little world until the day he died.

Nobody knew who he was, people would easily fall for his deception, and neighbors would welcome him into their lives, appointing him their new religious leader. I pitied the people in this town and couldn’t wait to get Becky and leave immediately. I was already sick of the constant snow, cold, and steel grey skies. I wanted to see sunshine again; I wanted to get back to the blue skies and warm weather of San Diego with my wife by my side.

Once I pulled into town, I drove around for a few minutes and surveyed the scene to make sure that I knew all the towns’ roads and was familiar with the major intersections. I knew that if Becky’s family saw me outside their house, they would call the police to arrest me. Or even chase after Becky and I in the rental car. I didn’t want either scenario to happen and prepared myself emotionally for whatever was in store for me.

I found the old, beat-up house where Becky’s family now lived and slowly drove past her kitchen window, catching a glimpse of her inside doing the dishes. It was around 3 p.m. and I knew that her parents had asked Becky and her other sister to get things ready for dinner at 5 p.m. As I drove past her window, I waved, turned a corner, parked the car up the street from her house and waited. After a few minutes, she slowly came out of her house, walked up to my car, and got inside. She wasn’t excited to see me.

There wasn’t a passionate embrace or speedy exit like in the movies. Becky was indecisive again and giving me the cold shoulder. I grabbed her and kissed her, but she was like kissing a cold fish.

“Are you ready to go?” I asked, sensing what she was thinking.

“Becky? Hello?” I said, waving my hand in front of her face.

She just sat there, thinking over what to say.

“Jeremy, I don’t know if this was the right idea,” she said.

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“We broke my parent’s laws and God’s laws.” She said.

“Becky, I’ve just come 1,000 miles to get you because you asked me to. We’ve had this conversation again and again about what the right decision is, but the question isn’t what your parents want, it’s what you want. What do you want, Becky? The dream we had is now a reality and we can make it happen if you leave with me right now.” I said.

“I don’t know, I don’t know,” Becky kept saying, acting like she was doped up.

“Becky, what’s wrong with you?” You begged me to come and rescue you, and now that I’m here, you don’t want to go?” I said.

“I’m sorry, Jeremy,” she said.

“I’m sorry to,” I said.

“Can you give me until tomorrow?” She asked.

I laughed and said, “What’s a few more hours going to do? If your mind is already made up, I can’t change it for you in a few hours,” I said.

She looked at me clearly and said, “I don’t have a bag ready and will need one more day to get prepared,” she said.

“Alright, if I come and get you tomorrow morning, do you promise that you will leave with me?” I asked.

“I promise,” she said.

Suddenly, Becky’s parents pulled into their driveway in their old beat up station wagon.

“Oh no!” She screamed.

We slid down into the rental car seats and waited until they went inside.

“Alright, I’ll come back for you in the morning at 6 a.m. and you better be ready!” I said.

Becky agreed and we kissed quickly, and she exited the car and ran back inside her house. The plan wasn’t working out like it was supposed to, but plans often changed. And since I was here in her town, I didn’t plan on leaving without her. Once I was certain all of her family members were inside their house, having dinner I started up the car and quickly drove away in search of a motel.

Because Lostine had no major developments and no hotels, I was forced to drive to the next town a few miles away, where I found a nasty rat trap hotel that I could stay in for the night. The room smelled like cat piss and cigarette smoke, but it was a roof over my head, and once inside, I slumped down in an old chair and immediately fell asleep for the next few hours. I awoke around 11 p.m. that night hungry because I hadn’t eaten anything since breakfast. I decided to get in the car and go looking for the nearest restaurant. I couldn’t find any restaurants, fast food joints, all-night gas stations or any place to buy food late at night. Evidently, Oregon shutdown early, every night at and everyone was tucked away safely in their comfy beds. I was tired, hungry and homesick.

Lostine Oregon

Lostine Oregon

 

I didn’t know what else to do that night but drive so I stepped on the gas to see how fast the rental car would go.

Since the streets were deserted and there were no stoplights or other traffic for miles I went faster and faster until the car reached 100 miles per hour. After a few miles of driving at race car speeds I slowed down and was doing about 55 miles per hour along the country roads when a police officer pulled out from nowhere with it’s lights flashing.

“Shit!” I said laughing at the situation.

Here I was racing the car at 100 miles per hour a few minutes ago, through the deserted roads of Oregon and now this cop was going to give me a speeding ticket for driving at a measly 55 miles per hour? I hated getting a ticket but laughed at the irony and rolled down my windows as the cop walked up.

“You’re out here kind of late, aren’t you?” He asked.

“Yes, sir,” I replied.

“You know how fast you were going?” He asked.

“No, I’m from out of town,” I said, ready to laugh in his face.

“Don’t get smart with me, Son, you were doing 55 in a 35 zone.”

“Officer, it’s midnight. Unless there are cows out walking the streets at night, I don’t think anyone was in danger,” I said.

“Give me your license and registration, Smart Ass,” he said.

I handed it to him and he walked back to his car, never failing to keep his spotlight flashed through my back window while he checked my license.

Finally, he returned and handed me his notepad for me to sign his ticket.

“You’ll get your ticket mailed to you in 30 days,” He smiled.

“Excuse me, Officer Johnson; is there a McDonalds in this area? Because I’m starved,” I said.

“My name is Officer Smith,” He grunted.

“I advise you to go back to wherever your hotel is and stay there before you get into more trouble,” He said.

I mock saluted him, rolled up my window and drove away, leaving him standing out in the cold. When I got back to the crappy hotel I looked at my watch and it was 1 a.m. In a few hours, I knew there would be a final resolution: she would either come with me to the airport and we would go home together, or I would leave her in Oregon and never see her again. I didn’t want to think about what would happen if she changed her mind on me again, so I tried to keep such thoughts out of my head as I drifted off to sleep.

Click here to read the next chapter!

The phone call

Standard

hazy-early-morning-cirrus-cloud-sunrise-2013-03-28

A few days after everything happened and with no word from Becky or her psycho parents I started to feel at ease once again.

A police officer served the divorce papers that her dictator mother had made her sign one afternoon and I knew that it was time to officially end this catastrophe, sign the papers, and move on.

I started to look at all the baggage in my life and realized that since Becky, I had given up on all my art, goals, talents, friends, and dreams for the sake of our relationship.

I was mad at letting a big part of myself slip away, all for her, and prepared to start chasing old dreams once again.

The week went by and I was approaching a sense of internal peace about myself when that Saturday, I heard the phone ringing early in the morning and wondered who would be calling so early on a Saturday? My mom answered the phone and after a few seconds, opened the door to tell me that I had a phone call.

“Hello?” I answered as I looked at the clock and realized that it was a mere 5 a.m.

“Jeremy? Jeremy? It’s Becky.”

“Oh nooooooo,” I thought to myself.

“I can’t talk long,” she said.

“You will never believe where I am.”

“Where?” I asked, interested.

“Utah,” she said.

I immediately awoke.

“What? Did you say Utah?”

“I thought you guys were moving to Oregon next week?” I asked.

“We were, but our plans changed the night that the police came to our house.”

“What happened?” I asked.

“After the police left, Poppa flew into a rage, accused me of shaming the family, threw me on the bed, beat me, and locked me in the closet for the entire night,” She said.

“Oh my God,” I said flabbergasted.

“The next morning, when he finally let me out of my temporary cell, my bags with the other bags, sitting on the front porch, ready to go. My father thought you were going to continue to come after me so he decided to send my mother, sisters, and I away early to avoid any further incident if you asked the police to come back again.” She said.

I couldn’t say anything because I was shocked and outraged, once again.

“Poppa was angry with me so he had my brother escort me to the car, saying that it was for my own good. He also said that I had better behave or he’d make it even worse for me” She said.

I was appalled. I wanted to go over to Fred’s house with a baseball bat and give him a Louisville Tan.

“Becky, what do you want me to do about it?” I asked.

“You served me with divorce papers a few days ago and told the police officers that night that you didn’t want to leave your house.”

“I wanted to leave, but I was afraid for my life!” She pleaded with me.

“My father was on the other side of the door, muttering threats to get me to get rid of the Police.” She said.

“What about the divorce papers?” I asked.

“My mother forced me to sign them. She had my brother there to report back to my father in case I didn’t follow through and I was afraid.” She said.

“Becky, I don’t know. You really hurt me and I don’t know if I can go after you again.” I said.

“Please, Jeremy, I still love you, I’ve been held against my will, and now that I’m a thousand miles away, the pain is just to much for me to bear,” she said.

“I don’t know,” I said.

“Please, Jeremy, don’t leave me with them! If we can’t be together, I’ll kill myself,” she said.

“Becky, don’t say that!” I pleaded with her.

“I’ll do it, I’ll swallow a bunch of pills or drive our car off a mountain and it will be all over with,” she said.

“Becky, please stop!” I said.

“Jeremy, I still love you and promise to fight to make our relationship work, just like you’ve been fighting all along,” she said.

“I don’t know,” I replied.

“When do you guys get to Oregon?” I asked.

 “In two days. We plan on getting the new house set up just in time for Poppa and the boys to arrive.”

Call me stupid, dumb, or ignorant, but I couldn’t give up on our relationship until the last page had been turned and with her call I sensed that there was still hope.

“Becky, if I come to Oregon to get you, do you promise to leave with me??” I asked.

“I promise,” she said.


 

“And do you promise that once you’re back home with me, you will talk to a counselor about your problems?” I asked.

“I promise,” she said.

“Alright, Becky, I will come after you, but you better live up to your promises and your vows as my wife. Or our relationship is over, and I will give up for good,” I said.

“Jeremy, I promise to spend the rest of my life making up for what I’ve done to you. And I promise to love you as my husband. I’ve got to go because I hear my Mother coming back to our room.”

“I’ll write you with all the details and let you know our new address once we get to Oregon.” She said.

“I love you, Jeremy.”

“I love you to,” I said and then hung up the phone, realizing that I had thrown myself back into the fire once again.

Then my door opened and my mom and dad walked in, looking worried.

“Want to talk?” my dad asked.

Both of my parents were still dressed in their pajamas and looked like they hadn’t slept at all through the night.

They sat down and I, once again, told them another part of my story, starring Becky’s unstable family. They were left visibly shocked when I told them what Fred had done to his daughter.

“You should call child protective services and have him arrested,” My dad said.

“I should, except it would be his word against mine and Becky is 1,000 miles away. And she wouldn’t be able to back up her side of the story.”

Sigh.

My parents and I sat in my room for a few more minutes when finally, my mom asked.

“What are you going to do honey?”

“I have to go after her,” I said in disbelief.

“Where are they going to live?” My dad asked.

“They’re moving to a house in Oregon in a few days.”

“When do you think you will go up after her?” My dad asked.

“I think Christmas time might be my best option because Thanksgiving is too soon. By Christmas, they will be completely moved in and any action from me will be completely unexpected,” I said.

“Well, God help you, Son.”

“Fred has broken God’s laws, man’s laws, and will pay for what he’s done,” dad said.

He then looked at the clock, then at my mom, and said, “Let’s have breakfast.”

“Now? It’s only a little after Five a.m.” She said.

“I know, but won’t be able to get back to sleep now so let’s have breakfast,” he said again, smiling.

We all got up and headed to the kitchen, all the while talking about Becky’s phone call and the big journey that awaited me. In just a few weeks, I would get on a plane for Oregon and drive to her new home in the early morning hours to rescue her and bring her back to California. I didn’t know if my plans would work or if they would fail again. All I knew was that if she was still making the effort to reach out to me, then I had to give our relationship one more try. I just couldn’t bear the thought of living my life without her or leaving her under Fred’s roof.

The next few weeks, I received letters from Becky and learned more about her family’s goings on in Oregon and their struggle due to her father’s poor decisions. By Christmas day, the day of my journey, I was ready to depart on my first long-journey, alone, after the woman I love, uncertain of what awaited me.

Click here to read the next chapter!

 

The chess match

Standard

download

Monday came quickly like any other Monday except on this one, my friends at work were shocked to see me back so soon when I was still supposed to be on my honeymoon with my wife. They were even more shocked when I began to tell my tale of what happened over the weekend and the disaster my wedding day brought.

Everyone comforted me that day, and once I told them the complete story, nobody brought up what happened to me again because they to repeat it again and again would be like driving a knife into an open bloody wound. I didn’t know how I was going to make it through the day and considered going home sick when my phone rang. I answered it with robotic precision and the voice on the other end made my blood begin to boil.

It was Becky’s mother, the only woman in the world that I didn’t want to talk with at that moment.

“Is this Jeremy?” She asked in her gruff, manly voice.

“Yes,” I said, holding back my temper.

“Jeremy, Becky and I are at the courthouse right now and you have two choices. One, you can take the easy way out and annul the marriage or take the hard way and get a divorce. What’s it going to be? The clerk is waiting.” Her Mother asked.

“Where the hell do you get off calling me after what you and your husband did to Becky and me?” I exclaimed.

“I thought that you would say that. I knew that Fred was right about you,” she said in a sinister tone.

“You listen to me, you evil bitch. There isn’t going be an easy or hard way because I’m going to do things when I’m good and ready. You got that?” I yelled into the phone.

Becky’s mother continued to breathe hard into the phone like she was out of breath, I knew that she was pissed off and trying to think of what to say next.

“Is Becky there?” I asked.

“She doesn’t want to speak with you,” She said sadistically.

“Put her on the phone now!” I demanded.

I wasn’t mad at Becky. In my heart, I still loved her and if she was really there, all I wanted was to talk with her again to try and make some sense of the situation. I was madder than hell at her parents and had spent the last few days thinking of ways I could get back at them within lawful limitations. I heard her mother pass the phone to Becky.

“Hello??” she said.

“Becky, its Jeremy. I’m not going to pretend that in a million years, I will ever understand you or why we are in this situation. I don’t know what’s going on inside your head or what your parents did to you growing up to make you turn out like this. All I know Becky is that I love you and part of me will never stop loving you. I want you, not your mother, to tell me it’s over. Tell me what option to take and I’ll take it. Tell me to go away and you will never see me again.” I said.

There was strict silence for a few seconds, then she said; “We have to do what they want.”

“Becky, we don’t have to do anything they want!”

“You and I are adults and if you want me to fight for you, I’ll be at your house tonight with the police to get you out of that house. Or do you want me to go away?” I asked.

“No,” she said.

“Do you want me to fight for you?” I asked.

“We have to do what they want,” she said again and again, like someone had drugged her.

“Do you want me to fight for you? Yes or no?” I asked.

“Yes,” She replied.

Just after she said yes, her mother grabbed the phone from her and said; “Alright, Jeremy, what’s it going to be?”

“You listen to me, you evil bitch. Until Becky tells me to my face that our marriage is over, nobody is going to force us to do anything!”

“You better be damn well-prepared because there’s going to be Hell to pay for what you and your husband are doing!” I yelled.

“You son of a bitch!” She demonically exclaimed right before she hung up the phone.

After she hung up, I spent the next few minutes shaking. When I finally calmed down, I called my mom and told her what happened. Once again my mom was blown away that anyone like Fred and his wife could masquerade as God-fearing Christians while underneath the façade, they were wicked.

As we talked, she thought of her friend, DJ whose husband Steve, a local attorney and had given our family free legal advice in the past.

“You should call Steve. He’s helped us out a lot in the past few years and I’m sure he can give you a lot of advice about your situation,” she said.

She gave me his number and after we wrapped up our call, I phoned Steve and replayed with him all of the details from what happened on the wedding day to my phone conversation with Becky and her mother.

 After I finished my story, Steve rolled out an arsenal of ideas for me.

“You should call the police and ask them to do a welfare check because she’s your wife and they are holding her against her will so you can tell the police that you’re concerned she’s been kidnapped by her parents.”

After his suggestion and a few others, I called the police and told a dispatcher that I believed my wife’s parents kidnapped her and were holding her against her will.

They asked me what kind of proof I had for this and they transferred me from department to department until they finally found the right dispatcher that told me I was talking to the wrong police department and that I should call the police in Becky’s area.

After taking some more time to cool down emotionally, I called the East County police department. Eventually I reached a dispatcher, Wanda who asked me about the situation and I launched into my story and told her all of the details.

“Damn, Child, she sure screwed you over didn’t she??” Wanda said.

“Why does a nice, young man like you want to go back to a woman like that?” She asked.

“Because I still love her and feel that her parents are holding her against her will at their home,” I said.

“Honey, you should just give up and realize that you got lucky by this happening when it did. You could have been married for one year before she run back to her parents with your child. Then you would have been really screwed.”

“I have to save her; I have to try,” I said.

“Okay but you realize that if she don’t want to see you again, then it’s over right?” Wanda asked.

“I do,” I said.

“Alright then, I will schedule a welfare check tonight. One of our officers will call you this afternoon and want you to meet him somewhere close by before you go to their house.” She said.

She took down all of my information and told me that everything was set up for the police to visit Becky’s home tonight.

“Will this work?” I wondered to myself.


 

“Will the police get her out of the house, away from her parents, to talk to her about what’s going on?”

I didn’t know what to expect. Once again I was treading into unfamiliar territory, but this time, I had the advantage. If Becky could get away from her parents long enough to speak with the police officers, she could tell them how she really felt and they would free her from her, “prison”. I felt like I was playing a championship game of chess and was nervous as I pondered how the next move would play out.

In a few hours, I would try to bring Becky and me together once again, and I had no idea what would come of my efforts.

If my plan worked I was prepared to do anything to keep her, even drive hundreds of miles away to my Aunt Susie’s house to run away from her parents and keep Becky safe until her family was out of California for good.

By 4 p.m. I received a phone call from an Officer Ryan, who instructed me to meet him over at the 7-11 near Becky’s house by 6 p.m. to prepare before departed for the welfare check. After I got the call, I raced over to the 7-11, leaving my parents behind wondering if I lost my mind once again and was getting into more trouble.

Once I arrived at the 7-11 I waited there for what seemed like forever until a black and white police car finally pulled up next to my car and I got out to greet the police officers.

“Jeremy?” A huge police officer called out.

“That’s me,” I answered.

“I’m Officer Ryan. This is my partner, Officer Bolton.” He said pointing to his partner who nodded in my direction.

Out of habit, I looked at officer Bolton’s name tag and noticed that it said M. Bolton.

“Michael Bolton?” I asked, looking at the officer.

Officer Bolton looked pissed off.

“I wouldn’t go there if I were you.”

“He gets teased all the time about his name back at the station,” Officer Ryan said.

After the humorous moment, the conversation turned serious when Officer Ryan asked me why I thought my wife was in danger. And then he briefed me on what they planned to do when the got to Becky’s house. After we agreed on the plan, they made me promise that I would stay by my car so that her parents wouldn’t know that I was on the street watching the situation go down.

“It’s for your own safety,” they said.

I agreed then we all got into our cars and they followed me over to Becky’s house. I parked the car behind a looming oak tree two houses down from her parent’s house and got out of my car to watch the officers approach pull into the driveway in front of her house, after calmly exiting the vehicle the proceeded to walk over to the front door. Officer Bolton knocked for a minute on the door when Fred came out to speak with the officers.

Becky’s house had a small porch that was secured by bars and a metal gate. Fred stepped outside his door and made no effort to come close to the gate or even open it.

The police officers talked to Fred for minutes until finally he went back inside and Becky came out to speak with the officers. I wanted to run to Becky and tell her that I was there but decided to do what the police officers said and stay away. The officers talked with Becky for a few minutes, occasionally motioning for her to come out from behind Fred’s security gate but she wouldn’t do it.

They didn’t even bother to get her away from Fred’s house and I knew that Fred was standing behind the front door, like a menacing jailor, listening to her every word.

Their conversation was over before it even began.

After only two minutes Becky smiled at the police officers like she was okay, went back inside her house, closed the door and as soon as she had come was gone. I stood there dumbfounded.

They were supposed to conduct a welfare check but they didn’t even get close enough to her or get her away from her parents to see if she was really safe. Once the conversation was over, the police officers got back into their car, pulled up the street in front of my car and we walked back to the large oak tree to discuss everything that she had said.

“What did she say?” I asked.

“She told us that she was fine, wanted to be there, wasn’t in any harm, and asked us to please leave,” Officer Ryan said.

“Why didn’t you ask her to step off her porch, away from her house?” I asked.

“Because she didn’t want to and preferred to stay where she was,” Officer Ryan repeated.

“Her father on the other hand, couldn’t stop complaining about you,” Bolton said.

“What’d he say?” I asked, acting like I didn’t know what was coming next.

“He said that you kidnapped his daughter and forced her to marry you over the weekend and that you threatened his family because they tried to stop you,” Bolton said.

I was blown away. I didn’t even think Fred could stoop that low in his lies but he finally did.

“He also said that if you ever step foot on their property again, they are going to press charges,” officer Ryan repeated.

I felt like a vindictive hoodlum kicked me in the ribs and I couldn’t catch my breath. I didn’t have any enemies, yet Fred hated my guts and for what? Because I loved his daughter and didn’t want him to treat me like a slave for the rest of my life? That bastard.

“Listen, Buddy I met the father and from talking to him for that short period of time, I can see what kind of person he really is, so I understand what you’re going through and I’m going to give you only two pieces of advice. One, stay away from that house, because if you go back there, it’s only going to mean trouble for you and two, give up on her because as you saw tonight, she doesn’t want to return to you and that should be enough to tell you that chapter in your life is closes,” officer Bolton said.

I stood there staring at Becky’s house, trying to comprehend it all.

“Got it?” Bolton asked looking at me with a stern look on his face.

“Got it,” I said, feeling defeated once again.

“Come on partner let’s get out of here and go arrest some hookers on El Cajon Boulevard,” Officer Ryan said, looking over at Bolton with a grin on his face.

I thanked them and walked over to my car, feeling like the story was over. I didn’t feel depressed or crazy like I did on my wedding day. I only felt sad that I had taken it this far and yet we still were not together. I had to play it out to see what might happen. Over just a few weeks, I endured the emotional fight of my life and having done so, naturally I felt like a wasted man.

I slumped down to the ground, wanting to lie there, next to my car all night, without caring if I got hit by another car or not.

Where was Ernest Hemmingway when I really needed him? I needed someone like him to unload all of my sorrows to after a few stiff drinks and then be told that I would recover from this loss. I needed a Kung Fu master to come out from the shadows and convey some philosophical solution, comforting me with promises of clarity.

I sat there feeling sorry for myself for a few more minutes when I finally had enough energy to get back into my car and go home. Tomorrow was another day. I’d wake up and start breathing again, trying to forget her. I’d never forgive her parents for what they did to us or quit loving her at least not for a long time. But I knew that with each day we were apart it’d get easier and I’d begin to live a little more each day.

 Later that night, after I got home and told the latest part of my story to my parents, they comforted me once again and asked me to give up and move on with my life.

“You gave it your best shot, Son. That’s something that any man would do,” dad said.

“I hate what this is doing to you, Honey, so please give up and let her go,” mom respectfully requested.

I promised that our relationship was over and that they could rest easy in knowing that I wouldn’t try to go after her again.

“Good, because there’s always plenty of fish in the sea,” My dad said.

What did that mean though?

Do we get multiple opportunities in life to find the right person to spend our lives with, or is it a one-shot deal and everyone we meet after that is a pile of crumbs left over from the cake?

Before I went to bed I wrote this poem.

It’s over

My heart is sad.

I fee like I’ve drowned in a flood and don’t know that I’m dead.

With all the love I have to give and gave her how come she didn’t let me into her life one more time to save her?

I’m tired of fighting this battle!

When will it end?

For to long now I’ve fought this unseen battle against a man that I thought was once my friend.

Good, evil, hell, disaster why can’t a simple word like love be the answer?

I didn’t ask or want to get caught up in this fight.

I didn’t want to get caught up in this strife.

Click here to read the next chapter!

 

I almost lose my mind

Standard

justice of the peace

It was time.

I looked over at Becky, she smiled as I grabbed her hand, and we walked over to the room where the wedding ceremony would be performed.

My parents, sister her son and my grandma followed with their cameras ready to witness the moment.

As we stood in the room, I looked over at my family and was blown away by their love and support, I wouldn’t have been able to follow through and stand firm on my commitment to marry Becky without the support of my family.

I looked over at Becky and melted in her beautiful brown eyes and imagined what it would be like later that night when we could finally share our passion a husband and wife.

“Are you ready?” The justice of the peace inquired.

“Yes,” we said in unison.

As we faced each other delivering our vows and promises to each other, life seemed perfect.

I felt harmoniously content at that moment. I had found the woman I loved and was going to face the future with my soul-mate by my side.

Before I knew it, the ceremony was over and the justice of the peace said, “You may kiss the bride.”

Becky and I smiled right before we shared the longest kiss that we had ever had with each other.

No more looking over our shoulders.

No more hiding our relationship in fear that her father would find out and break us up.

It was real. We were married and it finally seemed like our relationship was meant to be. My parents were thrilled and took a whole lot of pictures. Becky and I hugged everyone in my family and we went out to celebrate. My parents didn’t want us to leave us right away and decided that they wanted to take us out to breakfast at the nearest Denny’s that was right up the street.

We got in my car and followed my parents to Denny’s for breakfast.

I kept replaying the wedding ceremony in my mind and I felt like shouting gleefully from the top of a mountain top because it was the best day of my life. I was so excited that I wanted the honeymoon to start immediately but didn’t get the same impression from Becky. She looked like she had just attended her parent’s funeral. She wasn’t saying a word.

“Honey, what’s wrong?” I asked.

She looked at me and burst into tears.

“What is it?” I asked.

She wouldn’t tell me what was going on.

“Aren’t you happy?” I asked.

“Yes,” She replied.

“Then what’s wrong?” I asked.

“My parents. I was just thinking about them again.”

“This is not how I imagined my wedding day to be, I always thought that they would be there by my side.:

“Becky, I love you. And I swear that I will do whatever it takes to fix my relationship with your father and get him to accept our relationship.” I vowed.

“Once I fix my relationship with your parents they will have to accept us as husband and wife. Then we can get married again in a church ceremony like you always wanted.”

“Isn’t that what you want? Because I swear that I will do everything in my power to make that happen.”

“Yes that’s what I really want,” She said.

“Then once our honeymoon is over, I will work hard to make that happen. But today let’s just focus on what just happened ok?”

I grabbed her hand and held both of out hands up to let the sun reflect off of our wedding bands.

“Becky, were married!” I said with excitement.

“Something that we thought would never happen a few weeks ago did happen, and there’s nothing anyone can do to take that away from us!”

She smiled, leaned over, grabbed me, and started to kiss me like we did before her father had broken us up.

“Are you lovebirds coming?” My Dad asked as he walked passed my car with the family as they walked into the restaurant.

“Be right there, Dad,” I said smiling, as everyone walked passed us, talking excitedly about the ceremony and what we had just gone through.

Being able to hold Becky felt wonderful after having been away from her for so long. We finally went inside and had a big breakfast with the family, talking excitedly with my parents, sister and Grandma about the future, what our plans were and of course, the honeymoon.

Breakfast was over before I knew it and as walked out of the restaurant; my dad pulled me aside, looked me in the eyes, and said. “I’m proud of you son. You stood up like a man, kept your word and now you two are finally married. Congratulations!” He said as he bear-hugged me.

I told my dad that I loved him and couldn’t thank him or my Mom enough for their love and support during the last year.

As I walked away, my dad handed me an envelope and said, “Here, you’re going to need this.”

I looked inside and saw hundred dollar bills.

“It’s for the honeymoon,” he stated.

After Becky and I hugged and kissed everyone again, we waved goodbye to everyone and they got into my parent’s car and drove away.

I looked over at Becky and said, “Are you ready?”

She smiled, and we ran for my car to hit the road for our honeymoon which was only 15 miles up the highway in a little town called Cardiff by the Sea.

Driving up the highway to our hotel, we talked actively about the night-to-come when we could consummate our relationship. She told me that she had bought something special for the big night, which only increased my sexual expectations.

I knew that before her father broke us up, she had been avidly reading sex books that she picked up from the public library, so that she would be prepared for our wedding night. Her parents never knew what she was reading, and every time they passed her room all they saw was her knitting a new blanket for one of her siblings or writing a letter when she was secretly preparing herself for our night we had looked forward to for so many months.

We finally got to the hotel and checked into our room.

Once we were inside, I closed the door and led her over the bed.

I didn’t want to wait for nightfall and I playfully pushed her on the bed and began to take off her clothes when she started saying, “wait, wait, wait.”

“What is it?” I asked.

“We need to call my parents,” she said.

images

“Why now?” I asked.

“Because it’s the right thing to do and I just want to get it over with,” she said.

With hesitation, I agreed and told her to hand me the phone.

I should have ripped the phone line out of the wall, threw the phone in the trashcan and made love with her right there but I wanted to do the right thing, the honorable thing and try to settle the problem with her parents.

She dialed the number, it rang, and then the unmistakable gruff voice of her mother answered.

“Hello?” Said the gruff voice on the other end of the line.

“It’s Jeremy, can I speak with Fred?”

“Where’s Becky? What have you done with her?” She asked this like I had kidnapped and murdered her daughter.

“Becky and I just got married,” I said.

“You what?” She screamed.

The phone slammed down and Fred picked up the line.

“Hi Fred, it’s Jeremy. We need to talk.” I said.

“I will only talk to Becky,” He replied.

“Fred, talk to me, it’s time that we work out our differences and talk about what happened, because Becky and I are married now.” I said.

“Listen to me you punk. Get my daughter on the line right now.” He said.

I looked over at Becky, rolled my eyes and said, “He wants to talk to you.”

Becky grabbed the phone from my hand and with a childish voice said, “Daddy?”

For the next few minutes, she sat there listening to her father shouting from the other end of the line. I tried to grab the phone out of her hand, but she turned away.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” Becky kept saying as the looming voice continued verbally attacking her.

I kept hearing the words, “evil,” “wicked,” “abomination” and I knew that Fred was only talking about me. All my life I tried to do good to my fellow man and be a good person and Fred was putting me in the same category of criminals and murders.

I motioned to Becky to hang up the phone, but she wouldn’t do it, it seemed like she was shell shocked as she sat there and continued to take the verbal abuse until I finally grabbed the phone from her hand and hung it up for her. She started sobbing harder than I had ever seen her cry before. I held her close and tried to comfort her.

“Becky, it’s going to be okay. We have to give them time and eventually they will accept us together.” I said.

Becky kept shaking her head no and she finally said, “I have to go back.”

“What??” I exclaimed.

“We shouldn’t have gotten married. We made a mistake and should have never continued our relationship. They were right and we were wrong.” She said.

I felt like I had gotten hit by a semi truck, the familiar feelings of pain, that I has known to well after Fred first broke us up suddenly came rushing back. This was supposed to be a happy day!

We were finally married and she was ready to back out after a few hours? After everything we had gone through to finally come together, she was backing out now? The ink wasn’t even dry on our marriage certificate and it was already over?

For the next few minutes, I tried everything I could, pleading with her and stating my case as to why we should stay together. But what I was saying wasn’t working.

She kept shaking her head saying, “No, no, no.”

I got up and paced the room, looking for a mini-bar because I really needed a drink but I found nothing.

“Becky, I kept my word, followed through on my promise to marry you and went the extra mile to bring us together, and now you’re getting cold feet?”

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” She kept pleading.

I should have thrown her on the bed like in the movies, ripped her clothes off her and said, “Well, it’s too late to back out now!” But instead, I kept trying to get through to her. She wasn’t listening.

 “I need some time to think,” She said.

“What’s to think about?” I replied.

“I need some time to think, alone.” She said.

I got up from the chair, grabbed my coat, and said, “I don’t know what to say,

“I’m going for a walk and when I get back, your mind better be made up, because I can’t take this any longer,” I said.

I slammed the door shut on my way out, leaving her inside.

I didn’t get in my car and drive away. Instead, I started to walk to the beach, hoping that by the time I got back, she would be all-right. And we could be happy again.

I felt weak; like I was walking around in a bad dream, unable to wake up. Why was she doing this to me?

“Fred has brainwashed Becky and her entire family. Are you sure that you really want to marry her? Because you wont know how messed up mentally she is until you’re living with her.” My dad’s words kept replaying in my mind.

I didn’t want to admit it to myself that she was brainwashed, until that moment, I didn’t realize how brain washed she was.

I couldn’t get her to listen, I desperately tried to get her to see things rationally and realize that she didn’t have to go back to her father and take the mental and verbal abuse that awaited her, but she didn’t see it.

I kept walking, trying to think of things to say that would make her see the truth and stop thinking that she had to go back to her father but I was overwhelmed, exhausted and my mind needed a break.

Once I finally got to the beach, I sat next to a lifeguard tower and tried to come up with a plan for how I would handle the situation if she did try to leave me.

I didn’t know what to do, this wasn’t how it was supposed to be, we weren’t supposed to be going through this on our wedding day, and we were supposed to be happy.

I looked at my watch, realized that almost an hour had passed by, and decided to walk back to the hotel. I started my walk back, stopping at a flower shop to buy her a bouquet of roses, thinking it might cheer her up. Once I got back to the hotel, I realized that something was wrong when I saw her putting her bags into a yellow cab parked in front of our room. I ran over to the cab and tried to pull her back into the room.

“Becky, don’t go!”

“I love you. Doesn’t that mean anything?” I desperately asked.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” she kept saying behind her tears.

“Poppa said that if I come back now, they would act the marriage, never happened.”

I was flabbergasted.

“But what about us? What about our marriage? Don’t you care about that?” I exclaimed.

Taxi Cabs

The cab driver sat in the front seat of his car, reading his newspaper, acting like he couldn’t hear a word.

“Please, Becky, don’t do this! Don’t ruin our marriage. Don’t let your father ruin our happiness!” I pleaded.

“You don’t understand, if we leave and try to start a life together he will find us, it’s never going to work. I’m so sorry, Jeremy,” she said.

I didn’t know what to do, or say, other than cry.

“I’m so sorry,” She sobbed.

“Why did you lead me along like this?” I asked.

“Has Daddy prevented you from having relationships with other guys? Becky, I don’t understand the power that your father has over you!” I said.

“Don’t say that!” She burst.

At long last I realized that even the best psychologist couldn’t get through to her. Our relationship, and marriage, was over before it even began.

I let her hand go and said, “Go”.

“I’ll always love you,” she said as she got into the car.

“Becky, you don’t know what love is, I never want to see you again.” I said.

I returned to the hotel room and slammed the door.

I heard the cab drive off with Becky in it and I didn’t know what I was going to do. I looked around the room and saw our wedding bouquet of flowers on the nightstand and threw it to the floor. What was I going to do?

My family had gone for a drive to the mountains after the marriage ceremony, so I couldn’t call them. I was miles away from home. I didn’t know anyone in the area. For the first time in my life I felt like killing myself. I was sad, depressed and angry. I was tired of the struggle, tired of the pain, upset that she dragged me through the gutter and I just wanted it to end. I grabbed my suitcase and headed out to my car.

I looked down the street for the nearest bar and couldn’t see anything for miles but shabby little motels, dinners, shops and sandy white beach.

So I got into my car and headed for the freeway and thought, “I can drive my car into oncoming traffic or off a bridge and nobody would care.”

“My marriage is over,” I kept saying over and over again in my head.

She ripped my heart out and I wanted the pain to stop.”

As I stepped on the gas pedal I thought of my family and the life I had before I met Becky and knew I needed to get home.

I continued to drive, reliving the day’s events and the depression kept pounding back into my head, “It’s over; I can’t believe that it’s really over.”

If I hadn’t had a home to go back to or a family that day, I would be dead today. I would have driven my car off of a bridge because she wholly destroyed me, leaving wounds that would take years to heal. Going home saved my life.

I didn’t know how I got there that day or how fast I drove on the freeway because the pain was too heavy to bear. Once I made it home, I staggered up to my house. I felt like I had just drunk 12 beers. The world seemed incomprehensively upside down to me. Life wasn’t supposed to be like this. I had just married the woman I loved a few hours ago and before we had time to consummate the relationship we were already separated. She was at her home getting interrogated by her parents while I was at my home wallowing in my misery.

I called my old friend Robin, and after I told him the entire story, he sympathized with me and said that he tried to tell me from the beginning that my relationship wouldn’t work out. But I wouldn’t listen to him.

I apologized and as we said our goodbyes to my friend and when my family finally got home they were shocked to see me sitting on the couch, still in the suit I was wearing a few hours before.

“What happened? Where’s Becky?” They asked.

I spent the next few minutes retelling my story as they sat there, with shocked looks on their faces.

“Fred must have some evil kind of control on his daughter,” dad said.

“I never thought he would still have that kind of control over her once you two were married, that S.O.B doesn’t have a heart.” mom said.

“I hope he gets what’s coming to him,” grandma said.

“Even though it hurts right now, honey, don’t give up on love. You weren’t meant to be with Becky, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t find someone again more apt to share your life with,” mom said.

I couldn’t think or talk. I just sat there, stunned, shocked, and sad. I wanted to cry but couldn’t let the emotions out yet when finally they came and my family comforted me.

That night after a few beers and some phone calls from friend’s who had heard what happened, I eagerly headed to bed, to try and forget.

In bed I thought about what would happen on Monday, “Work 8 a.m. and later I would go to the courthouse 11 a.m. to get an annulment. It’s finished She’s gone and it’s time to move on.” I said

In a few days, her family would move to Oregon, and I would never see her again. Or so I thought.

Click here to read the next chapter!