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The chess match

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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.

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