The Fourteen Years War – 1997 – Volume I

June 30, 2006 at 6:52 pm (Uncategorized)

No one in Jeff’s family but his parents knew about Nate and they had never seen him. Jeff was still with Lo until he told her about Nate on her birthday in January. I was still alone and AZ and I were still snarking at each other. I got a new job in June as a paralegal. Since Jeff and Lo had separated, I thought Jeff and I would start rebuilding our relationship, which went no where. We fought all the time. I would cry and go into Nate’s room and tell him how sorry I was that I couldn’t make things work out. My days were filled with work and Nate. I did nothing else. Then, two incidents happened that changed everything.

The first was that one Saturday, I had to go to the grocery store. It was a bad time. I was emotionally and physically a wreck. I looked horrible, I felt horrible, my eyes were red from crying and I just prayed I didn’t see anyone I knew, especially AZ. Nate was old enough to sit up by himself in the buggy, so it was between February and April. Of course, I ran straight into AZ. I inwardly cringed as I spoke to him. The look he gave me was one of, “What the fuck have you let him do to you?” Disgust, perhaps a bit of anger. I remember exactly what I was wearing that day. A shapeless over large, long-sleeved tan shirt, and a pair of shapeless, over large wine colored pants.

I threw those clothes away and started fighting the depression. I also started demanding answers from Jeff, which only escalated our fighting. I started getting hives when he would come for his once a month, 15 minute visits.

The second, definitely changed everything. I was on my way home from work, traveling down Rte. 25 toward the bridge over the river, when I heard on the radio that AZ was engaged. I burst into tears. I was crying so hard I could barely see, breath, or drive. I took a deep breath somewhere and said to the radio, “I don’t think so. He’s not marrying anyone but me.” Then I felt guilty.

Over the next few days, I knew that all I wanted for AZ was that he be happy. I gathered my courage and called him at the station. I told him I had heard about his engagement and I wanted to congratulate him. His response, “Yeah.” I said, “You don’t sound very happy for someone who just got engaged.” His next response was practically non-responsive. I couldn’t figure out for the life of me what the problem was. That would take almost three more years. Let me tell you now, and then the incident where I found out I can tell about when I get to sometime in October 2000. He asked her, she said yes, then she said, well, maybe not. You don’t ever tell AZ yes, and then, well, maybe not, because the “not” is going to stick.

Regardless, AZ stepped up and encouraged me to look for help in raising Nate, as in babysitting and things of that nature, from the State. I wasn’t getting any child support and Jeff had given me about $150 for Nate’s first year of life. I could tell in the time that we had spent apart that AZ had changed. He was very gentle with me. Not snarky. I was surprised because before he could be pretty hard-line about things. He gave me something that weekend. He gave me hope. He also told me that he worked the early shift every Sunday morning, 6 to 10, and since it was so quiet, it was probably the best time to talk to him. He didn’t have to tell me twice.

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