Author's Note: I've been reading several stories where someone steps in after the marriage is on the brink and gives our hero the 'tough love' he needs to pull his head out of his ass and put his life and marriage back together. It's usually family members, clergy, a marriage counselor or friends, and usually a group of them. This is my response to that type of... 'intervention.'
Warning: THIS IS NOT A FEEL GOOD STORY! There's no happy ending here. So if that kinda of story bothers you or 'brings you down, ' umm ... PLEASE DON'T READ IT! Lots of other stories out there you might like. LOL!
Thanks to findingmyvoice for making this a better read. Any mistakes you find are mine, since I always tend to mess with my stories after I get them back from an editor.
BTW – YES, I am in anger management classes. Remedial ones, of course. <smiles and bears tusks>
I nursed my drink and stared at the lazy Texas sunset. Man, I'm gonna miss this. I ain't gonna miss the summer heat but there's something about standing in your backyard wearing only shorts and a t-shirt in November that I could've gotten used to. Oh ... and the smell of Texas barbeque ... damn, my mouth is already watering!
Turning, I glanced back on the family cookout that was in progress behind me. The get together was in my honor, celebrating my recent promotion as shop foreman. It was labeled an 'adult party' and the half dozen company employees and their spouses were there without any children. I was thankful for that because I had every intention of turning this into my farewell party.
When I got the chance, I went out to my truck. I picked up what I figured I'd need for a 'visual aid.' I suspected they'd ask me to give some kinda speech and I wanted to make it memorable. I stuck my Glock 9mm into the back of my jeans and made sure it wasn't noticeable under my dinner jacket.
Making my way back through the guests, I saw my boss coming towards me. Tommy Peterson was a big, fat guy with a smile that could light up half of Dallas. Even in his fifties, the man had a presence about him that both demanded respect and put you at ease.
Beside him walked Martha, his wife, my problem. Alright, maybe she ain't the problem. Maybe she's just the moron who keeps opening the damn door and letting the real problem in! It don't really matter, either way, it gets taken care of today!
Martha Peterson was more than a little on the heavy side but was still decent looking, even in her fifties. She had that kinda personality that drew people to her and made her 'Momma' or 'Granma' to just about everyone. Problem was, she believed the old wives' tale 'Momma knows best.'
Since I'd moved here eleven months ago, she'd made it her mission in life to set me up with the 'perfect' woman. It didn't matter what I did or what I said, she couldn't get it through her thick head I just wasn't interested in dating. I'm still trying to get over my first marriage.
Maybe if I would've yelled or thrown some kinda fit she would have gotten the hint. But that just ain't me. I tend to be quiet, polite, and private. I guess if I'd been more of an ass ... well that's gonna change!
There they sat, Martha and several of the other wives all just beaming like cats that'd caught a mouse. They'd found their 'perfect' girl for me and there she was sitting with them. She was beautiful, barely five feet but with a good figure, long blonde hair, and a very pretty face. Of course she always looked great because she worked in a beauty salon.
I had to give them credit, I thought she was the 'perfect' girl for me too ... till about two years ago! Unfortunately, the 'perfect' girl they'd been pushing on me the past couple months was my ex-wife, Teresa.
The fact they knew that is what really burned my ass. I hadn't told them the real story behind my divorce because it wasn't any of their damn business! I'd told them I didn't want to date her, or talk to her, or even be in the same state as her. Now, there she sat, surrounded by a bunch of women who were extremely pleased with themselves at finally getting my ex-wife and me face to face.
Teresa probably hadn't told them much about our how our marriage ended because she was good at leaving out little things when she didn't want to face something. She had a way about her that charmed almost everyone she met. She'd told them she'd made a mistake and that I refused to talk to her and forgive her. She'd played the 'broken and sorry wife' role perfectly. That and her "I pray for the chance to show Doug how much I really love him" routine had Martha, and her hen party, eating out of her hand.
Tommy stood up, addressed the group, and finally introduced me.
"I'd like to thank y'all for coming out tonight. I know this was supposed to be a celebration and I guess it is in a way.
"Tommy offered me the job as shop foreman and I want to thank him for that. But sir, I'm gonna have to turn it down because as of today ... I quit. Sorry to spring this on you and I'll understand if you don't want to give me a good reference but I'm gonna be gone tomorrow no matter what happens."
I watched the startled faces as Tommy opened his mouth to say something.
"Doug, this is a party and my home," he said sternly.
"No disrespect to you, sir. You've been more than fair with me and I owe you an explanation but there are others here," I said coldly, "that I sure as hell don't owe anything."
"Doug?" Martha said.
"Martha, I think you and the rest of your little coven have done more than enough to me. I'd made it very clear I didn't want to date anyone and I sure as hell made it clear I didn't want to be anywhere near my ex-wife. Apparently, what I want ain't important. So, I'm either gonna speak now or I leave for good. Your choice, either one sounds pretty good to me right now."
The group was silent except for the sound of Teresa crying.
"Alright, then I'll tell you a little story..."
Teresa looked up at me and slowly shook her head, her eyes begging me to not go on.
"You see, about two years ago I left my little hometown in Georgia for the first time in my life. I left behind a destroyed marriage and a family who'd turned their backs on me. I came here eleven months ago trying to start a new life, but it seems I can't get away from my past. It just keeps finding me, with the help of others."
I glared at Martha until she looked away.
"I married my high school sweetheart five years ago. She was everything I ever wanted or dreamed of. We got married after she graduated and for three years I thought we had the perfect marriage. She worked in a beauty salon and I worked in one of my family's garages. My dad owns several garages across northern Georgia so that's where I learned to be a mechanic.
"But just like the Garden of Eden had a serpent ... so did my marriage. Unfortunately, my serpent turned out to be my kid brother, Billy.
"Billy is three years younger than me but he's always been the center of attention in my family. He's supposedly a recovering drug addict, and has been since he was fifteen and dropped out of school.
"All my life, my parents have a looked out for him, sacrificed themselves, and me, for whatever was best for Billy. I heard 'Doug, we have to help him, he's sick' more times than I can count.
"So, three years ago, when I heard he'd been evicted from his latest dump, I wasn't surprised. My family, including my wife, wanted him to stay with us until he could get admitted into another rehab. My response wasn't 'no' but 'Hell No!'
"Both my wife and my parents were 'shocked and appalled' I could be so cold and turn my back on my brother. In my mind, I didn't turn my back on him I just wasn't enabling him. Over the next few weeks they made my life a living hell, pressuring me until I agreed to let Billy come and stay.
"And my reward for trying to be a 'good' big brother?"
I glared at my ex-wife trying to calm myself.
"I'm not sure what line my piece of shit brother fed to my wife to get her to spread her legs for him, but it worked. Of course, neither one ever bothered to let me know about it. Two months later, I got the great news... 'Honey, I'm pregnant'. Like a dumbass, I was thrilled since we'd been trying to have a kid for the past year.
"Imagine my surprise, a few months later, when the doctor told us there was something wrong with the baby. That the baby had a small heart defect that was common with women who used cocaine. My wife of course denied ever using drugs. Then the doctor said something that turned my world into a nightmare.
"He said there were studies that said drug abuse didn't have to be from the mother. Early studies showed sperm from a drug addict could cause birth defects. I started getting pissed.
"He asked me if I'd been doing drugs. When I told him I hadn't, he said birth defects were still a mystery and there must be another reason.
"My wife, the one who I trusted more than anyone in this world, told me I was the child's father. But, things weren't adding up right.
"When the baby was born, they did the surgery. It was considered a total success. But I'm not a complete fool so I had a DNA test run. When the results came back it was final ... I was an uncle!
"I lost it. I threw all of my cheating wife's things out of the house, grabbed my Glock, and went looking for that shit, I once called a brother.
"I looked everywhere but couldn't find him. My parents had stashed him in some out-of-state rehab. So how did they know? Well there's another little kick in the balls. Seems my brother waited a whole week before he told them about sharing his older brother's reason to live. Then the four of them sat on their asses, hoping I would never find out their little secret!
"I filed for divorce the next day. As soon as my slut of a wife got served, the nonstop load of bullshit started from her and my parents.
"I wouldn't talk to the cheating whore for weeks. I couldn't stand to look at her or even hear her voice. I was in shock. All my dreams were trashed. I'd been screwed over and lied to by the ones who claimed they loved me.
"After a week of non-stop shit from my parents, I agreed to talk to her.
"I heard all her excuses. He was depressed and said he'd nothing to live for. She felt sorry for him. She was only trying to comfort him and it went too far. The weed he was smoking clouded her mind. It was only that one night. It was just a 'mercy fuck' and didn't mean anything.
"Seems their first attempt was so bad he started talking suicide. The second time, she restored his will to live. My ex-wife, trying to earn sainthood one dick at a time! Makes one wonder if she's been visiting the homeless shelters and spreading her ... joy."
I spit the bile that was building in my mouth. Teresa sat there and quietly cried.
"Both Teresa and my parents were on me like flies on shit but they weren't alone. They recruited others to 'talk' to me.
"My favorite was when the pastor of the church my family has attended for generations paid me a visit. My family was big in giving to the church and had funded a bunch of their building projects.
"He went on and on about forgiveness. After a bit I got tired of it and agreed to forgive but with two conditions. The first was that he would preach a sermon Sunday on coveting your brother's wife. The second was that the following Sunday I would get to stand before the entire congregation and give my 'testimony' before I publicly forgave them.
I smiled as I remembered his reaction.
"I never heard from him again.
"Of course my parents just kept going," I snarled. "I heard all their expected bullshit. I needed to be a bigger man than this. Teresa had made a mistake but her heart was good. My wife and baby needed me and a 'real' man wouldn't abandon them. They raised me better than this. They went on and on.
"My dad finally told me how disappointed he was in me for not forgiving Teresa and Billy. I told them both how disappointed I was in them as parents. After that, I gave them both barrels and told exactly what I thought of them! It was very ugly.
"Finally, when they asked me if I'd read my brother's apology letter and that I shouldn't blame Billy because he was sick ... I lost it again. I told them I'd wiped my ass with his letter. I also told them to never mention my brother's name to me ever again. They didn't believe me ... so I decided to convince them."
I stared at my audience making sure I had their complete attention. Reaching behind me, I pulled out my Glock. There were several gasps and more than a few cuss words.
I thanked God I was at Tommy and Martha's house. Usually pulling a gun in Texas would get your ass shot. But, I knew Martha had banned any guns from being brought into her home so I would be the only one carrying. The arsenal my coworker's usually carried would've been left in their trucks or other vehicles.
I lowered my voice to a menacing growl and continued.
"I see you had the same reaction as my parents. I remember the words I spoke to them that day.
"You mention that motherfucker's name to me one more time and I will hunt the son-of-a-bitch down and put a bullet in his fucking head. I swear to God, you will be burying your favorite son within the week."
I paused to watch the color drain out of several people's faces. I'd made my point.
"Apparently, my parents believed me since they haven't spoken to me since that day. Too bad I can't say the same for my ex-wife.
"I figured I might actually hurt someone if I stayed there any longer so I moved across the state line to Alabama to wait out my divorce. I left Teresa and the kid everything but a few dollars I needed to get started again. Guess I should be grateful it took her six months to find me. I'd heard she had some kinda breakdown and had to be hospitalized. Seems she tried to kill herself ... she failed. It was kinda like her trying to stay faithful to her husband, close but no cigar!"
I stared at Teresa as she buried her face in her hands. Her shoulders heaved as she sobbed. I'd like to tell you I felt sorry for her but I didn't. She'd made me what I am now by tearing out my heart. All that was left was the pain from my past and a rage I have to fight to control every day.
Over the past two years I'd found I couldn't move on. The fact Teresa kept stalking me didn't help.
She'd always said we were soul mates, destined to be together throughout time. I thought it was kinda silly, like she'd read it somewhere and just liked the sound of it. I have my doubts now.
I've never felt so alone, like a part of me is missing. I find myself looking next to me wanting to ask her what she thinks. At times I've even reached out for her hand but it's never there. I can feel my heart growing colder and the anger growing each time it happens. She'd always been there for me before.
I remembered my graduation. My dad wasn't there because Billy had gotten in trouble again. Dad had gone down to the police station to pick him up and to talk with a counselor. My mom was so worried that she was a basket case so I told her to just go and join dad.
So my graduation party included my friends and some family members but none of my immediate family. I tried to hide my disappointment but Teresa saw through it right away. She'd made sure I felt loved that night, several times. It really had been my special night.
I woke up in the middle of the night after my party, lying in my bed with her naked body snuggled beside me. I noticed my parents standing in my doorway staring at us. Slowly I got up, put my boxers on and walked over to my bedroom door.
My dad wanted to say something about Teresa being there but he thought better of it. My mom had tears in her eyes. They both whispered their apologies to me for missing my party. I lied and told them it wasn't a big deal.
I remember telling them I'd be moving out soon and I'd be moving in with my cousin until Teresa and I could get married. Then I shut the door in their faces.
My attention was drawn back to my audience when a couple started to stand up. I cleared my throat and shook my head. They quickly sat back down.
Carefully, I put my Glock down beside me and you could hear the sighs of relief. I looked at them and continued my story.
"When she finally found me, she moved into the same trailer park I was living in. After I got a restraining order against her and still filed about a dozen more complaints, I knew I needed to move again. The divorce had finally come through so I packed up and moved here to Texas.
"She didn't mention the little fact of a restraining order to you when she gave you her sob story about our marriage, did she Martha?"
Martha was now starting to cry as she shook her head.
"Didn't think so. She's pretty good at leaving out little important details.
"When I got to Texas, I was lucky to find someone like Tommy, who helped me start over again. He gave me the chance to prove myself and didn't pry into my past very much.
"I'd made it clear I didn't want to talk about my past and after making sure I wasn't running from the law, he was okay with that. Again, too bad his wife wouldn't listen.
"I hadn't told anyone where I was moving, not even the couple of friends I still had in Georgia. So, imagine my surprise when three months ago my ex-wife moved into town. An even bigger joy was when my boss' wife decided to try to get me and my cheating ex-wife back together again!"
Martha started to speak but I interrupted her.
"You had your chance but you sure as hell never listened! Now it's my turn," I spewed with enough rage to shut her up.
"I've made it clear a shitload of times over the last year I didn't want to date and didn't want to discuss or have to explain my past. I sure as hell didn't want to get back with my wife. But apparently, what I want doesn't mean shit.
"Doug, I'm so sorry. I didn't know..."
I cut her off right there.
"Didn't know?" I spat. "Since when do you have to 'know' before you'll respect someone else's privacy? Who the hell do you think you are that someone has to explain it to you before you'll give him the common courtesy of staying the hell out of his life!
I could tell my words had hit their mark. It was time to wrap up this sad little show.
"So Martha, I want to thank you and these other busybodies, for making my last two months a living hell. I would wish y'all well but that would be a boldfaced lie. Personally, I hope y'all turn on each other and make each other's lives miserable."
I looked down and saw Teresa's tear streaked face.
"Please, baby, please," she begged. "Please give me another chance!"
"I told you to get the hell away from me, Teresa. Go home to your kid."
"I can't unless I bring his daddy back with me."
"You want to find the kid's father? Go look in some rehab or in some gutter. If you were meaning me, then it ain't ever gonna happen. If you haven't been following our little story ... I sure as hell ain't the kid's father!"
I picked up my Glock, put it back in my belt, and turned to walk through the crowd. They parted faster than a trailer tramp's legs at a NASCAR party. I heard several apologies and a few even looked me in the eye. As I reached the driveway I heard Teresa scream behind me.
"NO! Doug wait, please don't go. I can't live without you, Doug!" she screamed as she fell to ground weeping. "You have to come home, you just have to..."
I turned around and looked at her.
"Listen bitch, I don't give a shit if you take a razor to your wrists or not, just stay the hell away from me!"
I saw everyone staring at me.
"Seems I still can't get anyone to fucking listen to me," I snarled and walked to my truck.
The doctors tell me recording my thoughts is good therapy and this will help me discover myself. Personally, I think they're full of shit. They don't seem to understand that I've lost my Doug. He's my rock, my soul mate, my lover, my best friend, and until recently, my husband.
I lost him because of one stupid mistake. A mistake he can't forgive me for.
To understand us, you need to know our past. Doug and I started dating in high school. He was a sophomore and I was just a freshman. I knew I loved him from the moment we first kissed.
We went all through high school together and I knew we would end up getting married. Three months after I graduated, we had our wedding. I'm sure my parents were thrilled. First, they were glad I was out of their house and second, because we didn't have to get married. As good little Southern Baptists, I think they were afraid I was gonna get knocked up.
My parents and I were always arguing. They loved Doug but didn't like my lifestyle. The sex and drinking was too much for them. Of course they knew I'd never do that with anyone but Doug.
He was all I'd ever wanted. He's always been what I thought was my soul mate. Even when I messed up, it had nothing to do with my love for him. Although he doesn't see it that way. All he sees is the betrayal. He doesn't understand that when I see how bad he hurts, I die too.
Doug has always been my rock. Whenever I would lose control, he was always there, until now. Most people think he's shy and quiet but I know better. What he really is ... is a volcano! He's always calm on the outside but inside it can just build and build until he explodes! I've seen it happen several times but rarely ever in public.
One time it happened in front of a bunch of our classmates. We'd gone to a keg party and had been drinking when this jerk, Jerry Whitmore, grabbed my ass. I turned around and slapped him. Then the drunk asshole grabbed me and tried to feel me up.
He must've had a death wish to do that in front of Doug. Even though Doug ain't the biggest guy, he's strong and in real good shape. Jerry didn't even get a punch in before Doug had him on the ground, sitting on him and pounding his face. It took three guys to pull Doug off him and when they did there was blood everywhere.
Doug messed him up pretty bad and there was talk of charging Doug. But, then I threatened to file sexual assault charges against Jerry and everything was dropped. Needless to say, I never had a problem with any other guy after that.
Like I said earlier, Doug and I got married right after I graduated. It was the happiest time that I can remember. He was already working as a mechanic in one of his father's garages and I went to beauty school.
Soon, we had enough money saved to buy our first house. It wasn't much, just a little two bedroom, matchbox house ... but it was ours.
The first two years were tight since we didn't have much money. But we had each other and it was more than enough! I was so happy it seemed I was living in some fairytale.
Doug and I didn't have a perfect marriage but it sure seemed that way sometimes. We'd argue but then I'd pout or cry and he would give in most of the time. I didn't do that very often. I didn't want to take advantage of my Doug.
Our love was like a protective wall around us, keeping us safe from the outside world. I guess that's why I never saw the danger until it was too late
When Billy was evicted from his trailer our problems started. He had no place to stay since he was arguing with his and Doug's parents at the time. Even though they didn't want him staying with them again so soon after the last time, they didn't want him on the street either. They asked us if he could stay with us for a few weeks until they could get him into another rehab center.
I said okay, but Doug said no. I knew Doug had lots of issues with his family, most of them he had a right to be pissed about.
Doug's parents, Tom and Paula, are pretty decent folk. They were just unlucky enough to have a son that was a mess. That mess tore their family apart and then killed mine as well.
Billy was always the loud one, the one who'd do almost anything on a dare. While Doug, on the other hand, was that quiet force always standing in the background but you always knew was there. Together they were a team. That lasted until Doug went to high school.
In high school, Doug started hanging around his friends and football teammates more. Billy reacted by being even more an attention hound. Soon, it was obvious Billy was gonna try to be a 'bad boy' or some kinda rebel.
It ain't a surprise Billy started hanging around the druggies. Doug and I were dating by then and I knew it tore Doug up watching Billy fall down that hole.
Billy was a full-fledged addict by the time he was a freshman. He'd already torn the family up pretty good by then. He dropped out the same year Doug graduated.
Doug's parents tried everything but didn't know what to do with Billy. They tried sweet-talking, bribing, threatening, and finally, they tried some 'tough love.' Billy simply used it as an excuse to drop out of school. After that, Tom and Paula ended up caving into him on just about everything.
While I understood their problem, it then became all about Billy. They did everything for him and basically left Doug to fend for himself most of the time. I know that really hurt Doug.
Billy was just hell-bent on destroying his life. It was too bad because he could've been something special. My Doug's a good looking guy but everyone agrees Billy would've been better looking when he grew up. Unfortunately, with the drug addiction, no one will ever know.
Doug tried a bunch of times to reach out to Billy. Billy's response was to steal from his brother and their parents then buy more drugs. When Billy turned eighteen Doug stopped trying.
We'd been married about two-and-a-half-years when Billy got evicted. I'll admit Tom, Paula, and I were pretty relentless on trying to get Doug to change his mind.
I think Tom and Paula felt they were out of options and I think they needed to ease their guilt. They didn't want Billy to come back to live with them again. They had just thrown him out several months earlier after he'd stolen a bunch of money from them. I wanted Doug to change his mind because you can't just turn your back on family, also, it was getting close to Christmas and it would've been a horrible holiday with Billy living on the street.
It was just a few days after Christmas, when I let my fairytale marriage come crashing down.
Doug had called and told me he was trying to fix the transmission for a middle-aged, single mother of three there in town. It was her only car, so he and one of the other guys at work were gonna work through the night to get it fixed for her. Damn, I love him.
I got home late from the beauty salon that night. When I walked into the house I almost gagged. The smoke from Billy's weed was like a fog. I walked over and pounded on the bedroom door but he didn't answer me. Pissed off, I opened up some windows and then went to take a shower.
After my shower, I got ready for bed. The smell of smoke still reeked, but I needed to shut the windows because it was cold outside. After shutting the windows, I went and banged on Billy's door again. This time he answered.
The way he looked scared me. His eyes were bright red and I couldn't tell if it was from the smoke or if he'd been crying. He had such a look of despair and gloom I really started worrying about him.
He turned around, walked back over by the bed, and sat on the floor next to his bong. I stepped in and immediately felt a rush from the smoke. I'd smoked pot on occasion so I was familiar with what it was doing to me.
I went and got a fan and brought it back into the room. I opened a window and set the fan to start blowing the smoke out. Billy just sat there mumbling. When I was done, I sat down next to him. Even though that night is fuzzy, I'm sure I remember the way things happened. I remember I started in on him.
"Dammit Billy!" I said. "If Doug smells this when he gets home, he'll kick your ass out."
"Maybe that would be for the best," he mumbled.
When I looked at him I saw such sadness. It was like he'd given up.
"Hell, it don't matter anyway," he sighed, while tilting his head back and looking at the ceiling. "I'm dyin' anyway."
I was shocked. It took me a few seconds to respond.
"Oh shit Billy, do you got AIDS?"
He snorted and shook his head.