Following our mini-meltdown, Tucker was solicitous, sweet, kind and thoughtful, loving even. It seemed to rekindle the feelings and atmosphere we’d had at the beginning of our relationship; the kind words, the phone calls for no reason, the hot and sweet sex. It was even better now because he was telling me he loved me and I was effectively ignoring my ever present tingly Spidey Sense.
In the beginning, I had longed for it and never heard it and now I was swimming in protestations of love. He was asking my opinion and permission to use the accounts and the debit card. He was making sure I was included. Of course, I was only included in what he wanted me to know.
I really loved his children and it wasn’t their fault he spoiled them horribly. They actually behaved and were sweet when he wasn’t around. Things seemed to be so much more like a life I wanted. My bills were being paid my ME when I wanted them to be paid. My son was
happy less pissed and my daughter always went with the
flow. Harlow was my sweet little candy girl
and the most trouble I had with her was a pseudo sibling rivalry with her
Tucker’s younger Tuckerette.
Tucker had taught me to rope calves and I had been practicing and learning on an old mare that wouldn’t even back into the box. I had to run the calves out beside the box and chase them down the arena, but I was getting good. One day I came to the barn and there was a beautiful gray gelding there.Tucker told me they’d gotten him for Tucker, Jr. but it turned out he didn’t like him. I began to train him to run barrels and he was worthy and he loved it and so did I. I loved all of it, training the horses, grooming them. Even just tearing ass across the pasture at breakneck speed, hunched over his neck was fantastic and freeing and I reveled in every minute of it. It was one of the things that kept me there, one of those things that made me not want to leave. I knew if I left, my daughter’s pony and my horses would just be gone. I had no way to haul them and no place to keep them. Even when I had approached my kids about leaving Tucker, Harlow would cry about losing her pony. Freddy didn’t give a shit and would encourage it but it was two against one. Poor Freddy.
Things might have been behind but we didn’t want for anything. He always managed to juggle every ball he had in the air and I just started letting him do it. I quit worrying about the bills and left it up to him. I quit obsessing over my previously clean and tidy cottage. I couldn’t keep it tidy any longer. You could say I sort of just surrendered at this point. There was still so much seething writhing burning rancor inside me that I only chose to vent to others. I never told him what irritated me on a day to day basis. I turned into one of those bitchy complainers. The kind of person you dread to say good morning to because they’ll completely unload on you about how the oldest Tuckerette just wasted $200 at the rodeo to miss her calf and you could have used that $200 to put tires on your car but we have to make sure Tucker’s offspring have all that they want. You know…that bitch. My family had withdrawn somewhat because all that bitching had spilled over to them and I had been told in more ways than one that if I wanted it to change, I had to change it. The sympathy was in short supply all around because no one understood why I was doing what I was doing. They just didn’t understand how much I loved him and how perfect it was all going to be eventually. It had to be. He had told me so.
I had a car, an SUV that I cherished. It was paid for, it had low mileage and I had wanted the model since it came out. I loved that damn car and I continually had to loan the motherfucker to Tucker, Jr. or Tuckerette because their vehicles either didn’t work or it would be better for them to drive mine. This often left me sitting on the curb outside my office waiting for my five o’clock ride home. Again, seething writhing boiling inside but saying nothing in the interest of keeping the peace. So one morning…I’m at work. I get a phone call from Tucker. He had stayed in bed after Tuckerette took me to work and dropped me off because Tucker, Jr. had taken my car overnight to go and run some calves at a friend’s house.
I picked up the phone to hear, “Tucker, Jr. wrecked your car.”
“Oh my God, is he alright!?” I’m worried about him but you know…deep down I’m thinking; My car!! My car!!! Holy fucking shit, my car!!!
Tucker says he doesn’t know if he’s alright because all he did was scream at him. This made me take serious pause. Serious. Pause. This is your son. There are apparently police and ambulance on the scene and you never bothered to ask how the child was? Then I’m really taking pause as I find out that Tucker wants ME to go to the scene of the accident with Tuckerette to get Tucker, Jr. His license is expired and he is not sure if he has any outstanding tickets and he doesn’t want to get arrested just to go and see if Tucker, Jr. is ok. I should have said “Um okay fine I’ll leave my job to go and get your son when you could go just as easily and it’s YOUR SON.” Instead I’m sort of dumbfounded and I just say okay.
When Tuckerette and I drive up, I see my car. Upside down. In the ditch. With a sign through the windshield that has caved the roof in. It’s beyond totaled and right then all I could think was, There’s no way that boy is alright. But there he was. Standing by the ambulance. Not one scratch. Not one.
So as it turns out my car was beyond repair and the pole from the sign missed his face by about 6 inches. I got a ticket for allowing an unlicensed minor to drive my car and since my car was paid for all I ever carried on it was liability. No insurance replacement and a lovely $270 ticket. When we all piled into Tuckerette’s truck I started to cry. Like heaving, wracking sobs. Tucker, Jr. was as kind as he knew how to be and said he’d sell one of his horses to replace my car. I just continued to sob and told him he didn’t have to do that, to which he answered, “Well not one of my good ones!”
I kind of laughed at that. I just didn’t know what else to do. There it was. All of it was racing through my mind. Tucker’s truck was a piece of shit. Tuckerette’s wasn’t much better. Tucker’s was fading fast. I had the only dependable transportation and it was being hauled away for junk and I had had to give the title to pay the towing fee. I was about to be fucked over six ways from Sunday and any semblance of any independence I had previously known was about to be ripped away.
We went home and I gave Tucker the ticket and told him to take care of it. He was busy apologizing to Tucker, Jr. for not being more understanding about the whole thing and I had Tuckerette, Jr. take me back to work. I needed away from all of it as quickly as I could get there.
I went straight to the bathroom and cried for about 15 solid minutes. I remember trying to pull the stupid toilet paper out of the industrial dispenser to wipe my nose and dry my tears and it would only come out one square at a time. I laughed more because it was so ridiculous, just like every other thing. I sat there thinking about how I’d let all the responsibilities of our lives go in the last few months. I’d let him take over the bills, the running of the house and dictation of who went where and when. I was now dependent on him for absolutely everything and while I still held hope for that perfect future, I wasn’t entirely sure I could withstand the road to get there. I saw many more days of sitting on the curb and waiting for that ride home. I looked into the future and I couldn’t see that perfection any longer. All I could see was that I was stranded.