So I quit my job, my good, state, government job. Thus began my indentured servitude at the barn. I got up, got the kids to school, went to the barn, fed everything, saddled what needed to be saddled and then went back to the house to pick up Tucker. He was either ready to go or sitting at the computer playing internet poker, chain smoking and scratching his balls. If I rushed him, he told me he was in no hurry and that meant, obviously, I shouldn’t be either. I lasted about 2 weeks before I wanted to run away again. Once we did leave, we’d go to the barn and work cattle for hours and then ride what needed riding. Come home exhausted in time for the kids to get home. Feed everyone a snack and head back to the barn for more. It really wasn’t much better than when I was working except I got all his work done for him in the mornings.
Tuckerette was blowing her paycheck on God knows what and we were still paying her truck notes and insurance every month. I was at the bank every morning begging the bank officer to cover checks and making deposits etc. etc. The whole bank account thing was getting more and more out of control. The checks were either being paid and then we were paying the overdraft fees or they were going back and we were paying the overdraft fees. I sat down and figured up the all those fees in a six month period on both accounts when I got my hands on electronic statements and it was thousands of dollars. THOUSANDS. In overdraft fees.
Tucker came home with a huge check for 20 some odd thousand dollars one day. He had me sign it of course and put it in the bank. It covered lots of stuff up and made my bank officer very happy. As it turns out however, the check was a loan…a loan that he was supposed to pay back in 30 days. I only found this out after I had deposited it with my signature on the back of it and let it go through. At the end of that 30 days, Tucker signed my name to and deposited a check from someone we knew for the same 20 some odd thousand dollars and said, “She’s buying horses and gates and cattle plus the generator from us for this.”
I thought and thought and opened my mouth to ask why when he literally put his hand up to my face and said, “You don’t fucking worry about it. I got this taken care of.”
I was bewildered and was trying to figure out why this person we knew was going to buy all these things from us but still I went along and didn't worry about it. Four days later the check bounced but not before the loan had been paid back to the original person. He borrowed from Peter to pay Tom, Dick and Harry, and then borrowed from Mary to pay back Peter. Turns out though, Mary didn’t have the money. She supposedly was unable to sell the sheep she had to cover her check. I got, not surprisingly, a nasty phone call from the bank manager.
“Ms. Common, I have an over drafted account for $23,000 here this morning and I want to know what you intend to do about it. I am not happy about this and the escapades that you’ve been running here at this bank are over. We gave you the benefit of the doubt as a new and struggling business but as of now consider your personal account and your business account frozen and closed. I want some money in here to cover this account and I want it now!”
I was so taken aback and inwardly I panicked. I had no clue what to say to her but her acid tone pissed me off because when it all came down to it, I didn’t know what the hell was really going on. “Well I’m absolutely thrilled about it. I was really hoping to be almost $25,000 upside down one day at the bank.” It was the wrong approach and I knew it but I was pissed and hurt and lashed out like a 5 year old.
“Well you need to come down here and straighten this out now.” She was angry and flustered and nervous. You could hear her voice sort of shaking and I knew this was going to put her in a bad situation too.
I calmed myself and told her I’d call her back after I made some phone calls. I had just gotten back from taking the kids to school and I roused Tucker after I’d gotten off the phone. What I really wanted to do was wing it at his head and see how he liked it but I woke him up with food in his face, the only thing I knew would make him come to immediately. I handed him toast and jelly and said “What the fuck with the bank?!”
He continued to chew, “That deposit went back?”
The realization didn’t sink in at all to me at first. It took him sitting there slick talking and trying to convince me that everything was going to be alright for me to snap to over what he’d done. He already knew what had happened. He had known all along what was going to happen.
I held my hand up for him to stop. I’m supposing the look on my face made an impression because he shut up long enough for me to talk. “I just got spoken to like I’m criminal trash. They have frozen my personal account and the business account. What little was in the personal account is now transferred to the business to try and cover the enormous overdraft. They are expecting me to call back and do something about this immediately because whatever YOU have done I’M responsible for it.”
“Froze the accounts?” he looked actually stunned. One of the few times I’ve seen him like that. “Did you tell them you’d take care of it?”
The panic and batshit was rising inside me. My heart was pounding and I felt the heat flush my face. I was dizzy and sick. “NO! That would be a lie wouldn’t it? I don’t know what the fuck is going on and I’m not lying to another single person for you. What the fuck is going on and what are you going to do about it? I’m not a criminal. I don’t bounce checks. I don’t make deposits that are fucking fraudulent.” I was sobbing by the end of my rant, scared to death and having visions of Bernie Madoff trials and being hauled to jail with cameras in my face. A touch dramatic, possibly, but it’s just what was running through my head. It’s miraculous how much of your life you can imagine or predict and see flash through your brain in a few seconds.
He jumped out of bed and came towards me and I was suddenly very scared. He simply grabbed me by the shoulders however and said, “It’s fine. I have a plan. It’ll all work out and you can tell that bitch at the bank to go and fuck herself.”
I looked incredulously at him through tears and just sobbed. He held me and told me it was fine and he was sorry that I’d had to endure that and that it’d all be fine. I didn’t believe him, no part of me believed him but I sagged against him anyway and let him comfort me. The fight had drained out of me long before this moment and it was too much for me at that second. I needed to be held up and it just so happened that I was being held up...but it wasn’t support, it was thievery.