So the dust settled. After which I discovered that he had no plan. I had suspected as much but just in case you were wondering, I never got to go and tell that poor bewildered bank manager to go and fuck herself. Not that I would have but still. I got lucky I suppose. The bank was a national one and happened to be bought out by another bank. Consequently, my debt was sent to a collection agency and I still get calls from them to this day because let’s face it, I don’t make enough money to pay off a bank debt for $23,000 most weeks much less feed us. I was recently told that the FBI had been involved in the investigation which scared me to death along with the fact that when I tried to open an account at one of the banks locally, I have “Suspected bank fraud” on the little record that they mail to you with the reasons why you can’t open an account. Lovely, right? Yeah.
So I guess instead of sitting in a federal prison somewhere, I got lucky and just ended up with some severely fucked up credit. I don’t know how you define luck but staying out of jail worked for me right then. I was car-less, job-less, now bank account-less and feeling so hopelessly lost. I kept thinking there were no more decent jobs in this tiny town and no way out except turning back to the man who had taken me from an independent woman to a simpering depressed blob.
Tucker decided that we should get married. I suppose part of me still wanted all that with him for what reason, I don’t know. I was weak and easily manipulated by a man who was good at it and I didn't think enough of myself to stand up and say it wasn't right. I mean it wasn’t awful every single second outwardly. We went to rodeos, we worked horses, we traveled around, and we spent time together. One could not then see the inside of my head was a tangled web of worry. You remember those choose your own ending adventure books? My brain was endless scenarios followed by infinite mazes with options for how things could work in the end. The money came in and went out and less and less of it went to take care of day to day expenses so of course I started looking around to plan a wedding.
I had finally finished my Associate’s Degree but I don’t really know how. My best friend at the time had was privy to most of what was going on with Tucker and was often in the midst of her own relationship hell and we leaned on each other heavily to share our misery. Hindsight tells me that I should have realized that we were only feeding each other’s wretchedness and were sticking to each other’s side in order to have some place to dump. She came with me to look for venues and helped me with a few minor details but ultimately the wedding never happened because Tucker and Tucker, Jr. had a huge fight whereby Tucker, Jr. left town and moved 2 hours away. Tucker said he wasn’t in the mood to celebrate anything. His son had left him under stormy and sad circumstances and it made him depressed and his feelings were always the most important. I think he had changed his mind and used it as an excuse but since the manipulation was in overdrive all the time, I hung in there. I had to prove I wasn’t like everyone who had “abandoned” him. Even after all this drama the BFF told me she was glad it hadn’t happened and that I needed to leave him. Part of me agreed, part of me hedged, clinging to the idea that this was all going to be okay. I still resented the sudden lack of support and commiseration. I dodged her calls more often than I took them but I still did her homework and took her money because I needed it.
Shortly following Tucker, Jr.’s exit, Tuckerette decided she was moving 6 hours away to her mother’s. She had supposedly found a great school there and was going to get a certification in dental assisting or something like that. She came in, packed her shit, said she was going and she left. This all added to Tucker’s feeling of abandonment and he sucked up as much pity as he could over it. We didn’t hear from her for close to six months. Of course we didn’t get a truck note either but whatever, anything for his darling children. When she did finally call, it was to tell her father that she was pregnant. Seven months pregnant. Fresh hell? Yes, please.