On Thanksgiving 1992, I had fixed baked beans from scratch. It took about three hours to cook the beans, I added bacon and onions, barbecue sauce and brown sugar etc… they looked magnificent! We took them over to his mother's and she baked them for another hour because they were cold. They of course turned to mush and tasted terrible. I already felt she thought I couldn't do anything right and that proved it. I had tried to tell Bill that the beans turned out that way because they were already cooked and that extra hour or so in the oven did them in. He wouldn't hear of it since of course his mother was the best cook in the world and it just wasn't possible! They tried to teach me canasta and I thought how hard could it be I had been playing cards all of my life since I was 10 years old and usually caught on quickly. I couldn't figure that game out and was always slow in my choices of what card to play. His brother and girlfriend were there and had this pitiful, sappy look on their faces as if I were too dumb to live. I couldn't wait to get out of there.
We went to my sister, Floy’s house in South end. We ate and laughed in an entirely different atmosphere. Everyone was laughing and telling jokes. I breathed a sigh of relief when the day was over and we headed for home in Wathena. It was cooler then and the trailer was tolerable.
Over the few months we had gone to various grave yards to see the monuments he had engraved for the monument company where he worked. We went as far as Plattsburg, and the little grave yard at bluff woods. I had visited him at his work several times on his lunch break to say Hello before I went to work. The whole time keeping the secret of the photographs that should have been arriving any day.
The Friday after Thanksgiving I was at work and at the end of my shift I called him as usual to find out where I was supposed to pick him up. It was my weekend off and we had planned to go to Metro North in Kansas City to see the Christmas lights. His mother said he wasn't home. I called the bar on Belt Highway; they said he hadn't been there. I called my friend and his, LeAnn at the trailer court. She said she hadn't seen him either. I was so mad and angry I could have spit nails. I had been looking forward to that weekend off and spending it with Bill, it was Christmas time and I was so happy and content with our relationship. He even bought me a Christmas tree and helped me decorate it about two weeks before. It was early for Christmas decorating but I was feeling all warm and fuzzy inside and he too seemed happy. We hardly argued anymore. The whole month of November was filled with love and contentment. After setting up the tree I sat on the couch and he laid his head in my lap just looking at that tree.
On Saturday Morning after not finding Bill on the previous night, I started calling. I called and called and no one knew where he was. I called the police dept to see if he'd gotten picked up for driving on suspended license, I was the one who drove him where he wanted to go because he didn't have a car or a valid driver's license. Nope, he hadn't been picked up. I called the hospital and again called his mother thinking he had to go home sometime. She would say, "I'm sure he's alright, don't worry about Bill he does this sometimes".That led me to believe that he had called her and told her he didn't want to be found, especially by me. I went to the bar and spoke to a guy we played pool with and he said," I think he's fooling around on you because during the week when you're at work he brings in another girl and plays pool with her". I was absolutely sure that wasn't the case because "I was his girlfriend and I knew Bill loved me." That line of thinking was shoved to the back of my mind, even though my gut instinct said it was a possibility.
All night Friday night and all night Saturday night I cried and ached and screamed. I tossed and turned and couldn't sleep, I held on to the pillow that he had slept on and muffled the sounds, thinking the neighbors in that trailer court probably thought someone was being killed. I drove to houses of friends of his where we had gone to play cards, they all said they didn't know where he was and hadn't seen him. I told them what the guy at the bar said; the looks on their faces told me more than I wanted to know. Still I denied and cried some more. I called his mother's house time and again and she'd still say he wasn't there. She said he'll call you if he wants. In other words, "stop calling here!"
On Monday I knew that he had to go to work and I had to go back to work too. I showed up at the monument company at noon. He was playing cards with his buddies at work and would hardly look at me. He told them he was going to talk to me outside. I asked him, “Well what happened? I spent my whole weekend off looking for you!"
He said," Over the last two weeks I found someone else and had been seeing the both of you at the same time. She knew about you but you didn't know about her. I was trying to decide which one I was going to choose and I chose her."
I said," You've been with me for seven months and you were with her for two weeks and you chose her?"
He said he was sorry and that they got along really well and didn't fight as we had been doing. I reminded him that we had been getting along really well for about a month now, feeling settled, happy. I asked him about the time I was laughing and joking at the trailer when we had finished making love. He said he was such an" asshole". I asked him if that was what he meant. He conceded that it was.
One day when I came home from work I noticed that he had been there and took his coffee maker. The tears started afresh as someone who has just lost a loved one to death and the death kept happening over and over again.
I tried to take back the items I had spent on him at the little gift store in Wathena, 200.00 worth. They said their policy was no returns on layaway items but I was so distraught and they could see the anguish on my face and inside my soul. They sympathized and returned my money.
I had bought the Nintendo Game machine for Chuck for Christmas. I couldn't wait for him to open it! It was 249.00, he had been waiting 2 years for it to come at Christmas but Charles and I could never spend that kind of money on one child when we had two to buy for. This was going to be the year!!
When Bill left me I finally decided to pull myself up by the bootstraps and go on. After all there were more fish in the sea right? I went to the bar and called in more frequently at work. I stayed from 1:00 o'clock in the afternoon one day and didn't leave until closing time at 1:00 o'clock in the am. I had a friend I had been playing pool with call in for me from the bowling alley next door telling them "I had fallen and couldn't get up" or something to that affect.
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