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Shadows of a husband

The person hidden within

By Zelda FoxxPublished 10 months ago 8 min read
Shadows of a husband
Photo by Joshua Fuller on Unsplash

Our marriage started like any other. We were the typical, quintesiatial couple. We met at work on a smoke break. The only time I considered smoking beneficial ever in my life; as we decided to quit together on our honeymoon. We each tell the story differently of how we met. He was walking down the hallway when he spotted me in a along slotted skirt with boots by the staff lounge mail boxes. I remember him going out the door and me bergrugigly saying hello as I was on my out to my car to grab something. I didn’t really want to deal with people that day, so for some reason when I am like that I forced myself to be extra nice.

At the theme I thought I was the luckiest girl in the universe and the man upstairs was like genie finally granting me one of my three wishes, to meet the man of my dreams. I had been through too many horrible failed relationships and this man seemed to love me just for me with all my flaws. That day we spent our whole break together and pretty much ever break after that. It wasn’t long before we spent our nights together as well. Before I knew it I was solidly moved in and a part of his life and calling his parents Mom and Dad. I remember his mom did say something strange to me once, “We are so glad he met you, Some of these crazy women he brought home.” I thought whelp better hide my crazy. Little did I know how deep the rabbit hole on his crazy went. The family seemed disgustingly normal compared to the lower socioeconomic, trauma crap I grew up with.

No one yelled and screamed at each other at family gatherings or insulted each other in “jest,” that left deep scarring wounds for years to come. He was a good man that kept me calm when my night mares rolled in as well as the panic. We had 14 wonderful years, two kids, a dog, cat, bunny and a beared dragon to boot on an acre of land in rural country before things started to change.

I don’t honestly blame his parents either. How could they have known? It was a typical day of any work week/school week at our home when things first started to seem off. Roy awoke, groggy as usual because he didn’t sleep well. He never slept well, but every time I rolled over because I couldn’t sleep he did always seem to be sleeping, yet he would always complain how he never got any sleep. He had a c-pap and took meds, but nothing seemed to work for him. He came to bed sometimes late and woke up in the middle of the night so as not to disturb me left the room, but that seemed to be happening less. I wasn’t exactly sure why he was always so crabby, but at the same time sleep and I weren’t exactly great bedfellows either. I just learned to deal with it and keep moving. Life had to be lived, and bills had to be paid.

My father in law was there as usual to take the kids to school. He lived just outside of town, but we hated them getting on the school bus in such a rural area. Plus it saved on the cost of before and after care and lately, like everyone it seems these days we were drowning in debt. This farm house had been my dream forever, but with inflation, the price of utilities we would have to down size when the market crashed and housing prices got better. Roy had to pick up a second job as is just for us to make ends meet.

Roy told me he had to work that night. I didn’t think anything if it. He had picked up a local job delivering pizzas in town after his shift at the factory. It was quite lonely coming home after along day at school and having to corral the children with all the after school tasks and activities by myself, but it was what it was and we had both agreed it was better than me working a second job because I was so exhausted after teaching all day.

That wasn’t the odd thing. The odd thing was the increasing grouchiness every time I asked any kind of question that pertained to our lives, “Hey Roy I know you just started working this job, but when does the pay check come through or some extra cash from your tips?” I asked very carefully avoiding all eggshells. We needed to desparatley start paying down our debts. The collectors had been calling.

“I told you it will be a few weeks! You are constantly forgetting conversions. This is not my fault! We can discuss this later! I got to get to work and I am going to be late!” He slammed the door on his way out. The children sat there stunned and my daughter burst into tears. My Father in Law, Bob, politely decided to ignore the glaring issue and I just hugged my daughter. “Shh daddy is just stressed right now. I need you and your brother to focus on getting ready for school and not to worry about it.”

My son then asked, “Are you and daddy breaking up?” I tousled his hair and softly stated, “No sweetheart.” What else was I going to do? With Roy’s increasing anger we had had some pretty bad fights and it was wearing on the kids. I had threatened to leave. Not one of my proudest moments. I figured though I played a part too and maybe I was forgetting conversatons, but sometimes I just really felt like I was losing my mind and my kids were going to be the victims in it just like my childhood. I didn’t get the sudden change. He used to be so calm.

The odd things kept occurring though that were just not normal to couples having spats. That night he didn’t come home. This was the first time in 14 years my husband did not come home nor call. I tried calling several times and could not get ahold of him when he should have been due home. I called the local pizza joint where he was supposed to be working and discovered he wasn’t even employed there. My anger grew, but my anxiety grew more.

I waitied up till dawn and watched from the couch as the sun licked the eastern horizon of the beautiful corn fields. It was spring. Plants were starting to tower and become as yellow as the sun that began to brighten the morning sky. I could no longer keep my eyes open. I was just glad it was Friday and I didn’t have school that day. I passed out in an exhausted slumber on the couch.

He found me there and shook me awake. “I am so sorry. I had mechanical trouble with my car. One of my co-workers let me spend the night.”

“Why didn’t you call? Answer your phone?” I asked obviously irritated, my tone crabby from the crick in my neck where I had slumped forward on the couch, but I was relived he was alive. I would deal with the fact that he didn’t even work at said pizza joint later.

“My phone died and no one had a charger.” I didn’t state the obvious of why he didn’t call from someone else’s phone. We had eachother’s numbers memorized. I could maybe believe he was tired and could not think of it because he was a forgetful man, but after the obvious lies about the second job I had my doubts.

I decided to keep the thoughts to myself when I heard a ding on my phone and saw surprisingly a deposit had been made into our account. But if he was not working at the pizza joint in town, where had this money come from? I decided to keep my thoughts to myself and investigate further later. He was supposed to work that night.

When Roy went to work that night I had everything arranged. I had asked a neighbor friend to sit with the kids. I explained I just really needed a break for an evening to go out with another older friend nearer the city for a while. She had agreed. I also told Roy the same thing so he didn’t expect me home or anywhere near town.

When he was scheduled to leave I waited about 20 minutes and then activated the find my I phone feature, which I would never have used to track my husband and had only ever used to find his dang I phone which he lost constantly. Thankfully he was not technology savvy and he had not thought to deactivate it. I hated being this person, but I had to know what was going on. Something was obviously up.

I followed the phone to a place outside of town about 20 minutes. There was a large warehouse structure there. I watched my husband park and enter. Definitely not a pizza joint. I took a deep breath absolutely ready for anything. I was going to finally confront him. Was this a drug operation? Something more nefarious and illegal?

I decided not to bother taking any shortcuts. It was now or never. I got out of car righteously angry at the weeks of secrets and grouchinees and just barged in the front door and I was not prepared at all for what I saw.

Squishmellows, everywhere! Towers upon towers of them. In the midst of this was a string of cameras used for filming, lighting and some men and women. At the center was my husband. He held rather large yellow squish mellow to one of the cameras that one of the women were operating, “This one is super plushi! Extra special! You can get it for a special price just by contacting the information below. Be sure to like and subscribe our channel and follow us on Tik Tok. Now on to our talk show portion about how Squishmellows have changed our lives!”

I could not believe my eyes. I just quietly backed out from whence I came. I did not know what else to do. What would you do?

EmbarrassmentWorkplaceTeenage yearsTabooSecretsHumanityFriendshipFamilyDating

About the Creator

Zelda Foxx

Mother of two facing a mid life crisis or finally living my dreams of trying to make something of my words.

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