Chapter 5: Karma Served on a Rusted Platter
A continuation to "Decisions Made/Actions Taken"...
Michelle comes home from a day of Christmas shopping. This Christmas would be one that would be forever embedded in her memory. When she walked in the house, she could hear what sounded like female voices coming from the living room. She recognized one of the voices being that of Antonio's Mother. Could it be? She told Antonio that his Mother wasn't allowed in their home. She bypassed the living room, and headed straight to their bedroom where Antonio was going through his drawer in their dresser. She was so disgusted that his Mother was there that she didn't say a word to Antonio, but instead left, and went to a nearby phone booth to call Antonio. When she did not receive an answer, she went back home. This time she peeped in the living room, because she heard what she thought was speaking in tongues, which is a language members of a particular Religious group to communicate with "source." She would soon find out what was really going on.
She went to the bathroom and waited for his Mother and her two friends to finish their "prayer," and get out. Once she heard the front door close, she left the bathroom and noticed, not only were his Mother and her friends gone, but so was Antonio. What she thought was him looking through his drawer was in fact him packing... she went back in the bathroom, and noticed he had packed his shaving kit, body wash, and toothbrush. This was the first day of getting her "just desserts"... AKA Karma. Everything that she had done to her Husband up until this point... every infidelity, disrespectful word, every time she allowed her Husband's Uncle to continue to have sex with her, even though her Husband pleaded with her and his Uncle to stop hanging out, while he was at work providing for her... she was about to be paid back for the next ten years for the hell she put this man through for the past three years.
They say you don't know what you have until it's gone. Truth is, you know what you have, you just take it for granted and don't think you'll ever lose it.
Michelle had her first prenatal appointment coming up, and she just KNEW Antonio would show up. She couldn't bear the silence that had replaced her Husband's voice in their apartment. She was sinking into a depression. It was as if the absence had caused her to see the moments she hurt him and taken him for granted. Songs he had played, once his Uncle had started coming around, were lyrics to his heart. There was one song he would play on repeat called "King of sorrow" by Sade. These epiphanies hit her like a ton of bricks stacked on top of her chest.
Her Mother insisted she move back home. She was afraid of what Michelle would do to herself. Michelle had reached out to Antonio's Grandparents since she didn't get along with his Mother. She would show up at his job during lunch. She saw no signs of love in his eyes. He looked at her like she was a stranger, leaned down into the window of her car, and asked her to please stop coming by his job. He had even removed his wedding ring.
One day during the separation, Michelle went to their apartment to gather more of her belongings, and there was a handwritten note from Antonio explaining that she needed to collect her things by the first of January and find a way to pay the car note on the car he had bought for her. She didn't take it as a bluff and did exactly what he told her to do. She cried the entire drive back to her Mother's house. Needless to say, he didn't show up to the first prenatal appointment. To top it all, the insurance she had through her Mother's job was set to expire on her 22nd Birthday... the appointment was two days after. Not only would she be alone at the appointment, but the Doctor's office had informed her that this would be her last appointment because the insurance coverage had ended.
Once the appointment was over, all she wanted to do was go back to her Mother's house and get in the tub and wash her heartache away. But even that little bit of peace was disturbed by some crazy information...
Her Mother came in the bathroom and told her that a co-worker called her with some startling information. Now this co-worker, Pamela had never met Michelle. She had a gift of being able to see visions and premonitions. She called Michelle's Mother and told her she awakened from a bad dream and called out Michelle's name. The co-worker told Michelle's Mother about a vision she had where three dark angels were sent from the devil to kill the baby in Michelle's stomach and completely destroy her Marriage. Remember the day Antonio was packing his things and Michelle heard the female's voice in the living room? Well they were chanting an evil chant. When Michelle would come to Antonio's job one day she noticed his Mother had two other women with her. They were the trio sent to kill Michelle's baby and destroy their union. Michelle started rubbing anointing oil on her belly, and making positive affirmations over her pregnancy and unborn child.
His Mother was a church-going Bible-toting person. She didn't like using curse words. She gave no clues to her dark side.
About two weeks later Antonio called Michelle, and they met up to talk about a reconciliation. Antonio mentioned to her that the only reason why he made the choice to reconcile was because his Mother's prayer group had been praying that Michelle would self-abort the unborn baby. Antonio, a man who was set on not having any children when they first met had decided that he wanted his baby to live, so not only did he leave the three-party group, but he stopped speaking to his Mother as well. Michelle had made it up in her mind that she would be as close to a perfect wife as she could. She was ready to put in hard work, loyalty, and real love into their marriage. They had sex in the backseat of her car. She thought to herself "yes, I've got my Husband back and will do anything to prove myself."
Antonio moved into her Mother's apartment and she noticed almost immediately that this man looked like her Husband, but didn't treat hsr like her Husband used to. Now the tables had turned. He didn't cheat or get disrespectful, instead he neglected her, didn't keep jobs, and would fall asleep while she was telling him things that hurt her feelings that he did. He would hardly take baths. When he was at home, he hardly gave her sex and had a general I-don't-care type of attitude. This would go on for the next ten years. She hardly recognized any signs of her Husband, but... she had made a vow to treat him right regardless.
She was walking around just a shell of a human. She really didn't have any ambition or any personal goals. She had no life outside of her marriage. She put on about 80 lbs during this time.
Times had gotten hard for Michelle and Antonio. He wasn't able to hold jobs. It appeared that he lost 80 percent of the concern he had for their family once they reunited. Michelle was on the verge of losing her Section eight, because they weren't able to secure a place to live in the time given. Basically the program says that if you don't find a suitable place to live that accepts the Section eight program in six months, then you would lose your spot in the program. It was going on month five, and they still couldn't find a suitable apartment. They were living out of hotels paid for by homeless assistance received from the welfare office, but that assistance was expiring as well. Antonio's Grandmother insisted their Daughter stay with her. She couldn't stand the thought of her Great grandchild sleeping in hotels.
Michelle's Mother begged her to move to Arizona. She pleaded with Michelle that Los Angeles wasn't a place to raise a child. Oh, Michelle was born and raised in sunny Southern California, right in the heart of Los Angeles. Michelle had talked with Antonio about moving to Arizona, after all, they did have the option of transferring their Section eight voucher to another state as long as it was in the US. Antonio agreed. Coincidentally he had gotten a call from one of the temporary job agencies about a job paying $15.00 an hour, working 12 hours a day. The assignment was only for two months, but it would ultimately provide them with the cash needed to rent a moving truck, and leave Los Angeles and the bad memories behind. All they needed to do was load up the truck with their belongings, which were in stored in a self-storage facility and hit the road on the 10 freeway heading west. They had nothing to lose.
Antonio was able to purchase a bus ticket for Michelle. She had to go to Tucson, Arizona to find them an apartment that accepted Section eight. In 2006, Tucson's population was pretty small compared to Los Angeles county, and she was able to find an apartment within the first couple days. After two weeks she came back to LA, and went to stay with Antonio in a hotel he was staying in while they were waiting for him to collect at least two more fat checks from his job, so that could at least have transportation costs and spending cash for necessities. He didn't finish out the job assignment, loaded up the rental truck, picked up their four year old Daughter from his Grandmother's house, and hit the road. Michelle was very sad to leave Los Angeles. That was all she knew. Even with all the violence and crowdedness, she loved it still. She would always look over her shoulder at her life in her hometown with great sadness. She thought life wasn't fair. Our perception when we are "lost" can really be twisted. She was leaving a place that held so many bad memories every single year of her life, and yet she felt she was being cursed because her finances and bad choices forced her to a new place with new faces and an abundance of opportunities.
It was the Summer of 2006. By this time their Daughter was a couple months shy of her fourth Birthday, and on the freeway headed to Arizona her Husband turned to her and asked, "did you really have sex with my Uncle?" She kept her eyes on the road, and said, "that is old news, I think we should look ahead to better days instead of living in the past." That was a good enough answer for Antonio apparently, because he turned and faced the front windshield and turned up the music on the radio.
Their finances had greatly improved. Michelle was able to find a really good paying job and even though Antonio's ambition to find a career instead of temporary side jobs was lacking, their finances were great! Still in her "good wife" mindset, she started to become depressed. It had gotten to the point where it seemed like her and Antonio were just roommates.
About year eight of the BS, she got fed up and decided that even though she had made a promise to be the best wife she could be, she simply couldn't take anymore. She didn't wanna break her family up, especially since they had a second baby. A baby boy was born in the Fall of 2009. Almost seven yrs since the birth of their first baby girl, which turned out to be Antonio's twin. He seemed to adore his baby girl. They were always together. When their Son came into the world, he seemed to have a deep love and bond with him as well... or so Michelle thought. Michelle would soon learn that when a man tells you he doesn't want something... you should believe him the first time.
Ever since Antonio had chosen his unborn child over his relationship with his Mother, his Mother had refused to speak to him. This happened the first week in January of 2002, and at this point it was 2010, and she still would send his calls to voicemail, and refused to answer his texts, even after her Mother begged her to talk to Antonio.
It was the Spring of 2010. Antonio had gotten to the point where he wouldn't ask Michelle on dates, she planned her own Birthday celebrations, he would hardly have sex with her, and when she would cook dinner, even after working all day, he would simply grab two slices of bread, and make a sandwich with the meat from dinner. Even though Michelle had made the vow to herself, she couldn't take it anymore. Even though filing for Divorce would mean she would be the bad guy (so she thought) in her kids' eyes... she decided to start researching family law so that she could not only file for Divorce, but do it in a way that she could be on the winning side of things.
While taking her time in order to reduce mistakes while filing for Divorce, she met "Mr. Florida" (he was previously introduced in another chapter 🙂). Looking back, she knew that the issues she had been dealing with in the second half of her relationship with her Husband aided in how hard she fell for Mr. Florida. Needless to say, their encounter in Miami propelled her to move forward even faster with the filing of her Divorce. She filed for Divorce 12/2012. She had the rendezvous with Mr. Florida in the Spring of that year. Remember, he was the customer service representative for Turbotax, so they didn't know each other long before she flew out to Florida, and gave him her body and heart.
The divorce cost was $475, and a parenting class was required when children are in the mix, which was $60. After Mr. Florida had dissed her, she ultimately gave up about a month after the visit and turned to a very ratchet dating service, and met Chase. She felt guilty, so she made Antonio a profile on the same dating website and he met a chick we will just call "Ms. Leo." She was an ex-stripper who like to wear eyeshadow the same color as her outfit and nails, had gotten beat and disrespected in every relationship she had been in. Boy oh boy... if Antonio's relationship with Michelle didn't teach him about how hard life can knock you, then he would SURELY be taught through Ms. Leo.
Michelle had Chase and Antonio ended up with Ms. Leo. The Divorce was never finalized due to Michelle and Chase not showing up at the court hearing where the Judge would have signed the final decree.
She was with Chase, and didn't care about none of that, nope! She didn't give a second thought about throwing $475 down the drain. To this day, it is rumored that they are still legally Married. Seven years later... Michelle figures she will pay for it when she receives a proposal from her true soulmate, and Antonio seemed to not care either way. He still had problems maintaining a full time job.
Unbeknownst to Michelle, their separation had caused Antonio to develop mental issues. Co-workers from his job would see her in public and tell her how he was being destructive at work. Making death threats to other employees for really no reason at all. Antonio himself had admitted to having "fantasies" of killing a man who lived in an apartment below him and Ms. Leo... his reason? Simply because the guy had complained about the noise. Ms. Leo had introduced Antonio to some of her prescription meds. She had been diagnosed with bi-polar schizophrenia. She had gotten to the point where she would invite men over, have sex with them, and tell Antonio when she has "dates" come by, go into their bedroom and lock the door, saying that it was that guys' time. He flipped, choked her out one day, and pushed her to the floor. He had NEVER put his hands on Michelle. As a matter of fact, she wouldn't have believe it if it hadn't come straight from Antonio's mouth. Michelle was in disbelief to say the least. She really didn't know the monster she had been married to... (To be continued).