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Moving to Hell

We arrived in his hometown and he was ready to make his mark at the newspaper so he hit the ground running.  His mama, whose name was R*** (that’s how I will refer to her in the future) had found us a little house to rent through one of her dancing buddies, who worked in real estate.
She and his daddy were there when we drove up.  She had been inside sweeping and cleaning.  I was looking around inside the house while she, J*** and his daddy went to look around the yard.  I heard her tell J*** that there were three pecan trees in the yard.  J*** asked her if she told me and she said yes.  He asked her if I was impressed and she said no.  He said “don’t worry about it mama.  I am.”  She said “well, that’s all that matters anyway.”
They came back in and I had made the mistake of knocking over one of my potted plants.  There was dirt everywhere.  I thought R*** was going to have a stroke.  She reminded me that she had spent all day cleaning that house because she knew that I didn’t know how to clean and now I had thrown dirt all over it.  Listening to her, you would have thought I had committed a capital offense.  J*** of course, stood there like a dead tree, while she went on and on.  At least it was a good way to get her to leave.
I had been worried about living in such close proximity to his parents and all of my fears would materialize over time.  My life was going to be a living nightmare.
I focused on getting the house in order and getting ready for a new baby.  I hadn’t miscarried and was breezing through my pregnancy.  I never had morning sickness, never got any stretchmarks and was healthier than I had ever been.
J*** worked all day and came home late every night.  The only time we had to spend together was the week-end and most week-ends were spent at his folks’ house.
By that time, I had met his middle brother, J**** and his future wife, J***.    The three brothers had similar characteristics and the most prominent, unfortunately, was their shared sense of superiority.
R*** continued her quest for dominance and the tension between us had reached the point of fracture.  Even though her mistreatment of me was witnessed by some, it ultimately became much easier for everybody to just label me a bitch rather than admit that she was an abusive drunk.  Alienation was looming like an imminent assault and I had a target on my back.
One night, we were at home and there was a knock at the door.  J*** opened it and there stood his brother, J****.  He came in and sat down in the living room with me and proceeded to tell me how I was “breaking up the family nucleus.”  The conversation lasted for several hours.  I just sat there, listening to him chastise me with his condescending attitude and persecutory strategy, wondering…”where is J***?”
J*** was hiding down the hall.  He had set me up.  He was willing to sacrifice me for his fucking mama….and it wouldn’t be the last time.
After his brother left, he acted like nothing had happened and never said one word about it.
It was almost my due date and it was time to decide on names.  Of course, everybody expected it to be a boy and I had already been told what it HAD to be named but I was pretty sure that it was going to be a girl so I started trying to come up with a girls’ name.
I had decided on the name N**** but R*** wasn’t going to stand for it.  She said that she knew a whore named N**** and when I told her I didn’t care, she asked me if I really wanted to name my child after a whore.
I decided on the name of my high school sweethearts’ best friend.  It was elegant (as was he), succinct and suitable for either a girl or a boy.
Tuesday morning, my water broke.  I woke J*** up and we made a dash to the hospital.  It took a few hours for the labor pains to start and when they started, they really started.  After about four hours, they were so close together, it was almost impossible to tell when the new one began and the last one ended but I hadn’t dilated at all.  The doctor decided to put me on medication to slow down the labor.  After five or six hours, I still hadn’t dilated so he stopped it.  The labor pains came back with a vengeance.  There was some concern because it was going to be a dry birth, which is not ideal but I wasn’t worried.
In those days, they didn’t allow mothers in labor to have anything to eat or drink.  I was hungry and thirsty and absolutely miserable.  I wasn’t a screamer or an “oh, God” person.  I just did exactly what you aren’t supposed to do…..held my breath.
At the twenty-sixth hour, I was begging J*** to ask the nurse if I could have just a tiny sip of water.  He was reading a book and ignored me.  I asked him again to please ask the nurse if I could have some water.  He threw down his book and said “JUST SHUT UP AND HAVE THE FUCKING KID.”

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