I landed at LAX late at night in my second full week of marriage. I was nervous, it was the first time I had flown alone and I hadn't been to California since I was a small child. I was just as nervous to see my new husband. Everything went so fast. I hadn't had the time or the inclination to consider how I felt about the turn my world had taken. I just went with the flow as I had done all of my life. With someone else making my decisions for me. I had become divorced from myself. I would come to realize just how painful that could be.
I couldn't go back to my Mother, I wouldn't. I thought to call her, but there was no phone. I had no idea where I was, well that is not wholly true. I knew for sure I was lost. And make no mistake, lost is a place. It exists, deep in us all. When you've run out of the easy feelings. Pain and disappointment, hurt and loss. It is there waiting to creep in and capture what is left. It took a long time for him to admit the truth. Surely more than days, maybe weeks. But he did and it didn't matter. I was already broken. His words meant nothing. He apologized and confessed all. Begged me to forgive him and promised he would be better. We moved into a small apartment off of the highway, got some rental furniture and I pretended I was happy.
I would walk around the corner and up many blocks to McDonald's, further if I needed something from the grocery store. We lived just off the red light district. As I walked men would honk and holler out, or follow me. I tried to stay in the apartment and live off the food at the gas station across the way. Finally, I called my Mother. I didn't tell her, I couldn't. But we talked and she saved me. Or rather, she sent her Sister to. I thought of a nicer, kinder version of my own mother. She was the youngest of six and she was fun. She must have been in her mid thirties then, going through a bad divorce. She would come and take me shopping and to the movies. She worked at a beauty school answering the phones, and she would bring me along to get my hair and nails done, she kept me from being alone.
I surely, would have starved if not for her. I was almost nineteen and when my husband was home, he went out to the bars. He said he went to play pool. I didn't think about it. I never questioned him, or complained. I just endured. This had to work, it was all I had. I prayed for my husband to love me, that he would be faithful. I prayed for peace in my heart and as the days turned to months, I prayed for a baby. Someone to love, and to love me. And in time, at least one of my prayers were answered.