You see, Jimmy ignored me, and I wasn’t used to being ignored by men. (Okay, so my husband ignored me. After he used me, he ignored me.) And even though I didn’t like Jimmy in “that way”, he became a challenge to me. What else did I have going for me? My marriage was in a shambles. My husband told me almost daily that he hated me. He stayed drunk, he said, so he wouldn’t have to put up with me. I was calloused to the promise, the vow of marriage. I had met my match in Mr. Jimmy Martin, Network Specialist. I was not to be ignored. So I upped the ante.
Then we did a terrible thing and put ourselves in a situation where the bluff had to be called. We had to put our cards on the table. Go big, or go home. Know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em. Know when to walk away. Know when to run. I should have run. For the sake of Jimmy’s unborn child, I should have run. But I was in too deep now. I was committed to my mission. No, I didn’t love him. But I knew that I could. He didn’t love me. But I knew that he could. And that is always the allure of an affair (for women) is the chance at love. We have been together for 13 years now, and I can say without a doubt that he just wanted to be loved, too.
Our one shining moment in all of these horrible goings on is that I can say we did NOT have a long, drawn-out affair. We did have a “close encounter of the third kind” one time, drunk and high, in a pasture on some empty country road. But one or one hundred times—it doesn’t matter. The deed was done. There was no going back.
How many lies does it take to be a liar? How many sins does it take to be a sinner? How many gods can save a wretch like me?
Only one, folks. Only one.
The Beginning of the End and Vice Versa
Before any thought of Jimmy had occurred, I had already left my husband twice. I just went back, because I had nowhere to go. And I did want to give it the old college try. I loved his parents, and they loved me. I had never wanted to be a divorcee. But after I discovered some self-worth, some validation in the fact that there was a man who would be nice to me, I just reached a point with my husband that I was done. I no longer wanted to subject myself to what I had been living with for the past five years.
I came home from work one day, and, try as he may, he couldn’t rile me to anger. Do you know why? Because I just didn’t care anymore. You see, as long as you have hatred, then you still have a connection. But when the hatred finally gives way to apathy, the true death of the relationship sets in. He came to me and asked me what was wrong. And I just looked at him and said, “Nothing’s wrong anymore.” Then I grabbed a beer, and I went and sat outside on the porch of our 3-month old house, decided.
He came out and sat next to me. I told him that I was leaving. He said, with a sigh of relief, “Good. But will you cook me dinner before you go?” So we had a dinner of broiled pork chops, corn, and some toast. I packed my very extremely few belongings, and I went to my sister’s. No doubt he expected me to come back like I had before. Great expectations there.
And the Beat Goes On
When I got to work the next morning, Jimmy was nowhere to be found. I hadn’t spoken with him about leaving my husband. As the day progressed, there were still no signs of Jimmy. I finally spoke with him, and he told me that his wife had left him of her own accord. No one knew what had happened between us. No one suspected at this point. She, too, had left her husband a few times before. This was not a new experience for her. Or for him. But this time, he told her that if she left that she wouldn’t be coming back. But she didn’t believe him. She called his bluff only to find out that he wasn’t bluffing at all. She should have stayed, but her fight came too late in the game.
I stayed with my sister for a couple of weeks, then I moved in full-time with Jimmy. This was in early August of 1999. Their baby was due to be born in late November. Two months into our “relationship,” Jimmy and I were also expecting.