In the midst of waiting on our court date, agonizing over the psychologist's report, and still having to deal with BD's antics -- He'd began following me every week when we exchanged our baby at the train station, trailing me to my car or my train depending upon how I was traveling that day. It didn't stop until I involved a police officer and produced our court order. He threatened to haul him in for domestic violence. Yes, domestic violence as he was intimidating me and disobeying the court order by sticking around past our exchange. He said he wanted to make sure his son was "safe." He just wanted to see who I was riding with, if I was riding with anybody. -- It seems I'd come full circle.
Everything Iâ€™d wanted to get away from, I was now scratching and clawing to get back to. The normalcy and small town life Iâ€™d found boring to tears, I now wept for. My family, my support system, my little church ... I wanted it all back. Iâ€™d wanted to strike out alone, to do my own thing, only Iâ€™d ended up doing some horrible things, and only worsening the problem in my futile attempt to correct them. And now, here I was, wanting to go home again. More than that, though, I wanted to go back. Rewind time.
The money that had been spent in 10 months of fighting with BD was taking a toll on not just me, but my whole family. I'd taken a lean out on the home my father left me free and clear when he passed a few years earlier, I'd spent $11,000 in rent, countless more thousands in living expenses and utilities and transportation, plane tickets for my mother and my sister every time we were in and out of court, and the money I was throwing at my lawyer just never stopped. Every time we had a fight, the suit got paid.
BD would want the baby on one of my days to do whatever he wanted to do. I'd say ok, but have him back at such and such time. He'd say no, I'll have him back at this time. I'd say, no, you need to have him back in time for me to do whatever. He really was not used to me standing up for myself and was having a real hard time hearing this new word, "no." A simple argument like this would inevitably result in a call to one or both of our lawyers, which would lead to our two lawyers' legal aids having a conversation, making a decision, (which if it was my time BD was asking for would be my decision) drafting a mailed letter to each of us, memorializing that decision, and issuing a $40 charge for said letter. The nickel and diming over our bullshyt added up quickly and before the end, I'd reached nearly $40k. I imagine BD was also out something close to that.
I was pondering giving in.
Under any other circumstances, Serita would have been right there with me. She's the one I would talk to at a time like this. Of our small circle, she's the grounded friend who gives sage advice. The one who'll pray with you, rather than suggesting you go whoop somebody's ass to solve the problem. (I do have friends who would do the latter). But I'd ruined that. I hadn't even worked up the nerve to speak to the girl since Digital broke the news of my relationship with, and pregnancy by BD, himself. She'd tried to make contact with me since then and I'd dodged each of her phone calls. I really had nothing to say, outside of, I'm sorry. No explanation would be suitable, even if there were one. I'd ruined our relationship forever, singly and really for no good reason at all. Aside from my beautiful baby boy, look at where it had gotten.
Still, I couldn't rightfully pray for a miracle with a dirty conscience. My desperation gave me gal. I called her. As the phone rang, I quickly decided what I'd say and how I'd say it. It wasn't exactly on the fly, I'd had the words in my mind for forever now.
"Serita," I said evenly. I wanted to apologize right off. I had to get it out.
Serita is not the type to yell and scream, she's non confrontational, like me. I knew she wouldn't beat up on me or call me names. When someone is in the wrong though and willingly comes to take their licks, refusing to forgive them actually makes it harder.
She sounded happy to hear from me.
"Melyssa! Oh my gosh, how long has it been? How have you been? The baby's beautiful," she began. "Congratulations."
This really threw me off.
"You've seen the baby?" I asked, confused.
"Yeah. BD sent me a pic on my phone from the hospital when he was born. He sent Digital one, too."
"You've gotta be kidding me," I said. Didn't mean to say that out loud.
"No, it's okay. He was just excited. He looks like both of you. So what's motherhood like?"
Her voice was light, her words comforting, but I was dumbfounded and I began to stammer.
"I just wanted you to know, well, for whatever it's worth at this point ... I know it's been too long ..."
"Mel, it's not even like that," she broke in. "Honestly, I was surprised when I heard it. Digital called me and I was in my classroom and he was like, 'Are you sitting down?' You know he's so dramatic. But really, BD and I hadn't been together for a while and he does not belong to me. Both of you are free to be with whoever you choose."
But I really wanted to apologize.
"I'm so sorry, Serita. I'm sorry for betraying your trust. You were a really good friend to me and you've never done anything to deserve what I did to you. I never should have been with BD --"
"Mel, please. Really. It's okay. It's old news. And you didn't betray me. I don't have any claims to that man."
As far as I was concerned she had. And as long as I felt like what I did was a betrayal, and I'd still done it, then it was.
"No, it doesn't matter if you feel like you have claims to him ..." I tried over and over to apologize and she wouldn't accept it.
"I just want you guys to be happy," she said. "You both deserve that."
Wow. She didn't know anything. Is this why she was so forgiving? Because she thought at least we'd gone on and made something real of it when she wasn't gonna marry him anyway? I quickly brought her up to speed.
"We're not together," I began. "It didn't really work out. You know how BD is."
"Um, yeah," she laughed. We laughed.
I told her about everything. I just spilled it. I told her how he'd fooled the doctor. I told her how beaten I felt. I don't think I stopped talking for 45 minutes.
"Melyssa you are so much stronger than this. You're the one who gave me nerve," she reminded me."
We took a few walks down memory lane. It was nice, for a moment.
"You can do this," she told me. And she meant it.
"I wish you would have called me earlier," she said. "It's so good to hear from you."
"I've been a coward."
"Well, you don't need to be. You can call. We can still be friends, Mel." She really said that.
But I knew it was a lie. Maybe we could still talk on occasion. Maybe we'd hang when we saw each other at homecoming and chat for a few minutes. But it was over. It would never be the same. Serita would have trusted me with anything, and I her. Regardless as to what she said, that was no more.
Check back Monday, as Melyssa gets her day in court, almost.
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*All names have been changed to protect the guilty & the innocent.