He called, my monster.
I had said the horrible goodbyes to my children that I was begging God not to let be real or forever or very long.
I had a handful of items that belonged to me and nothing else.
I had asked the police officer if it was okay if I went to my parents the next state over. I gave him the address. I wasn’t trying to hide. He gave the go ahead. And I was on my way.
But then my monster called.
“Come to the house. We need to talk.”
My whole body stiffened and my heart constricted. I did not want to see him. I did not want to talk. I was so afraid. What could he want!?
I turned the car around. I drove to our house. It somehow looked different. It was exactly the same.
I can remember where I stood as he talked. I can remember the confusion I felt at his words. Words that didn’t match with his eyes.
He said he wanted to try. To be here for me. To walk through this ugly with me. He stared at me with cold stones for eyes. I felt no warmth. Something was wrong.
It’s only now that I can look back and see the truth of what was happening. The truth that he needed his citizenship. That if we filed for divorce he would have to start over from the beginning for the second time. He needed me to get what he wanted. I know now how angry he was that he needed me at all. I know now how angry I am that he used me so carelessly. I wish I had known that he was only laying the groundwork to use me and lose me. That we were not fighting for our family. That he had no intentions of loving me through anything. That it was over. I would have walked away that very moment. Instead, I stayed.
That same day I got to hold all three of my babies again only hours after saying goodbye. I convinced him I needed to go to my parents and get away. I packed our young sons up and left my daughter behind and we made the drive.
And the sun set on another day but my hell was not even close to over.