TITLE: Redemption Chap 2 3 of 4 11 Feb 15
By Randy Somers
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NOTE: again I struggle with my word procession program not showing italics or paragraph breaks.
“About six years ago, dad died and I got my part of the inheritance. Lots of money. So I wandered for a few more years, working. I couldn’t find a place to settle down and ended up here. Nice place. No one knew me. Got this property and started doing something to keep busy, to keep from thinking about you.
“How about you? What have you been doing for the past ten years, since you left me?”
“Do you really want to know,” Barbara asked.
“Do I want to know? I already know,” Buck spat out. Through gritted teeth he continued, “When I drove truck I heard about this girl who would ride with any trucker, trading food for sex. Maybe a little money. I hear all the stories about what she did, how often and in what ways.
“I wondered if I would ever meet that woman. Luckily I never did. Then I quit driving and never heard about her again. From the description of the woman, I wondered if it was you.
Barbara looked away from Buck’s stare of hatred and pain. She put down her drink and folded her hands in her lap. The minutes slowly went by. Buck started to feel guilty and sat back and looked away. What is goin on with me? I hate her, yet I love her still. I want to kill her yet protect and heal her. Love is useless.
Buck continued, “After I landed here and heard that this city lot for sale. I thought it would give me a good project to do. Something semi-important. Maybe I could make something nice looking out of the nastiness that is here. I hadn’t done anything of importance anyway.
“This is a nice town. Lots of nice people. They don’t ask questions of where I’ve been or what I’ve done. So I stayed. I’ve had a few bumps in the road, but all in all it’s been good.”
Barbara had gotten control of herself and turned to face her husband. “You never sought me out for a divorce? Why?”
Buck stared at the ground. “Divorce. I just couldn’t. I tried dating a couple of girls, but it didn’t work for me. Sex and foreplay is meaningless with someone you don’t really love. I never thought of divorce. I,” he stressed the word I, “still hold to my marriage vows. Remember them? Until death do us part.”
“I wondered. I thought maybe it was because you couldn’t find me.”
Barbara waited a couple of minutes before speaking, gathering her thoughts.
"Do you remember that time we were on a date weekend? The boys were with your sister. We were driving down that little road, looking at the country side. I had unhooked my seatbelt to the get camera from the back seat. That car ran the stop sign and crashed into us.
Buck nodded his head, “What has that got to do with us?”
“Well,” Barbara continued. "You remember I hit my head on the windshield and had a deep cut and a concussion. I spent those few days in the hospital. The doctor said there'd be no lasting damage, as I hadn't cracked my skull. He just told me to take it easy for a week or so."
Buck nodded. He did remember. That was the first time I'd thought I'd lose you. You were bloody and unconscious. It took us a little while to get you out of the car. I was never that scared in my life. He leafed through the pictures in his memory, snap shots of the car, her limp body, the blood and fear. I felt so worthless and helpless. I didn’t have the strength to bend the twisted metal. I couldn’t get you out.
“After that I started to change. Part of me wondered what was going on and part of me just did what my brain told me to do. I started dreaming and fantasizing about all the stuff I never did and developed a deep desire to do it. Sex and alcohol. I couldn’t explain why I changed because I didn’t know. I just did.
"I fought acting out this change but it grew too powerful. I gave in and started doing what my mind commanded. That's when I left.
“Five years ago I started having terrible headaches and a couple of seizures. Most doctors figured I was a whore, just strung out on some kind of street drug.” Looking up at Buck, “I want you to know I never, never used any drugs.”
Buck just stared back.
“But there was one lady doctor, Dr. Maeko Fukui who worked at a free Clinic in Los Angeles. She took pity on me. After a few visits with her, she took me home and connected me with neurosurgeon specialists. She worked in the Good Samaritan hospital in LA. She knew my problem was not my lifestyle, but something else. Pain meds for migraines didn't help at all.
“After a month or so of testing and more specialized testing, the doctors diagnosed me as having Frontal Lobe Dysfunction, probably from that old accident. They were puzzled that it took so long to manifest itself and asked me to agree to be part of a scientific study.
“The doctors said that this kind of problem produces abnormal behavior that is uncontrollable. In me, the Dysfunction turned off my moral standards and I went nuts in the other direction. After about six months of treatment, my behavior sort of quit. I had to go through another eighteen months of counseling and such.
“Now I’m back to the way I was and want to be.”
Buck simply stared in shock at what she said. It did not compute.
“You mean at all of this time, all of your running around the country, sleeping with whoever offered you a bed, changing partners as often as you change the sheets on your bed, abandoning me and your sons – all this happened because you hit your head in the accident?
“I don’t believe it….
“It’s too simple an answer…..
“You’re just using it as an excuse for your evil.”
Buck sat back, confused, anger mounting. This is a bunch of crap. Ten years and suddenly, ‘O gee. It’s not my fault.’ Bovine splatter.’
In the silence Barbara said, “No matter what you think of me, it’s the truth. Sure, I share some of the blame, but I’ve gotten beyond that. The past five years I lived by myself, working. I’m back in church; praying, back to the self I want to be.
“Regardless of what you think, my time wasn’t spent all in sex. I spent months at a time at the beaches in California and Florida. I drank a lot at those times. But I wanted to see the country. I even kept a journal. I haven’t reread those pages yet, but I have them."
Buck interrupted, "How did you earn any money? Not that I want to hear any details of course."
"I didn't turn into a street walker, Chad," Barbara added. "I waitressed, worked in some offices typing and such. Jobs were easy to find.
“For the past two years I’ve searched for you. I wanted to make up and see if we could have a marriage again. That’s why I’m here. I know it’s a shock to you, but I want to try. I’ll wait for as long as it takes. I love you. I want to be your wife."
"How did you track me down?" Buck asked.
"I went to see Ann and spent some time there. She told me you were here."
Buck shook his head, "So my sister copped me out."
“Don't be mad at her. It was an illness Chad. All those past years were not me. I am still the girl you fell in love with and married.”
Buck just stared. The world closed in around him, the sunlight faded away into blackness. Confusion reigned. For years he had planned what he would say if he met her again. He wanted to flay her alive with his words and hate, then heal her and attack her again and again.
Now. Now what?
“Marriage? Again? Don’t think so. I’m still dead. You’re dead to me. I can’t love you again. Won’t happen.”
“Chad, you used to believe in the Resurrection, the dead coming back to life. That is still true. It can happen.”
Still stunned, Buck shook his head. “No. Dead is dead. Living with you again would be living with the hundreds of your men from the past. The house would be too crowded.”
Buck turned away. Staring at his back Barbara wondered what he was thinking. Tears flowed silently down her cheeks. I deserve all this anger for how I’ve lived. But Chad, dear, it wasn’t me. There was no love. I love you. Please open your heart to my love.”
Hey Buck, the voice called. Hey Buddy if you kick her away completely, you’ll never find out what really happened. You know you want to know the details. Maybe she’ll prove her love by beddin you. Here, watch this fantasy.
Buck shook his head to clear the sickening yet alluring vision. The other voice whispered, Hey Chad. It’s possible to live again. It’s possible to have joy and love again.
Buck turned back to Barbara. “It’s a free country; you can live where you want. Where are you going to live?”
“I don’t know yet. I’m staying at the Holiday Inn on the east end of town. I’ll find a place to rent, find a job. I’d like to see you as often as possible.”
Compassion still made up the majority of Buck’s personality, even if the one to help this time was his former wife. “If you want, I have a house you can stay at. I bought it after I had been in town a while. But couldn’t live there. It’s too big and quiet. You can stay there as long as you like. If you want. I'm staying in an apartment across the street."
“You really mean that? I mean, you don’t seem to keen on the idea of me being here. Yet you’re going to let me live in your house? Why?”
As the pain warred with compassion, Buck answered,
“I’d do the same for anyone else. It’s just an offer if you want it. It just sits empty anyhow.”
After thinking a moment, Barbara agreed. “But I’ll pay rent, when I find a job here. I got my substitute teachers license again and can start here.
“Where is it at?
“1976 Sunrise Ln.
Barbara laughed, “I can’t imagine you living on Sunrise Ln. Sorry. It just struck me as funny. Did you choose the house number on purpose?"
“No,” Buck actually smiled at the thought himself.
“Never thought about the name of the street.” The house number? Oh crap.
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