"The One with the Hole in the Wall"


"The One with the Hole in the Wall"

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One weekend in October 2016, Samantha and I drove to Ludlow in Western Massachusetts to spend the weekend with John and his son David. The plan was for the three of us to bring Samantha to her first college Open House in UConn on a Saturday morning. UConn has a large campus which John and David were very familiar with; a university that was a 2-hour drive from my house, but just 20 minutes from his. This would be the first time Samantha would be going to some sort of a school event, or I might say, a milestone, accompanied by people other than her mom and her brother. Even better, it was with someone who she thought was an admirable father, one that she would love to be a stepdaughter to, and David, someone she considered to be a cool brother. It would have been perfect if our Brian, who was working, and Nadine, who just moved to the West Coast to go to college, were there with us. I was very happy for Samantha. 

Our once-a-month weekends in Western Mass had always been a time for all of us to be together, whether it was for movies, the mall, or attending Smith family gatherings. I thought doing our first campus tour would be a wonderful family activity.  I had been planning that for weeks.  There were two schedules to choose from, though I knew the 8:00am session was too early for us. We were never "early birds" at anything anyway, and that was okay.

Saturday morning came, and since we all slept in, we had our typical late breakfast. As usual, we had John’s perfect pancakes, crispy baked bacon and deep fried seasoned potatoes. I started getting ready for the 12:00pm campus tour. John said he already made a 1:00pm barber’s appointment for David’s haircut, because he thought we were going to the 8:00am session. I was quite surprised that he assumed that, especially because he too, slept in. I asked him to reschedule David’s haircut, but he simply wouldn’t. I did not understand why he had to do it on that day, that one day of the month we were there, when he had his kids every single weekend; and on that one day where I planned something that would be a good memory for Samantha and for all of us. David didn’t seem to insist on his haircut. There was, after all, the rest of Saturday afternoon and all of Sunday. John kept coming up with so many excuses though. I was getting upset. He even blamed me for not telling him that we would go to the second session instead of the 8am one. I mean, even if we did go early morning, these open house events take a whole day anyway.

I soon realized it was useless to argue. John had displayed so many indifferences towards me the past several months, so this was no surprise. I must admit this one hurt more.
If it was the other way around, I would have bent over backwards, yet happy to do anything to spend time with him and his children. Nothing else mattered to me when it was his turn to drive up to Boston. And it was even better, every time he brought Nadine and David with him. I was very fond of those two.

Samantha and I left, but not after I gave David a hug. I was teary-eyed in the car. Sam said, “It’s okay mom. It’s no big deal. It’s only our first Open House. There’ll be more to go to.” Samantha didn’t know that I intentionally left my engagement ring in “my drawer” in John’s dresser. This may sound petty, but after several months of many “The Ones...”(Spoiler Alert: The One with Bermuda, The One with the Funeral, The One with the Birthdays, The One with the Wedding Plans), this drew the line... or I thought it did.

Samantha and I drove home immediately after the UConn visit. Had  John and David joined us, I knew the visit would have been followed by dinner, movies and another night at John’s house. That night before I went to bed, I checked my phone and saw this message from John.
As usual, I gave in, and I sent him the same message. That way, we both could at least have a good night’s sleep.

Sunday morning, after getting my usual “Good morning beautiful” text message, I got a call from John.  I thought that was sweet. I told him I wish I stayed in Ludlow. He said the same thing. And then he told me he had to fix a hole in the wall in the kitchen. 
He said David punched the wall. I asked why, and his response was, “Well, you know David. He was just goofing around and acting crazy.”  I asked if David was hurt, and he said, “I don’t think so.” He also said David already went home (to his mother’s house), which I thought was quite early, since John usually drove him back late afternoon every Sunday.

You would think after that phone call and the continued text messaging and Facetime, John and I would see each other the following weekend. But no, I did not see John until January of 2017. I guess that was the beginning of our “on a break.” These were the months that he kept telling me he was in a “dark place,” because of his very stressful job, a demanding PhD program, and that he was still hit by the passing of his sister in 2015.  I was his fianceé. I was supposed to be the person who would support him. I wanted to be that person, but he wouldn’t let me. He said that was how he dealt with his issues and would rather not take it out on me. So I gave him his time and space, but made myself available each time he texted and each time he called. It hurt me that sometimes, I ignored him, but I never lasted. I felt guilty, so I loved him and supported him the only way he wanted me to- by text, by Facetime, by Facebook.

Fast forward to October 2017, a year after that weekend, which turned out to be Samantha’s last weekend in Ludlow.
I found out the real reason why David punched that wall. David woke up that Sunday morning and heard voices in his father’s bedroom. He thought I came back. He looked at the driveway and saw that it was not my car parked next to his dad’s. He realized it was not me who was in the room with his dad. John and whoever this woman was, kept the room locked and stayed in there all morning hoping they wouldn’t get noticed. David immediately called his mom, Emma, to pick him up, but he would not tell her why.  Emma arrived in Ludlow and saw somebody else’s car in the driveway. And then she saw David looking confused and upset while grasping his right fist with his left hand.
Emma immediately knew what was going on. She was hurt for and worried about David, but she told him not to say anything. She told David that it was something John would have to resolve himself. Later that afternoon, Emma wanted John to get David’s hand checked. John dismissed Emma and told her, that it was all David’s doing.
Emma knew the John I didn’t know. Emma knew what John was capable of, she just didn’t think he would do it to me. Like everybody else, Emma thought, I was the one for John.

To this day, I can’t fathom how the man who I thought  was of good strong character, an admirable father I fell in love with, was the same man who made a booty call while his clueless teenage son was just in the next room, and he did it on the same day I drove away in tears after spending the night in his house; I cannot believe this was the same man who sent me a text message with an image of a broken heart, that same night he was with his side chick Lili; the same man who woke me up with a sweet morning text message, followed by a phone call; a phone call where he shared (volunteered) the information  that David  was just playing crazy and punched a hole in the wall. I mean, why even tell me that.

I miss John’s kids. Every now and then, Nadine and I have some sort of communication, whether it’s a call, a text or a “Like” on social media. But David, I miss terribly. At one point, I thought he was mad at me or that he had forgotten all about me. After all, Lili told me that she had developed a great relationship with David, that she sometimes spoke up for David when John lost his temper. But sweet Nadine said that was not the case. Nadine said, David was probably confused and maybe feeling a bit guilty or embarrassed, because he already knew what their dad was doing behind our backs. You see, we had sleepovers in January, a trip to Vermont in February, and more, but David was the only one who knew about his dad’s lies and betrayal, and yet he could not do nor say anything about it. He kept it in his mind... in his heart for several months. David, like Nadine, like Brian, and specially Samantha, thought John loved me, that he loved me and he loved the family that we would have become. The thing is, even if he didn't, even if it was all for show, I did not think he was this selfish... this cruel.


To be continued… 

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Comments

Pam Greyson said…
This was heartbreaking. The kids always suffer. This man is pure selfish.
Jeorgina Pad said…
I was waiting for the continuation of the last one, but this wasn't a disappointment either. This is just terrible- lying, making up stuff, cheating, giving false hopes, misleading everybody, but the worse is subjecting your child to something like this. He couldn't just wait for him to leave. Selfish, indeed.
Anonymous said…
Wow. This was painful to read. I can’t imagine the pain the boy felt that day. What a role model this dad is! The thing with this people is that, they expect everybody will eventually get over the pain they caused them, that they don’t care what they do and who they hurt as long as they get what they want. They only look out for one person- themselves.
Anonymous said…
! This was so hard to read .. I finished it so sad, I can not imagine how this man could be as horrible with an amazing person as you
Kelly T. said…
If this is a true story, then I'm sorry you crossed paths with this selfish narc. On the other hand, it gave you good material for great writing. I will definitely be following this story.
D. R. from FB said…
I’m really glad this worthless piece of shit is out of your life. Your a strong woman and beautiful. I’m confident you’ll find someone who will treat you 1000 times better than this guy. 😡.
I’ve been following. you write very well. I’m literally glued to the page 😊👍🏼

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