Chapter 02: My Kids, OMG

Well let me tell you, the travel time was starting to get to me.  I had to leave at 6:30am every morning to make it to work on time.  I worked until 6:30pm every day and then went to the gym and worked out for an hour and a half.   By the time I would get home every night it was close to 10pm.

I didn’t think I could do this anymore, yeah I wanted to stay healthy but I wasn’t eating until 11pm every night which wasn’t good for me and the travel time was starting to make me weary.

After the fourth week I was caught napping on a Saturday afternoon by Pam.  She asked me what was the matter, was I feeling okay.  I told her I was fine, just tired.   She asked me if we could talk, she needed to talk about her boyfriend; Stan was a good boy from what I could tell and Pam was a bit on the wild side so I wanted to make sure she wasn’t doing anything stupid.

She just wanted my opinion on whether she should break up with Stan.  I asked her to list her pros and cons of the relationship.  The only con she had was Stan tended to be a bit on the nerdy boring side.

I asked her if she could over look that and see his potential.

 I asked her if she talked to him about it.

She said they talked and he was gearing his senior year towards his college prep time.

I asked her if she saw them together for the rest of her life.

 She blurted out, NO.

 I told her she could still date him but come the end of the school year I saw them going in separate directions but it was up to her how long they would stay together until then.  However, before she made any decisions she needed to talk to Stan and see how he felt.

She kissed me and thanked me.  She then asked me why I was so tired.

Pam was always easy to talk to and more times than not my little confidant, so I explained to her my dilemma about travel time to work and the gym and then getting home so late.

Her response knocked me for a loop.

“Mom, you don’t need to be here for me and the boys during the week.  We pretty much take care of ourselves and Preston doesn’t even pay attention to us. WE don’t exist unless he can turn us into something electronic to play on or watch.  I know he is our father but he doesn’t interact with us, he hasn’t in a long time and since you work so late we have gotten use to taking care of each other. So why even bother coming home.”

I was flabbergasted.

I wish I could be upset with her for calling her father Preston but none of the kids called him DAD, he lost their respect and the name of DAD a long time ago.

All I could say was, SHIT.

“Pammy, I am so sorry I am not here for the three of you but the commute to work is long and if I want to keep feeling good about myself and my body I think I need to work out but I will stop if you kids ask me to.”

“Mom, we love you and we know you are our only parent when it comes down to it.  We also know that you do everything for us that we ask you to do; we also know if you didn’t have the job you had we would have a lot less than we do.  I can’t call us privileged but we have so much more than our friends do.  You don’t go out and spend money on yourself ever. It’s only on us and that needs to change and if going to the gym makes you happy then keep doing it.”

“Pammy, I don’t know, I am so tired during the week I am afraid I am going to crash my car on the back roads.  It’s what scares me the most.    I don’t feel good about it, so I guess I am going to stop and just get home at a decent time.”

“Mom, please don’t stop it makes you happy. The boys and I want you to be happy.  We also want you to divorce our lazy father but that is your choice.”

“Pammy, I don’t know what to do but I know I cannot keep going at this rate.  I am going to give myself physical exhaustion.  I will have to think about it.”

Right at that moment Corbett and Jason walked into the room and sat on the other side of me.  They asked what was wrong so Pam explained to them why I was so tired.

The boys tended to speak as one unit, you would think they were twins but they were 11 months apart but in the same grade.

Jason spoke up first, “Mom we have been thinking.  We know you work long hours and the only thing you do for yourself is the gym and you don’t  need to be here 24/7 to take care of us since we pretty much do that ourselves.  So we suggest that since there is no mortgage on the farmhouse that you get a small apartment in the city so your commute is not so bad; you can come home on Friday nights and spend the weekend with us since that’s mainly when we see you anyway.”

Corbett added, “Mom please think about it.  You make most of our meals on the weekends and freeze them anyway, so you are not changing anything except the amount of sleep time you get.  If you are in town and close to work that cuts your drive time by at least 2 hours every day.  You are closer to the gym plus you will be able to eat at a decent time.  Eleven at night is too late to eat; it’s not good for you.”

Pam added her two cents, “Mom, seriously we will be fine. We will help out on Saturday morning or try to have everything done before you get home on Friday night so there is not much for you to do and we can spend quality time with you. We know we can do this and maybe just maybe it will get Preston off his butt and see what he is going to lose.  Like I said before we, Corbett, Jason and I, feel it is best if you realize your marriage ended years ago when we were little and you should have divorced his lazy ass a long time ago. We will support you with this decision if it’s what you want.  We want you to be happy.”

I cried, I didn’t know what to say.  I told the boys to get their lap tops and the newspaper; we had a SMALL apartment to find.

We found a couple and I made the phone calls.  We set up appointments to go see a couple after church tomorrow.   A small loft or studio apartment was going to cost me about $500-600 dollars a month to rent which I could swing without any problems.  I wasn’t too sure what my utilities would cost but I was sure it would be cheap since I would only be there during the week at night to sleep.

Pam figured I could get away with spending less than $800.00 a month.  I read more than watched TV so I didn’t need cable.  My groceries would be minimal since I was a fruit and cereal kind of girl in the morning, I ate lunch with the other associates or in my office and I would probably just eat salad or something else light at night OR just bring me some premade meals from home since I was already making them for the kids.

My kids were too smart for their own good.  I loved them more than life itself and I would never let anything get in the way of them.

 I would die for them and they knew it.

Well church came and went and we stopped for a bite to eat and then headed home to change.  Preston never went with us, it has been beneath him for a very long time to go to church and socialize with his kids.   When we got home we all rushed to our rooms and got changed.

Preston finally got off the couch to see what we were doing.  I told him, that I was getting an apartment in Shreveport so my commute time would be less and then I wouldn’t be so tired.  I would be home on Friday night to take care of the house and make dinners and be with him and the kids for the weekend.

At first he told me over his dead body and that’s when I told him, if he didn’t like it tough shit.  I was spending MY MONEY that I made and if he really didn’t like it don’t let the door hit him where the good lord split him.  He could move out and find his own place; the kids and I would be fine without him.

Well he called me a BITCH and told me I would miss him when he was gone.  I chuckled at him, seriously what world was he living in.  Oh yeah ‘Prestonland’.

He stormed out of the house.  I wish I could say he didn’t come back but I would be wrong.

The kids and I headed for Shreveport.  The first two apartments were not in the best neighborhoods even though the pictures showed something else entirely.  The final two were north of Shreveport and closer to the gym.  Pam and Corbett liked the loft and Jason and I liked the studio style apartment.

The kids told me it was my choice since I was the one living here.

So we weighed my options.

The loft came with the utilities included and would cost me $775.00 a month.  The studio apartment came with the utilities, cable and a carport for my car for $850.00 a month.   What swayed me was the carport, I would not get wet getting to my car if it was raining.  The kids agreed that would be the best option and if they needed to stay with me at least they could watch TV.  Plus the cable had internet access so I would not need to get that hooked up separately.


It looked like I was set and a decision had been made.

Now just to buy some furniture and move in.

 I called the apartment manager Liam and told him I would take the apartment, so the kids and I headed back so I could sign the year lease.  After we finished we headed home.

We would move me in next weekend and during the week Pam said she would look for furniture for me at the stores in Monroe so I wouldn’t have to worry about it.  I knew she had the same taste as me so I wasn’t too worried and we could pick everything up on Saturday morning and move it that day. Besides all the kids had been given a debit card to my personal account about a year ago (I trusted them to not overspend or to buy stupid stuff and so far it’s worked) so Pam knew she could buy what was needed and we wouldn’t have to go back and buy it later.  She was going to take her friends Tara and Felicia with her so that they could help her out.

The three of them were shopping DIVA’s, so I wasn’t too worried.  They loved to shop but they also knew how to get more bang for their buck.

 Now I was just left with having to rent a truck to move the stuff from the store to the apartment.

We were a great team and had everything figured out until we walked into the house.

Preston had been drinking and got into the kids’ faces.  It was not a pretty sight when the boys wouldn’t back down.  Before I knew it there was a yelling match going on and punches being thrown.   The boys were tag teaming Preston and they got in some good licks.  I told Preston to stop and that’s when I landed on my ass.  Preston’s fist connected with my right eye and nose.

 I hadn’t realized it at the time but Pam had called the sheriff and I could hear sirens in the distance.   As Andy knocked on the door the boys were helping me up from the floor and putting an ice pack on my face.

 Andy asked me if I wanted to press charges.

 My nose was bleeding and I would be having a nice shiner.

I told him no but he needed to give Preston a warning that the next time he would go to jail.  Andy wasn’t happy that I chose this route but I told him that Preston had never hit me before.  I told Andy I was moving into the city during the week to cut down on my commute time and that’s what started the argument and the punches being thrown.  I could have included the alcohol in Preston’s system too but I think Andy figured that one out on his own. .

Keep in mind Andy was a family friend but he hated domestic violence.  He told Preston that he would be checking on the kids nightly until he trusted him again and that wouldn’t be any time soon.

Well I guess I had someone else in my corner.

 TE backTE next

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