Thursday night, 7 P.M., I answered the phone; it was Manon, the head nurse, wanting to speak to Mr. R.
It appeared that one of the intern's mother had taken a turn for the worse and the poor woman might not make it through the night; would he be kind enough to fill in for Pierre, and in return she’d give him two additional days off with full pay and a grave-yard shift bonus.
As he hung up the phone, I realized that he had just said NO!
A flat cold NO and then made up an excuse saying that his wife had a meeting that it could not be rescheduled and furthermore she didn't drive, therefore he had no choice other than to bring her to her rendez-vous.
What the hell did he mean my wife has a meeting that can't be changed and that I didn't drive; of course I could drive and I sure as heck did not have an important meeting.
He was the one that had plans, plans to go out with the boys; he had made that very clear during supper!
I looked at him and asked if I had heard correctly, he nodded his head, yes, I'd heard correctly.
I marched over to the phone and called my best friend Shadow. "Shadow, feel like going shopping this evening?" I said in an entirely way too calm voice.
“Holy shit, what's going on; are you okay, are the kids alright?” she asked.
After a short pause she said “Give me 5 minutes, I'll pick you up at the back entrance . Are you sure you’re okay”, she asked again.
“I'm fine, but I want to go shopping, you got that, I WANT TO GO SHOPPING !!!!!!”
“Yeah, understood, but that's what's scaring me to death, I know you HATE shopping”, she was still speaking as I put down the receiver; I slipped into my running shoes, told Mr. R that I was going to the corner store to get myself some cigarettes before he left for his night out with the guy.
Shadow picked me up, and over coffee and cigarettes it was agreed upon that the kids and myself could crash at her place for a couple of days until I figured out where the hell I was going to go, and how in the hell I was going to do it.
Somehow I felt that this time was going to be the last time I left, and that I wouldn't be going back out of guilt and fear.
Mr. R went out as planned, came in around 2 AM, and once again, smelling of perfume and Jack Daniels. I pretended to be asleep.
7:30 AM, the kids left for school.
Shortly afterwards Mr. R got up, he was in a foul mood and started bitching because his egg yolk was slightly overcooked, to make matters worse I had forgotten to place HIS perfectly folded newspaper beside HIS favorite coffee cup.
He slammed down the newspaper and said something nasty, I don't remember what he said, only that he pushed me hard and my head it the wall. I don't remember him leaving to go to work, actually I don't remember anything. I don't remember if I passed out or was simply in a daze.
What I do remember was coming to my senses, it was almost noon; I was huddled in a semi-fetus position pretty much in the center of the hall way, which was directly in line with the main entrance door.
The voice in my head kept saying, “Rentre mon hostie, rentre, jamais tu vas faire mal a qui ce soit, as tu compris, jamais, mon hostie, jamais”! (rough translation : Come on, God damn it, never again will you ever hurt anyone, do you understand, never again, God damn it, never again!).
I remember pulling myself up off the floor, my face was beet red, I had been crying, as the tear tracks were still visible, but I had no recollection of having cried.
I washed my face, put on some makeup and proceeded to walk to the doctor's office; I must of looked desperate because the secretary put me through immediately.
Once in the doctor's office, I started to cry, I cried for almost three hours, I just couldn't stop. Dr. Small made an appointment with a shrink, saying that I needed someone to talk to, someone impartial, someone who would listen, and someone who could help me.
I walked home, shaken, and still very upset; the following week I met with the shrink.
I did very little speaking, it was more like verbal diarrhea of screaming, verbal hot lava seemed to have taken hold of my tongue and there was no way to stop me.
The anger and pain I’d held in for so many years managed to make it’s way to the surface and erupt, finally it was coming out, somehow the pressure inside lessened, something I hadn't felt for many years, a quiet sort of calm reigned within.
After my 2 hours were up Mr. The Shrink nicely told me that I knew what my problem was, and that I also knew the solution.
Number one was to cut the umbilical cord and get on with my life.
Number two was to get myself and the kids into a home for battered women, and of course to receive counseling and much needed emotional support.
I never kept my next visit with Mr. The Shrink.
I lived with Shadow for a couple of weeks before finding a two room basement flat, one with a fridge and stove included.
The following Monday, my cousin came and helped me grab as much as we could, the kids beds & bedding, their clothing and toys, some of my paintings, my guitar, some of my clothes, knives and forks and a couple of plates, we packed it all into her van and drove off into the unknown.
I left a check on the dining room table to cover the month's rent; a note explaining why I was leaving, and why I had no intentions of every coming back.
I locked the apartment door, to never return again, knowing all too well, that if he didn't kill me, I most certainly would have killed him. That I know beyond a shadow of a doubt!
About a month later Mr.R showed up at my door step, and for the first time ever in broad daylight, in open view of my newly acquired neighbors, he proceeded to smash my face into shades of purple and blue and somewhat beyond recognition.
Not having any money on me for a taxi, I wrapped my skull with a towel, staggered to the hospital; before I had even seen a doctor the cops arrived wanting to question me about my aggressor as they had received a tip from Monsieur saying that he had seen my newly acquired friend beat the hell out of me.
Can you believe it, Mr. R accused Denis of beating the site out of me when in fact he was the culprit.
Needless to say, later that week I filed for divorce …..