Rodney and I were inseparable. He was 18, funny and smart. Everything that not only I wanted in a guy, but I was sure every other girl in the world wanted him too. We spent 95% of our time with all of our friends. Usually smokin a doobie and drinkin beer. We had good friends. Kind friends. One of our favorite party spots was at my cousin Michaels house. He lived just out on the edge of town and had a really cute house. His wife had it filled with plants and pictures. A place you wanted to spend time at.
Rodney got a job with ONG and still worked part time with his dad at the gas stations. We dated for about 5 months when my life changed again. I was living with Nanny and Daddy Jack again and very happy. Daddy was there too but spent alot of time working and dating wife #4. Rodney had gotten his own house and on this weekend it was where the party was. Rodney and I had not slept together. He knew about the rape and was giving me the time I needed. Gawd how I loved him for that. Well, I told Nanny that I was gonna spend the night at Michaels house because I knew that the party would last well into the night. There was one hitch, Michael wasn't going to the party that night. We drank and smoked and laughed all night as I was oblivious as to what was happening at home. My Daddy Jack had a heart attack. Michael wasn't home, and Nanny thought I was with him so no one could get ahold of me. The party continued.
As the night wore down Rodney and I curled up on his bed and snuggled until morning. When Michael showed up at the door I knew something was horribly wrong. He told me Daddy Jack was in the hospital and that my daddy was looking for me. All I could do was blink my eyes and try to focus. Daddy Jack, my sweet Daddy Jack. I had to get to him. When I arrived at the hospital I first got an update. He had a massive heart attack that left extensive damage. He would live 1 year or less. I was devastated. And my daddy was furious, with me! I felt so bad. Bad for lying, bad for not being there for my grandpa.
The next day daddy decided we were gonna have a *talk*. I knew what it was about, me lying. Turns out I only *thought* I knew. It was about me "spending with night with my boyfriend"! Rodney and I sat down and braced ourselves for the ammo to start flying. To my exhaustion I was unable to convince him that Rodney and I did not have sex, that we hadn't had any sex at all! He flat out called me a liar. Gave Rodney and I an ultimatum. We either get married or we were never to see each other again. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I was 16 years old!!!! We just looked at each other. Then dad told us to go out to the truck and talk it over. We were quiet out there for a few minutes. I think we were waiting for the other to say something. I know what I was hoping he would say. I asked him what he thought. He looked at me and said "well, I don't want to be without you!" OMG!! THAT'S what I wanted to hear! We discussed all our options, what our future might look like, and then.....I was engaged!
I only had 2 weeks to get ready. I was very fortunate to have Rodney's mother because she just literally took care of everything. Hell, I had no idea what to do. I remember picking out the cake, I think that was my favorite part! We were getting married in his parents back yard. They lived in a beautiful country neighborhood with a bazillion trees on their property. We would be wearing blue jeans, casual semi matching shirts, and I would be barefoot. My daddy would give me away and my best friend (Rodney's cousin) would be my Maid Of Honor. His best friend would of course be his Best Man.
It was a beautiful April day. Sunny, warm...perfect. We had alot of family and friends show up for the wedding which made Rodney and I both feel very loved. We said our vows, we kissed...we cried. I loved this guy so much. I prayed for an eternity with him. We went to a Lodge for our honeymoon. We had so much fun just running around the place checking it all out. We played in the fountain, drank a bottle of champagne that we brought with us and laughed at everything. We spent 3 days there, enjoying every second and talking about everything. That is one of the things I loved most about him, he talked to me, he listened to me and he heard me.
When we left our honeymoon we went straight home to the new apartment we had gotten. It was just a little one bedroom, simple. But it was home. And we were happy. I have only one regret during our 4 month marriage, and that is that I agreed to let Rodney sell our only car and get a motorcycle. How could I say no? He was so good to me and he had wanted one all of his life. That decision would change me forever.
The phone rang, it was one of our best friends. "Rodney's hurt, he's right down the street. I think he had a wreck". "Go to him I cried". I had no way of getting to him since we had no car. "I can't go, I can't see it" our friend said. He told me he would call Rodney's parents and for me to wait there for them. I ran outside screaming his name, neighbors came out, friends came. I sat on the curb and cried and cried. I had no idea if he was hurt, how bad he was hurt, my mind was racing. His parents pulled up and we raced off to the hospital. As I was running up to the emergency room doors they were bringing Rodney back out to load him back into the ambulance to rush him to Oklahoma City. What I saw still sticks in my head and heart today. He looked so broken. He had blood coming from his eyes, ears, nose and mouth. His head was as broad as his shoulders. I wanted to touch him but they wouldn't let me. They didn't waste a second getting him back into the ambulance. As I tried to load up with him they held me back and said no, I would have to ride with his parents. The car seemed to be crawling, but the speedometer read 90. We got to the trauma center right behind the ambulance but I couldn't get there in time to see his face before they had him in a room. All I could do was wait. I remember laying in the chair crying and Rodney's momma brushing back my hair with her fingers. Minutes turned into hours. 6 hours to be exact. The doctor came out, called us into a room and broke my heart. "We did everything we could, but he was just to badly hurt". That's all I remember of that night. Rodney had not been wearing a helmet. He had broken almost every bone in his body, but it was the head trauma that killed him.
I spent the next couple of weeks sleeping. I was grieving so hard for him. I was sick, tired and just wanted my husband. Another week went by and my daddy decided I needed to see a doctor. I went just to make him feel better, but the news I got was shattering. I was 6 weeks pregnant.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
I was so alone, confused and scared. I had no one. I couldn't tell my daddy because I was simply afraid that if I did he would go and do something and end up in the very prison I had grown up around. I didn't have my best friend anymore because when I told her she didn't believe me. I managed to stay away from everyone else by locking myself in my room during the day, and since I was scared to be at home alone at night now I spent most of the nights out on the stoop of the apartment building next to me, in the dark.
I was dirty. Ashamed, guilt ridden and embarrassed. There was no amount of soap and water to wash it away. I was drowning in despair. My thinking was based on one thing, the rape. It consumed every thought in my mind. I couldn't sleep or eat and the emotional and physical effects were starting to show. Inside and out. I felt like if anyone saw me, they would know....know my nasty little secret.
I think it was somewhere around a month before I really started to feel good enough to get out and in the world again. I had made friends with my daddy's girlfriends son. That's where I learned about the definition of speed and pot. They were my new best friends, and we had a great relationship. I jumped into the drugs full speed ahead, figuring out that it didn't hurt so bad when I was stoned. So stoned I stayed. This went on for the next several months until things didn't work out with daddy and his new love, and he decided to move us away....back to my Nanny and Daddy Jack.
I was happy again, at least for the most parts. The days were terrific, it was just the nights that always got the better of me. I started in school where I made lots of friends, turned 16, and met him........Rodney! He was the cousin of my new friend. He was handsome, sweet, intelligent, a gentleman and he liked me back. We started doing everything together when I was out of school. He had already graduated and worked with his dad at one of the gas stations that they owned there in town. I was so nervous when he took me to meet his parents. I felt a little inadequate as they had ALOT of money and was in upper society...I was nothin but a simple barefoot girl.