The Worst Step-Father EVER
I’ve told you about Scotty, the Best Step-father Ever, in previous posts. Before Scotty there was the Worst Step-father Ever.
I have no degree in any form of psychology. I’m just an intimate observer of battered woman syndrome and this series will shed some light on that.
I don’t know the reason my parents split up after a year of marriage but the fact that they were seventeen and twenty with a tenth grade education probably had a lot to do with it.
I don’t remember much about the second husband. I spent most of their two years together living with my grandparents. On their wedding night we learned he was abusive and didn’t like children. The next day he said, “The kid goes or I go.” I’m grateful my grandparents were there for me.
I was five when Al, her third husband, came into our lives and thirteen when he was banished. I had seen my mother taunt him with her behavior and cheating over the years and watched him keep coming back for more. In spite of their tumultuous relationship he was a good and loving father to his son, to me, and to her illegitimate son he gave his name to.
She was never long without a man in her life. Always searching for the love she’d never felt from her father. At the ripe old age of thirty mom was looking for her fourth husband.
Let’s start with a positive, shall we? It was Les, the fourth husband, who verified my instincts about people. I had him pegged the moment I laid eyes on him.
He brought her home from work and walked her to the door. She introduced us and thankfully didn’t invite him in. When he left the first words from my mouth were, “Where did you find that bum?”
She was insulted! He was so smart, so sweet and nice to her, had a great job… yada yada yada. My gut said otherwise. There was something about his icy blue eyes and sideways smirk that whispered trouble.
We had just moved into an apartment in a decent area of town. I started 9th grade at a new high school. In nine years this was the twelfth school I’d attended. Having a broad frame of reference, I felt it was a pretty good school.
Mom was working nights which meant I had to rush home from school. A neighbor had the boys for a couple of hours but couldn’t keep them past 3pm. No after school activities for me, but I was used to that.
Within weeks Les was around a lot. He had clearly been anointed the next in succession. I could not warm up to this guy at all but knew I was doomed to this fate.
We moved to a larger apartment around Christmas time. Les was spending most of his time with us so we needed more space. I would have preferred separate States, but any extra space was welcome.
He was very attentive to the baby but barely tolerant of the four year old. As for me, I believe we had a mutual distrust that grew over time. Keeping that in mind, you can only imagine how I took the news, in early February, that they were getting married. Seems ‘Mother of the Century’ was pregnant!
They chose Valentine’s Day for a civil ceremony early in the morning. Afterward Les went to work and later that day so did mom. It was just another Friday, or so it seemed.
Les never came home. Imagine the bride’s shock when she arrived back at the apartment at 2:15am to find her hubby had never returned from work! She woke me in a panic.
“Why didn’t you call to tell me he hadn’t come home?” she screamed.
“I didn’t realize I was babysitting your husband.” I replied, as I pulled the covers over my head, hoping he had changed his mind and left town for good.
In her total hysteria she began to call some of his co-workers. No one seemed to know anything. She called the police… no accidents reported. He wasn’t in any hospital in town. He was just gone.
She called in sick on Saturday and frequently checked in with his friends hoping they’d heard from him. Nothing.
I so wanted to say, “I told you he was a worthless bum!” but she was truly pathetic. I had never seen her so distraught. I’m sure the pregnancy played into the emotional aspect. I tried to keep my distance and keep the kids out of her way.
Around 3pm Sunday afternoon Les came waltzing in the door. We were frozen in anticipation. He seemed jovial and confused as to why she was so upset. When she mentioned she’d spoken to his friends and co-workers things got very scary.
He grabbed her by her hair virtually lifting her off the floor, pulling her head back to face him, and hissed through clenched teeth, “If you EVER do anything like that again you will live to regret it! Do you understand me?!”
She tried to explain her fear that something had happened to him and he cut her off. “My comings and goings are none of your goddamned business!”
And the games began!