You read about her first marriage, that first wedding. How she had all the feelings that it wasn’t right, except she just couldn’t bring herself to cancel it all and remain a “Miss” rather than becoming a “Mrs.”
At the time of that first wedding, she thought adult life was supposed to start with marriage, then a job of some sort, and then kids. That was the way it was back then, in the early 70’s.
But it wasn’t that way for everyone. And when you try too hard to make things work, you discover that if things are meant to be, they will be. And if they’re not, well, life has a way of letting you know.
And that’s what happened with her. Divorce. The first in her family. She was relieved it was over, but more concerned how her family would feel. But they loved her, and they reassured her that it was ok; things would work out. And that mistakes had a way of turning things right again.
But sometimes it takes a while for that to happen.
The freedom she’d initially felt was quickly replaced by loneliness. Most of her friends were still happily married and having kids. A lot of her single friends were in relationships. She became restless, unhappy, and wanted a change. Any kind of change that would allow her to start her adult life over again. And hopefully not make the same mistakes.
So she found a new job in a different city, and made the big move, some two hours away from her hometown. Close enough to be with family when she needed to see them, but far enough away to start her life over.
And maybe, hopefully, she’d find the man who’d make her happy; the guy who’d sweep her off her feet, and give her the life she so desperately wanted. Who’d erase the loneliness she felt and want a life together with her. As a wife, and then eventually a mother. But she was careful to never voice those hopes and dreams to anyone, in case none of it came true.
She’d found a good job in her new city, and slowly met new people. People at work, and a few in her apartment complex. But no one really interesting. No one she could even begin to get close to.
Had she made another mistake by moving there?
Then one day a young detective walked in her office. He was there investigating a break-in at a nearby business. They had a brief conversation about the case, and then ended up going to lunch together.
Over the next few months they casually dated off and on. She hadn’t really met anyone else. And they just sort of drifted into a relationship.
It wasn’t one without problems, however, and as time went by there were arguments. But somehow they always worked them out. Eventually. And she figured all couples must go through times like that.
They started talking about marriage. Something inside her started saying “be careful”. But surely she wouldn’t make another mistake, would she? After all, everyone has problems that need to be worked out.
And they did love each other. At least she thought so. And she accepted a ring. That later she found out he’d bought for someone else, and took back when they’d called things off. But of course that was something she didn’t discover until a lot later.
Once again a wedding dress was bought, flowers were ordered, and a small reception was planned. Maybe she shouldn’t have another formal wedding, she thought, but she was determined this would be the one for keeps.
But the morning of the wedding they had another argument. And it took over an hour for him to apologize. That should’ve been enough to call it off, but she didn’t. She convinced herself it was going to be fine.
And it was. For about 3-4 weeks until the arguments started again. Over little things. She wasn’t home from work on time (never mind that traffic was backed up). He worked too hard during the week and was too tired to help her around the house (even though she worked full time as well).
He didn’t like the way she answered one of his questions. He found something around the house that had her previous married name on it and accused her of wanting to get back with her ex-husband (really)??
Then he started pushing her around when he was mad. A couple times he pushed her so hard she fell on the floor. And he accused her of faking it.
And of course every time he got mad it was her fault because she said or did something wrong. After all, he was the man of the house and what he said was what would be done.
She knew she had to leave, before she was seriously hurt, but was embarrassed to tell her family. And afraid what people would think. That she was to blame for another broken marriage. Surely something was wrong with her!
So she hesitated. Until the evening he got so mad at her he pushed her and she fell down the stairs. Fortunately she didn’t break anything but ended up in a cervical collar for several days, which of course he said she was only doing to make people feel sorry for her!
That was finally enough. She secretly found an apartment away from where they were living, made arrangements to move her things, which was most of their furniture since he hadn’t had much of his own. She called an attorney and filled out separation papers.
When she confronted him about her leaving he was furious. She was scared he’d attack her again, so she’d arranged for a couple she’d become friends with to drop by and say they thought they’d see if they could all go out to eat. That most likely prevented her from being hurt again, because he stormed out and left. The people she’d arranged to get her things came by, moved them out, and she was gone.
She’d been married to him for eleven long months.
Fortunately he never looked for her, and surprisingly didn’t try to go by where she worked. Probably he knew she’d have told the security guards what happened, and they’d be on the lookout for him. And thankfully she never heard from him again.
“Now what?” she asked herself. “Where do I go from here?” Once again, the white lace and promises had been forgotten. In fact the lace had been ripped apart and the promises smashed under her soon-to-be ex-husband’s heel.
Be sure to read White Lace and Promises, Part Three, to be published on February 10.