There seems to be a lot of really nice people here tonight, LaVerne St.James thought to herslelf as she sat amongst them at her therapy group awhile back. I wonder though, is everyone as screwed up as me?
And little by little, they were getting to know each other and trust, so as the weeks went by more and more secrets, sad stories and horrors came out into the open. She was sitting by a mirror where she caught a glimpse of herself and saw her grey streaked hair and the lines in her face. She clasped her hands togeher and looked down and saw they were chapped and her nails broken. Her slacks were baggy, and her shoes were worn and old. LaVerne was still tired and sickly, but not as bad as she had been, as now her new friends gave her strength and courage.
Years ago, she had met a nice boy in high school and dated him, then gotten
pregnant and married him while they were both kids themselves. For a
time they were happy being together and watching their baby grow, and
much too soon, another came along.
As she walked home after the meeting this evening,she thought back remembering the high hopes she'd had then, after her marriage, of having a nice home and her own new furniture. All the material things that other people had. But many years went by and she had never gotten them. They had moved to a larger city where job possibitlites were greater for her husband to find a good paying job. And more babies came along and the bills began to pile up and things went downhill from there. LaVerne was forced to put her babies with a sitter and go out and find work. And soon she became the sole provider as her husband had began to drink and use drugs. And she always, blamed heself for screwing up his life, by getting pg and having to get marrried. As in those days that was what you did.
Years went by and the kids were growing and soon the older ones were big enough to take care of the small ones so LaVerne took more jobs, and sometimes had three, to make ends meet. Life was still a struggle but it had been a way of life for so long, Then the older kids began college and left home to make their own lives, and gathering her courage, LaVerne found an attorney that would take her case with nothing down so she could file for divorce. And because she didn't have any money to do this, she agreed to house clean for him and his family once a week. She found it was a total pigpen, but she had promised so she diligently went and scrubbed and cleaned as this was the only way she could be free.
Whe her husband finally got the papers, he was enraged and gave her a beating, the worst of her life, and that was when a kind person came and got her and brought her to the meeting, and that had saved her life.
Tonight now, she walked into her apartment and hung her sweater in the closet. The two teens had washed the dishes and the house was quiet, so it was peaceful to sit and relax, and read the mail. There was a final notice about the gas bill again, but the check was in the mail so that was okay. Another letter was addressed to her including her maiden name, Laverne Cruz St. James, which surprised her. It looked official and it frightened her for a moment. And when she opened it she found it was an invitation to her twenty five year class reunion. She thought how wonderful it would be to see her old friends again. Maybe she would go, she'd get some pretty clothes and splurge on a make over.
This time she had to go, as she had a good reason to go back!