Chapter 9 The Great Escape

Jack came to see me when he was on leave. He seemed devastated that I had gone through such trauma. He felt bad that he wasn’t there for me. He was so charming and the chemistry was off the charts. After he returned to the ship we continued to write. The letters got steamy. When he got discharged from the Navy, he called me. We went to the movies and had a nice evening.

On the way home there was this telephone pole with a wooden box on the side. Who knows why that box was there? Jack turned into an opportunity for a very romantic moment. He turned over that crate and picked me up and put me on top of it. It was as if he was putting me on a pedestal. He looked at me with those beautiful green eyes and proposed. So here I was offered another escape route. I did love him. I was very into him, but if I had a nicer home environment, I probably would have waited a little longer to get married.

The next night he insisted on asking my father for my hand in marriage. My father was drinking and did not take the proposal well. First, he took me in another room and proceeded to tell me that Jack just wanted to get in my pants. After an unbelievably long time with him postulating on the devious ways of young men, he gave up that line of attack. He realized he just wasn’t going to sway me.

He then proceeded to take Jack down into the basement to talk to him. Later, Jack told me that my father said I didn't love him and the only reason I said yes was, so I could get out of my house and be free from my family. There was more than a grain of truth in that. At this point Jack had enough. He went to the front door, looked at me sadly and left. I looked at my mother. There was nothing in her eyes to influence me. I picked up my purse and I went out the door.

That night I stayed at my grandmother's. I did not return home. Jack and I were married a few weeks later. At that time, you had to be 21 to get married. You had to be 21 to vote and to drink. I was 19 and going to be 20 in a month. I had to ask my mother to sign for me at the courthouse for the marriage license. She did.

We had a church wedding in the church I grew up in, St. John’s the Evangelist. My parents had a small party at the house. I still have a few pictures of the day. I looked happy and Jack looked confused. They say you marry your father. He was just a younger, cuter version of my father. I went from the frying pan into the fire. At first, we had our honeymoon period and everything seemed wonderful. After a few weeks I started noticing things. The fact that he hadn't gotten a job.

He wanted to be with me all the time. I had gotten a great job at Aetna insurance as an underwriter. He hated when I left for work, but someone had to pay the bills.

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