(Looking back to that September 1987, I’m flooded with overwhelming memories. In the current time with this posting October 23, 2016, I am having difficulty forming all those memories into words)….
The double glass door opened with the sound of the chime sounding through the store, as a young man and his mother entered. As groggy, and sheepish I was. I saw them glancing throughout the store at all the bed sets there were. I got out of the bed all the way in the rear of the store and straightened myself out. Moments later introduced myself with a “Hello, my name is Beckie. Is there anything, in particular, you folks are looking for?” (To be honest. I don”t think either one of us was ready for what came from a simple question such as that).
David Cutler & his mother Marilyn came into the store that day to look for a brand new bedroom set for this charismatic young man from Long Island, NY. No help needed by his mother, he was paying for this bedroom set himself. Oh yes, Dave made it quite clear he was handling the charges. Upon writing up the sales contract, I learned he was a foreman on a construction site. The site was a big corporate bank located in Manhattan. As this handsome, well spoken young man was filling out the necessary applications for financing, he flirted with me without skipping a beat. I, of course, had his number, and as we wrapped up the last of delivery instructions. He made it clear he was interested in seeing me outside of the store. Dave said, “I’m new in the area, maybe you could show me around my new stomping grounds?”…… Naturally, I had to play this encounter down a bit, because my store manager was right next to me. I just responded. “We will see. Thank you & Have a great weekend”.
Okay, folks. I didn’t jump at the chance to see David Cutler right then and there, oh no…. I seriously was not in the right frame of mind to even go out to dinner with a guy. To say the least, I was still pretty messed up emotionally because of what that jerk, Brian did to me. He never returned my calls, nor come to the front door when I demanded to see him. Nah, I wasn’t willing to go through that again. I’d rather just hang at my place, or go out with my friends. However, Dave was persistent with his attempts of seeing me again. He would make excuses to call the warehouse where the bedroom set was being assembled. By the time his bed was to be delivered, I was instructed to ask him survey questions about the companies service. He agreed, as long as I said yes to going out to dinner. “Okay, Call me when you get home”. I agreed.
So… On October 8, 1987, we were heading into Manhattan. Poor guy. He wanted to see sites in NJ, and because of being nervous, I couldn’t think of one. He drove in, after being stuck in traffic coming home from the city. Yet, he didn’t seem to mind really. As he sped back to the city, we talked about everything under the sun & moon. He parked the car, and we walked to a tiny little hole in the wall in Little Italy called “Vincents”.. (No longer a little hole in the wall now). It was the perfect evening. He was down to earth, and just so enjoyable to be with. We never ran out of subjects to talk about. We Laughed so much, my sides hurt. After dinner, we continued walking all over the city, until we realized how late it was. It was time to head back to NJ.
Our relationship was one that took its time to grow. We didn’t rush into jumping in the sack but waited. “How refreshing to get to know someone first”… We became acquainted with one another by going out on real dates. Sharing stories of when we grew up. Dave even took me back to his hometown in Coram, NY on Long Island, in order to meet all his friends. Every free chance we had, we were together. We just hit it off so quickly. I just had this feeling within my soul, that Dave was going to become more than just a boyfriend.
It wasn’t until the first week of November, I was late. My period was late. A sense of panic took over. I instantly got a pregnancy test, and it was confirmed. I was, in fact, pregnant. However, Dave & I hadn’t even slept together. My fears mounted now.. my mind swirling around in its own abyss… It was Brians child. That immeasurable bastard impregnated me as a result of date raping me. What was I going to to do? I couldn’t tell Dave. What would he think of me? Oh my God..what was I going to do? I was hysterical.
A couple of days passed before I saw Dave. We were heading out to the Island to go dancing at a club he uses to DJ at “Hollywoods” in the same town he grew up in. My mood was obviously strained. I didn’t want to lose Dave as my boyfriend, but I knew he would break up with me if he got wind of this development. He pressed me to share what was on my mind, but I simply couldn’t. I just knew the worse scenario was going to happen. In the back of my mind, I just pictured this being the last weekend I would share with Dave & his friends. There was no way he would take this well.
The weekend ended, and we were driving back to NJ. I remember not being able to muster up much to say the whole way home. If posed with questions, I only had one-word answers. The ride was more than tense. I knew I had to tell Dave of this, but I didn’t want to jeopardize our fresh wonderful relationship..but, I just knew that by the time we got back to my apartment, I would have to tell him..and imagined him saying “Nice knowing you, you whore”. I hated myself so much with all the thoughts of how I was taken advantage of, and now pregnant.
When we arrived in front of my apartment, he put the car in park, and put his arm around me and simply asked me “How far along are you?”….. He knew, Dave already knew without me even saying one word. To this day, I don’t know how he knew this. All I remember was how kind he was to have handled it like a champ. By the end of the following week, he paid a visit to Brians house in Raritan, collected the monies in order for me to undergo an abortion. Dave stayed with me the whole time. We never spoke of this episode ever again.
Six months later,we were engaged. In the two and a half years we were engaged. Life certainly had its challenges. My parents were getting a divorce after 23 years of marriage, my mom tried to take her own life because of the heartbreak, and my mom’s father passed away. Then, I became pregnant again. However, this time was handled in such a way, I just plain didn’t see coming. We were living in Daves parents basement and were due to be married in June 1990. It was Daves mom that made the decision for us to get an abortion. Her reasoning was that we were too young, and because of my state of mind with my mom attempting suicide, it was for the best according to her. It was as if I was absent from my mind and body, I just went along with it. Dave and I cried so hard over it when the procedure was over. I was numb, whereas Dave didn’t speak to his mom for a couple of months that followed.
On June 3, 1990, Dave and I got married. A simple service that was performed at his parent’s house. We only had a four-day honeymoon, because we were using the remainder of time towards moving into our apartment in Monmouth Junction, NJ. Life seemed pretty good, and we enjoyed playing house together for the first time.
It was soon after we were married, though, I changed jobs, working for a collection agency. Not a glamorous job, but it was a paycheck. I hated calling people and demanding monies that were due. Some of the conversations became very heated, and my heart rate & pulse would race like crazy with most of the calls I made. I didn’t like the confrontation like most of my co-workers. My adrenaline would start pumping as I arrived at work. Some of these people were sincerely suffering financially, and I had to use the threatening tactics to collect their debt. It was awful. By the time the end of my shift ended, I would leave and stop at the liquor store to pick up Captain Jacks and a bottle of Diet Coke. Dave wasn’t home most evenings because of his shift alternating. I’d kick off my shoes, change my clothes and kick back with a nice stiff drink to soothe my riddled nerves. Naturally, when the weekends arrived, Dave and I did what most newlywed couples did. We just enjoyed being together and doing fun stuff all of the time.
It was June 1991, our first anniversary we adopted an Amazon Yellow Nape parrot. We both loved birds and studied on different breeds. Peanut was 10 & half weeks old when we brought him home. Peanut was our son right from the start. Feeding him baby food, and teaching him how to talk..we just adored him right from the beginning.
It was in October 1991, we were given the chance to move into Daves grandfathers house. He had passed away a week after we were married, and the family was just renting it out. It was decided that we would take over the monthly payments on a real house instead of a one bedroom apartment. This was the reasoning in order to start a family.
From the time we moved into our little three bedrooms, one bath bungalow.. we put all our efforts into fixing up the place. It took time and a great deal of money. All of which was being done by the two of us. However, we were trying like crazy to start a family. Don’t get me wrong here, but initially trying was a great deal of fun, but after awhile it became a chore. Every month was a disappointment like no other. And.. with each passing year around the time of our abortion, I imagined what our child would have been like. The sadness was so real around that time.
As time moved forward, the economy was suffering. Construction jobs were halting, and I couldn’t find work in finance, collections or any other office position. We were both so overly stressed on how to afford what we had. I swallowed my pride and started applying at local food stores. I ended up landing a job at a local shopping center within their meats department. I was assigned to work in the seafood department. I learned the trade rather quickly and ended up liking the position. My manager Gregg assigned a lot of the heavy duty work to me. At that time I was working as hard as any one of the men in the meat department with lifting, and packing. Hell, I didn’t care as long as I was getting paid. The only downside was Dave and I was still having trouble making ends meet. We ended up renting two of the bedrooms out to a mutual friend with whom hit hard times due to the economy. That lasted a couple of years until we all got back on our feet. In June of 1995, I learned we were pregnant! The single happiest moment in my life. The previous years of financial difficulties and employment being scarce took a toll on the both of us. We had been smoking more weed and drinking to forget our problems. The only thing that I believed to keep our chins up was our pets and sitcom tv. It wasn’t as if we were going out all the time..monies were so tight in the earlier part of our marriage. Plus Dave’s uncle never used the rental money on the house to pay the property taxes. So we had that to make up and pay as well. The stress level was intense back then. However, all that seemed like a distant memory after learning we were finally pregnant.
Unfortunately, by Late September on our way back from visiting friends in Virginia, we were in a hit & run accident before Exit 2 on the NJ Turnpike. The seatbelt clamped me in so tight as we slammed into the medium. By the time we made it to the nearest road stop, I was bleeding. Two days later, no fetal heart beat. That was the last time I was pregnant. My heart was shattered over the loss. We just went back to everyday living out our lives, and didn’t discuss the loss any further. It was as if it never happened. Needless to say, I began to drink a bit more when coming home from work. Whenever I had a chance to be by myself, I would internally hurt. Cry to me over the loss of what was suppose to be our little family. I simply never fully recovered from that hurt.
To be continued in Part 4…..