Snippets of a Life

November 22, 2017

“Today will be the day”, Katrina whispers to herself. She’s laying in bed, wallowing in her numbness, working up the courage to lift her right leg up over the side of the bed, hoping the left one will automatically follow. She’s fifty-seven years old and can’t, for the life of her, imagine how she’s reached a point where she rents a room in someone else’s house with her fourteen-year old cat, and lives in a place where she knows no one and has no desire to connect with anyone, ever again. Life wasn’t supposed to turn out this way, although how it was supposed to turn out is a mystery to her, too. But, to have nothing – seriously nothing – to show for all the love, the pain, the perseverance, the effort, the heartache; it’s pathetic. No legacy, no familial relationships outside of her family of origin, no career milestones, nothing. Katrina shakes her head to clear her thoughts and gets out of bed…

On her knees, Katrina prays to her Heavenly Father. “Heavenly Father, I am grateful for this day. For the roof over my head, for the heat that keeps me warm, for the car that gets me back and forth to the job for which I am grateful. I kneel here before you a broken woman; so many mistakes, regrets, sins, whatever they’re actually referred to in heaven. My cousin, Seth, tells me they’re lessons. We’re here to learn from them, he tells me. So, I ask you, Heavenly Father, what just what is my purpose? I need to know because everything I thought I was here for was wrong.” Katrina stills herself and works on evening out her breaths. As always, she knows the answer will come, if she quiets her heart and listens to the whisper of the Holy Spirit…

“Write about it…about all of it, Katrina. Your gift of expression isn’t yours to keep. People need to hear these stories. Write, my precious daughter. Just write. How you write doesn’t matter. Just write…”

September 2, 2017

The chimes on Katrina’s phone rang, indicating an Instant Message. She picked up the phone and opened the IM screen. The sender wasn’t anyone she knew. Oddly, though, there was a picture of Sam attached to the message. She’d been involved with Sam off and on for over three years – they’d been living together for almost a year, now, planning a wedding sometime in the future. The message contained some sort of screen shot of a text between Sam and the sender. Katrina walked from the office to the living room and showed Sam the message. “Do you know anyone by the name of Heather Diamond?” she asked, as she handed him the phone. Sam looked at the screen and said “No. It’s probably just some nut job trying to hack your phone. If I were you, I’d delete it.” Katrina didn’t really give the message much thought, deleted it and went back to the office to continue working on her homework for her Probabilities and Statistics class….

September 8, 2017

Katrina left work on Friday night, completely wiped out after a 16-hour shift of answering emergency 9-1-1 calls for the city. After she punched out and went to the locker room to pick up her belongings, she took out her phone to see what messages she’d missed. Her IM screen indicated another message and she clicked on the icon. Heather Diamond had sent her another message, with another screen shot of what appeared to be a “sext” chat between Heather and Sam. “I still love you. And the thought of seeing you naked in bed with me is something I’ve thought a lot lately” was the text to Sam. Sam’s reply, “should probably not think that way while in bed with someone else. Just sayin” didn’t exactly thrill Katrina. Shouldn’t he have told this Heather person in no uncertain terms to stop texting him? Katrina suspected Heather Diamond was actually Sam’s ex-wife, but would verify that with Sam tomorrow. It was too late to do anything about it tonight. It bothered her that he’d so quickly dismissed the last text as some “nutjob”, too….

September 9, 2017

Sam was still asleep when Katrina left for work Saturday morning, so she’d waited to talk to him about “Heather’s” text until she got home from work that afternoon. She showed the text to Sam and asked him, again, if he knew someone named Heather Diamond, since the screenshot showed a conversation between the two of them. Sam stared at the screen for a few minutes, handed the phone back to Katrina and said “I’ll take care of it”. Katrina sat quietly for a moment and then asked Sam, again, “who is Heather Diamond?” “Well,” said Sam, “I can only assume it’s my ex, Noreen, since that’s a screen shot of a text conversation between the two of us, from before you and I met. She’s got a cat named Diamond, so she must have a fake screen name on facebook.” Katrina accepted Sam’s explanation for the moment, but was bothered. “What do you mean ‘you’ll take care of it?” she asked Sam. Sam replied that he’d tell Noreen to stop contacting her or he’d get a restraining order against Noreen. Katrina needed a little time to think, so she let the matter drop…

September 10, 2017

“Who is this?” Katrina typed in a reply to Heather Diamond’s message from yesterday. Within minutes, Heather replied, “Just a little warning for you.” Katrina typed back “Again, who is this? And are you threatening me? No no” wrote Heather. “He is not what he appears. Good luck. You will need it”…

September 16, 2017

Katrina had spent the past few days covertly looking through Sam’s phone and email, reading text messages between he and Noreen that spanned the last two years, up to just a few day ago. From the tone of the messages, Katrina knew their relationship was still very important to Sam and that there really hadn’t ever been an actual break – at least from Sam’s perspective, even though they’re divorced. Not only that, but there were other messages to other women, too. Flirty messages, initiated by Sam, to some of his friend’s wives and other women he’d met on dating sites while they were living together. There was even a message to another woman he was obviously interested in, that he sent while he was on his way to visit Katrina when she was living in SC last year! Katrina was furious. Her thoughts were a mess. She was a jumble of emotions – none of them good – but she wasn’t finished yet. As she opened Google chrome on his computer, and began searching his internet history, her anger turned to dismay. She couldn’t believe what she was seeing. Months and months and months of porn sites viewed, for hours at a time, only during days when she was either at work or away…

November 7, 2017

After Katrina loaded up the car with all the belongings she needed to take with her, she went back into Sam’s house one last time to get her gun out of the safe, to write a “goodbye” note and to get the cat. These past six weeks had been like a living hell. It turned out that “Heather Diamond” knew what she was talking about. Sam didn’t just have a porn addiction to what some people call “soft porn”. The stuff he’s into is scary; brutality, incest – mother/son, father/daughter – animals, young girls/old men and live webcams. He also likes to visit local hook-up sites – whether he’d actually hooked up wasn’t something she’d been able to find out. The therapist Katrina had been seeing for her eating disorder told Katrina, in no uncertain terms, not to confront Sam with this information. Given what he was into, and his explosive nature when angry, she felt Katrina may be in danger by doing so, and suggested she find a place to live and just leave, preferably when Sam wasn’t home. Although it was against Katrina’s nature to run away from any problem without confronting it, she knew she was way out of her comfort zone on this one, and followed the therapist’s advice. After getting the cat settled in the back seat, she put the car into drive, and saw Sam’s house in her rearview mirror for the last time.  “Fuck you, Sam”, she whispered. “You will never have it so good again. You and Noreen deserve each other.” Her only regret was that she wasn’t there to see the look on his face when he walked in the door after work and realized she was gone.