A year or so after Brandon and I had been married, we experienced our first bump in the road.
Brandon's parents have a nice time share in Myrtle Beach. Every year, we would go on vacation the week of our anniversary at the end of October, with his parents to their time share. Mostly, the week consisted of Sheila (Brandon's mom) and I shopping at the outlets, sleeping in late, staying in our pj's, laying out by the pool, and of course, eating yummy food. Brandon and his dad would get up every morning, before the sun came up, and headed to a nearby fishing pier, where they would fish from sun up to sun down. Sometimes they would meet us girls for dinner, other times we would bring them something back for them to eat when they returned.
This one year, Brandon's sisters Ashley and Jennifer came, too, as well as Ashley's husband Justin. Midway through the week, I started to get sick. I mean, fever, chills, fatigue...flat out SICK! At the same time, after 2 days of fishing, Brandon's back down to his rear end starting hurting, so bad he was in tears and skipped a trip to the pier. I knew he didn't feel good then. We tried everything. I tried over the counter medications and he tried soaking in the tub, nothing alleviated the pain both of us were in.We were both in bad shape and decided to cut our vacation early so we could both get checked out.
We got home and both made doctors appointments. My appointment was that morning, his was in the afternoon. I ended up having the flu. GREAT! I had not had the flu since middle school!!! I felt like death and I'm pretty sure I looked like it too. I immediately came home and got in bed. Brandon goes and comes home with surgery scheduled! Come to find out, he had an abscess in his rectum (aka pain in the ass - haha had to throw that in there). I already felt like crap and then I get hit with this. He had a doctor appointment the next morning at a specialty doctor then surgery scheduled for the next afternoon. We were both freaking out because we didn't have a lot of money to begin with and having this surgery guaranteed him AT LEAST 8-10 weeks out of work, on top of that, hospital bills.
The next day, Brandon's parents and Jennifer rode up to go with us to the doctor's appointment and to be there at the hospital for Brandon's surgery. There was about 4 hours between the doctor's appointment and surgery so we decided to head home. When we got home, Sheila went to our bedroom to read a book. All I wanted to do was lay in my bed for a few hours, without any interruptions. I laid down beside her to rest and her phone rings. Now, common sense would say "HEY this girl is sick and her husband is about to have surgery in a couple of hours! Let's take the phone call outside!" Well, common sense didn't show up that day and she had a 30 minute conversation while I was trying to sleep, in my room, on my bed, in my house.
Anyway, that night Brandon had surgery, we came home, and I stayed home with him the next day just to make sure he was ok. He was in a lot of pain so I was there for him when he needed help getting anything.
Time went on, I went to work, Brandon stayed at home, and somehow, by the grace of God, with one income, a $500 truck payment, $300 boat payment, $200 school loan payment, and other bills + food, we made it.
One night while Brandon was still out of work, he had gone to bed early. This wasn't out of the ordinary. I am a night owl, he is an early riser. I had gone in the bedroom where he was sleeping and noticed his cellphone laying on the bed. We didn't have a house phone so if I needed to get in touch with him during the day, he needed his cellphone charged. His charger was in the kitchen, so I picked up his phone to take it to be plugged in.
I happened to glance down at his phone and noticed there was a text from "mcgreg." I immediately assumed it was a fishing buddy or work friend so I looked at it. Nothing had prepared me for what I was about to discover that night.
The text read, "You must have fallen asleep." Well...he did so I texted back, "this is Brandon's wife, he did fall asleep, I will let him know you texted him when he wakes up." I get a text back almost immediately, "say what?" I wrote, "this is his wife, who is this?"
By this time, I knew something was wrong. My heart was beating very fast. I could feel my chest pounding through my shirt. It was hard to swallow and all of a sudden the crisp, cool night became humid and sweltering. The text came back, "Wake that sorry SOB up and ask him who Lauren is."
I shook Brandon. I couldn't stop shaking him. I was screaming. Not angry screams, screams of disparity. The room was closing in. This. was. not. happening to me! Men cheated on their wives everyday but I did NOT marry a cheater!
Lauren ends up calling his cellphone and I answer. She is so apologetic. She is telling me she had no idea he was married. I am shaking, convulsively. I surely wasn't cold. I was in shock. My ears were full of silence and this strangers voice.
Brandon had portrayed himself as being in a hospital in Roxboro (near where he is from). He had been in a coma with his sister, Jennifer, by his side. He professed his love for Lauren, to Jennifer, who had been texting with Lauren, and expressed his hopes of one day, spending the rest of their lives together. He told her he wanted to be the father of her children. He told her he loved her.
By this time, I was gagging. Between Lauren telling me everything in one ear and Brandon pleading in another, I was overwhelmed to say the least. This poor girl had no reason to lie to me. She had been played. We both had been played.
I hung up the phone and didn't know what to do. I cried. I screamed. I believed his apologies. I believed he wouldn't do this to me again. I forgave him. I stayed....all when I should have ran.