Wednesday, November 14, 2012

V

We’d moved back into our tent in the same wooded area where we’d left not even two weeks ago. Things started to get weirder at this point. I remember praying daily that somehow this would all work out, that Theo would finally trust me. He’d brainwashed me into thinking that going home was giving up on us, that running to my parents was not an option. But every day it became clearer that this was not the situation I’d expected or wanted. One day, when we’d set up his computer at Barnes & Noble, taking advantage of the free wi-fi, he told me that unless he knew I was pregnant, he had no desire to search for an apartment and that he’d rather spend his $800 a month on something else.

The days seemed to drag by. A routine was established: wake up, around 9 or 10 AM, where we would either go to the Jack-in-the-Box next to our tent or wait around to catch the bus to the mission for lunch. I never could wake up earlier than 9 as Theo would wake multiple times during the night, rousing me to give him oral and getting angry if I said a word in complaint. I started lying to him somewhere around this period, while still lying to my mom and dad that everything was going okay. I didn’t have any other choice because Theo hovered over me almost 24/7, questioning everything I did. After having lunch at the mission, we would either wander the streets, or go to the mall and window-shop (we rarely had any money), or set up his laptop at Barnes & Noble to look for an apartment. We found one after Tina had kicked us out of her apartment, but the bad news was that it wasn’t available until May 1st. We were now in the month of April. I wanted to look for other apartments with sooner availabilities, but ended up getting stuck with what Theo wanted. Like usual, he was so afraid I’d be “corrupted” by the potential roommates I saw on Craigslist that he would rather wait an entire month to move in. It was getting very hard to conceal my frustration with him at this point.

Through some bizarre miracle, I ended up getting a job at Claire’s at the Bellis Fair mall. It was closer to Tina’s, which would have been convenient, but at this point I was happy to be working instead of walking the streets like usual. My happiness was short-lived. Later that week, Theo got mad at me, for some reason or another. It was well past midnight, so we were in our tent, and because of his anger, he decided the only way he could calm himself was by getting a cigarette. Well, we only found his lighter. With that angering him even more, he told me to get dressed because we were going out to buy him cigarettes. In a tired daze, not realizing my stupidity, I protested. That only escalated the situation, and in a desperate move to calm him, I got dressed and followed him to a gas station a few blocks from our tent. As we approached the gas station, he told me he wasn’t allowed inside because of a confrontation a few years back with the owner. Supposedly he was in the bathroom, the owner asked him to leave because he’d been in there too long. Theo called him a string of racial slurs, which was when the police were called. He handed me his card and told me to buy any pack that was $5 or less. Unfortunately, everything was $7 or more, not including tax. I walked back out empty-handed, which was when he told me to buy an energy drink for him.

At this point I knew I’d probably be kept up all night, so I walked back in and bought 2, since the station was having a 2 for $5 deal. We drank them as we headed back to the tent. The caffeine buzz hit somewhere between the gas station and the tent, which is where he realized he wouldn’t be getting any sleep. I knew I was in for a long night. He packed up his computer and told me there was a 24-hour McDonalds on Samish Way where we could get free wi-fi. This meant walking to the other side of town and into what Theo told me was probably the worst place we could ever go.

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