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No I really don't give a damn if your food is good or not, if you don't stop staring at my ass I am going to throw your food at you....maybe I should rethink this waitressing bit.

As the dust settled from Hurricane Ivan my anger turned from blood boiling to determination. I put together my resume from my years in the Air Force and started beating down doors for a better job than the waitressing gig  I hated despised was blessed with.

After several weeks and a dozen interviews I received a phone call to interview for a Boeing position doing a lot of the same things I did in the military on a C-130 Gunship program. I was stoked. It took me 2 hours to get ready for the interview. I still remember the suit I wore. I knew I had the job in the first 5 minutes. The money wasn’t phenomenal, but it was good. It was enough to turn some things around in my world. 

I was able to move into one of my parent’s rental properties two lots away from their house that I was living in with them. Still dependent on them to a point but more freedom than I had was a tremendously big deal for me. I needed reliable transportation and was able to buy a Honda Civic to get the girls and myself around. I was able to see The Boy Next Door more frequently because I had transportation. Things were looking up for me, I should have known better. A few months of easy breeze should have raised a warning flag…. An alarm should have sounded in my head.

As Christmas approached, I braced myself for the first Holiday without my daughters. It would be the beginning of the every other Christmas bullshit that comes with divorce. I get to spend the year raising them, making sure they are growing into morally dependable people and he swoops in and takes them for Christmas. I felt completely empty as I loaded them into England’s car. Christmas Eve at my grandparents house I watched all of my little cousins tear into their packages in beautiful little green and red velvet dresses. I cried my eyes out. My kids would never have normal. They’d never have a family Christmas. The guilt that comes with that is tremendous and turned into a straight whiskey pity party night.

The Boy Next Door never missed a beat. He let me hurt, continued to pour the shots, and listen to me ramble about how I ruined my kids lives. Then he told me to pack a bag, we were going to spend New Year’s Eve at his parent’s house in Louisiana playing and getting away from my childless house.