On September 25, 2018 I packed everything I owned, except a printer and stationary bike. What I couldn’t take on the plane would be shipped via Greyhound from New Orleans. He’d contacted an associate to help drive the van I’d helped him buy, to New Orleans and back. I decided that I would drive to the Big Easy; that way I knew I’d arrive safely without any “accidents” happening along the way.
I packed all of my bags into the van, made a final sweep of the house to make sure I had everything, helped him into the van, waited for his friend to get in, locked up his shack, and left. New Orleans was about a 2 and 1/2 hour drive away. I had been in the backwards town since June 9, or about 3 1/2 months. I’d married him on July 13; I was leaving him about 2 months after we’d married.
Even though I told him that I’d return for Christmas, I knew I wasn’t coming back. Dealing with a mentally disordered, disabled man was too much for me to take on. And, I had my own health issues, albeit not serious ones, that I had to deal with. If I stayed with him, I knew my health would deteriorate, I’d be financially depleted, emotionally abused and a complete wreck in a very short span of time.
On the drive to Louisiana, we talked about the scenery. I marveled at the beauty of the countryside. It was green and lush, with forests and farms everywhere. I tried to reconcile the beauty with the past brutality of slavery, and the present mind set of the people who lived there. There was still a largely slave mind-set among the Black people there, and a slave master’s entitlement attitude with the white people. It awed, amazed and disgusted me at the same time. I wanted nothing to do with any of it.
We also talked about his upcoming court case, where he’d learn that the land he thought he owned, and the house on it (which he promised to me – another lie) belonged to him. He would go to court in early October, and he was sure he would win. I’d prepared all of the paperwork and organized it for him. He only needed to appear in court and present his paperwork.
We talked about the future and how we’d live in the house that wasn’t really his; how the other structures on that land could be rented out as an Air B&B, and how he would sell the remaining land. Of course, none of this came to pass. When he went to court, the other side presented a deed where my so-called husband had given the land back to his brother. A fact that my husband had conveniently forgotten.
We arrived in New Orleans in the middle of a thunderstorm and downpour. The rain was so thick, it reminded me of the Bay Area fog on a bad day. I drove carefully to the Greyhound depot. His “friend” helped me to take my bags in for shipping, and asked me if I was coming back. I assured him that I would, if I had a decent home to live in. He informed me that they’d told my husband that “no woman is gonna live in this place,” where he was living, but my soon-to-be ex didn’t listen. His certainty of my undying love for him and acceptance of everything to do with him, combined with his cheapness, convinced him to try to force me to live in his nightmare. He was wrong.
Shipping, even on Greyhound, wasn’t cheap, but I was willing to pay for it. I sent my things off, got back into the van, and drove to Louis B. Armstrong airport. When I got there, I hugged and kissed my husband, turned away and almost ran into the airport. I was on my way to freedom. It was almost over.