>Hosea. (part 3)


*continued from Hosea. (part 1) and Hosea. (part 2)

…it had been nearly three months.  Three months of agony, of sleepless nights tossing and turning, of wondering, regretting, wishing, hating, and of holes punched in the drywall of the basement.  Emptiness.  There was nothing left in him but an anger that constantly burned.  It had become the comfort that fueled his bloodthirsty vendetta.

After that first night…that dreadful night of seeing her car parked in that driveway and walking in on them, there had been multiple encounters with other men.  The worse thing about it all was that he knew two of the men … one of them lived down the street … the other he knew from church.  Church of all places.  He’d found out about it through one of the members of their small group.  Why would she do all this?  What had he done?  Did she ever even care about him?

The agonies of unfaithfulness had driven him to the edge of sanity.  And on the edge of that cliff he had stood peering into the chasm beyond, eyeballing every bar he drove by, pulling into the nearby pawnshop with cash in hand and sitting in the car, then driving off.  The canyon beyond offered no return were he to jump, and he knew that the Thirsty Beast within him would stop at nothing to satiate its throat long parched from abstinence and accountability.  

Everyone knew.  

Most couldn’t look him in the eyes.  Not even at work.  He’d probably not have done what he later did had he had someone to talk to … someone to vent to … but no one wanted to get messy.  No one wanted to get involved.  No one wanted to place themselves in the middle of his rage and speak healing into it.  Several guys at work knew the line of work she was in when they had first gotten married.  They’d seen her standing on the street corners.  They’d seen her in the strip clubs.  Even his closest friends at first had raised eyebrows when he began pursuing her.  ‘Are you serious?’ they’d say.  ‘Don’t you know about her?’

They’d never understand the startling reality that only he knew beyond all doubts.: a reality that caused him to burn deep down.  Why had he felt so strongly at first that God wanted him to marry this woman?  Was it really just his emotions?  They had gone to pre-martial counseling.  They had sought the advice of wise people… and he originally felt a strong confirmation about her…  but agony tends to cause one to reconsider their own choices and faith, no matter what higher power they thought compelled them.

Then there was the pregnancies.  He knew they weren’t his children.  He knew even standing in the hospital room when the boy was delivered.  He remembered the hot flash of ferocious anger that came when he saw that the baby didn’t even have the same skin color as his.  The embarrassment.  The shame. The surprised horror of staring into the face of the baby that didn’t belong to him…

Everyone knew that too.  They’d see the boy riding his tricycle down the street and no one knew who the father was.  Then, a girl… again not his.  More anger, then guilt over the thought of ‘how can I ever love these children that don’t belong to me? 

She left him with the kids.  No mother to take care of them.  She was gone to other men, other encounters, other affairs.  The kids continue to grow up, largely unaware that they were a constant living reminder of the deep wound and pain she had caused him.

Then one night, when the years had passed and proved that time doesn’t heal and that some wounds run deep, long after he had put the kids to bed, he was woken once again in the middle of the night to the sound of a phone ringing.

“Hello?”  He mumbled, his mind fresh out of dream world.

And the broken voice, that at once called forth memories of love, of desire, and of unimaginable agony could be heard on the other end…

“Hey… its me.  Please help me…”

…to be continued…


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