When I was a child growing up in this town, Charlotte got maybe one, two days of snow, at the maximum, and I never remember them being so close together. Usually one in December, another a month later, and every time, the white would slowly start disappearing, completely melting by the afternoon. Back then, snow meant no school, an endless number of neighborhood playmates, hot chocolate… but most of those things change when you’re an adult. No work means lost sales, too many kids at home are now a nuisance, and for me, really bad, horrible things always happen when it snows.
A few days after my marriage (I don’t say wedding, but that’s for another time) it snowed. The night it started, my husband was out with his coworkers, drinking, and I was at home trying to be the good wife, cleaning, keeping to myself, trying to give him the “space” I’d read about so many times in different articles on how to make your marriage “work”. He came home earlier than I expected, and not by himself, but with his coworkers, whose names I neither recall nor care to remember, in a horribly sour mood. He had run into one of his friends who, according to my husband, took this opportunity to talk shit about me (another long story for another day, none of my husband’s family or friends accepted me as his wife) and this conversation resulted in blows. So, his coworkers got him out of there and decided to move the party to our tiny apartment. Lots of drunken bullshit transpired, I was annoyed, disgusted, tired, and just ready to be alone again, not knowing exactly what would happen that night.
After his guests left, I started getting ready for bed, and I asked him why he just didn’t walk away, why he fought and why he had to bring so many drunk people back to our home. These questions, which I thought were simple enough, and I was justified asking, resulted in the first fight of our marriage. I was berated, insulted, my character questioned. I was man-handled (he’s not a big guy, but I’m a very tiny woman) and mind-fucked. Finally, he went to my car, grabbed our marriage license, which was to be mailed the following day to become official in the state of North Carolina, stood outside my window, and ripped it up into tiny pieces, all the while staring at me and maniacally laughing. That image is forever etched on my brain; his mean expression and how he could laugh knowing how much he was hurting me.
He left that night… and I should have too.