My uncle had built me a one-bedroom apartment. It contained a small fridge and a hotplate and I had my own bathroom with a shower in the laundry room. I was on cloud nine. He didn’t ask me to pay rent for the first two months while I got myself settled and physically recovered. Then he charged me $140 a month. He saved my life.
My aunt and uncle welcomed me into their home and I spent many happy evenings upstairs visiting with them as well as enjoying my own apartment. We developed a routine where we would all go for a walk after our suppers. Most of the time it was just my uncle and myself, but sometimes my aunt joined in. My uncle and I talked of everything under the sun, and eventually, over many walks, he learned of my six years of abuse with the bartender. How my uncle wished that I had told him sooner, but I had always thought the bartender would go back to being that romantic and kind person he had been in the first few months.
One day I got a call from the bartender’s father and he asked me to join him that evening for supper if I didn’t have any other plans. I was quite nervous when I met up with him at his favorite restaurant, but that soon vanished as he put me at my ease. We chatted throughout the meal and for a short time afterwards, and he asked if I would mind if he called me again. I told him I would be delighted to be his dinner partner any time he wanted. We went out for supper many times while he was in town on business and one night he offered me $5,000 to have sex with him. I was flattered and offended and I got up the nerve and told him so. I also told him how disappointed I was that he would think of me like that. Having had the son was more than enough. He apologized and explained how attractive I was to him, and then we moved on.
The next time we went out for supper, we finally brought up the subject of his son. I broke down and cried and told him about all the beatings. He was horrified and angry and I felt better. I then told him about the episode when his son had raved about the father ‘spending his inheritance’. His father set down his utensils and looked at me in silence for a long time. “Really!” he said as he cocked his head to the side and thought about it. And that was all he said at that time.
In the beginning I got a couple of angry calls from the bartender. The first one he accused me of giving him Chlamydia. I laughed at his accusation and hung up and made a call to my new doctor. I never went back to my former doctor – I was too ashamed of lying to him and knowing he knew that I hadn’t been kicked by accident. My new doctor was a woman and she was not impressed with the accusations. I had not slept with the bartender for a number of months before I left, and I figured his new little stripper had given him the STD. I was right – and I still laugh about it.
The other calls came from him and his sister! They didn’t want me going out for supper with their father! I told them I would do what I wanted and that their father was a big boy. I could never figure out what this was all about, but they were quite angry that the father and I had become such good friends.
The bartender dropped by my uncle’s house one evening and I went outside and talked to him as he sat in his van. He had been on a trip ‘to find himself’ and he had bought me a necklace. I thanked him for it and listened to a brief tale of his journey. I don’t know what he really wanted from me that evening, but he didn’t get anything. When I went back inside, my uncle heaved a sigh of relief that I was alone. He had nothing to worry about – I was well on my way to getting him out of my system.
In 1989 I sold my business and said a heartbreaking goodbye to my girlfriend and my aunt and uncle and moved to Alberta. I lived for a while on my parent’s farm in a mobile home before I eventually bought this big blue barn. In 1991 I learned of the death of the bartender’s father. I had kept in touch with the father and step-mother through the years and she had kept me up to date on what was happening. After I had left Ontario, the father had given $250,000 to each of his three children. When he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, the children took him to every top clinic they heard of in an effort to beat the inevitable. He was dead within 3 months. When he died he was worth over 10 million dollars. He left all of his money to his second wife. He did not leave his children one cent. The children took the will to court – and lost! The bartender had always told me he would be a millionaire when his father died. But his father had said that one word that night during supper. “Really.”