Chapter 3 – Rebecca
Rebecca somehow made it through her nine months and one of the few genuine moments of joy she could remember was when her daughter was delivered to her arms for the first time. She loved this child enormously! It was a light in the very dark place she’d entered the day she eloped and married Jed Carter.
The marriage was his fault of course, he should have said no when she pushed and prodded him until he agreed to that county court house wedding. He’d protested it would be foolish of them to marry when he was at that time unable to adequately support her and continue his studies. They should wait until he was employed, but her constant urging wore him down.
He was one of those level headed persons who’d had to fight his way up to the dream of a university education. He’d worked hard all his life. His farmer parents had noted with pride his exceptionally high grades at school and listened to the teacher in the little country school who told them their son had high potential. So his family made sacrifices to finance him through college and mortgaged their farm to invest in his university studies. Jed had worked nights to help with the expenses. He understood the sacrifice they were making and had a deep love for his parents and siblings in spite of Rebecca’s attempts to draw a line between them.
She was going to make him a success and success meant class. Jed’s family did not have class as far as she was concerned and it would be embarrassing for her to introduce them into the society she would someday reclaim when her husband had advanced through corporate ranks.
Jed was beginning to see Rebecca as she really was. He’d been in love with her. She was talented, the life of the party and seemingly generous in those student days. He was amazed that the daughter of a corporate giant would be interested in him, and interpreted that as a strong love that transcended societal barriers. He should have understood the enormity of what they were doing when her parents refused to receive him and made it obvious he didn’t pass muster in either class or religion. Then there was the attempt to buy him off with a substantial sum of money if he ended the relationship. Jed was appalled! Maybe he didn’t have class as they interpreted things, but he did have self-respect and angrily rebuffed the go between making the offer.
However he did break it off understanding that life would be hard for both of them if they went ahead with marriage plans. Rebecca shed copious tears and wouldn’t leave him alone. This he again misinterpreted as love that was prepared to deal with the fallout coming naturally in continuing their relationship. So elope they did trusting all would sort itself out in the end.
The blame game commenced the day she took her new husband to the mansion to introduce him formally to the family. The butler had opened the door just far enough to report her parents wouldn’t receive them and they shouldn’t call again. When Rebecca attempted to force entry she was pushed roughly out of the door. Rebecca paused in her retreat to stare at her parents watching from an upstairs window. The slowly drawn curtains then reinforced the fact she was no longer part of the family. At the gate she began beating her surprised husband.
“You caused this.” She said accusingly. “I should never have married you!”
Jed understood the disappointment of being rejected by Rebecca’s family and did his best to counter that disappointment by being attentive to her every need. But the financial strain in doing so as he sought to finish his studies began to wear him down. He decided his priority should be to finish studies and get a job in the corporate world. Perhaps then the flame that had seemed to unite them in the first place would be reignited again when he was able to give her the lifestyle she craved.
He had a serious talk with her and laid it on the line. Rebecca responded by giving him the cold treatment through her pregnancy. So the joy in seeing their first child Trudy that evening at the hospital gave Jed renewed hope this child would restore that flame.
And it did for a while. When their financial situation became acute with Jed now supporting his last year studies and his family, Jed’s family stepped in to help. His mother moved into their apartment for that final year to look after Trudy while Rebecca went back to work to help support her family. Rebecca treated her Mother-in-Law more as a servant than family but the old woman bore it with patience. She was happy to build a relationship with her granddaughter, but it was a huge sacrifice. She’d not been separated from her husband since marriage and was used to the loving family relationship that existed with all her other daughter and future son in laws. For Jed’s sake and her granddaughter sake she’d put up with Rebecca’s churlish nature.
But one day as Jed returned from University he was surprised to see his Mother sitting on her packed suitcases sobbing quietly. He looked at Rebecca inquiringly?
She looked at him coldly. “She’s leaving!”
Jed picked his mother up off the suitcases and put his arms around her. “What’s wrong Mom?” He said softly kissing his Mother on the forehead. Then drawing back he looked at her face.
“What happened to your face?” He asked with mounting concern. His Mother put her hand up involuntarily to cover the red welt forming on her cheek.
“Rebecca!” He screamed. “Get in here at once!”
The tone in his voice terrified her. All her bluff and bravado vanished in an instant.
“Pack your bag and get out of my sight, I’ve had more than enough of you. This Mother of mine is worth more than any of your so called class. She has poured her love into this household for months with little love from you in return, and she’s endured your cruelty without complaint. I’ve seen it all and should have done this long ago. Pack and leave now!”
“But where shall we go?” Rebecca shook with fear at the prospect of leaving. She had nowhere to go.
“There is no we, you go Trudy and Mom stays. You’re not even a fit mother to care for this child.
Trudy’s wail from her room alerted them all that their heated conversation was overheard.
Jed’s Mother placed her hand softly on her angry son’s arm. “Don’t do this son, a daughter needs to have a mother and a father. I’m leaving and you two need to sort this out for the sake of your daughter.”
The honking of a taxi horn downstairs alerted them all to her imminent departure.
Rebecca ran over to her Mother-in-Law and fell down on her knees in front of her. She was very frightened now. ”I’m so sorry, I’ll change, really I will! Please don’t go!”
Rebecca now saw this woman as a potential saviour rather than an irritating necessity. She had nowhere to go and was convinced Jed was so angry he’d carry out his threat unless the woman stayed to act as a buffer between her and her now estranged husband. She knew taking Trudy that evening would be impossible and she’d be out on the street by herself. She couldn’t think of any of her work associates who’d take her in. Several times she’d almost lost her job over her haughty attitude and it was only her skill in the trade that had saved her.
To be continued.
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