Chapter Ten: Everything Changed At Once

So here we are, in 2007. I am freshly 18 years old, living with my sister (who was on dialysis at the time, living with her then-fiance), I am working full time at the hotel (and loving my job! Administrative Assistant/Dispatcher for the Security Department) and I’m going to monthly drills at my Army unit, as well as trying to complete high school. A lot to handle, right? Good thing I only slept once every few days and survived on carry-on microwavable soups and MRE’s!!

But some things were not working as I’d expected. Practically everyone in the security department had a thing for me – I didn’t notice at the time, but looking back it was oh so obvious. Some of them gave me rides to and from work, sometimes my sister did – a few rare occasions she even let me borrow her car. But then the supervisor, Gypsy, began giving me love poems. He found out my favorite breakfast and started getting it for me every morning just as I was getting ready to clock out. He became friends with my sister on Myspace (I’m old, I know – shut up) and started hanging out with Grim and Ruby a lot more. Grim then started hosting weekly game nights at his house, to which I was obviously invited, and Gypsy was sure to join only on the days he knew I would be there. The entire time he would stare at me or try to sit next to me, or across from me….I told Grim about it, hoping he would do something, but he didn’t.

I noticed that Gypsy mentioned liking my hair in one of his poems, so I went and got it cut for the first time in 7 years, hoping to deter him. However, because my hair had been so heavy and thick, cutting it removed all of the weight and made my hair curl cutely at the bottom, making me look like a woman from the 1920’s, which did not help my cause. I tried to dye it dark brown, but my Native American and Irish roots kicked in, turning my hair cherry red. Damn it, why must I be so sexy??

July 2007 – Yes, this was the hairstyle mentioned above

Then July 27-29, 2007, I was to report to Drill weekend. I called previously, quoting that I was still on profile and would not be of any use to them, and asked if I was still required to attend. They said if I did not that I would get an article 15 (candy) for it. I went. Then, on Monday, July 30, 2007, I received a letter in the mail stating that I had been discharged on July 26, 2007. Meaning I was forced to work when I was no longer employed by the U.S. Army. Even worse – I never got paid for it. I argued it, and tried to get paid, but they claimed that nothing could be done because I was not employed by them at the time, basically trying to tell me that my being forced to attend drill was categorized as “volunteer” attendance. (uhm, it’s pronounced “volunTOLD”). Great. Thanks, Bushes. (Jeb AND “Dubya”, remember: This is Florida)

Eventually, my sister got upset that I had a life for once, and said, “You ate my fiance’s sandwich, sneak in and out of your bedroom window all the time (she had dogs in the living room who would bark and wake her up if I came in through the front door, I was trying to be courteous) You just leave your shit here, never hang out with me and you’re never around. I’m not a fucking storage unit. Get the fuck out.”

Naturally, I immediately went to Grim. His family (naturally) forbade me to stay with him, but he agreed to let me stay for at least a week or two and hold my stuff for me until I found a place. Ruby and Grim both helped me clear out my stuff from my sister’s house – it had never actually been unpacked – and there wasn’t enough room for my heavy bag, so I had to leave it. (I actually had cut my arm pretty badly by punching a hole through the shed door to get into it to get to my stuff, because my sister was not home and wouldn’t answer my calls. I punched out a section of the shed door that would be a perfect fitting for a small window – one of those little square sections. At the time, though, I didn’t care overly much.)

After a while of staying with Grim, around the 26th of August 2007, Ruby, Gypsy, a girl nicknamed “Steena”, a few other friends and I all went out to Karaoke. Ruby challenged Gypsy to a drinking game (Gypsy lost terribly), I pulled my designated driver card (I didn’t like to drink) and we all just had a pretty good time. By the end of the night, Ruby and I had to carry an extremely disoriented, drunk, and vomit-covered Gypsy inside the house and drop him on the couch. Ruby & Steena then went into his room for the night, and Grim and I went to his. I think it’s obvious to know what followed a night of drinking, singing, and carrying drunk people. (Spoilers: It’s sex – yeah, I said it. Take offense, I dare you)

Finally, when my time span at Grim’s house had passed, I still had not found a suitable house that I could afford on my own (you know, with a full time civilian job with no other bills whatsoever, and no car. Basically a homeless employed person – Welcome to the world of 24/7 Panama City Beach, FL!) I tried many other options, but to no avail. Gypsy offered me his spare room.

“No” I told Grim, “I don’t trust him.”

“You don’t need to go on the streets.” Grim pleaded, “I wish I could keep you here but I can’t. Your stuff will be safe, but you have to go.”

“I would rather live out of my backpack on the streets than to live in Gypsy’s house.” I said coldly. He continued to insist. Stupidly, I agreed.

I moved in with Gypsy in the first week of September, 2007. He very quickly moved all of my clothes into his closet. He didn’t put me in his spare room – he put me in  HIS room – you know, with him. Two days later he insisted that I sit on his lap while he looked up engagement rings on his computer. He started getting angry with me if I tried to communicate with the brothers (Grim & Ruby), he started getting into my devices and accounts. He fired Ruby.

Throughout the first week of living with Gypsy, I was having some terrible stomach pains. By September 11, 2007, I decided to go to the doctor, who told me to take a pregnancy test. He said if it was positive, to go to the ER. So I went home, took a test. It was positive. I went to the ER. They couldn’t find the fetus in the womb, assumed it was in the Fallopian Tubes, and started prepping me for surgery. When Gypsy stepped out to smoke, I took the chance to call Grim and tell him what was happening – it was his baby, after all. (karaoke night, anyone?) Soon, a doctor came in and said he wanted to save me from surgery, and wanted to double check for himself where the baby was. He found the fetus right where it belonged, cancelled all surgical procedures, and scheduled me for an appointment in his office. The Doctor told me I was 4 weeks and 6 days pregnant. Gypsy had returned from his cigarette break, angry for some unknown reason. Hospital security wouldn’t let him in and forced him to leave. They let him back in eventually, though, so he could take me back home.

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