It was such a short relationship that I hesitate to even call it that. In retrospect, but the lightening fast speed at which his life became a part of mine left my head spinning. I was left running to catch up to his expectations, standards, wants and needs. I felt constantly on the defensive and I was confused at how or where to turn. I guess this being one of the great tactics he used to get me to follow him down the road to my own ruination. All the times he proclaimed to love me and then to witness and hear all the crazy non-sensical excuses and lies he spit at me was like being hit with Dr. Seuss’ rather large collection of whimsical poems. Or better yet, Shel Silverstein’s poems because although very silly poetry; wasn’t Silverstein’s books banned from elementary school library’s? I was taught lessons of obedience inside of eight weeks of knowing him.
Inside of a three month time period. I had forsaken my marriage as a lost cause. Engaged in an affair with a man whom acted like the answer to my prayers of love and adoration and excitement. Little did I know that the first time I had to be a mother and a “girlfriend” at the same time would the first time he would teach me the lesson of a lifetime.
And it wouldn’t be the last.
It was intense. The whole period of time. He was always wanting to talk about sex, ask for photos of me, take photos of me. Wanted to know every little detail of me. Said he had just moved back from LA to take care of his mother. His dad dying and sister passed on years ago from a drug overdose. There were a million little things that were red flags when I look back on it all, but it wasn’t until one fateful day at the beach that I realized just how deep he was willing to take my debasement in order to control me.
So new back to town he said he didn’t have a job yet, so I paid for a rental car for him since he was coming to town to go to the beach with me and I had my kids. I picked up two of my friends teenagers as babysitters and we all went to the beach. He wanted a drink, so we walked up from the beach access public parking # 5 and walked the short distance to an outside oyster bar. He drank, a lot. He bought people at other tables drinks and it was so hot I don’t think I drank one whole drink to myself. Every one of them too hot with melted ice too quick for me to drink fully. My girlfriend finally came, brought all the kids up and I ordered all of us food. He didn’t eat, just continued to drink and chit chat with the neighboring tables. Then I got a text that my older son was on his way back home on his bicycle and I knew I had to hurry and rush home. My girlfriend was taking her kids with her and I took my daughter and Brent back to the car.
I realized as we walked up that our beach gear still sat on he beach. I knew we had to get it all and load it into the trunk and I started the car from the passenger front dropped my wallet, keys and phone on the seat and turned on the air full blast. Put my daughter in the car seat and walked to the trunk. This whole time, this guy doesn’t lift a finger to help out at all. He wanted to keep me talking to him. I asked if he could go get the gear from the beach, less than 50 yards away, he said no he wanted to talk, but remember I was on a time crunch, so finally with some extreme frustration I said, “fine, I’ll go get the gear can you please rearrange the stuff in this trunk so there will be room for the gear when I get back with it all?” He said, “fine”.
That was the last time I saw that car in the parking spot I had originally parked in with my child in the backseat. Frantic does not explain what I was feeling.
I dropped the gear, looked at every spot, walked to the road looked up and down and didn’t see the car. Maybe he went back to the restaurant since my girlfriend texted saying she didn’t have enough cash on her to pay the whole bill after all. It was over $200. Unbelievable. But priority one; find my baby. I saw a police officer told her briefly that I needed help that this new guy I was seeing had disappeared in the rental car with my toddler inside. She bluntly told me that I’d have to get in line. Go back to where I last saw them and if when she was done I still needed help then she would be right down.
Instead, the cops that found me next worried out of my mind rolled up into the public beach access parking stopped and asked if I was Quinn Gallo and I said, “Yes, I need help, my new guy had disappeared with my daughter in the backseat of the car and I don’t know where they went!”. He responded, “Shut up before I arrest you for being stupid”.
Evidently, someone in a condominium parking lot noticed this guy sitting in a car with a crying baby in the backseat while he was passed out and when the fire rescue showed up they broke the window revived him and he told them that he didn’t know where the mother of the crying baby in the backseat had went. She had left hours ago and never returned.
I mean, who would question the statement of a man who was found passed out in a car with a crying baby not his own? But the cops did.
I was the one arrested. Child neglect and he a DUI.
After being released the next day, my mom there to pick me up and take me home and all I could think of was my crying daughters face and how she would have felt so scared. I wasn’t allowed to see her. My mom took me home and I was hungry and wanted a shower. She told me get into the shower and she would go grab something to eat and be right back. As I was in the shower, I hear his voice from my bedroom almost frantic with worry, “Quinn, Quinn are you okay?”. I started screaming Bloody Mary that he better get the hell out of my home! And somehow, he turned it all around talking about how he had been out of jail most of the night and was worried and lost and he had his mom waiting a few blocks down and that he watched for my mom to leave and needed to speak to me. What did I tell the police, what were my charges what was going to happen.
I was so pissed and not to exaggerate, but I do have a Sicilian temper. He responded cool as a cucumber as he finally got out the door, “you should have listened to me, Quinn, it’s not my fault you don’t know how to do what I want, but don’t worry, you’ll learn”.
And that was just the beginning.