Chapter Seven

“That’s terrible,” Margie exclaimed.

“I know. Trent’s only consolation is that Greg left him with a ton of money.”

“Well, you wouldn’t know it by looking at him…or this house.”

            Indeed, the house was fairly run down, especially the bedrooms which seemed to be in the middle of some kind of renovation – pushing Trent out into the back storage area, in favor of sleeping there rather than a half tore up bedroom.

Trent, our host, could not have been less gracious. Clearly not wanting them to be there, antagonistic about most everything, and ignoring us for the most part – which suited them quite well.

            Margie had plenty of time to wander about the place, not yet having found a job.  Trent seemed very meticulous about his housekeeping, yet at the same time slovenly –caring about how the towels were folded, yet not wanting to empty the trash until it had flowed over the sides and onto the floor – or until someone else did it.  She thought it curious that he never kept fresh foods in the fridge, yet their pantry was filled to the brim – Margie couldn’t help but notice the gay-themed art and objects throughout the house – which normally would have made her feel like she was in an accepted, inclusive environment. But, she decided early on, Trent absolutely, positively did not like women – or maybe he just didn’t like her.  The environment was also uncomfortable for her son, who wanted to visit with her while she was there. It prompted the two of them to seek alternative accommodations.

Some people are just unhappy, they have to go around and make other people unhappy, she told herself, So when he pulled her aside one night to tell her that his partner picked up Steven on the beach one night for sex – she refused to believe him. 

            Even though that's how they met, on a beach.

            Even though Steven didn't have a home.

            Even though he was busted for hard drugs.

            Even though he didn't have a job.

Margie chose to believe his hard luck story about being a persecuted Marine. Thrown away. Deemed no longer relevant to the government's (or whomever was running the government) overall purpose: a one world order. It was too much to think about. All she knew was that her savings had run out and she hadn't eaten all day. Not to mention, she hadn't seen her son all week because of lack of cash. No means, no end - and so something must be done.

            The two of them ended up staying with one of his military buddies and his wife and child in a tiny military townhouse off the 805. They began to plan - to save enough money to head back to Michigan and look for better jobs. "He'd have a chance there," Margie thought to herself.

            They worked hard together over the next few weeks to save the cash from Margie's temp jobs, choosing to head back through Texas so Margie could meet Steven's parents in Fort Worth. Those three weeks seemed to really bring them closer together. He told her about being adopted by his father. And the abuse. At the hands of his father, his brother, and especially his adoptive mother - who had died recently of cancer.

            She told him of her stories, too. About her step-father…and uncle…and an assortment of people that for some reason targeted her for their sick fantasies.

            "Are you sure?" Steven asked.

            "What do you mean 'are you sure' - I was there, I can attest to the sickness of it" and she laughed a brief, stilted laugh.

            "No, I mean - how do you know that it was about perversion…and not, I dunno - retaliation. Or revenge….or control."

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