The rumbling of Nancy’s pickup truck could be heard a mile away. She honked her horn, waving at protesters holding signs in front of a factory demanding shorter work hours and better pay. She beeped again to show her support for the demonstrators.
Nancy glanced at her sleeping son in the back seat as she drove down a long, winding road. He awoke a few minutes later, crying. She pulled over to the side of the road, took a fresh bottle from a little icebox, inserted the nipple into the baby’s mouth, and resumed driving. Her thoughts wandered back and forth over her life, thinking about how she ended up there.
Nancy had to admit that the biggest mistake she’d ever made was falling in love with a bad boy who liked to chase women and did so even after they married. He had roving eyes, and he loved to flirt. She should have known this would happen.
Nancy had never intended to work as a delivery girl. She had plans, high aspirations, and big dreams. Her peers voted Nancy “Most Likely to Succeed.” She had promised herself a long time ago that after she graduated and got a job, she would have her own apartment and drive a red convertible. But that never happened. She may have been content with a minivan, but that didn’t happen either. Instead, she was driving a delivery truck. Things had not gone well for her.
Most likely to succeed? What a crock!
Nancy was by far the most attractive girl in high school in all facets of the term. She was beautiful and popular, and her peers voted her homecoming and prom queen. She went to college on a scholarship and changed her wild ways to become a nurse. Nancy concentrated on her academics, became engaged in several social groups, and put off dating until she had a career. Her parents were extremely proud of her.
Then she met Julius at a school function, an attractive and charming man with a friendly grin and an easygoing disposition. But he was also a playboy who had a different woman every week, and Nancy knew he was the wrong man for her. She avoided people like him. Nancy dated a lot of handsome guys in high school, but none of them had a reputation as a playboy, rumor or otherwise. She couldn’t stand it. But Julius never gave up and pursued her, persuading her to take a chance on loving him.
As they say, Julius’s persuasion and aggressiveness paid off, and he swept Nancy off her feet. It drew Nancy to his bad boy character, biker image, and rebellious style. Nancy’s ambition of a successful career shattered in the blink of an eye when she succumbed to his charms. She lost her scholarship when she reverted to her wild habits, partying all night with Julius. Soon after, Julius and Nancy married at city hall in front of only a few friends, with no regard for the implications of their actions. Nancy’s parents were furious. They didn’t know their daughter was in a relationship, let alone married. When they visited, they didn’t like Julius and worried their daughter had married a gangster, since he appeared rough and ready to fight. Nancy’s parents regarded him as unpleasant, arrogant, and disrespectful to them. Nancy’s father was upset when she picked Julius over them. He barred her from ever returning to their home. It tore Nancy apart, but she couldn’t blame them. She broke their hearts.
It wasn’t long before Nancy realized she’d made a terrible mistake. Julius, she thought, was wealthy and had his own place in New York. Nancy should have detected something unusual when he brought her there when they were dating. The apartment had a feminine touch, which she hadn’t expected, but she was so in love that she brushed it off and never questioned him. Julius had merely been house-sitting for a friend who was a Peace Corps volunteer in southern Thailand. She had been away for about a year, and Julius had remained at her home all that time. Julius was unemployed, but never worried about money because his parents supported him. Nancy had fallen for his charismatic demeanor, and he had misled her for so long, blind to his lies and ignoring the signs that Julius was not good for her, since she had fallen hopelessly in love with him.
When Julius’s friend, Shirley, returned from Thailand a few months later, it surprised her to see Nancy living in her house. Julius never told her he was married. Shirley believed they had a special bond and mutual understanding. It enraged her, and she felt tricked. Shirley threw them out of the house and threatened to call the cops if they didn’t leave.
With nowhere else to go, it forced Nancy and Julius to live with Julius’ parents in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
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