Dana’s Story, Part 5

After another month of my job search, I had three interviews, one with the District Attorneys Office. I was called in to the A.D.s office on a Wednesday and offered a position which readily accepted, although it certainly wasn’t my first choice, but it was a job and I would gain needed experience. I was to start work the following Monday.

Russell was happy for me but had to tell me that the D.A. job wasn’t the as good as if I had tried harder. My parents felt the same way. At this point, I didn’t care. I was employed and was getting really tired of Russell and his distance from me. But he was too tired most of the time to want any sex which was a welcome relief. I wondered if this is the way all marriages were. I remembered my parents being more like friends than couples I saw in the movies or on television. Maybe this was as good as it would ever be. 

I was received with open arms at the D.A.’s office on my first day. There were a number of junior lawyers who welcomed me and seemed happy I was joining them. Then I met again with the District Attorney, the first time was my interview. He welcomed me and showed me to my cubicle. He introduced me to Glenda, the senior attorney I would be working for, a short squat woman I guessed to be in her forties. She looked tired and worn out, but contrary to my first impression, she proved to be a ball of energy and fun to work for. She explained how our working relationship would be, handed me two briefs to research and directed me to the Human Resources Office where I filled out all the paperwork for my employment. Still wanting a bit of independence, I had opened a separate bank account and had my pay deposited there. I would be happy later that I made that decision. Back at my cubicle, I began my work.

The work was much more interesting than I had anticipated. Glenda was helpful and her guidance, invaluable. I liked her and the other members of our team. I seemed to fit in, was loving my work, was learning and producing more every day.

Several weeks had passed and my co-workers kept inviting me to join them after work on Fridays for drinks and maybe dinner. I felt obligated to Russell and always begged off. But he was hardly ever home until late most of the time and had usually had already eaten something. So, the next Friday when I was asked out after work, I accepted. We went to a sports bar that was a regular watering hole for the group. And I had fun, I had a lot of fun talking and laughing. Most of the group were around my age, most were single. I had several glasses of wine and was about ready to call a taxi to go home, but everyone insisted I stay and have dinner with them. I walked in the apartment around 9;30, well fed on a burger and fries and still a bit tipsy. Russell wasn’t home so I went to bed, read for a few minutes and fell asleep. From then on, Friday nights were my nights to go out and enjoy my life.

About a month later, I got home after my Friday night outing and Russell was already there, steamed that I wasn’t home when he arrived. I had had a bit too much wine and was feeling pretty silly and laughed, telling him I was out partying with my colleagues from work and that he should grow up. That didn’t go ever well and he told me I shouldn’t be out like that, that I was a married woman and it wasn’t right, it could reflect badly on him. My giddiness immediately turned to anger and I told him that I couldn’t care less what he thought or about how I might reflect on him, that he was never home, that he was being a pompous ass, that I was just out having fun and enjoying my friends, and he could go to hell. It went downhill from there and I went crying into the bedroom and locked the door, screaming that he could sleep on the couch.

I tried to reconcile the next morning by telling him how I felt about him never being home or us being together, about how he was constantly working or taking clients to dinner all to which he replied that it was required for his work and that I was being selfish. He was working too hard to waste time having fun and that maybe I wasn’t working hard enough. I was fuming, so I turned and went out for a stroll by the Lake to cool down. The next few weeks were filled with tension and I was thankful I hardly saw him. The only times I ever did see him was in the morning when we both were rushing get to our respective jobs. At night, I made it a point to try to be asleep when he got in.

Russell wanted for us to go to see his parents for a weekend every month or so. They were within an easy three and half hour drive. Des Moines was another two hours so I hardly ever saw my family unless I made it a point to fly there. Russell only went with me the first two times and always seemed to be too busy after that. After  two years, I stopped going with him to visit his except for maybe some holidays. I always wondered what they thought, what excuses he told them. 

I had no one to talk to about our problems, so I carried all my anger and confusion inside. Things finally settled down after those few weeks, but things had changed between us. It seemed as if Russell was wary of me now and even more disconnected, as if that were possible. From then on, for the next several years, we were living apart under the same roof. I was miserable and poured myself into my work and my colleagues. Then I met Jessica Morgan, an expert witness for a case I was working on. She changed my life in ways I would never have imagined.

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