Bella reached for his hand, hoping to change his mind, “Mark, please talk to me! I do not understand.”
Mark did not want to look up, he had not been happy for a very long time.
“I cannot do this anymore Bella,” explained Mark sadly.
Bella felt confused, hurt, and disillusioned. Just two weeks prior, they had shared a wonderful vacation at Ryan’s Truck Stop, off highway 190. Granted it was not a dream vacation, but at least they were together. The motel had a TV with those rabbit ears for great reception and a box fan in the window. She did not mind the roaches, as they only came out at night. At least they were together, and that was all that mattered.
Bella wiped the tears from her eyes. “But what about Roscoe?” she asked
Roscoe was their 11-year-old bulldog, who had yet to be house trained.
Mark laughed loudly and said sarcastically, “Really? You are going to bring up Roscoe now! I told you when we got married that Roscoe and I were a package deal, if you loved me, you would have accepted him too.”
Bella felt she had accepted Roscoe. Many a night she gave up her pillow, scooting to the edge of the bed, while Mark cuddled up to his dog. She got used to the wet pillow as Roscoe drooled in his sleep. She understood Roscoe’s need for her furry companion. She ignored the times when Roscoe had his way with her large stuffed monkey that sat in the corner.
She had accepted that every Tuesday night, that Mark would lock Roscoe in the bathroom, so that they could spend some quality time together. She did not mind the howling and the scratching at the door.
Mark was not going to let that comment slide and could not refrain from bringing up another sore spot. Mark looked at Bella, knowing he should not mention the ‘M’ word as it would make Bella instantly angry.
“What about your mother, Bella?”
Bella snapped, “What about my mother, Mark?”
Mark was at his wit’s end with Bella’s mother. It was not enough that she moved in three years ago, but she had taken over their house. It was not the times she sat between them, eating her tuna sandwich on movie night, nor that she left her support hose hanging over the shower. He even overlooked her snoring in the room next door. However, he could not forgive her for blatantly dismissing his feelings concerning football Sundays.
Inviting the women over from her bridge club to join them in watching the football game was just too much They not only ate up all his snacks, but he was tired getting stuck with their knitting needles that were left on the couch. After Mrs. Clark drank up all his beer, making a pass at him by winking and pinching his bum, he knew he had to get out! After all Mrs. Clark was the choir director at church, what would the congregation think?
“I really cannot believe you had to go there, Mark,” retorted Bella, “what about your brother Larry?”
Mark looked up, surprised that Bella would bring up Larry, as he thought Bella liked Larry.
“What about Larry?” asked Mark? “I thought you were fond of Larry!”
“I am tired of Larry coming over, making himself at home, as if he owns the place. I could put up with him sleeping on the couch until noon, and the stinky boots left by the couch, and even the leftover food on the end table but I am done with him constantly making passes at me. It is revolting and disgusting!”
Mark was shocked, as he had no idea that Larry had been coming onto his wife.
“What exactly did Larry do, Bella?” Mark asked concerned.
“Well… he would look at me with his lustful eyes and say, “I want some of that, pointing to my Hoagie sandwich.”
She had sworn she would never disclose Larry’s fascination with her food but it had to come out eventually. It was not only her Hoagie sandwich she had to worry about but also she caught him taking a bite out of her ice-cream bowl when he thought she was not looking. When that happened, she knew it was over.
Mark looked at Bella, realizing she had gone through her own pain too. Maybe he should rethink leaving before making such a rash decision.
“Bella, I am sorry, maybe I was a bit selfish! Do you think you can forgive me?” asked Mark with tears in his eyes.
Bella could not believe Mark wanted to try to work out their relationship.
“Of course, Mark, you are all I have ever wanted.”
Mark corrected her with a smile, “Roscoe too…right?”
Mark got out of the car, opening the back door, and let his mother-in-law out of the back seat.
Mark yelled out as he watched his mother-in-law walk away. “Hey ma, would you mind walking Roscoe, and feeding Larry, he is asleep on the couch.
Winking at Bella, he said, “We have somewhere to go!”
Pulling up to Ryan’s Truck Stop off highway 190, Bella and Mark realized that everyone deserves a second chance.