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A special preview... Domestic abuse

Chapter 21

...This surgeon was playing the fool but didn’t know it. Now, the casino floor was suddenly being overrun with beer-guzzling, rowdy morons. Where did these unruly idiots come from so quickly? I had no clue.

While in the lounge, an attractive girl sat to my left and said, “What’s going on, Willie Boy?”

I turned to see a dazzling, stunning, and gorgeous Lisa Price. She was dressed in a formal red dress exposing heart-stopping cleavage. While the surgeon’s skill in blackjack was limited, it was reassuring to know that he was on the floor in the event of heart arrhythmia.

I said, “You look, er…er…pretty tonight.”

She responded, “Well, thank you, Willie Boy. Today is my friend’s thirtieth birthday. We are going to have a blast.”

I then asked, “Do you have time for dinner?”

“Sounds great,” she replied. After receiving our order, Lisa asked, “Willie, are you willing to listen to some family issues?”

“Of course,” I answered. Lisa began, “I am the youngest among four children of Dr. John Floyd, OB-GYN in Tupelo, Mississippi. I am estranged from my parents and my siblings. I dated the football star in high school named T.J. We were in love, and I ended up pregnant my senior year. My folks demanded I have an abortion. I refused. Mom and dad became enraged.”

I asked, “Wow, this is a delicate situation. What do you do?”

Lisa answered, “T.J. and I eloped to Memphis against my parents’ strong refusal. T.J. played football, and we soon had another child. My parents refused to acknowledge my kids as their grandchildren. They informed me that we are unwelcome to visit them. The reason is simple. My children are biracial. Mom tells me she will not be humiliated.”

I replied, “Wow. This is quite a story. The older generation will never alter their viewpoints.”

Lisa said, “I know. However, T.J. and I were deeply in love and wanted to make our life together. Mom and Dad are deeply concerned about image in the local community. Can you believe this attitude in parents?”

“Sadly, I do believe this attitude,” I answered.

Lisa replied, “Following T.J.’s graduation, he was offered a job in marketing with MGM in Las Vegas. Everything went well the first year in Vegas. However, my husband later began using cocaine when entertaining clients. He was arrested for possession. The sentence was four years in state prison.”

I asked, “What in the world did you do, Lisa?”

Lisa answered, “Our marriage collapsed, and we divorced. I called my parents for emotional support, but received nothing but criticism. They told me to sleep in my own bed. I was living in Vegas, raising two young children, and had no money or job prospects.”

I replied, “Lisa, this is one tough predicament. Your parents’ actions are disappointing.”

Lisa said, “Disappointing is an understatement, but it is what it is. My job skills were limited, but I had always been a good dancer. The only job I found was a topless dancer at the Spearmint Rhino. The club hired me on commission. Some good nights paid a thousand dollars. I saved money and moved back to Mississippi. The kids and I settled in South Haven. My family continued to disown me.” 

She continued, “I met a wonderful man named Tom Lane. He owned the largest insurance agency in South Haven, Mississippi. We hit it off quickly and married. Two more kids followed. My husband was highly regarded in the community. He was a deacon in church. However, Tom’s behavior began to change when drinking excessively.”

I interrupted by asking, “Did you confront him about his drinking issue?”

“Absolutely,” answered a tearful Lisa. “When confronting Tom about his drinking, he shoved me and cursed me loudly. It was humiliating, but my kids needed a father. But things got worse. He became a control freak. He began slugging me after the kids went to bed. I had nowhere to turn. One evening he put me in the hospital. I filed for divorce and began working at the Horseshoe.”

I replied, “Gee, Lisa, this is one tough situation. Did your parents offer any support?”

Lisa said, “Not one red cent. Fortunately, I met a nice man from Olive Branch who is my husband at this time. His name is Randy Price.”

Lisa broke down crying following her emotional story. I moved closer, saying, “Lisa, you are not alone in these situations. There are many women facing similar issues of abuse.”

After hearing this heart-wrenching story, we ambled slowly over to the lounge area. We sat briefly before Lisa departed to meet her friends. A bit surprisingly, Lisa was the first and only person to admit to me about being a domestic abuse victim. This made no sense. Even more disturbing, her parents’ actions seemed incomprehensible.

Sleep didn’t come easily this evening. After tossing and turning, I finally drifted off to sleep in the cool hotel suite at the Horseshoe.  

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