Hand And Foot: The Story Of Audrey And Marcus
In Good Times And In Bad....
“Let me repeat your order. You want five Triple Crown Supremes with cheese, six orders of Mega Fries with gravy, two double fried pork wraps, two foot long grillers with extra chili, a 64 ounce family sized root beer, two large chocolate milkshakes with extra whip/syrup, two fried peach pies and three deluxe sundaes minus the nuts….”, the drive through woman recited back.
“You forgot the six piece chicken tenders and the side salad with light balsamic dressing”, Audrey corrected.
“Sorry about that…your total with tax comes to forty six dollars and ten cents, please pull around to the second window”, the woman muffled.
This was Audrey’s routine. Work a ten hour shift at the clothing factory, swing by a fast food joint, order heart clogging junk and head home to wait on Marcus hand and foot. The “fun” never stopped.
With a stiff, pounded body Audrey managed to conjure enough strength to make it through the door.
“You’re late and I’m starving…see the shakes!” Marcus smartly sassed.
“Be grateful that I bought you anything!” Audrey lashed back.
“You know the drill, pile it high on the tray and I’ll eat in layers”, Marcus ordered while attempting to scoot closer to the TV tray.
“Go ahead and make a mountain out of your mole hill”, Audrey commented while unloading his grub on the unsteady tray.
“I seem to be stuck again, I need a little pull”, Marcus grunted.
“Time to tug the air craft carrier”, she thought while rolling her eyes.
She assisted him without hearing the slightest of gratitude. A constant strained back was her sacrifice so he could once again chow down on death in waiting.
Audrey perched herself on a stool by the breakfast bar and pulled out her food. Just as she drizzled the light dressing on her already wilted salad, Marcus decided to play with her sanity.
“Hey dummy! You forgot to order my fried pork things. I ask you to do something a baby can do and you can’t do it right! I don’t know why I put up with you!” Marcus snapped.
“Excuse me! Let’s get something straight… I PUT UP WITH YOU! And for the record I DID order those pig wraps, the lady must of forgot to put them in the bag, who’s the dummy now!”, Audrey shouted back.
“Well what are you waiting for sweet cheeks…pick up those chicken stumps you call legs and go back!” Marcus demanded with an inexcusable tone.
“It may be hard for you to believe, but the world does not revolve around you! I don’t think I want to waste my time fetching your grease, you have more than enough food to keep yourself occupied!” Audrey countered back.
“Fine, have it your way, but I suddenly don’t have the motivation to wipe my own as* tonight. In fact, your attitude has rendered my legs weak and I feel like I can’t make it to the shower…I just have to stay here for the night. You’re going to have to smell my stale sweat for a while. Yeah… that’s right take it all in…all that simmering stale sweat you love so very much”, Marcus threatened.
“Suit yourself because I’m still not going back” Audrey quickly replied, unwilling to give in to his childish demands.
“Okay so you want to play hard ball baby…remember the promise you made. You are my caretaker and if the social worker finds out you are neglecting me you may find a jail cell to be your home. Just think of it…no one will ever forgive you”, Marcus twisted.
Audrey had enough…it had been a long day and she didn’t have it in her to fight a second more. She slammed down her fork, snatched her purse and left.
“I thought you would see it my way”, she heard as she closed the door.
Every boiling fiber in her being wanted to leave him, but she made a promise. Her promise was iron clad…the unbroken kind sealed then shackled inside her soul.
While she drove down the exit ramp she thought of the once crisp divorce papers now faded and folded inside a shoebox in the coat closet. She also played out the movie in her mind of what the doctors told her at Marcus last check up.
“Your husband is fifty pounds away from being unable to walk. With his average weight gain it will only be three months from now. The adipose tissue is causing problems with blood flow to the liver…without intervention the damage will be irreversible. We can prescribe a new medication to help control the triglyceride levels in the bloodstream but this will only buy us a little time. I don’t mean to tell you more bad news, but his hemoglobin A1C levels are not improving with his current medications and we fear his pancreas has stopped producing insulin. He now needs to inject insulin to prevent further complications. Also, he is still retaining too much fluid…this could cause his kidney function to deteriorate…we need to add another diuretic to his list. I’m sorry to say we can’t consider gastric bypass surgery until his organs are healthier and his glucose is under control”, Dr. Dabora explained helplessly.
Audrey failed to mention the change in Marcus’s behavior due to the possible repercussions. No one gets a warning label in real life. Especially side effects for the caretaker. It would read: Warning: Do not take on a full stomach; be careful when assisting him to the bathroom in the middle of the night you may cause injury to yourself; if CPAP mask detachment should occur wake up out of your sleep and promptly put back on; If meltdown occurs, stop and take a deep breath then move on. In some cases side effects are mild such as fatigue, sleep deprivation, lower back pain, dizziness, panic attacks, urge to harm, temper flares and hair pulling. Please seek immediate medical attention if your pulse stops, you may be suffering from being heartless.
The fast food manager apologized to Audrey and handed over the freshly made double fried pork wraps. He felt so bad that he threw in a double burger and cheesecake bites on the house. Audrey graciously thanked him then threw away the free food on the way out.
“That’s all I need…an excuse for him to eat more” Audrey thought while she squealed out of the parking lot.
She was beyond sandman’s gates when she pulled into the driveway. She managed to sneak in a few snore numbers before heading into the house.
Upon entering…she panicked. Marcus was missing and the food had been untouched.
“Something is not right”, she thought.
The creepy crawly silence paralyzed her. She desperately called out his name with every step hoping her straining ears would hear something…anything. She did a full house sweep and even ventured into the yard, but did not find Marcus.
Knowing the police would not be much help… she reached out to Winter, Marcus’s younger sister. They never saw eye to eye and were on shaky terms, but it was an emergency.
Winter walked into the house bringing the cool air with her. She was emotionless as Audrey explained why she needed her help. Audrey almost gave up when Winter didn’t respond to her. Finally Audrey was done being civil…she was, in simplest of terms mad as he*l!
“Why won’t you talk to me? Why don’t you care! Answer ME!!!” Audrey yelled while shaking her shoulders out of the daze she was in.
“Quite frankly I never thought you would handle it, you did well”, Winter smiled.
“What in earth are you talking about? Your brother is missing and that is all you have to say to me!” Audrey yelled.
“We had to know…we had to know”, Winter repeated.
“Know what…that he is gone and I don’t know where he is”, Audrey yells.
“That you would be a good wife for him…that you would keep your promise for the good times and the bad, for richer or poorer, you passed the test”, Winter spoke.
“Passed what test? What are you talking about?” Audrey asked.
“Even when he treated you bad and let himself go…you kept your promise. You didn’t sign the divorce papers and you took care of him. Most of all you never stopped loving him, you are worthy of him Audrey…you now have our blessing to marry him”, Winter stated.
“What did you do to me?” Audrey cried. She had heard rumors that Marcus’s family was not like the rest.
“Nothing. This is all in your head. You will wake up and everything will be different. You will get along with our family, there will no longer be any tension and we will pay for the wedding of your dreams”, Winter explains.
“So I have waited on Marcus hand and foot all this time and it was a test!” Audrey yelled not believing such a thing could exist.
“Yes. What you experienced was a possible future; it tested the depths of your love for him. We had to make certain you were not using him for his money like all the others”, Winter added.
“I don’t believe you!” Audrey spoke.
Winter snapped her fingers and Audrey found herself in her wedding dress.
“This is not the wedding dress I picked out”, Audrey thought.
Audrey was wearing a five thousand dollar custom made dress she saw on TV and always said it was her dream dress, but she could never afford it.
One of her bridesmaids was her sister who at last call could not afford to be there, but was flown in by Marcus’s family. She also found out their meager honeymoon was now a trip of a lifetime.
As she walked down the aisle still confused she saw Marcus standing in his tuxedo weighing in at around two hundred pounds soaking wet.
Winter flashed her wink at the alter and spoke to her telepathically “After two hundred years of groundhog days you finally passed the test…keep your promise and you have nothing to worry about”.
Audrey gave a nervous smile and thought “I guess now I can’t marry him for his money”.