I’m not sure how much longer I maintained my marriage to BH after I got back from my Great Meadow conjugal visit. I don’t think it was long. Somewhere in the midst I picked up the girls and we moved to Auburn, NY, we three. Again, low income housing, as although I’d graduated from business school, I couldn’t yet find a job that would pay me enough to put Kristen and Karalyn into full time day care. Kristen would be in Kindergarten that year.
BH was moved back to Attica shortly after I moved to Auburn, and he put in for another conjugal visit there. But when the time came and it was approved, I made up an excuse that I couldn’t go. He never was very understanding. But I think after my trip(s) to Great Meadow, and the conjugal visit fiasco (for me!) there, I’d lost my interest in being an inmate’s wife and all the “responsibilities” that came with it. It was only a matter of time before I got busted bringing contraband in once again, and it brought with it a reality that I might end up in prison, myself. It was no longer worth the risk… if it ever really was. What the heck was I thinking anyway? I’ve got two small children who rely on me, only me.
I was making new friends in my public housing arena. I still spoke with BH on the phone, but my visits ~ even the “normal” ones, waned. Time for a new adventure! My newest and closest friend in Auburn was a woman with three growing boys, and she lived about a block from me and my girls. We became fast friends, and she in turn began introducing me to her friends. One such friend was a young woman with a developmentally challenged son around 2 yrs old, plus she was very obviously pregnant and close to delivery with her second child. We’d hang out together during the day and chat about kids, school, husbands. She had divulged that her husband of a year or maybe two, was seeing other women, but that she didn’t care as they had an “open marriage” and she was seeing other guys. She knew of my marital plight, and that I was new to Auburn and lonely, so she nicely offered to send her husband to my apartment to let me “borrow”? him for as long as I wanted! After the initial shock of the offer, and realizing that she was dead serious, I quickly declined this rather weird and uncomfortable offer, then took every opportunity to avoid her from then on.
As fate would have it, some weeks later I happened to meet this wayward husband of hers at my original girlfriend’s house while he was doing some maintenance work for her in her kitchen. My friend introduced me to BB, but did not tell me that he was the wayward husband until much later. I just thought he was some guy, moderately attractive and seemingly single. Ok, sure, I flirted, so what? It was harmless. The guy didn’t wear a wedding ring, I wasn’t “seriously” flirting, just having fun.
Eventually he was the one who told me that he was married and who he was married to. However, he made it clear to me that he was “interested” in spending some time with me and wanted to know what I thought. The whole thing was just a little too bizarre for me… imagine that, after what lifestyle I was still trying to recover from! Anyway, I said thanks, but no thanks, and went on about my way. Though somewhere in the back of my mind, I did entertain the idea. What could it hurt? He was in an open marriage, and I already had his spouse’s approval ~ indeed, encouragement! Still… Well, I was pretty lonely. And I was resigned to the fact that I would never have another conjugal visit, no matter what. And, even though I was still married to BH, it was really only a “technicality”, so what could a little “fling” hurt? I’m only human after all. And BH didn’t really have to find out. I mean, how would he find out anyway? This was something to be seriously considered.
I may have considered it all overnight, maybe that long. Maybe less. But I met up with BB the next day and gave him the okay to stop by my apartment that evening after he got done with his work. I’d figured we could chat and get to know each other for awhile until the girls went to bed for the night. And sure enough, he showed up on my doorstep around 8 pm with a smile. And this was to be the not-so-innocent beginning of a 13 year relationship full of tumult and chaos. Granted, there was some fun mixed in, as BB was like a kid ~ a BIG kid at 6’4″ tall ~ himself.
It didn’t take long… less than a month… of “seeing” each other before BB was staying over at my apartment regularly. Even though his wife had just given him a son, the two of them eventually split for good, and she took the newborn and her other son and moved out of Auburn. She would soon give up that newborn for adoption, and BB would never see him again… nor did he seem to care. A legal divorce between them did not seem to be a priority for either of them, nor me, as I had no plans to make anything legal with BB either ~ especially since I still had a husband of my own to contend with… and he was a very dangerous force. At this point, I didn’t know that I was trading one dangerous force for another. That would come much later down the road.
BH had determined that something was “amiss” since I came to see him less and less, and refused his collect calls more and more. So when I visited him in August 1984 to let him know that I no longer wanted to be his wife, nor the responsibilities that come with it, he flat out asked me if I was seeing someone else and I had to confess. Not only did I have to come clean about that, but also that I was now pregnant with BB’s child. My husband was “gracious about the news, he even was amiable about granting me a divorce, even saying he would pay for it (through his parents, who had $$). Yes, things were going swimmingly until the very last few minutes of our visit in the visiting room at Attica State Prison when he leaned over to give me what I thought would be an amicable kiss goodbye on the cheek. But instead he said something to the effect of: “You do realize that one day I’m going to get out of here, and if I ever see you on the street, I’m going to kill you. So long as you know that, we’re good.” I looked at him with his sinister smile and, if I ever knew anything in my life, I knew that he meant what he said. We’d had plenty of discussions of how to dispose of people you don’t want in your life and either make it look like an accident, or they just “disappear” ~ yes, he knew how to make it happen and not get caught this time. Even my bones would never be found. This was a threat to take seriously, and to watch my back for the rest of my life. My only consolation was knowing that he wanted to commit the murder himself, which would mean I at least had until his minimum parole date (another 3 years) before I needed to be cautious. I considered myself lucky that he didn’t decide to have one of his prison connections just take care of things for him immediately. My blood went cold as I walked out of the prison that final day, and I knew I should probably start watching my back right then, just in case he changed his mind.
However, I had other things on my mind as well. A new baby was on the way, and I had to facilitate getting my second divorce. I was now living full time with the new father, or I should say he was living with me and my two daughters. I would soon forget about the prison life and the dangerous man I left behind, or would I? My soon-to-be ex husband and my new companion shared the same first name… an uncommon one at that. I would later discover that names are not the only thing these two men would ever have in common.