When the ban on contact with Luke went into place, he asked if he could keep in contact with Arcadia to check on me periodically. Since they are both adults, I couldn’t control what they decided to do. Who was I to tell two grown people they weren’t allowed to text? I knew Arcadia wouldn’t text him out of the blue – unless there was something very important that she thought Luke needed to know.
When I got my first test grade back, I looked at Arcadia and said, “This is very important news, don’t you think?” She agreed that it was very important news. When she went home, she texted and let Luke know that I’d gotten 99% on my Stats test.
Luke did check on me, just like he said he would. It got to be where Arcadia would come over and I’d ask her if there was anything I needed to see. When there was, she’d pull out her phone and open his texts. I would devour his words. She never erased any of his texts, so I’d start reading from the beginning, even after I’d read those texts 20 times. Those texts and knowing he was thinking of me kept me going through that grueling time.
I often questioned myself for reading those texts. Was it helping or making things worse? Each time there was a new group of texts to read, I would debate telling Arcadia that I shouldn’t be reading them. I was torturing myself, so close yet so far away. I knew, though, that I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t give up that link to Luke. I didn’t care if my lawyer found out. I wasn’t communicating with Luke. I was simply reading conversations he was having with a friend of mine. Arcadia had never told Luke that I was reading the texts so as far as he knew, the ban was still being honored.
Each time I read their conversations, I felt a little surge of power. This is one thing that Bubba couldn’t take away from me. He had no control over Luke and Arcadia. He was still controlling my life because in family court, I had to fight to prove that I was not an unfit mother. He couldn’t touch them.
Over the months, there were several instances of very important news – court dates, test grades, prayer requests when I was going to have to see or talk to the Guardian ad Litem (GAL). Arcadia kept Luke up to date on the most important things as they happened in my life.
Secretly, all that time, I was rejoicing in my small act of rebellion. No one was ever going to find out that I’d maintained a link with Luke. It was just another small step in this road I was traveling. Learning that Bubba couldn’t control everything.
Bubba couldn’t control Luke and Arcadia and that, in turn, meant that I could still have Luke in my life – even if it was in a round-about way.