Grahm/Dave: Exactly what it was like. I know I keep bringing it up, can you walk me through just the last few minutes before Shanann died?
Chris: It was pretty much just – I had gotten dressed for work and then we started talking.
Grahm/Dave: Did she come to you?
Chris: No, I was just right there in bed. Because I got my blue shirt on and my jeans and everything.
Grahm/Dave: You were ready to go.
Tammy: Was she asleep or did you have to wake her up to finish your conversation?
Chris: I had to wake her up because she got home at 2:00, so she was pretty much out of it. I never knew if her plane got delayed. Someone told me she just sat around with Nickole and just talked for a while and then came home. I’m not sure if that was true.
Grahm/Dave: It was delayed.
Chris: Yeah, she came home and everything. I woke her up to talk to her.
Grahm/Dave: And then is that because it was just eating at your brain?
Chris: Yeah, I knew like, something, like, something doesn’t feel right with me. I know she knew. I just think she knew. I just felt maybe the kids weren’t going to be there when I got home that day.
Grahm/Dave: Oh, interesting. I don’t mean to offend, but I have to ask is that really the truth?
Chris: I really felt like they weren’t going to be there when I got home that day.
Tammy: Like she would take them somewhere?
Chris: No, I just felt like, either maybe I wouldn’t go home, maybe they weren’t going to be there, or I wouldn’t be allowed in type of thing.
Tammy: I think I saw some text messages where Shanann talked about that she would take the kids to another state or something because she wouldn’t be able to afford to live in Colorado. Did she say that kind of stuff to you?
Tammy: What did she say about that?
Chris: She said she couldn’t afford to live in Colorado on her own. I told her, look, well, we could try because she pretty much makes the same amount I do. She said, she wouldn’t want to try just because Colorado, just the price of living there was a lot higher than North Carolina.
Tammy: Just so I’m clear, you thought maybe she, in your mind, you thought maybe she would take the kids somewhere else or lock you out of the house.
Chris: I wouldn’t want to make a scene, trying to pound on the door trying to get in or anything like that. I just felt like – what I did on Sunday or Saturday night was kind of like the last straw. Kind of like going out with somebody and using the [inaudible 00:53:33] account card and not trying to hide it at all.
Grahm/Dave: Walk me through it though because she comes home, she touches you, you guys have sex, you fall asleep, then you wake up for work all natural, a normal day’s work type thing.
Grahm/Dave: What was it that made you think, “I just can’t do this anymore? I have to talk to her?”
Chris: It was eating away at me. I knew like something – everything that I did, I know when I was with Nikki, it was different, like I wasn’t even in the realm of, “I’m a dad, I’m a husband” type thing. And then, like I was saying, when I’m never at home, like sleeping in my own bed and like I have no concept of that anymore —
Grahm/Dave: So, in your mind and heart, you’ve moved on.
Chris: It kind of felt like if I wasn’t at home, like I didn’t think about it almost, because if I wasn’t sleeping in my own bed – I think at one point, Nikki had gone to the mountains with her friends for a few days into June, first part of July and then like that part, obviously, I was at home. From that whole month of July on, it was like, I was never at home. I never had all those reminders around me. I never had, like every time my wife called me, I would be at Nikki’s house.
Grahm/Dave: While she was in North Carolina?
Chris: Yeah. And I would walk outside and talk to her when I was next to the car or something like that. I would never be at home and have all these pictures around me, just being in the same bed, seeing my kids’ beds, seeing everything that we’ve built for the past six years.
Grahm/Dave: Did you just want a once and for all, get it out in the open?
Chris: I just wanted to tell her how I was feeling at that point in time. I didn’t feel like me and her were compatible anymore. I don’t want to say it didn’t feel like that because of what was going on with Nikki, it was new. Anything that’s new always feels better than the old.
Tammy: You were probably bitten by the love bug. That’s how a lot of therapists talk about it.
Chris: Unfortunately. It was just like, I never felt that, I mean, even like with new relationships in the past, it always feels different the first couple of weeks and then, you know, but something with Nikki felt different, I don’t know what it was. Maybe it was just like you said, I was more in control and it was more of me coming out. Because Shanann always said it always seemed I was more myself around other people like her cousin, Cody. Cody came up and visited us for a little bit while we were in Colorado for a little while and Cody always talked about how, “Chris is so funny. Chris is like… ” Shanann would always like, “You’re never like that with me.” “Well maybe, I always felt nervous around you.”
Grahm/Dave: There’s only so much oxygen in the room, right? I say this to some people with dominant personalities.
Chris: I just always felt nervous. I always felt like – I never could actually just be myself. With Nikki, I was myself all the time, it was just different.
Grahm/Dave: Hard to talk about and you tell me if I’m wrong, but it also seems, is it accurate to say that sexually, you were able to say, “Nikki, this is what I would like? This is what I’m into?” and blah, blah, blah and maybe not with Shanann.
Chris: Nikki just wanted, I mean, she wanted what she wanted. She wanted to do it pretty much all the time and I was just like, “Okay, that’s fine with me.” And with Shanann, it was just like, kind of, “Hey.” Sometimes it happened, sometimes it didn’t but that wasn’t the case as far as that way. It wasn’t just sex all the time. I was just more myself. I could just not think about what I was going to say or plan what I was going to say or, you know, say something stupid.
Grahm/Dave: A little bit of freedom.