“I was waiting for you”, she said with a toothy smile, not unlike that of a horror flick.
I didn’t tell her right away, that I was expecting her or something similar. I don’t usually walk up to anyone, especially at night, especially a woman in the darkness, without anyone else around, and say, “I’ve been waiting for you.” I mean shit, I’m not trying to pepper-sprayed or zapped!
If this is the first time you’ve had an opportunity to read one of my stories, I should tell you now, I’m stupid fearless. No really, predictable stupid fearless and I’m going to prove it with this short story, here and now. Oh, and I don’t lie. I don’t lie and I don’t steal. Well, it’s very rare that I’ll do either one of those two things. Very few people in this world can say that they’ve seen me do either, lie or steal, and if so, it’s been years. Even the four years that I just spent homeless, I can count the times I stole on one hand, and even then it was something like a candy bar because I was starving. Still no excuse in a city that feeds the homeless. And not one time in those four years did I panhandle, not even one time. I’m not judging, it’s just not for me. I had a bad experience. So anyway, I speak the truth or I keep my mouth shut. Life is so much easier that way. My bad, I get sidetracked.
The woman in the darkness told me her name but it’s not important, and I’m not going to betray her trust. We made small talk for a few minutes and then she asked me if I’d like to come back with her to her place and smoke (drugs). In case you missed it, I’m in recovery, and have been so since January of this year (2019). I didn’t hesitate to walk off into the night with this strange woman. Not because of attraction or anything like that, and she told me her husband was waiting for her. I’m sure it seems completely insane that anyone would step on to such a path, I’ll take a second to complete the image. I was alone, in the night, unarmed except for the basics (knife, flashlights), no phone service (just wifi), the battery in my phone was about to die (no pun), nobody knew where I was (or cared), and I wouldn’t be missed if something happened to me. Oh, and inside my backpack was a pile of jewelry that I had found earlier that day. Yes, all kinds of rings, necklaces, bracelets, costume and genuine jewelry. Oh, if you haven’t read my other stores, it’s common for me to find such things, and no I don’t steal anything. My point, if anyone found out that I had such things, people get killed for a lot less. So why not walk off with this stranger into the darkness. And I almost forgot the best part, she lived in a 35,000 square foot abandoned warehouse. She also tells me that she has lived there for 15 years and that she runs the place. Like I said, stupid fearless. Not suicidal, just fearless with the very high survival rate of, 100% so far.
In order to get to the warehouse, we had to make our way through a maze of underpasses, train tracks, dirt paths, and then walk along the Platte River for quite some time. The entire time this very strange woman told me her entire life story, it was very sad. Here’s something to keep in mind the next time you see a homeless person somewhere, anywhere at all. That person used to have a different life. They had a childhood and a family, went to school, had a job and dreams. They had something before they had nothing.
At some point, after thirty minutes of traveling through areas that most people would never go in the daytime, we finally made it to our destination. The woman stopped, looked at me, then back over her shoulder. There it was. The building was huge, blocked out the stars, and blacker than anything around it. I stood there, looking at the warehouse, thinking this is it, I can’t go back now.
This ends Part 2.
Please check back for Part 3.
The warehouse was a test. Not a test of my fighting skills or to find out if I was a tough guy, something different.
August 8, 2019