Few days ago after a long hard day I settled back into my chair to give a good long thought towards a nap when she came into the room and said, "Ah, Honey, I agreed for us to babysit this weekend." Notice she didn't ask, say please, may I dear - just, I agreed.
Flipped her a look. She flipped it right back. Then, "It's Ariana." The little six year old girl I mentioned earlier this week. Case closed.
I awoke this morning to the sweet scent of pancakes. Then I felt a presence next to my face. I peeked. There was a cute little face peeking back. She'd sneaked into our bedroom and was standing next to my bed with a yard long smile on a face full of pearl white teeth.
She followed me into the bathroom, then waited. She followed as I left the bedroom. Tagged me when I walked out the door for my paper. Trailed me back. At one point she latched onto my pants leg and refused to release me as I took coffee and paper into the family room. When I sat she climbed, without hesitation, into my lap and snuggled.
To tell the truth, it felt kinda good. During the last two evenings, I again, experienced the joy of a grandfather. And, to continue with honesty, it also brought back a deep bone bruising sadness.
We'll see where this leads.
She's walked the street in front of the shop for weeks. Her hair has been all but shaved which leaves her the appearance of an escaped mental patient. She wears baggy and old BDU pants, the older woodland camouflage pattern, and a dingy white t-shirt. She drags a small carry-on flight bag when out and about her rounds. She's jerky, hesitate in her movements. I'm reluctant to guess her age but if pushed I'd place her at forty or so.
She talks to herself. She's dirty and smells awful. I should know, last Friday she finally rang my bell. In a moment of stupidity, I released the lock. I have a weakness for the young and defenseless. This weakness of mine extends towards all women in need. I can't help myself....I know, I'm an easy touch. So sue me.
First words out of her mouth, "Hey, call me a ride."
She didn't ask or say please, or may I use your telephone, just - do it.
Without invitation she pranced into my office, and when inside, took a seat in my spare chair. I nearly came unglued at the overpowering smell of body odor, a very distinctive unpleasant experience. So, as any good Samaritan I reached into my cabinet and retrieved one of my wife's Urban Survival Kits and placed it in her hands and explained a restroom waited across the street. Then, "You mean in that park."
"Call me a ride."
I stood to speed her exit. She reached for my desk phone and held it aloft and in the blink of an eye began to dial. She eased back into the chair and spread her legs and waited. Then she puts on a fake smile, and I assume when her call is connected, said, very sugar sweetly, "Hello. Who's this. Yes, put him on the phone. Hello, who are you."
I've pulled my bandana out and have it over my nose. She continued, "Well, then just ****you too."
She extends the phone to me. "Here, tell them I want a ride." Before I can respond she slams the phone down. Tears follow. "I was thrown out of my home. He hates me. I haven't a place to sleep. Oh, my Lord what will I do. Hey, you have anything to eat? I need a drink of water. What's your name? You're cute. Can I use your bathroom, I gotta pee. I want a knife like yours. You gotta spare knife I'm afraid out there and I'll cut their gonads off. I once cut my husband when he wanted to rape me. I showed him, I cut him deep."
This had to end.
As gently as possible I took her arm and walked her into the main shop towards the door. I placed a granola bar and small bottle of water in her bag along with the Urban Survival Kit and reminded her of the shower at the park.
Her, "Hey, can I make a quick twenty?"
"You're a butthole."
I smiled, said, "So I've been told."
Other than the soft music of the radio the house is very quiet now. I should set this laptop aside and get to work on the yard, but I wait in hopes of rain and the perfect excuse to relax and read.
She'll be home from church soon so perhaps I should make her a nice lunch.
The friggin yard can wait...after all, it's my one day off.