Jen and Alphonso were working late tonight. I had some errands to run, bills to pay and what not. I made a quick stop at Starbucks, grabbing my coveted caramel Frappuccino. I was doing the low carb diet, but not tonight, Jen didn’t need to know about that though. I once asked her to help me cut the carbs out and she took that invitation and ran with it. She was always checking my room, making sure I didn’t have any chocolate stashed somewhere. I quickly learned never to ask Jen for anything unless I really wanted it.
Driving down Pac Highway, slurping my frappe, listening to a little Mary J. Blige, I was in my zone. The last few months hadn’t been easy with my car being stolen but for now at least I had a car while waiting on my insurance stuff to go through. With my payroll check in hand, I rolled up to the check cashing place. Quickly rifling through my purse, making sure I had my license handy. Glancing around before I got out because I knew the neighborhood wasn’t the best. Hell, it was one of the worst on this side of the state.
A few minutes later, I walk back out with my cash in my purse and purse tucked closely to my side. I unlocked the car door and the next thing I remember is feeling like someone was behind me. Quickly turning around, I caught a glimpse of a tall guy…….. or was it two guys? Hitting the ground the hard, my purse and keys left my hands.
My keys. Where are my keys? My mace was on my key chain. Is that gun? I think that’s a gun on his belt! Adrenaline ran through my body like a lit fuse. My knees ached. My head pounded. Instinctively, I put my hands up to cover my face and head. They never said a word as they ran away into the darkness of night with my purse, while I laid on the cold pavement with my hands covering my face for at least 5 minutes, not certain if it was safe to get up or not.
“Are you okay?” I looked up to see an older lady walking her dog, looking down at me. “Someone—-my purse!! They took my purse!!” “My key, where’s my —“
“It’s right here young lady” she said, picking my keys up off the ground.
I quickly got up and grabbed the keys out of her hand. “I got to go!” I jumped in the car, nearly hitting the women. I couldn’t breathe. “Breath Christin Breathe!” I said out loud to myself. I was going 70 mph, weaving through traffic, trying to get home. My thoughts were racing. Call the police. Oh, my God, they have my name, address and social security number. My money! Breathe! My tires squealed into the parking garage. I ran up the three flights to the apartment. As I swung the front door open and saw Jen sitting with Alphonso, a sound escaped my mouth that I can’t even explain. “Call the police!!”
“What is going on?! What happened to you?!”
“I was—they threw me to the ground and—took my purse!” Jen sat me down on the couch. “You have to breathe…tell us what happened!”
“They know where I live!”
“Who does? Who did this?”
“I don’t know! Some guys—they threw me down!”
“You’re bleeding!” Jen said, with panic in her voice.
I looked down and my knees were bloodied and swollen. Alphonso grabbed the phone and dialed 911. “My roommate needs police! She needs help!” “No, I’m not sure what happened. No. Yes. Yes.” “What is our address?”, Alphonso asked looking over at us.
Really? We’ve lived in this apartment for a year and the fool still didn’t know the address. “The cops are on the way”
Feeling violated, I couldn’t stop the tears running down my face. My fear of someone knowing where I lived and having all my personal information was daunting. I had no control, no power. Powerless. Defeated. Weak. I hated feeling weak. Empty and battered.
“Jen, can you call Jordan?” I asked, after my 4th attempt of “getting it together”. A moment later there was a knock at the door. “We got a call—What happened here tonight” asked, the female police officer.
I recalled my story to the officers, as much as I could remember. They assured me they would do everything they could, which didn’t make me feel any better. Leaving me with a card with a case number and a phone number—just in case. In case of what? They come back to murder me? Yeah, officer thanks. I will let you know when someone comes to my house to finish me off. Thanks.
I could hear Jen on the phone in the bedroom, talking to Jordan. “She’s talking to the police now. You need to get over here—she’s pretty banged up” Alphonso grabbed some ice packs, placing them on my knees. He then did what he does best in stressful situations. “Does anyone want a drink?”
After a night like this, I needed a strong one. Little did I know, there would be more nights ahead where Alphonso’s bartending skills would be absolutely necessary.