Wednesday, April 13, 2011

16th and Island - Chapter 5 - Echelons and Neon Green Carpets (Part 2)

          When we got back to Susan and Jeb's car, I called Operation Hope to confirm that we were coming, and that there was still an opening. The lady on the phone confirmed that there was an opening, but said that they couldn't take anyone until 4 pm, when Russ the Office Manager would be in to interview them. She gave me Russ' number to call and let him know that we were coming.
         "Babe, they can't accept Susan and Jeb until 4 pm," I told Pete, motioning him a few yards away so that Susan and Jeb would not overhear. Reading his look of frustration and worry, I said, "Don't worry, I can drop you off at work and drive up there. I'll be okay."
        "But the car is having problems, and I don't like to think of you having to drive all the way to Vista by yourself. Why don't we come back for them another day?" Pete replied.
      "I will be fine," I said firmly. "I haven't had a chance to tell you, but Susan has gotten a death threat on her life, and  Jeb a kidnapping threat. We have to get them out of her as soon as possible." My jaw was set.
      Pete's eyes were big with alarm. "Well, I guess there is no choice then. At least we have roadside assistance," he sighed reluctantly.
      "I will be fine," I said, stroking Pete's arm reassuringly. "I need to call Russ, the manager at Operation Hope, and confirm that we are coming.
       I called Russ, expecting to hear the voice of a caring, counsellor sort of man, assuming that this would be the type of person working at a place for homeless families. Instead, his very brisque manner surprised me, but I assumed he must be overworked. He was very firm that Susan would have to get drug tested, and I assured him that this shouldn't be a problem, as Susan was not on drugs.
       Meanwhile, Charles, the homeless man who had told us that Susan and Jeb were in God's Extended Hand, had returned and was talking with Susan, while Jeb rode his skateboard. I noticed that Susan seemed very attached to him, and I couldn't help but feel uncomfortable. I wonder if I would feel this way if he wasn't homeless. 

1 comment:

  1. Whew! It sounds like so much undercurrent of tension was involved, with the car, the rules at OH, etc. Another good installment of the story.


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