You’ve got to start somewhere

I was having a conversation with a friend of mine about the crazy stuff that happens to me in my life. I said to her one day that I should write a book but I never seem to get started. She asked me why don’t you? I told her that is just so much and I wouldn’t know where to begin. She said don’t worry about that, just do it. Start anywhere, just get it written down. So this is an attempt to do just that.

Some years ago, I worked for an insurance company on Wall Street. I worked in their computer room. My job at the time was to transmit and receive data from several offices throughout the country. Whenever I was ready to start the transmission, I would have to call that location and speak to the operator on the other end. Over a period of time, I got familiar with a few of them. There was this one girl in the Tennessee office that I spoke to several times a day. Her name was Vicky. I would look forward to our conversations and I could tell the feeling was mutual. She admitted to me once that my voice “made her all tingly”. One day my company told me that they wanted me to go to Manchester New Hampshire for training with other operators. It was a three-day course. So I went and to my surprise, Vicky was there too. It was weird seeing someone who you talk to almost every day for the first time face-to-face after talking to them for almost a year. It’s like you know them but you don’t. It’s a very awkward experience. She was a very attractive voluptuous redhead. A country girl to the bone. A bit naïve but a very sweet person. I say naïve because of a particular incident that happened one night after we had dinner together as a group. We were all staying at the same hotel and she came to my room. We would just sitting there talking and she mentioned that her it was cold in her room and she was trying to figure out how to turn off the air conditioning. She said that she couldn’t understand why the air-conditioning controls were so high up on the wall and she couldn’t reach it. I was a little confused because the control panels were on the side of the air conditioning unit behind a little sliding door. When I showed it to her, she said oh that’s where it is, but what is this? pointing to the wall. She was pointing to the smoke detector. I couldn’t help with bust out laughing, and I explain to her what it was. We had a good laugh and I could tell that she liked me and if I made a move, she would go for it, but at the time I was seeing someone.It was very hard but I didn’t do anything. We said good night and that was that. On the flight back she sat next to me and started telling me all about her life. She had been seeing some guy that she had broken up with, but he was very jealous and wouldn’t leave her alone. She kept mentioning how she wished she could move to New York. I didn’t think much of it at the time but that would soon change. This flight was a two-legged flight for her, stopping in New York so I agreed to sit with her and wait until her connecting flight took off then I would go home. While we sat at the airport things took a very dramatic turn. She started crying because she didn’t want to go back home. She literally begged me to take her home with me. I explained to her that I couldn’t do that. She said that she was willing to live anywhere as long as she didn’t have to go back home. She was very afraid of this guy because he’d been stalking her and threatening her. She was very unhappy with her life. If I were unattached, I would have jumped at the chance but this was impossible and very complicated. I told her that I would stay in touch with her and that may be things would work out for her. I walked her to her plane with tears in her eyes. She pleaded with me until the very last second. I felt like shit. The following Monday, I decided to call her to see how she was doing. I called her desk and one of her coworkers answered the phone. She said that she had stepped away from her desk, but she would be back soon apparently because she had left her purse. So I told her to have her call me when she gets back. In our past and I didn’t get any response. I called back again. Her coworker answered again and said that she hadn’t come back and she was a little worried because it wasn’t like her just to leave without saying where she was going. I told her coworker to call me the moment that she gets back. I didn’t hear anything from her for the remainder of that day. In my mind I thought maybe she was upset with me and possibly avoiding me. The following day I called again and her coworker answered the phone. She said that something terrible had happened. The guy that Vicky had mentioned had shown up to the job and had apparently called her outside because he wanted to speak to her. She, not wanting to cause a scene, stepped out just to get him to go away. When she went out he grabbed her and forced her into his truck and took off. No one knew where she was. A couple of days later I got a call from the coworker. She was sobbing and her voice was trembling. She said that they found her body. She had been strangled by her ex. They found him a few states away and he was in custody. He’d confessed to the whole thing. I was devastated and overcome with a terrible sense of guilt. Why hadn’t I let her stay? I felt like I had to do was bring her home and she would’ve been alive. That guilt has followed me to this very day and is one reason why it’s hard for me not to get involved if someone asks for my help.

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