It was stifling hot that July of 1999. I felt the Arizona summer rush into my apartment as soon as I opened the door. They looked miserable: the young, beautiful teenage girl and the older man accompanying her. I invited them in. In part to spare them from the heat, in part because they were drawn to me.
I was in the business of saving people. They knew that. They knew I was special.
“Can I get you something to drink?” I asked, knowing the answer before it left my lips.
“Ice water would be great,” the older man replied.
As I fixed their glasses, the girl began her spiel. She was selling a newspaper subscription. It was all part of a program to keep her out of trouble. I ignored the rest. My mind was racing too fast to focus. It had been racing for days. They knew I was special. They knew I was going to buy. I brought them their drinks. Small talk was made. The girl began to admire a set of coffee table books featuring famous artists. She leafed through the pages carefully.
They were in no hurry to leave. She examined the books closely and talked of her love for art. The man said little. He touched nothing but his glass. A check was written. Pleasantries were exchanged and I bid them goodbye. Sleep didn’t come that night. It hadn‘t for days.
Three o’clock that morning my mind was still spinning. And then a little snap. What if my visitors weren‘t allies? Why had they really come to my door? Why was he so careful not to touch anything? Had he wiped his glass clean?
The only evidence that he had been there was his glass which had long since been washed. But her fingerprints ... oh no, they were everywhere. I shot out of bed. What had she touched? I began to clean frantically. They weren’t going to frame me.
An underage girl in my home? Is that the best they could come up with? They knew I was special. They knew I was the chosen one.
I had a work to do. They weren’t going to derail my call to greatness with their little scheme. I cleaned harder.
The only things left were the books. Three fifty dollar coffee table books. I had just bought them. But they had to go.
I took them out to my car in a paper grocery bag. If they were watching I wasn‘t going to tip them off that I was wise to their plans.
I began to drive. The sun wasn’t up, so I could watch the headlights of the cars behind me. I switched freeways repeatedly, I wasn’t being followed… I think.
My travels took me to the other side of the valley, thirty miles from home. I thought about throwing the books in a dumpster, but that was no good. How would that look if they were discovered?
And then a plan. I knew someone on this side of town. The sun was coming up. I knocked on her door ...
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