After Laurie passed away in 2001, it took a while to adjust to my new life without her.
Things were so different as one would expect.
More than anything, the overwhelming feeling of loneliness was ever present. Just the feeling of coming home to an empty house felt eerily strange. Everything would be exactly as how I left it in the morning when I went to work.
Heather got her own apartment about a year later, so that was yet another change. Our dog, Dresser, a champion Welsh Terrier, crossed over the Rainbow Bridge.
Things were so different. Things were also so lonely.
I eventually entered into the dating game. And, yeah, it was some game.
*omits a whole lotta stuff & details that just wouldn’t be appropriate to put in here*
A few years later, as I was dating this one particular young lady, I happened to meet this bartender at a place on Evers Road (off 410) that I had never frequented before.
Interestingly enough, I was around 47 or so at the time, and the one I was seeing casually was 29 years old…and so was this bartender.
Gotta admit, it was good for my ego!
Fast forward to an incident a few months ahead.
My bartender lady invited me over to her apartment one evening. I think we were discussing the finer points of classical music.
Man, she had some speakers & a really nice bass.
She also had a semi-crazy past. Her ex-husband of 9 years was a SAPD Officer & a chronic abuser (mentally & physically).
Her former boyfriend was a psycho & just wouldn’t accept the fact that she didn’t wanna see him any more.
She’d tell me how he would stalk her, follow her around town…not healthy stuff.
Anyway, we had a pretty cool evening together & while she was, indeed, a hottie (with lots of piercings & a few tattoos) & an incredibly-outgoing personality (that’s how we originally “met”), she was pretty grounded & was actually quite conservative.
Her outside in no way matched what was underneath the surface.
Anyway, I left around midnight as I had work the next day…priorities! She was gonna stop by the bar to see her girlfriend (another bartender) & help her to close out.
Apparently, her crazy ex-bf followed her from the apartment & played games while she was driving. He got pretty frightened & thank God the bar wasn’t too far.
The next day, she told me what happened.
When she returned back to her place, she was met with a bevy of flashing lights & blaring sirens!
Her apartment was going up in flames!!!
I wound up speaking with the fire marshals & arson investigators.
No, I don’t smoke & she didn’t have any cigarettes while I was there. No, I know of no financial situations she’s in. No, I don’t know whether she has insurance & she never discussed anything like that to me.
Oh, Mr. Investigator, she does have this crazy ex-bf whom she told me was stalking & harassing her that very same night.
She lost everything. Her dog & cat both died as did her fish. Everything was destroyed.
The investigator did reveal that an accelerant was used in the living room as that’s where the fire started.
As it turned out, it WAS her ex who was responsible for everything!
That same evening, she told me that the dog she had (sleeping in his crate) was a new one that she had just gotten. Apparently, she came home s few weeks earlier & found her other dog lying dead in the crate. There didn’t seem to be any outward marks or injury so she thought it died of natural causes.
When the cops questioned her ex-bf, he eventually confessed to everything that happened.
Apparently, he had made a copy of her keys and after they broke up, he entered her apartment & broke her dog’s neck! That was no accident or natural death.
When I think back to what could very well have happened that evening (to her, to me, to our cars, what if he had a weapon, if he entered her place while I was there, etc.), it was pretty scary.
Mind you, these were the days before “open carry” in Texas so if he was armed & entered the apartment, things would instantly get very interesting.
Soon after, I left San Antonio & moved to Scottsbluff, AZ to join Lehman Brothers.
A buddy of mine mailed me a local SA paper that included an article about this waste of life.
This psycho bastard got himself one of the top defense attorneys in the city. Apparently, the crazy’s Daddy was pretty loaded & a very influential businessman.
With these factors on his side…and despite the fact that he willfully killed her dog after illegally entering her apartment, then set fire to her place, causing the death of all her pets & the destruction of everything she owned…he got off with a suspended sentence!!!
He was ordered to attend 3 months of drug & alcohol treatment.
This animal was free to roam the streets & there is no restraining order in existence that’ll stop a bullet or physically keep someone away who’s intent on causing trouble or bringing harm to someone.
I just hoped that she was able to move away, although she was quoted in the article regarding this obvious miscarriage of justice so she was still around at the time of his “sentencing” (about a year after the incident)!
I thanked my lucky stars that things hadn’t escalated earlier that fateful evening as there easily could’ve been some horrible stuff going down.
Including if I got my hands on him…
Not sure what lesson can be learned from this experience. You meet people all the time & while everyone certainly has a past (for better or worse), you never really know if you’re getting the full story or just one party’s version of it & you simply can’t predict what’ll happen going forward.
She was really a great girl…so much fun, great personality, always pretty upbeat. I even took her along with me on a business trip to New York & she accompanied me while we had dinner with my family at our favorite Chinese restaurant in all of Brooklyn (Ocean Palace that served authentic Hong Kong cuisine).
Yeah, that night at her place was definitely one of the craziest “near-experiences” in my entire life & I thank God that nothing else or worse transpired that evening.
I prayed that she would be all right, but apparently, she changed her phone number & no longer worked at that same bar when I tried to get back in touch with her after I moved.
As always, thank you so much for listening!