After Laurie passed away in 2001, it took a while to adjust to my new life without her.
Things were so very 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 & our absolutely-amazing buddy, 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, all right…
*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 (right off Loop 410) that I had never frequented before.
Interestingly enough, I was around 47 y/o at the time, and the girl 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 later.
My bartender lady invited me over to her apartment one evening. I believe we were discussing the merits of classical music & the migratory path of monarch butterflies.
Very heady stuff, I must admit!
*takes down the “For Sale” sign from the Brooklyn Bridge…puts mustard on his knish*
Anyway, besides her incredibly-good looks & vibrant personality, she had this “semi-crazy” past.
She was the normal one, thank God, but her ex-husband of 9 years was an SAPD officer, a control freak & a chronic abuser…both mentally & physically.
Her former boyfriend was a certified 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.
(Yes, had I other bodily organs, like a damned brain & that intuition thingie, I would’ve have smelled the smoke…quite prophetic, I might add!…and gotten my ass out of this whole situation with her.)
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 well-grounded & actually, surprisingly so, quite conservative.
Her outward appearance 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 who was working that night & help her to close out.
…her crazy ex-bf stalked her from her apartment & played games while she was driving. She got frightened & all shook up, but thank God, the bar wasn’t too far away.
The next day, she called & told me what transpired.
When she finally returned back to her place ~2:15 AM, she was met with a bevy of flashing lights & blaring sirens! 🚨 🚒 🚓 🚑
Her apartment was going up in flames!!! 🔥 🔥 🔥
She wound up losing everything!
Her dog & cat both passed as did her fish. Everything was completely destroyed.
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 knew of no weird financial situations that she was in.
No, I didn’t know whether she had any insurance since we never really discussed anything like that with me.
“Oh, Mr. Investigator, she does have this crazy ex-bf whom she told me was stalking & harassing her that very same night!”
The investigator did contact me again & revealed that an accelerant was, indeed, used in the living room where the fire originated.
As it turned out, it WAS her ex who was responsible for everything!!!
The evening when I was there, she told me that the li’l dog she had (sleeping in his crate) was actually a new one that she had just recently gotten.
Apparently, she had came home a 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 naturally thought the poor guy died of natural causes.
When the cops questioned her ex-bf, he eventually opened up & confessed to everything that happened.
And waaaaay more!!!
Apparently, when they were still together, he had made a copy of her apartment & car keys. After they broke up, he entered her apartment one night (while she was at work) & broke her dog’s neck with his bare hands!
Holy shit! That was certainly no accident or a death of natural causes!
And he admitted to the detectives that he thought about tampering with her car, but never followed through on it.
What a sick, demented bastard.
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 a pretty scary thought.
Mind you, these were the days before “open carry” in Texas (and before I bought my Lucy with the hollow point bullets) so if he was armed & entered the apartment, things could have gone very, very wrong!
Trust me on this one…if he wasn’t armed, things WOULD DEFINITELY have gone very wrong.
Soon after (but not because of this incident), I left San Antonio & moved to Scottsbluff, Nebraska to join Lehman Brothers.
A number of months later, a good 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, set fire to her place, caused 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.
*yet another stupid-ass example of how our dysfunctional justice (?) system is overwhelmingly slanted in favor of the despicable criminals over the innocent victims & society in general*
He should’ve been put away for years! Had she any close family members, he would’ve been found dumped off some country road somewhere…and rightfully so!
This animal was free to roam the streets & there is no restraining order ever that’ll stop a bullet or physically keep someone away who’s intent on causing trouble or bringing harm to someone.
She had no resources whatsoever to go after him in a civil lawsuit. And when I read her quotes when she was interviewed by the paper for this article…
…it just made me cry.
And so infuriated me.
I just hoped that she was able to eventually move away (and change her name) & start a new life. I tried contacting her many times using phone numbers I had as well as through the bar where she worked, but to no avail.
She was certainly welcome to come & live with me in Nebraska if she wanted, but I never got the opportunity to ask her.
Yes, of course, I thanked my lucky stars that things hadn’t escalated earlier that fateful evening as there easily could’ve been some horrific stuff going down.
Not sure what, if any, 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 or whatever.
I’m generally a very trusting person as I really wanna believe that people are being honest with me.
Look, I do NOT blame her in the least for what happened. She’s the unfortunate victim in all of this.
And while you simply can’t predict exactly what’ll happen going forward, there are often those “Pls Beware” signs that…
Ah, never mind.
She was really a great girl…so much fun, great personality, gorgeous, always 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 Brooklyn.
Yeah, that night at her place was definitely one of the craziest “near-experiences” in my entire life. I thank God for watching over me that evening.
Well, there were certain parts where I’m sure even He closed his eyes!!! 🤪
I still think about her…
And now that I’m back in San Antonio, I often wonder what would/could/will happen if I happen to overhear some idiot at a nearby table say that he once…
As always, thank you so very much for listening!