I went out for ice ceam and came back with a homeless woman – Part 5

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While it was still daylight I started to pack up April’s things. I did my best to be respectful of her property, just putting things in paper bags rather than sort through or look at anything. In 4 nights she had really moved in and had things everywhere. I put the bags with her things at the side of the house, along with her bike, still broken. We hadn’t been able to find a repair place yet.

Then I packed up the tent and all the gear and put it away.

When I told my mother in law about the day, and that I didn’t know if she would have a guest that night she was concerned. Especially about how angry she got in the car. She told me to call Aaron’s brother and ask him to stop by on the way from work. If she wanted to go stay with them tonight, he could give her a ride, and if she was upset, well, he was around. (When your husband travels a lot it’s nice that he has 5 brothers around to lend a hand when needed. There are always a few in town.)

Levi came over, worked on his homework, and the kids got ready for bed. I saw her come in the gate while I was singing to them and went out to see her.

She was cheerful. She was looking for a piece of paper to get signed because she had just been to an NA meeting. She couldn’t find it in the bags I had packed up. I held the light for her while she searched.

“Do you want to go stay with Aaron’s parents tonight?” I know what an amazing house they have and how warm and loving they are. I tried to help her see what an amazing offer this was.

“I don’t want to go to a new place I’ve never been to before in the dark?” She protested.

Well how about I leave my brother in law here with the kids and drive you there myself. You can look around and if you don’t want to stay I’ll bring you back.”

“I want to be able to see where I’m going. I don’t want to go anywhere far away.”

“I’ll be there first thing tomorrow to drive you to your visitation, and the doctor.”

“I’m too scared to go someplace I don’t know, with people I don’t know.”

“I understand. But where will you go then?”

“I can go to lifeline, (a shelter) my brother loaned me this bike so I can get there.” He wasn’t really her brother, but they’d been in the same foster home when they were kids. You might be surprised at how many of the people living on the street today graduated from the foster care system when they were kids by the way. It’s a very large percentage.

I tried again to convince her to go to my in-laws, to reassure her that this was a good thing.

She didn’t choose to.

“Well, let me know how it goes with your interview on Wednesday,” I said.

“Oh, I was hoping you could drive me there again.”

“I would love to,” I told her. “I’ll be here.”

Picking up two cans of long island iced tea that I found in the tent when I packed up, “For my brother,” she explained, she said goodbye and went out the gate once more, saying she would come back later for some of the dinner I had offered her.

I told Levi he could go home.

As midnight drew near I remembered I hadn’t told her about the doctor, and since she didn’t appear to be coming back I wrote all the information down and drew her a map, attaching it to her things before heading to bed.

I heard her, through my bedroom window, rustling through her bags, much later.

I lay there deciding whether or not to get up and go talk to her again, perhaps she was hungry, but sleep won in the end. I prayed she would be safe tonight.

Part 6

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