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Someone on the Run

By Bev Boisen (USA)


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            One afternoon in the motel, a door bell rang in the early hours of the
Afternoon. Two Iowa State patrolmen were at the desk; one asked if I had a room.
And I said, “Yes.”

He told me, “A lady in a squad car had car trouble and she needed a room for few
 nights, with a hope that her dad would come and pick her up from Oklahoma.”

            She had just come in to register, when the patrolman asked her; “Are you going to be alright?”
  “Yes,” she replied.
            I was wondering why the patrolman asked her if she was going to be alright.
  Well as soon as she stepped out of the squad car, I could see why he was concerned and it was no later but sooner I that found out why he was concerned with her.
She looked roughed up.
As she signed in I informed her that we have free coffee every morning around 7:00 A.M.
The next morning she came in and I noticed her putting six teaspoons of sugar in her coffee and also that she was very tipsy and I was afraid she would fall.
We had floor to ceiling windows.
I started a conversation with her, she seemed a little shy, she had tears rolling down her cheeks, and she could hardly talk.
Realizing the state her mood; I asked her, “What is the matter with you, if I may ask?”
With hesitation, she told me she was going home to see her children, she also said, “My Mother is taking care of my children and I am not sure whether she will take me back after all this time.”
After explaining her situation I could see the reason why she felt that way.
After she finished her coffee she went back to her room. And I noticed she didn’t have shoes on, even though it was winter and there was snow on the ground.
I didn’t say anything; after all it was her business, even though it bothered me a great deal.
            The next morning she came in as usual, and again, no shoes, I asked her, “Where are your boots or shoes?”
She replied, “The cold doesn’t bother me.”
As I was thinking to myself, “this is not good, something must be drastically wrong with her.”
 The third day she came in and I asked her if she had eaten, but I knew she hadn’t because she never left her room and she only had her small purse with her, probably for her cigarettes, because  she was smoking as she came into register.
And then I asked to her, “Should I make you a sandwich? Would that be  fine with you?”
She sheepishly said, “Sure!”
I also made her a cup of tea and asked her if she would like a glass of milk to go with it?”
She said, “The tea would be great,” and she put six teaspoons of sugar in her tea, just as she did with her coffee the other day. And I was puzzled.
She then asked me, “Where is downtown?”
“A couple of blocks south”, I told her.
Without hesitation she headed south, walking down the driveway.
 “At least this time she had her boots on.” That gave me a sense of relief, as I thought  of her.
The next morning she came in and said, “There are no drugs in this clean
little town, I can’t find a single source.”
Inwardly I thought, “Now what?”
She then started telling me about her children, and how she came to live her life as a prostitute in a big city. And now she was becoming sick and tired of the way she has been living, scared of death, HIV/aids and other diseases.
“I am running away from my pimp and if he finds me he will kill me or take me back,” she said with shaky voice, as she trembled with fear,” she told me.
I hugged her and tried to comfort her and let her know that I will try to keep her safe.
She was also going by another name and she said, “If anyone asks for me, tell them, I didn’t stay here.”
I agreed without questioning.
 "If I may ask, how old are you?”  I asked  her.
She said “I know you won’t believe me but I am thirty-seven.”
It was unbelievable what she told me, because she looked much older.
She looked also sickly, worn out and had nothing. My heart went out to her.
I wanted to hug her again to make her feel that someone cares for her.
I was about to, but hesitant.  I hugged her again anyway.
That was all I could do to keep tears from rolling down my cheeks.
And now, as I writing this sad story  tears are welling down my face, in memory of tragic details of her life.
            The echoes of her voice saying; “I miss my kids and I hope they will take me back?”  rang in my mind as I was writing.
 “You are their Mother and they will always love you,” I said.
 And she said, “I hope you are right?”
            A few days later, she told me; “I called my Dad to see if he c ould come and pick me up, and told him of my problem”. He said, “Yes.”
            Her Dad came into my office a few days later and thanked me for taking a good care of her, and he said he was glad that his daughter was alive, after such a long time. All along he thought she was probably dead.
How sad this was?
            But at the end I was glad she showed confidence in me; when she came to my office to thanked me for all I did her. She took out her wallet and asked me; how much do I owe you?
 I told her, “I nothing. This was one of giving help to a person in need.”
  She thanked me over and over and said, “You are too kind.”
For a minute we were quiet but then she leaned over and gave me a hug with her eyes full of tears.
            I hugged her and I said, “I have something for you.
 she responded and said, “You have done enough already.”
I gave her a poem that I wrote especially for her called, “KICKING THE HABIT.”
I wrote it on rose scented paper and put it in the matching rose scented envelope and told her, “When you feel like you are down and out and things look dim take out this poem and read it: This is her poem.


You made a choice
You left
You are free to make changes
And you will.
Your children will always love you
If you give them a chance.
You are their Mother
How lucky you are, to have been a Mother
You can have a better life and you will
If you choose too.
Ask for help
And you will have an answer in due time
Be patient.
Stay off drugs
You’ll see old friends
And make new ones
People care and they will see you through
These times

            She took the poem and thanked me and out of the door she went, waving as they drove down the driveway. Now I was crying so hard, and relieved that she was going home to her family.
            A few weeks later I received a beautiful card and it was from her Mother, with the words, “You were her guardian angel, you are a very special person to do what you did for our daughter.”
            I thought to myself, it is never too hard to help someone in need.
It was so sad to see some one as young as her so sickly and having so many fears about what her out come would be, but I know in my heart that she will get through these hard times because her family took her back and is giving her all the love she needs.
            I hope this is the beginning of a happy ending for her and her children, which she loves so dearly.
This is a true story and maybe someday someone will cross your path, and you can be their friend.

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