Patti and I were sitting at our desks at 8 sharp. I pulled up the GPS locater and found Sarah Grayson. I sent one of the day guys to get her.
I called Mr. Skaggs to verify that everything was still a go for tomorrow’s seminar. I went over the travel plans with him and gave him our estimated arrival time. I asked for and he gave the field house number that we were going to use. It was my intention to park and leave the trailer there before we went to the motel. That would give us an excuse to be there so Sarah could find her friend and her roommate.
I spent the time working on e-mails, reviewing the next seven days work schedule making sure the last minute requests for vacation and time off were correctly marked.
I checked with Kate to make sure everything was ready or if she anything that needed packing in the trailer.
Sarah was standing at the counter when I finished with several calls.
“Do you have the contact information for me?” I asked.
She handed me a slip of paper with the information on it. We made some small talk. What I was trying to do was to find out what she was doing for the next couple of days. At the end of our conversation I knew that she was staying over the holidays to save her parents some travel expenses. She also was looking for a part-time job over the holidays in one of the local stores, but as of yet had no firm offers.
“Sarah, how would you like to go with us?” I asked. “We have one empty bed in Kate’s room. Your friend might be glad to see you.”
“I don’t have any extra money for meals,” she said.
“All expenses paid.” I replied.
“OK, I’ll call her and tell her I’m coming,” she said.
“No, you don’t want to do that. I will explain why on the way – to surprise her is best,” I said. “Go pack a bag. Always pack for a day extra. I plan on leaving here around 11.”
At 10:30 I fueled up the truck and hooked up to the trailer, checked the lights and tires including both spares. Then I pulled it near the office to wait for Sarah and Kate. I spent the time finishing up paper work and giving final instructions to Patti and the day guy that I had assigned to office duty for the next two days. When I walked back outside Sarah and Kate were waiting by the truck. Next stop was 1001 Summers Road for lunch and to pick up the rest of my crew. I was amazed at how well the Suburban with the gas engine handled the sixteen foot trailer and three passengers.
As I pulled the Suburban and trailer onto Summers Road I looked to the left at the gym to see the place packed with contractors trucks. I stopped in front of the garage. Sarah, Kate and I went into the house for lunch. It was in the final stages of preparation. While we were waiting Marcy filled me in on this morning’s events related to the gym.
“The bank called to ask if we minded if the federal auditor sat in on our loan request presentation. The rules for the banking industry required that the feds do these randomly and it happened to be our loan request that came up.” I agreed to their request, then Marcy said. “I didn’t see where we had much choice.”
“The lawyers called. They wanted to let us know they have everything ready,” Vicky said.
“I took over the membership requests from Marcy, she is getting so busy. I have over one hundred confirmed and then I have this,” she said, as she handed me several papers.
One was a signed contract from Shelia Roush with a check for $2400. It included a full year’s membership fee. It was attached to a media contract for a boxing match between her and second ranked Amanda Black for 250k at the gym of her choice.
Attached was a note from Shelia that read “This is a televised pay-for-view 4 round fight. Seating is by invitation only. Each fighter gets 150 tickets. I think your building is just right. This is a woman’s fight so no men would be allowed in the audience. I’m known as a basic hard-knocks fighter. As the champ I get to chose where and when. I want to see her histrung inside fans group on metal chairs and wooden bleachers. The gym fee from the TV company is 75000. Please think about it.
The other two contracts were from Shelia’s housemates with a year’s check attached
“The gas company called. We are on the schedule for an 8 AM tank installation on Thursday. I called the heating contractor. He will have a crew on site to check for leaks and to check out the new heaters,” she said.
“As you can see there are a lot of people working over there today. I hope you have a few minutes to go look before you leave,” Marcy said.
I nodded and smiled and said “OK, I’m sure we have a few minutes to spare.”
I noticed that Sarah and Kate were all ears during the conversations.
Lunch was loaded salad and soup with a sandwich of choice.
After lunch we went over and looked at the gym. There were a lot of things going on. Framing that was on the floor yesterday was up with plywood or drywall going on it. You could get a real idea of the layout now. It was a lot different than chalk marks on the floor. I walked to the middle of the floor so I could get a good look at the big picture.
Bob walked out to me and asked, “Is there something wrong?”
“How late can you hold off on the boxing ring?” I asked.
“We can make it the very last thing we do before we turn the building over to you. It is the easiest part of this. All we have to do is drill the holes in the floor and epoxy the posts into place,” he said.
“Don’t install it until you hear it from me. We need to do some more research,” I said.
On the way out I instructed Marcy to contact the Fire Marshal to find out about the seating capacity and other things we would need to do to meet Shelia’s boxing meet needs.
At the truck I whispered into Marcy’s ear that I had instructed Bob to wait on the boxing ring until the very last thing, that we may have to relocate the ring.
Marcy gave me a very passionate hug and lingering kiss along with, “Please be careful and give them hell.” I returned the kiss with equal passion and wished her good luck at the lawyers. I also added be careful.
Ching Lee kissed me goodbye with passion as well. I wished her good luck and be careful.
Ten minutes later we were headed west on 50 then 197, 32 west and finally 70 west. With the trailer it was going to take 5 to 6 hours. I hit the cruise control for 60 and let her roll. Once we got on 70 I bumped the cruise up a little bit more, the traffic had thinned out so it was more comfortable to drive.
It was at that point Sarah said, “Ok, spill it. What did we look at and just how many girls are living with you?”
“That was ‘Jones Fitness and Training Center LLC’. It’s going to be a facility for ladies only. We are going to work them into shape then teach them how to kill with their bare hands,” I said. I glanced in the mirror to see her surprised expression.
I glanced at Kate who was also looking at me. I winked at her. She laughed and said, “I‘ll bet they will be good at it, knowing you.”
With one pee stop we rolled into the college at six. With the directions I had I pulled the Suburban up to the field house that we were going to use for the class. I chocked the trailer and installed an anti-theft lock.
Sarah, Lorrie and I went to look for her friend Belinda Stevens while Jenny, Kate and Vicky went to the motel to get signed in and look at the rooms.
We went to dorm A room 15 where Sarah knocked on the door. Belinda opened the door. It was easy to see she had been crying. I asked where was her roommate?
“Misty is in the bathroom; she has been in there a long time,” she said.
“Will she talk to you?” I asked.
“She hasn’t in a while but I can hear her crying in there,” Belinda replied.
“Tell her you have to go to the bathroom really bad and ask her to come out for a minute,” I said.
Misty replied she was going to take a shower between sobs. I went over to the door. It was one of those cheap things, just two pieces of veneer glued over a 1×1 frame. Like all small dorm rooms the bathroom door opened out into the living area so they could make the smallest bathroom possible. The door fit was horrible, it had gaps all the way around. I motioned to Belinda to keep talking to her.
When I was at the electrical store getting some supplies I bought one of those nice looking Klein pocket knives. It was slim and light, a good fit in the pocket. While Belinda was talking I used the knife blade to slip the latch and pulled the door open.
She was naked, sitting on the flush and holding a towel that was soaked from tears. I said, “Let’s get you in the shower.”
She started sobbing again, “I’ve been trying, and it’s so small, I’m so afraid.” That told me that the rapist had stuffed her in a small space – a closet or a box or maybe had rolled her up in a carpet – and now she was terrified of small places.
“Lorrie, Sarah and I are staying over at the Holiday West motel. We have a big bathroom. Let’s get you dressed and you can come over with us and I’ll wait in the bathroom while you shower. If you like I can even shower with you. I’ll even wash your back and hair. It’s a big bathroom,” I said.
For the first time since I had been talking to her there was a change in her expression – a different look in her eyes. She said, “You promise?”
“Yes, cross my heart. Lorrie, Sarah, Belinda and I will walk close to you when we go to the truck.”
“OK, will you help me get dressed?” she asked.
“Yes, I will,” I replied.
She dressed and I helped her put together a bag of her things and her meds. I had Belinda do the same thing. We walked her out to the truck and then into our motel room.
EDIT by Alfmeister