By Howard Diamond (March 1, 2023)
This is an ongoing series by Howard Diamond. To read from the beginning, click here.
Random Act by a Peer Specialist – Part 7
MAY RAINS MAY LEAD TO MAY RESULTS
This day is a rainy one, where umbrellas dominate the streets of Lake Town, but stubborn Taylor Thompson felt it was not convenient. By the time he reached the office, on May 13, he was soaked from head to toe. His trusted secretary, Steve Washington was busy typing away, while Holly was at the courthouse. She was not scheduled to be in the office until the next day for a meeting with Taylor. Promptly at 11, Taylor and Assistant Director, Karen Collins are to interview Anna Mancini for the second time.
At 4:30, Ruth had her scheduled appointment with Jane. At court, Holly met with her consumer, but there was little progress with his case. Then she saw two ladies in different parts of the hospital. During lunch, she bumped into Ms. Collins who told her to call her secretary, by the end of the week to make an appointment to meet. Although Holly was curious she did not ask any questions of Ms. Collins and proceeded to her other visits.
One of these visits is with Officer Grey, but not concerning Ruth. Meanwhile, Ruth spent her day, relaxing until 3pm, when she was to be picked up for her visit with Jane. Both Ruth and Jane were distracted by something going on right outside Jane’s office. Loud noises interfered with the session. At one point, Jane recognized the voice as another of her fellow clients and she excused herself from Ruth and diffused the situation. When everything was calm, Ruth stated she could not finish and went to the waiting room and sat until her 5:30 pick up. Moments later, Jane came to Ruth and rescheduled for Friday at 3pm.
Friday comes and so comes the rain again. Fortunately, Holly has scheduled this morning to do her progress notes and catch up with an assortment of return phone calls. In addition, Steve gave her a couple more, plus a reminder note for her appointment with Assistant Director Collins at 11am. Taylor had a meeting at 930 with Marty from Generations and other respite Directors to discuss ways to improve resources in the community.
At 10:45, a few of the other Supervisors went into the conference room. Each of the Supervisors had a notebook, a pen, and a cup of coffee or tea. Several minutes later, Taylor dropped his wet jacket in his office and proceeded to the conference room, with his notebook and pen in tow. As Taylor entered, Steve buzzed Holly that Ms. Collins was ready. Nervous Holly walked into the office, Ms. Collins greeted her at the door and the two took a stroll around the interior of the building.
Fifteen or so minutes later, Ms. Collins and Holly entered the conference room with the Supervisors patiently waiting. Taylor stated to Holly it was okay to have a seat. Karen opened the meeting by saying everyone needs to be on a first name basis, and this includes Holly. This moment Taylor took over and informed everyone that the purpose of this meeting is to interview Holly for the Assistant Supervisor opening.
Surprised Holly went through the interview process without any problems. The second question asked of she can handle the position by losing most if not all of her caseload. Holly answered that she would transition each person by mentioning part of recovery is change and this one of many. As Supervisor, I am not going away and communication will continue, but less often. Almost everyone in the room nodded their heads.
A few moments later, Holly was done with the interview, went to lunch and finished her week. Steve let Holly know that Ruth called that her appointment was canceled until Tuesday at 430, her regular visit. Meanwhile, the selection committee discussed Holly’s interview and agreed to have her come back for a second interview.
NEW WEEK, NEW REVELATION, NEW CONFRONTATION
Most Monday morning meetings are at 10am. Today is no different, but this the morning had a special guest, Officer Grey. At this meeting, Officer Grey let everyone know that there was a break in the Ruth Haines case. Recently, on the streets downtown two people were attacked in separate incidents. Both of the people were apparently ambushed by the same individual. In addition, the rape of Ruth was perpetuated by him or her. She will be called in later in the week for further questioning.
When people left the conference room, Karen, Taylor and Steve talked with Officer Grey. They discussed safety matters that can be used to prevent occurrences in the office. Karen suggested a new improved security system while Taylor thought ID badges could be used again. All good possibilities, but they have to be discussed at other meetings. Officer Grey left and the rest went on their way.
As usual, Ruth took a walk downtown. She strolled in the women’s section of one store, the detergents in another and lastly the freezer section of the supermarket. After every stop, Ruth was suspicious of a man who was following her. It definitely appeared to be the same person as before. While she was walking back to Generations, Marty received a mystery letter that read similarly to the texts that Ruth was getting a few weeks prior. In the letter it stated,
“BEWARE THE STREETS!
I WILL BE HERE!
I KNOW HOW TO FIND YOU.
I KNOW WHERE YOU WORK!
BEWARE THE STREETS”!
Marty informed Officer Grey. At the advice of Officer Grey, when Ruth returned he showed her the letter and then she ran to her bedroom crying. One of the staff at Generations calmed Ruth down and brought her in the dining room in time for the evening meal. Afterwards, Marty had a chat with Ruth about the strange letter. She was sorry that she got Marty involved and asked if he can bring the letter to therapy tomorrow. It was okay by Marty and he said he will give it to her at breakfast.
MONDAY TURNS INTO TUESDAY, TUESDAY TURNS INTO DOOMSDAY
That night, Ruth received at least a dozen texts from the same caller, one more disturbing than the next. For Ruth, her appointment today with Jane could not come soon enough. Being followed and all the texts made this a difficult overnight for Ruth, so she decided to all walk the streets near the Community Residence and prepare to go to Jane’s visit.
This Tuesday Holly worked 11am to 7pm, where most of the early part of her shift was uneventful. All that was going to be drastically different starting at 4pm, when Holly received an anonymous phone call. It was placed by a woman who stated she was being followed by another lady for the past couple of weeks. So Holly pulled over to get more details, but the phone call ended. At the office, Steve said Holly had no messages, but he did say someone kept calling, say a sentence or two and proceeded to hang up. Almost every time, she said, “Help”, but never explained further. In an hour, Steve said he was going home.
At promptly 4:30, Jane directed Ruth to her office. Right away Ruth began talking about last night and was getting more and more agitated. Jane noticed that Ruth clothes and hair were messy and she appeared extremely tired. Suddenly, Ruth became enraged and started screaming at Jane for no apparent reason. The more Jane tried to take control, Ruth got louder. Also, she yelled the name Dion to stop hitting Gabriel.
Outside the office, Steve was walking on his customary route to the bus stop, when he was pushed from behind to the nearby wall. While being hit in the back and stomach by an unknown object, he was wrestled to the ground. Steve could not tell how many guys were there, but in unison they repeatedly chanted these words,
“YOU WERE WARNED!
BEWARE THE STREETS!
WE WILL RETURN!”
Many times, Steve was struck by the same equipment, while they laughed in a continuous manner. Also, the attackers took Steve’s leg braces and hit him a few additional times, leaving him bloody and almost unconscious. Finally, they dumped Steve’s body in a vacant alley covered in black garbage bags.
Throughout the entire day, Holly received the same call from the same lady. Each time, the woman said a little more. It was often unclear and the majority of the words did not connect with each other. At around 9pm, Holly arrived home, but the calls persisted. Around 11:30 pm, this time there was a recording that basically said,
“YOU WERE WARNED!
NEXT TIME IT WILL BE WORSE!
WE KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE!
WE KNOW WHERE YOU WORK!
YOU WERE WARNED!
BEWARE THE STREETS!
BEWARE! BEWARE! BEWARE!”
Quickly thereafter Holly hung up the phone, went to bed and thought to herself, “Sorry, wrong number“.
To be continued…
To view this series from the beginning, click here.
Howard Diamond is a Certified Peer Specialist from Long Island.