That’s Not Mandy

The best laid plans and all that…

Friday (not last, but the one before that) I was running late when I got out of work.  I needed to get on the road before traffic.  I needed to get to my dad’s and start my vacation.  And I was running late. 

For the first time in a long time, I put myself first.  I didn’t stop by to see Mandy – it would have added at least 30 minutes to my night.  So, I told myself it would be okay – hoped it would be so, and went got on the road.  As it was the 2.5 hour drive took me nearly 4 hours, cutting into the valuable brother/sister time that I crave all year long.  (My brother is a Marine, meaning I only get to see him a few precious days a year.)

After a week cut off from the world, I returned to work and passed Mandy’s spot.  There was a girl there… Thin, wearing some really in style (80’s style that is) clothes.  That’s not Mandy.  <sadness>  I don’t know what happened to her.  I hope she’s there later – or some time this week.  If not, i can hope that she’s in a shelter… Maybe I’ll reach out to my contacts at ProjectHOME.  Maybe I won’t.  Because really – I’m not certain I want the answer.  I know it’s a more than a little cowardly to not want to know what happened… but I know what happens to women who are on the street too long, and that’s a guilt I’m positive can eat me alive.  It’s a truth, I’m not certain I can bear.  

I don’t regret stealing the extra 30 minutes for my brother and I.  I don’t regret my actions that day – but perhaps the day before, or the day before that…  maybe I could have gotten her the information ahead of time – although I couldn’t buy her the pass until that day.  Curses on bad timing. 

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