100 Stories about 100 People: #95. Leslie A.
Itís not every person I know exactly when Iíve met them. Itís not like I have a stop watch when somebody interesting walks into my life and I can freeze frame the encounter and record it for later. Leslie is the exception to that rule. She walked into my life at 12:35am on October 26, 2011. That was when she knocked on my door and I answered wearing a dirty t-shirt, jeans and a roman gladius. Then it got interesting.
Leslie was my upstairs neighbor. I had never seen her before that day, I donít really socialize with my neighbors much, they moved in and out so fast. Coming from a bad experience at my last apartment, I donít really care to know most of my neighbors. Still, a cry for help in the middle of the night changes things. The first thing I could think of was Kitty Genovese, the New York woman that died screaming for help because nobody wanted to help her. I also didnít know what was going on outside so I grabbed the nearest weapon, which turned out to be a roman sword I brought back from Italy.
Leslie was at my door in tears. She was a young latina woman, and she was dressed in her night clothes. She was very underdressed for the middle of the night. I had to convince her to get in out of the cold, then to wear one of my jackets to get warm. She explained her roommate came home drunk and attacked her. Leslie fled the apartment and the roommate locked her out. She went door to door asking for help, I was the only person to answer the door. After she explained the situation she then realized I was armed with a Roman sword, but I guess she understood.
I calmed her down best I could and tried to warm her up while I dug around for my phone book so she could call the police. She used my phone to call her ex-boyfriend who was a cop. He told her what I told her, call the police. After calling the Humble police they told me to call the Sheriffís department. I will give Harris Countyís finest this, they were out in five minutes knocking on my door. Deputy ordered me to open my door and I pointed at Leslie as the person that needed help. Deputy took her upstairs to get her stuff thanked me for my help. Then he told me to stay out of it, this was out of my hands. He didnít say anything about the sword. He had enough on his mind.
Leslie and her roommate had some words but the presence of a deputy does keep things civil. I could hear them upstairs, but I stayed out of it. Leslie got some clothes and some of her things and went someplace safe for the night. She did return my jacket and thank me for everything. I told her strange things happening to me wasnít something new to me. She didnít believe me, but this wasnít the first time I had something like this thrown on me. I thought I would never see her again after that.
Turns out the next week when I was moving out because I lost my job she tracked me down to say thanks again. She looked a lot better not crying and not freezing. She was moving out and was sad to see me move. I gave her my phone number if she needed help again. I doubt sheíll ever call, but Iím not going to be the guy that doesnít do the right thing when asked.