She was 20 something and quite assured. She was friends with her mirror, had a big brain and an even bigger attitude. It would not be a stretch to say this one had a chip on her shoulder – she knew who she was – just ask her….
It was after work one night that she agreed to meet her friends downtown for drinks – never mind that it was a Tuesday and she had to be on the train by 6:00am the next day. She could handle it. She was a consummate city girl and late night partying before early morning appointments was no big deal. She headed down M Street, dipped into an old alley she new cops never bothered with and parked her car illegally next to the dumpster.
Strolling a few blocks down, wearing her Passion Pink very high-heeled Candies and matching pencil skirt, she was a scene. So was Nathan’s. It was raucous. The local sports team was on the tube in the bar and were winning. Drinks all around with all her new-found friends. Sybil was in the corner, literally sitting on some guy’s shoulders as they all hooted and howled for the basketball team to slam dunk to victory. The evening came to a very quick and sober end when she realized it was 1:00am and Sybil and friends were nowhere in sight.
She started to freak, paid her tab, put her keys in her hand with the prongs pointed out through her fist and dashed out the door. This was a typical defensive move she had been taught by her brother long ago. If she had to, she would assuredly hit anyone in the face with those sharp metal keys pointing out.
She growled at herself, “So stupid – why did I stay so late?” Wisconsin and M Streets were virtually deserted. It was dark and cold and her fancy heels were not so good at negotiating cobblestone and brick sidewalks. She didn’t remember parking so far away…she cursed under her breath. No one anywhere, one lone woman. The street was empty and she was nervous. She was almost to the alley when he walked up.
Tall and lanky, carrying a student’s back pack and wearing what seemed like an old tan duster. Discheveled with holes in his high tops. Glasses maybe, a goofy hat likely – which covered his eyes.
He engaged her right away.
“What are you doing out here?” He asked as he caught up with her quick stride and fell into her rythm.
“What business is it of yours?” she snarled.
“Well none, really, but I just don’t think you should be out here at this hour.”
She turned on him with a nasty tone. “Who do you think you are?” she demanded.
“My name’s George.” he responded with a smile. “Where are you going?”
“To my car,” she barked.
“Good, I will walk you there…”
She turned to him and said, “What did you say your name was?”
She looked at him sharply but strangely felt a surge of trust. Her best friend in college was named George. Come to think of it, he had a dirty cotton duster coat just like that….and the high-tops – could be the very same pair.
Just at that moment, she and George arrived in the alley where she had parked. He steered her toward the driver’s side and took the keys in one swoop from her hand. Putting them into the lock, he opened the door, shoved her in and dropped the keys into her lap. He locked the door and slammed her in. And at that very moment, two huge men jumped up from behind the dumpster and rear of her car and lunged at George. He just stood up straight. They outweighed him by at least 30 pounds, each, but they took one look at him and hauled butt.
She was so surprised by it all she started to shake. “What if….what if….” started running through her head. She started the car, slammed it into gear and headed for the end of the alley. And then she thought, “Surely George must be a local college student – Georgetown University is right here, I should give him a ride…” She looked in her rear-view mirror, he was gone. He wasn’t on either side of the car and the alley was a dead- end. He was not on the street. He had vanished. Literally.
Now she was really shaking. She took a deep breath. Either “George” was an angel God sent or he was just at the right place at the right time. Either way, she felt extremely humbled and thankful to be safe and headed home. One thing she knew for sure, she would always remember the “Angel George of Georgetown.”
Amen and amen.