When I was 7 months pregnant with Lauren, I represented a nice young man on a charge of theft. He had stolen some money from his employer. He was super polite, apologetic, called me ma’am, and took full responsibility for his crime. We sat in a small meeting room several times and we agreed on a guilty plea where he received probation.
When I was on maternity leave a few months later, I received a call from the news media, asking me if I had recently represented that young man. I said yes, and asked if he was ok. They then informed me he had just been arrested in the slayings of at least 8 women. They found many more bodies in his home and he is now one of AZ’s most infamous serial killers.
Today I flew to Philadelphia and had a connecting flight to New Haven to meet Sam for the week. Out of nowhere, a blizzard started in Philly, and after 5 hours of changed gates and delays, 41 flights, including mine, were canceled. They could not guarantee we would get there tomorrow, either, because of all the displaced passengers. They put me on a flight to LaGuardia taking off later tonight and said I could then take a bus to New Haven from there.
I sat on the floor of the airport, defeated, when a man tapped me and asked me if I was trying to get to New Haven. I said yes and then he asked me if I wanted to rent a car and drive with him there. I asked him if he was a serial killer and he said no, he works in finance, and so I said ok.
We ended up taking a taxi to the Amtrak station and got a train to New Haven, where I will arrive in 3.5 short hours. I informed Craig of my whereabouts and took a picture of Jon the finance guy’s business card, so I assume I’m ok.
What makes us trust people? How do we know who is safe and who is not? The Natalee Holloway story stressed me out mostly because that could have been me or my friends in college. How many times did we meet guys at bars that we didn’t know and leave to go to parties with them? It is by sheer luck that something bad didn’t happen to us.
I’m pretty sure Jon the finance guy is not crazy, and in fact he probably thinks I’m the crazy one: sharing my knowledge of all planes that crashed due to bad weather, all children who have been abducted in the last 10 years, and my constant questions about train safety (is it normal for the train to shake like this? Do they de-ice train tracks?)
Also he is, I’m sure, loving my hilarious train related humor : hey, Jon, doesn’t the conductor remind you of the conductor from The Polar Express? Will they serve us hot cocoa? Where’s Santa?
I would definitely kill any of my kids if they did what I’m doing right now. But life is an unknown and I’m not sure who to trust and who not to trust in this world. The teacher, clergy member, policeman, neighbor that seemed so nice turns out to be a bad guy. And the quiet, unassuming one saves a kid from a burning building.
Sometimes you just have to take a risk and hope it all works out for the best. Even if you have no idea where your luggage will end up. (Btw: that flight to LaGuardia just got canceled too)