My day started off like any other.
I overslept, then went downstairs for some coffee and breakfast. I sat on the couch, still feeling drowsy, when I received a surprising phone call from my co-worker.
It didn’t sound like his normal tone; he was much happier, kind of a crazy happy. He kept repeating himself and stumbling on his words. “Hey Rachel how are you? good? GOOD! So what are you doing today….coming to the office? The usual time right, at 2?”
It was almost like I wasn’t even there, like he was rehearsing what he was going to say…did he have the wrong number? I remained silent until he finally stopped and let me answer one of his questions. Although it felt like a five-hour conversation, we managed to agree on meeting at a restaurant, instead of the office.
I was still confused. Why was he so nervous? Why was he panting and mumbling the same sentence over and over? And why was he so keen on meeting me for lunch?
Upon arriving at the restaurant, I glanced at my cell phone to see if he had called me, but he had not.
I sat at my table with my brief case and a coffee. I waited and waited for him to show. Finally fifteen minutes later, he arrived, walking with a purpose, grabbed the chair directly across from me and stared. He wanted something from me. I could tell by the way his black eyes stared me down with a crazed worry of rejection. We stared at each other until he finally spit out what he made us both come here for.
“So what do you need?” I asked. I almost did not want to know. He paused, sucking in his breath and turning red, and finally said, “I need money.”
I did not even know how to respond. Why would he want money? Why does he need money? Why is he asking me? He lied, crazed, as if he was willing to do anything or everything for it.
“I promise I’ll pay you back as soon as possible; I just really need help. I have nothing; please help me out. It’ll take me a month, but I will pay it all back. I promise.”
I knew he desperately needed help. Maybe he did not need money, but he needed something to keep him sane. As much as I wanted to say no, I still could not say anything. I was shocked. Should I stand up and leave now? Should I help him out? Should I tell him I am not the right girl? Looking at him, with the pain in his eyes, I could not say no. “Sure” was all that came out of my mouth. I wrote him a check, stood up, and walked out.
I knew that he was lying; I knew I would never see him again.
I knew that this was all just one strange day in July.