The summer of 1999, I was out with a group of friends at the local bowling alley. When we were leaving for the night there was another group of people outside that we knew. I could not tell you today what it was all about, but the 2 groups had issues with each other. We were outnumbered for sure, and I just remember all hell breaking loose. Everyone was fighting. I scanned the parking lot and seen my friend Rod was being jumped by 2 other guys. I quickly jumped in to try to stop the other guys and before I knew it, I was hit.

We all heard sirens and scattered quickly, but I was so mad and could not believe that I was hit. I’m not sure why I was shocked by this, but it infuriated me. I immediately called my stepfather Dale. He told me to stay where I was, and he was on his way.  I did exactly what I was told and stayed put.

When he got to where I was with my group of friends, he jumped out of the car and popped the trunk. Being who he was you never knew what to expect. When the trunk opened there was a huge toolbox full of wrenches. He told the guys to grab one and asked where the other group of people went.  I told him it was not that serious, and nobody knew where they went. He told me to go home, he was going to see if he could find them.

I was dropped off at home by a friend of mine. I sat in the Livingroom looking out the window waiting to see him pull in the driveway. I was so scared of what he was going to do and prayed he did not find them. I began to quickly regret calling him and reacting at the moment. I knew he was going to really hurt someone if he found them that night.

Dale ended up coming home about an hour later and told me before I could ask that he couldn’t find them. He said he told my friends to let him know if they found out where the other group was. I immediately went to my room and jumped on the phone calling my friends and telling them not to call him even if they did find out anything.

A week or so went by and it was not mentioned at all. He didn’t bring it up and I DEFINITELY didn’t bring it up! I finally figured that it just passed over and he forgot about it. He was not being himself though. He was acting differently and I would ask him what was wrong, and he would say nothing he was just tired.  I typically could tell when something was wrong with him.

I did not know at the time but found out later that he was having problems with his probation officer. For a few months, he was failing his drug test. She told him that she was going to have no choice but to violate him and send him to jail. She gave him time to get his affairs in order.  If there is one thing about Dale, it is everything happened on his terms or he was going to make it worth it to him.

Later that week on a Thursday night we were sitting in the living room watching tv. Dale got up and was putting around outside in the shed for a little while. When he came back in, he sat down for a few minutes. Then he asked me if I wanted to go for a ride. I asked him where he was going, and he said he was going to the store to get cigarettes, I figured why not and said yes.

We went and got in the car, he was acting very weird. He wasn’t really saying anything and had a very familiar look on his face. I felt my heart start to race and got a terrible feeling in my stomach. When we pulled out of the driveway and the street light shined in the car there was a shiny reflection from the back seat. It was almost like a mirror reflecting.

I turned a little bit to see the bat lying on the ground in the back seat. I never saw this bat before. I turned to Dale and asked him where the bat came from. He said I don’t know it has been in here for a while. I knew damn well that bat was not just laying around. We had absolutely no reason to have a bat and certainly no reason for it to be in the car.

Driving by one gas station, two gas stations, five gas stations and my heart racing we turn down the main St. in the middle of town and I know exactly where he is going. I am panicking, I start to tell him to stop, just turn around and go home. He continues to say stop worrying everything is fine, I JUST WANT TO TALK TO THEM. All I could think is yea right you want to talk to them with a baseball bat. This was not good.

We pull into the parking lot across the street from the police department. I see a large group of people. More then what was at the bowling alley but also the same people that were at the bowling alley. Not knowing how he got the information that they were all there was still a mystery. What was about to happen was not.

He stared at them for what felt like several minutes. He looked at me and said now I am going to get out when I do get in the driver’s seat and lock the doors. Whatever happens, you DO NOT get out of this car. I am crying and trying to reason with him, begging for him not to get out of the car. He says he loves me grabs the bat and gets out.

To be continued……

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