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The Waffle House Angel. Part Five.

Updated: Feb 11, 2023

I called Michael many times. He did not answer. I called Michelle. She did not answer either. I began to get frustrated. Now, it is nearing midnight. My stomach is growling because I had not eaten in two days. I walked out of my room to find the vending machine. I paid for a coke and m&m's. I do not feel like eating because I am still high from the meth, I had ingested 30 hours ago. I made myself eat a few m&m's. I knew my body needed caloric intake of some form, even if it was candy.

I sat on the bed while chain smoking cigarettes. Dex called again. I did not answer. I had no answers to give him, and he was gradually becoming irate. I realized my phone had 5% battery left. I walked to the front desk and asked the foreign man if he had an android charger. He handed me one and told me to return it in the morning. I told him thank you very much. I returned to my room. I was restless. I kept calling Michael and Michelle. No answer. I was thinking, "I know they are not sleeping. They smoke dope!" Dex called again. I answered.

Me: What Dex?

Dex: Did you get in touch with Michael?

Me: Your friends are not answering the fucking phone. What the hell am I supposed to do? And I cannot find a bond company. You are out-of-state Dex. No one wants to take your case.

Dex: Keep trying! He is out making a run. Michelle may be asleep. She has a real job. Hope, they are good people. They have kids. You will like them when you meet them. He is my brother, and he will come through for me!

Me: Dex! He is not your fucking brother! I do not even know what that shit means...all I know is I have to be out of this room by 11 am and then what the hell am I going to do? I know good and damn well they can answer the phone. I am stranded! You better make something happen.

Dex: Find a fucking bond company Hope. I will call you back. I do not care what you tell them!

Me: okayyyyyyy.

I knew if I could get Dex out of jail, he would figure everything else out. Dex knew how to survive on the streets; I definitely did not. I googled more bond companies. Finally, I came across one lady that answered the phone. She was nice. She listened to my 'special circumstance.' I believe she required 20% down instead of the usual 10%. She explained the requirements: After Dex gets out, I have to immediately take photos of all his upper body tattoos and take headshots of his profile. If I did not, she would revoke the bond and he would go back to jail. I agreed. I told her," I am waiting to receive money from one of Dex's friends in West Virginia." I gave the lady Michael's phone number.

It is around 2:30 am. I receive a text message from Michael.

Michael: sorry I crashed whatup dex asking alot from me

Me: Thank you so much for the room

i really do appreciate what you did for me

ifound a bond company

Dex is freaking out

are u getting him out

Michael: man he blowing up my phone yea how much

Me: 20% of 2,000 and something

Michael: I gotta mmake more money tell your bro to call me

Me: K let me know

I gave the bondman your numner

yall work it out

I lit another cigarette. Walked over to the window. I pulled back the curtain and stared at the streetlights. I thought about life. My life. My life from two weeks ago. Only two weeks ago; I was sober: working, dressing my kids for school, cooking dinner, kissing boo boo's, watching my favorite television show with my husband, going to my AA meetings, drinking my morning coffee while writing out my daily gratitude list. This was insanity. My insanity. When I took that first drink of vodka, two weeks prior, I did not foresee this in my future. I risked everything again, for one brief moment of solace. I did not know what was wrong with me. I felt powerless. I hated myself for wanting substances. For desiring something else to make me feel better. I did not understand why I could not be happy. Even in my sobriety, I was not truly happy. I was somewhat content. I was taking care of my responsibilities. I was doing what I felt was expected of me. But I was taking care of everyone else. I was still unable to reach down to the dark crevices of my own soul. It would hurt too much. I did not want to face my own shadow.

After a few minutes passed, Dex called.

Dex: Have you heard anything?

Me: Yes. I spoke with a lady. She will do it for 20% down. And Michael finally answered. He sent me a text and said, "he crashed." You need to call him.

Dex: Thank you sister! Yeah, he has been up for days. My nigga needed a power nap. I told you he would come through. I will call you back, bye.

It is early morning. I have not heard from Michael. I sent him a few text messages and asked for an update. No response. I walked to the front desk to return the charger. I walked back to my room. Patiently waiting. I had not slept. I sit at the table by the window. I look out the window and wonder what will happen next. I smoked cigarettes while listening to music. I started to contemplate finding a nearby liquor store. I desperately wanted a drink. I wanted more of anything at this point. After contemplating for a few minutes, I knew it would make matters worse. I had no control over myself nor the alcohol intake after I started drinking. I was scared I would end up in a ditch somewhere. With meth, I was coherent. With alcohol, I had no control. I knew I would drink until I found drugs or passed out.

Now, it is 11 am. I am overwhelmed with fear. I stay in my room until the cleaning maid walked in. I walked out. I went to the lobby. It is a small area right beside the front doors. It had one small couch and one chair. I feel so uncomfortable. I dial a couple of friends from Atlanta. Obviously, they think I am insane. They are so confused by the whole situation. And are wondering why in the world am I hanging out in a Motel 6 lobby waiting for my brother's drug dealer to wire money to get him out? One of them suggested to pay for a plane ticket back home immediately. The other suggested I call my parents. "One of them will come get you Hope." I did not listen. I tell them I had to stay and get my brother out that he would not have left me. I am making every effort to explain how I am scared. But I am hopeful.

Me: I am basically waiting for Michael to wire money so I can get Dex out. Then we will figure out where my car is and so on...Listen, he came all this way to help me. I have to help him. We are blood. I am not leaving until he is with me.

Friend: Hope, how much meth did you take? Do you realize how ridiculous you sound right now?

Me: I know I sound crazy. I have lost my mind. I do not know if I will get it back! (laughing)

Friend: This is dangerous! You are alone in Virginia, Hope. You do not know if the drug dealer is sending the money. And what the hell next? You need to get your ass back to Atlanta. What are you going to do in West Virginia? Continue to stay high? and then what?

Me: We are both going to rehab when we get there! I cannot call Mama and Daddy. Dex promised them he would take care of me. They will be mad at him and will not bail him out of jail. I cannot do that to him! He will go to prison.

Friend: For fuck's sake, you are not this fucking stupid Hope! I gotta go. Good luck. And call me later.

Next, I call Janine (Dex's ex-wife), She is as high as I am. I walk to Walmart. Janine tells me how she can spend hours in Walmart. I'm like, really? I sit down in a chair, in the garden section. I become paranoid. I feel like the old man employee knows I have nowhere to go. I keep talking to Janine. She knows Michael and Michelle. She explains that he is working on getting the money. If not, she suggested to call Dustin, my younger brother to help get Dex out. She is excited about me coming to visit but goes into a rant about Dex.

Janine: Dex can drop you off and visit the kids, but he is not staying here Hope. He brings nothing but trouble and I am not dealing with his stupid shit. I know when he gets here, he is going to have Aleena get involved. Then try to make me feel bad. I am not doing it. You know he is fucking crazy, and he cannot bring all that shit here. I am in government housing. They know about him and monitor my apartment. I will not get kicked out because of him. He is known drug dealer. The feds have already been watching him.

Me: Oh my gosh. Okay.

I hang up the phone. Michael was beeping in. We talked as I walked back to the motel. I sat on the couch. Hours go by. Finally, I receive a phone call from the bond company. The lady explained she had been paid and will come to the motel for me to sign the paperwork. Then she will take me to the jail to get Dex out. About thirty minutes later, she arrived. She called me when she drove to the entrance. I walked out the door to hop in a nice white Lexus SUV. She was beautiful- not someone you thought would be working in the bail bond industry. She had to be the owner. She was blonde, middle-aged with a nice smile. And she was very kind to me.

We arrived at the jail minutes later. Go through security and wait for Dex to walk out. Once I saw Dex, I ran to give him a huge hug!

Dex: I love you, sister. Damn, I was beginning to think I was not getting out.

Me: Yeah, me too.

We all sat down in a chair as the nice lady explains to Dex how important it will be to come back for court. As he signed the paperwork, she explained how he is a flight risk, and he had to send her the profile pictures tonight. They had to be clear, and the tattoos had to be shown. Dex agrees. He is very respectful and tells her thank you so much. She walked out to her Lexus. We walked out and kept walking. It is dark out.

Dex: Damn. How far away is the motel from here? Michael is paying for another night. We will get up in the morning and figure out how to get the car.

Me: A mile. I do not know.

Dex: Give me a cigarette. Ain't this some shit.

Me: Yeah. Bullshit! I come so close to calling mama and daddy. But I could not do that to you brother. They can never know about this.

Dex: Thank you sister. Man, I got some real OG'S (original gangsters). They have come through for your brother!

Me: Yeah, all this is crazy.

We continued walking. Dex and I both are tired. We are across the street from the gas station I purchased cigarettes at.

Dex: You hungry? I know you are. You gotta eat. Damn. I am starving.

Me: Not really. I probably need to eat something. We do not have money for food. We have to get back to my car.

Dex: Hell Hope, fifteen dollars will not get us back there. I will figure it out. Didn't I make this happen? Your brother has got you covered!

Me: Oh my God. I could not live your life! (laughing)

We walked into the gas station.

Dex: Hope, pick out what you want. Hand it to me.

Me: Why?

Dex shakes his head while stuffing his jacket full of snacks. I walked out. A couple of minutes later he walked out.

Me: What the fuck? You just got out of jail. Do you want to go back? What if you got caught?

Dex: Chill out Hopie Dopie. He hands me a bag of chips and a coke.

Me: If you get put back in jail. I will not hang around to get you out.

We laughed. We had to find humor in that moment. For our own sanity. We still had no clue how we would get to West Virginia. We continued to walk a few yards to the Motel 6 for another night. Once we were in the room, I made Dex take off his shirt to take the pictures for the bails bond lady. I texted her the pictures. Dex laid on one queen bed as I laid on the other. Dex fell asleep first. His body was so immune to methamphetamine. I still had adrenaline from it. Finally, I dozed off to sleep. I woke up early. I got in a shower. I felt so dirty. I had not bathed since I left Atlanta, three days prior. The hot water felt good on my skin. I began to cry. The dope was wearing off. I did not know what to do with myself. I wanted my babies. I wanted more drugs to escape. I wanted a new life. I step out the shower, dry off, and look in the mirror. I did not know who was staring back at me. It was the existence of my body. My soul and spirit were gone. The Hope that stared back at me, I did not recognize. There was a deep emptiness in my eyes.

I put on my clothes and walked to the breakfast nook. I made me a cup of orange juice, a cup of coffee, and a bowl of cereal. I sat down at a small table. I tried to eat the cereal. I could only get a couple of bites down. I drank my orange juice and brought my coffee back to the room. I go to my spot by the window and smoke a cigarette. I am mentally, physically, and emotionally drained. After a few minutes, Dex woke up.

Dex: Why did you not get me any breakfast?

Me: You should have been up. Get up so we can figure out what we are going to do.

Dex: You get a shower and get ready.

Me: I already had a shower. You get a shower and hurry up!

Dex: Go get me some breakfast.

Me: Do I look like your maid? Go get it yourself. You act like a child!

Dex: Hopie Dopie please go get me some breakfast.

Me: Okay. Hurry up and get ready.

I go grab him an apple. They did not have much to choose from. Dex got out of the shower and got dressed. I throw him a green apple.

Dex: You are fucking retarded!

Me: They did not have much to choose from. (Hysterically laughing)

Dex: What did you eat?

Me: I ate cereal. I went and got my own damn breakfast!

Dex: You are a bitch! After all I have done for you, you bring me a damn apple!

Me: You are a child! That needs to grow up. I am not mama. I am not waiting on your ass! Go get your own damn breakfast!

Dex: I do not have time for this! (laughing) Get ready. We got to go.

Me: I have been ready! Let's go! Where exactly are we going?

After Michael paid for another night at the motel, he told Dex he had no more funds to send right away. Dex and I walk across the street to another gas station. I pay for us a water. We sit at a high-top table. Dex said we need to find someone to take us to the car. He asked a random girl. She said she could not help until evening when she was off work. We continue to rack our brains with options. Dex suggested to find a local church that could help. We get up from the table and walk out. I googled churches nearby. There were none in walking distance and no Ubers.

Dex: Man Hope, the last thing I want to do is steal a car.

Me: Are you fucking crazy. You will not do that shit with me.

Dex: I have not been this desperate since I was homeless in California. Remember that?

Me: Yes. How could I forget. Mama called me scared to death when you overdosed and were in the hospital.

Dex: Man, I have been through some shit.

Me: Yes. You are lucky to be alive. You better thank God.

Minutes later we walk back across the street to a Waffle House. We sit down. Dex lays his head down on the table. We are running out of options.

Waiter: What can I get you to drink?

We both answer water.

Waiter: Are you ready to order?

Dex: Man, anything you got. I have twelve dollars to my name.

He told him the short version of what happened. How he got out of jail, we have no money, and we are trying to get to our car that is impounded two hours away. The waiter said our meal was on the house. We both ordered the Texas bacon cheesesteak melt with hashbrowns. Our food arrived. We ate. After, we sat at the table trying to figure out what to do next. Dex is making small talk with the waiter. He is a tall, skinny, mid-30s guy with tattoos. He was nice and I could tell he had lived a little. He could relate to our current situation. I walked outside to smoke. I had become very nauseated. I walked back inside and went to the restroom. Everything I ate came out. I felt so sick. It was my first meal after ingesting the meth days ago. I felt like I had been hit by a truck. I needed more-to make the sickness go away. I sit back down at the table.

Dex: Tyler-the waiter, is going to take us to your car when he gets off work. He gets off around noon.

Me: Oh, my goodness. That is so nice. For free?

Dex: I will give him the twelve dollars for gas money.

Me: Okay. That leaves us with no money to pay for the impound and gas money. I guess somehow, it will all work out.

Dex: We have to call and find out where your car is?

I get my public intoxication ticket and contact the number listed. I am informed where my vehicle is. It is out in the middle of nowhere. We wait at the table for Tyler to finish his shift. We both thank him many times.

Dex: Dude, you are like an angel today. I do not know what we would do without you.

Tyler: Your welcome man. Tough times happen.

We get in his car. Him and Dex are engaging in steady conversation. I am praying. Thanking God for taking care of us. And asking for a miracle. In that moment, I remained hopeful. We may actually make it to West Virginia.

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