The Lucky One?

Chapter 3 of Rage to Richness

Laura couldnt remember his name, in fact she isn’t sure she ever knew it.  He was simply the man who always seemed to be there, sitting on the window ledge of the one and only store in town.  To his face everyone either humored him or ignored him, then later ridiculed him and called him the town idiot.  Something he seemed very aware of. Children, including herself, were warned to stay away from him.  Although people acted as if he was nothing, they feared him because he was a presence that couldnt be overlooked.

Laura became both intrigued and rather enamored with him.  He always had a smile and hello for her and Laura for him.  She felt an instant connection with this man and would chat his ear off anytime she had the opportunity.  He always seemed interested in what she had to say and Jenny had a sense that she could trust him.  That they were somehow mirrors and yet very different.

One day, soon after Laura's last attempt to end it all, this man became the recipient of a large sum of money.  He was overjoyed and when he saw her, picked her up, hugged her, and then took her into the store to buy Jenny anything she wanted.  She asked for an ice cream cone and he bought her the whole container.  Then together they sat on the store ledge and shared their treasure and joy.  Laura is not sure how long they were there before she felt herself being physically pulled and then carried away from him and the gift hed given her.  She only remember him being yelled at and called names  and then herself  being lectured and spanked for accepting this gift from this terrible man.  Laura was confused and stunned and then very angry.  Death now seemed  the only out from this hell she had chosen to enter.  This man was not evil.  She knew this in her heart.  He was an eccentric, misunderstood soul who craved love he could trust as much as she did.  Was  she going to end up like him if she stayed alive?  Laura made a promise to herself that she would never allow anyone to keep her from being friends with this man.  God had other plans.

Soon after this happened Laura and her family were attending a baseball game at the diamond across from where they lived.  Everyones attention was drawn away from the game to the figure of a man who was staggering along the railroad tracks on the hill above them.  As he drew closer she recognized it to be her friend.  He was acting very strangely.  He could barely stand up or walk very far without seeming to trip.  He looked helpless and frail until he looked down and saw most of the village looking up at him.  Then he suddenly gained strength as he began yelling at the top of his lungs,   This is the last time you'll ever treat me like an idiot!  On and on he went...totally unaware of anything but the words in his head. Oblivious to the screams of warnings from the people below or the whistle of the oncoming train.

 Watching him being first pushed along and then sucked under by the train followed by having to step over the blood stained tracks where it had left his body in order to walk to school each day put off Laura’s desire to find a way to end her life.  She was too shocked at the reality of how final death now seemed.

This man had truly been her mirror.  The connection she had felt was the recognition of a soul who wanted out as much as Laura did.  While she had failed at her attempts he had not. Now, in hindsight she is fully aware that the reality of this mans death was the first catalyst for change she experienced in her early years. Although unaware of the full impact of this event at that time Laura knew she no longer felt the urge to take control of her lifes ending.  She instead chose to dig in her heels and learn to survive to the best of her ability. 
Though there were other times when Laura came close to taking the easy way out she is still here, reliving  her story with me.