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I stepped out of the warehouse into a driving rain shortly after midnight. “Fucking rain,” I thought. It had been raining for four days in a row and I was starting to think I should consider building an Ark. I was happy for my wide brim hat and the drover’s coat I had picked up last year when I visited Australia. The wind was driving the rain at an angle, and my face was soaked by the time I reached my truck in the employee parking lot. At least it was a warm summer rain. I gave the truck a few seconds to warm up, pulled the head light switch on, turned on the windshield wipers, and pulled out of the lot onto the empty main street that ran along the railroad tracks.
Several years ago I had been promoted to warehouse manager for the military contracting company I worked for. We built armored vehicles that the Army and Marine Corps used for the Gulf Wars. The 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM shift built the vehicles, while my shift, 4:00 PM to midnight moved them the five miles from the assembly plant to the warehouse. The midnight to 8:00 AM shift loaded the vehicles onto trains each night. At least I didn’t have to load trains in the rain.
I reached Highway 41, turned left, and headed for the interstate. I lived about 15 minutes from town, and the interstate was the fastest way home. I pulled up to the traffic light stopping underneath the interstate overpass short of the red light to get a brief respite from the downpour. As I waited for the red light to change, a movement to my right caught my eye. I looked up the sloping concrete apron at the base of the overpass and saw a very large white pit bulldog shaking his head to dry his face. I looked in my rearview mirror and saw there was no traffic in sight, so I stepped out of the truck and walked around to the passenger side. I squatted down, clapped my hands together lightly, and said, “Come here, buddy.”
The pit bulldog walked a couple of steps down the apron toward me, stopped, and looked back up the apron. It was extremely dark under the overpass so I couldn’t see anything, but it appeared that the dog was looking back at his owner or another dog. “Come on, man. Come!” Again, he took a step toward me then stopped, looking back over his shoulder up the apron. At that moment I was aware of blue lights flashing off of the white concrete apron. I heard a distinctive female voice say, “Well, fuck! Thanks, asshole.” I couldn’t see anyone there, but clearly the dog’s owner was trying to stay out of the rain and wasn’t too happy that the police had arrived.
I walked to the back of my truck as the police car pulled up. As the officer climbed out of his cruiser he said, “Carl, is everything alright?”
“Yeah, Joe, everything’s fine. Nice weather, huh?” I shook my friend’s hand.
“For a duck,” he said. “Why are you stopped in the middle of the road? I thought a drunk had passed out at the light.”
“I saw a dog up there.” I pointed to the top of the apron.
Joe pulled a high intensity flashlight out of his belt holster and directed it toward where I was pointing. The bright white light reflected off the dog’s eyes, which were now shining a very bright greenish white. Also, for the first time, I saw the dog’s owner, a very dirty, soaking wet young woman who looked to be in her late-teens or early twenties.
Joe said, “Come here, ma’am.” The girl rolled her eyes, scooped down to pick up her backpack, and she and the pit bull headed down the apron. Joe asked, “Is that dog bad?”
“Only to cops and assholes,” the girl replied.
Joe was not amused. “I beg your pardon, young lady.”
I looked at Joe and asked him under my voice, “Can I hold the dog over here by my truck while you talk to the owner?”
He said, “I’d actually appreciate that, Carl.”
I took a couple of steps away from Joe and called the dog to me. The girl looked down at the dog and said, “It’s okay, Butch.”
Armed with his name, I said, “Butch! Come here, man.” Butch ran to me and I loved his massive head and jowls. He had a huge head with powerful jaws. He also had the biggest smile on his face as he licked me and accepted the loving I was giving him.
Joe said to the young lady, “Do you have any identification, ma’am?”
“No.” She said it like it was an unreasonable request.
“No? What is your name?”
“Trinity what? Is Trinity your first name or a nickname?” He shined the light into her face and she blinked and lowered her eyes.
“It’s my name. Like Cher…Madonna…Rhianna. Like Trinity from ‘The Matrix.’ Just Trinity.” I looked over at the young lady. From this closer vantage point I could see that she definitely was young, maybe 17- or 18-years-old. Her hair was matted and her face was filthy and streaked by the rain. She was wearing an older 80s style Army coat that was too big for her and her jeans were no longer blue, but a kind of dirty yellow stain on top of black stain on top of blue denim.
“Well, just Trinity, I’m going to have to take you into the station to sort this out. Turn around and put your hands behind your back.”
As he began mecidiyeköy eskort to handcuff her she said, “Aw, man. What’s going to happen to Butch?”
Joe said, “I’ll call animal services and they’ll take him to the county shelter.”
“No!” She screamed. “I’ll never get him back. He is my protector and best friend…only friend. Please don’t call animal services. They hate pit bulls at animal shelters. They’ll kill him!”
My heart was bleeding for her. I was a sucker for dogs in general and bulldogs of every shape and size in particular. Joe led her to his squad car, opened the back door, and placed her in the back seat. He said to her, “I’m going to have to get a female officer out here to search you before we can head to the station, and there are none on duty tonight. We’ll have to wake someone up. Sit tight for a while.” He closed the door on her as she began to cry.
Joe walked back over to me and asked, “Are you in a hurry to get home? I’d really appreciate you hanging out here until animal services gets here. He seems to like you.”
“Joe,” I said, “can I pass another idea past you?” He nodded his head. “That little girl doesn’t seem to be a hardened criminal. I have the pool house out back that doubles as a guest house. If she agrees, I could take her back to my place and let here stay back there with Butch.” He looked up at me when he heard his name. I continued, “You would know where she is if you needed to talk to her.”
Joe took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. He looked back at his car, down at the dog, and then back at me. He stared out into the pouring rain for at least 15 seconds and then said, “Let’s ask her.”
Together we walked back to the car and he opened the door. Her eyes were puffy and she was sniffling badly. He explained the options to her: go home with me with her dog, or go to the station without her dog. As far as the dog was concerned, it was a no brainer, but girls alone in the world didn’t typically go home with strange men and live very long. She was conflicted. She looked into my face, and then at Joe. “What if he is a perv or a serial killer?”
Joe said, “Fair enough. But, consider this. I personally know Carl and I would not send you home with someone that I thought would harm you. If you turned up harmed, or worse disappear, I’ll know exactly who suspect number one will be.”
She looked back at me, and then nodded her head. Joe helped her out of the car and removed the handcuffs. He turned to me and said, “I’ll check in tomorrow afternoon when I come back on for the night shift.”
“Fine,” I said. “Call my cell because I’ll be at the warehouse between four and midnight.”
I picked up Trinity’s backpack from the hood of the squad car and she said rather sharply, “No. I don’t need any help. Give me that!”
It took me by surprise, but I handed the backpack to her and walked with her to the passenger side door of my truck. I opened it and said, “Load up, Butch.” He jumped right in and Trinity slid in next to him. When I had climbed into the driver’s seat, Trinity said, “I can’t believe you let my wet dog jump into the front seat of your truck.”
“Yeah, well, I’m full of surprises tonight.” I held my hand out to her and said, “I’m Carl.” She stared at my hand for so long that I wasn’t terribly sure she knew about the social convention of shaking hands. She lightly grasped my hand with two fingers and her thumb and said, “Hi.”
I decided to let her be for the rest of the drive. She silently looked out of the passenger side window the entire drive. I noted that she smelled bad. Butch smelled better than she did. Actually, Butch smelled MUCH better than she did. As we pulled into the long gravel driveway that led from the highway to my house, I said, “I’ve got a big female American bulldog named ‘Gumbo.’ She’s a sweetheart, but please let me introduce her to Butch so we don’t have any issues.”
As predicted, Gumbo and Butch became instant best friends, and ran around the yard in the pouring rain like a couple of love sick idiots. I led her from the carport into the house. She started to put her bag down but I said, “No. Not there. You’re staying in the guest house where you can have your privacy.”
The first words out of her mouth were, “Good! I’m not going to fuck you.”
“No, you’re not,” I replied. “You’re a child.”
“I’m no child!” Her eyes were on fire and her hands were balled into tight fists. “I’m eighteen! I’ve been on my own for over a year.”
“Easy, killer,” I said throwing my hands up with the palms facing her, “I wasn’t implying anything other than you’re a lot younger than me.” I waved her to follow me. “I’ll show you your room.”
The back of my living room was all glass and overlooked the pool that occupied much of the yard. We walked through the sliding back door onto the concrete patio that surrounded the large in-ground pool. The patio had a covered roof next to the house, and there was a covered walkway that led to the pool house to keep rain off of guests. When I had built the pool house, I had in mind for escort bayan it to double as a guest house. The pool house had a large sitting area that contained furniture designed so that it could get wet. The sitting area was contiguous with a small kitchen and 4-top dining table. The sitting area also had a large screen TV. Off the kitchen there was a bedroom and a full bath with a large shower. Again, the bathroom was designed so that it could be used by pool users or house guests, so it was large, all tile, and the door led off the main room and not the bedroom. There was a changing bench and a cabinet full of beach towels and bath towels in the bathroom.
“Here is where you’ll be staying.” I showed her around the pool house. “Do you have any clean, dry clothes?”
“Because, I thought you’d be more comfortable. I don’t mean to be rude, but you need a shower…bad.”
“I thought you said that was off the table.” I smiled. She glared. “Seriously, I’ll bring you some clean clothes while you’re in the shower. Leave your dirty clothes and I’ll wash them for you.”
“You’d like that, wouldn’t you?” She was angry again and I had no clue what had set her off this time. “While I’m naked in the shower you’ll come in and rape me. You’re a fucking pervert!”
“Wow,” I said, “you’ve got serious trust issues.
“Well, let’s just say that trusting men has not done me any good so far and leave it at that.”
I stared at her a second thinking, “This one is really broken.” Then, I said to her, “Okay. How about I bring you some clothes before you get in the shower, and then you can bring your dirty, wet clothes to me after you’re done?”
She stared at me trying to figure out how I was going to take advantage of her with my new plan. After quite some time she said, “Alright.” Clearly, she wasn’t happy but she couldn’t figure out a way to not take me up on my offer.
“Are you hungry? I’ll make you a quick dinner and bring it over when I bring the clothes.”
“Eggs and toast okay?”
She nodded again.
“Okay. I’ll be back in a few minutes.”
As I headed back to the pool house with a plate of scrambled eggs and toast, Butch and Gumbo joined me. When we stopped at the door to the pool house, which was protected from the rain, they both shook to dry themselves. I let them into the pool house and they immediately jumped onto the couch and started licking the water off of their hides. Trinity was sitting in a chair and watched me intensely. I placed the plate on the table and said, “I fed Butch. I hope that was okay” Butch looked at me and wagged his tail when he heard his name. She jumped out of her chair and sat at the table. She dug into the eggs like she hadn’t eaten in days.
As she ate I said, “I’m a lot bigger than you, so I did the best I could with the clothes. I’ve brought a couple of tank top T-shirts. It’s all I wear under my shirts, but they are smaller than a huge regular T-shirt. I’ve also brought you a sweatshirt, and some sweatpants. They’re all way too big, but it is better than nothing.” I smiled. She glared.
“I’m going to leave you and Butch alone. This door locks, and so does the bathroom door. I won’t come in here without knocking first, so make yourself comfortable. I’ll be in the house so bring your dirty clothes over when you’re ready. I’ll wash everything you’ve got.” With that I walked out of the house through the glass door taking Gumbo with me.
After I changed into a T-shirt and scrub pants, I poured myself a glass of Scotch whisky and sat down to read for about an hour before I headed to bed. My typical routine was to get home around 12:30 AM, and get in bed by 2:00 AM. I’d be up by 10:00 AM and head to work around 3:00 PM.
I heard a light tap on the back door and waved Trinity into the house. She looked adorable. She was wearing the sweatshirt with the sleeves rolled up so that her hands were exposed. Her shapely legs below the hem of the sweatshirt looked nice, but they were as hairy as my legs. When she saw me glance at her legs she said, “The pants were so big they wouldn’t stay up. The wife beater T-shirt fits good, though.”
“Good,” is all I said. I didn’t want to set her off again, and I knew she’d be feeling vulnerable without pants. She looked a whole lot more human. Her long, dark hair was wet and hung down around her face and had made the sweatshirt wet around her neck and chest. It appeared that it had not been cut or styled in quite some time. She had brown eyes, and sharp features with high cheekbones. She didn’t seem to know how to smile, so I couldn’t really judge if she was pretty or not. She was small, probably around 110 pounds. It was difficult to determine the specifics of her body type, but she appeared to have the typically small, perky breasts of an 18-year-old. She was barefooted, and again, her feet and toe nails needed some work. She had a big bundle of dirty clothes in her arms.
I pointed to a door off the kitchen and said, “That’s the laundry room. Throw the clothes on the floor bayrampaşa escort in there and I’ll get to them in the morning.”
She returned to the living room and said, “Why are you helping me out?”
I stared at her for a long time before I answered. “I stopped because I saw a stray dog. I’ve seen dozens, maybe even a hundred homeless people under that overpass over the years, and I’ve never stopped.” I took a long draw from my whisky. “When Joe…uh, the police officer tonight that put you in cuffs and said that Butch was headed to the county pound, well…you just looked…you looked like you needed a friend.”
She sat down on the overstuffed chair facing me. “What are you drinking?”
“Whisky. Would you like some?”
She reached out towards me and I handed her my glass. She placed it under her nose and wrinkled it. “Smells like jet fuel to me.”
“I’ll take that as a ‘no thank you’ then.”
She handed the glass back to me and said, “Pour me just a little.”
I looked at her…”Please.” I smiled. She glared.
I poured her two fingers of 10-year-old Talisker and handed the glass to her. We sat in silence for a long time, both sipping whisky and enjoying the warm feeling spreading through our bodies. Finally I said, “So, what’s your story?”
She stared at me. After a while she said, “I don’t think so.” She took another sip from her glass. “This really isn’t so bad once you get used to it.”
“I guess not, considering how much I pay for it!”
She smiled for the first time that night. Bingo! She had a pretty smile.
She asked, “What’s your story?” She waived around the house. “This is a big place for one dude.”
Now it was my turn to be uneasy. I took a pull form my whisky and set my glass down on the end table between our chairs. “Are you sure you want to know? It’s not a happy story.”
“I guess we have something in common then,” she said.
“I tell you what,” I continued, “I’ll tell you my story and afterward you can decide if you want to share your story with me.” I paused to let her reply, but she only stared at me noncommittally. “I’m 42 years old. I married my high school sweetheart right after we graduated, and we had a kid…a girl a couple of years later. We named her Rose, but called her Rosie. We were very happy. When my daughter was in high school…we had been married 20 years at that point…my wife took her to a swim meet across the state line. On the way home, a drunk driver crossed the center line of the highway and hit them. They were both killed. Rosie was 18 when she died.” I felt my eyes start to tear up. Even though it had been 4 years since I had lost my family, the pain was always close to the surface. I wiped my eyes with the edge of my shirt and took a sip of whisky. We both sat in silence for a very long time.
“I’m headed to bed,” I said as I got up from my chair. “Stay in here as long as you like. There is no need to lock that door. I keep it open all the time. You can come in and out as you wish. I get up around ten most mornings. If you’d like breakfast, be in here around that time and I’ll cook for you.” I pointed into the kitchen. “Feel free to eat or drink anything you want.” I stopped and looked her in the eyes. “Please, just don’t steal anything from me. If you need money, just ask.” Without waiting for a reply, I headed back to my bedroom and climbed into bed thinking about the ghosts of my lost family.
My eyes popped open on their own around 8:30, so I rolled over and turned off my alarm clock, which was set for 10:00 AM. The older I got, the less sleep I seemed to need. I peeked out the window through the dark heavy curtains into the front yard and saw Gumbo and Butch sunning themselves on the large field that doubled as my front yard. The morning had broken clear and bright without a cloud in the sky. “Finally.” I mumbled to myself. I jumped in the shower and pulled on a T-shirt and jeans. I walked into the kitchen and started the coffee maker.
As I was walking toward the laundry room to start a load of Trinity’s clothes, something caught the corner of my eye and I looked out into the pool. Someone was out there swimming laps. I watched a small arm go whirling through the air followed by another and then another and then another. I noted she had pretty good form. When she reached the end nearest to the pool house, she stopped and ran her hands through her hair to pull it out of her face. Some tendrils of dark hair stuck to her cheek. She climbed out the pool. She was completely naked. She was thin, but not overly so and quite muscular. There was no trace of fat on her body and I could see her ribs from 20 feet away. Her breasts were a little larger than I would have thought, and proudly jutted from her chest tipped with dark nipples. Her nipples seemed very dark in contrast to her very white skin. She was surprisingly shapely, and her firm, small ass began from the small of her back and rounded out nicely to her hairy legs. She reached down and grabbed a pool towel and began to dry her hair. Her armpits were full of dark hair, and when she turned toward me, I could see that she had a full untrimmed bush of dark pubic hair. I guess there weren’t many chances to groom when one was homeless. She quickly crossed the concrete patio and headed into the pool house. I became aware that I was hard.
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