It was blustery out when Monday rolled around. It was rainy, and we knew the plan. Jessica led Rachel, Kristin, and I to the bus stop where we caught the 105 to Downtown Renton, where Kristin would split off to head back to the apartment (she had to work later today) and Rachel and I would follow Jessica up to Overlake and ride buses to pass the time until 9 am when the bank opened. “I can’t wait to have your account shut down. No more asshole in your life,” Rachel said as the 105 picked us up on Edmonds.
It wasn’t a long ride at all to Renton Center and I really wanted to hug Kristin one last time to say goodbye before the bus to Overlake came by (Kristin was waiting for the #560 to the airport where she could connect with the bus to Pierce County), and she didn’t mind one bit. “Truth is Kristin, you are making a huge difference for me right now,” I said as I hugged her very tightly.
“Thank you,” She said as the 565 pulled up, “Your bus is here.”
I hopped onto the bus with Rachel and Jessica and Jessica said, “If you two hop off in Bellevue, it is not a far walk from the transit center and you will be there about 30 minutes before they open. You two best get there ASAP so you can step in and get it done immediately because they might do the same thing.”
“That makes sense,” Rachel said.
“Then come straight to WorldSoft and I will come get you, take you to the credit union, and treat you both to lunch,” Jessica said as the bus pulled into Bellevue Transit Center, “Simply let me know when you board the bus from here.”
“I will have us take the 230 so he can see the house again and I will text you when we leave Bellevue Transit Center,” Rachel said.
I hugged Jessica goodbye as she said, “I will be at the stop I want you to get off at.”
“Bye Jess,” We said as we exited the bus.
Rachel hugged me as she said, “It has been so long since I have had you-and-me time.”
Something caught her attention and she said, “Oh shit! Go. Get moving. Just get going!”
My sister took my hand and started running for it. “Get on the Seattle bus,” She said as we hurriedly boarded the #550, showed our passes to the operator.
“What is going on,” I asked when I noticed, “Oh crap! How the hell???”
Rachel and I were mortally terrified: how DID Delores know I was in Downtown Bellevue? Meanwhile, Rachel was on the phone, “Jess, we have an emergency here… Delores is in Downtown Bellevue… No I don’t think it is a coincidence… Here? Freddy’s in Renton? No we are safe for now. We are hiding on the 550 and I will take him to the location in Downtown Seattle. No, I don’t think she saw us, but I do not want to chance it. I gotta go.”
Delores spotted us on the 550 and Rachel booked it again. “That old bat,” Rachel snapped. Seeing that Delores exited the bus behind us, Rachel said, “Keep following us and I will have you arrested!”
We then saw Delores get back onto the 550 and Rachel said, “We will proceed straight to the bank.”
I decided to check it by calling the 1-800 number and there was no changes. The account was apparently still there. “Let’s get it closed and get the money out before they do anything,” Rachel said as she looked at the time. She quickly texted “We are safe – Delores gone” to Jessica to let her know the danger passed. It was five more minutes until the bank opened as Rachel put her arm around me and we walked to the bank together.
“The account I have is with my ex, and my older sister wants me to close it before something bad happens,” I explained to the bank employee.
Rachel added, “I am Rachel, his younger sister and I am keeping him company for his rough time.”
With just under $300 in hand, Rachel said, “We need to get straight to Overlake. I am very uncomfortable with this cash in your pocket.”
The 230 picked us up and Rachel texted Jessica when I got a nasty text message: “What the HELL happened to the bank account?!?!?!?”
“Shut your phone off for now,” Rachel said, “And I will alert Jess to what is going on.”
We passed by along NE 8th Street as Rachel pointed out Jessica’s new house just after we crossed Interstate 405. “That is it and I can’t wait for you to see the inside this weekend,” She said.
It wasn’t too long before we were dropped off at WorldSoft campus where Jessica was waiting for us. “Let’s open the account first, then I will take you two to lunch,” She said.
“Show Jess the message you received,” Rachel said.
I turned on my phone and suddenly, seemingly dozens more messages came through and Jessica couldn’t believe her eyes. “Number one: that bitch needs to leave you alone. Number two: damn right you screwed her money. Serves that wonderful bitch right!” I knew Jessica was angry because her mouth usually was not that filthy. “Building 34 houses the credit union,” Jess said – in a much calmer voice – as she pushed the button for the automatic door.
“Jessica, how can we help you today,” The credit union person said.
“Nigel, I would like for my brother to have an account,” Jessica replied.
“We can do that. Let’s get you signed in,” Nigel replied.
“First name basis,” I asked.
“Yep,” Rachel said, “You will like it here because it is run by employees for employees.”
They were immediately ready for us and, as I insisted, my two sisters came with me. Rachel and I took the seats and Jessica parked her wheelchair so that I could sit in between them. It was not a long process at all and about 20 minutes later, my account was opened (I got a savings and a checking account) and Jessica said, “I promised I would treat both of you to lunch, so off to Building 19 we go.”
At her request, I started pushing Jessica along (which helped me by giving me something to lean on) and she asked, “So what exactly happened in Bellevue?”
Rachel said, “I noticed her first almost immediately after the 565 dropped us off and I ran him to the 550 which was the nearest bus. She saw us get on so we escaped through the back door and I threatened to have her arrested. She scurried back onto that 550 and we went to his old bank to shut it down. They must have been watching it because almost immediately he got those nasty messages demanding to know what happened.”
The elevator dropped us off at the cafeteria and Jessica tapped her card to a reader and she pressed a button marked “Visitor Pass” and indicated two visitors. “Type your names then press Enter,” Jess explained, “You will need to wear these while in the cafeteria. Yes I am paying for your lunch.”
“Thanks so much Jess,” I said as she led us to the line.
“You both are quite welcome. After lunch, I’m going to show you where I work,” Jessica replied as she handed Rachel and I trays.
Jessica wheeled to a table and the three of us sat around together as she introduced us to her coworkers. “We get to play! We are game testers for the Entertainment Branch and we are actually paid to play through games – they want us to look for bugs and whatnot.”
I got jealous, and gave Jessica a longing look and she said, “Right now, let’s get your life back in order. This weekend all hands on deck to help me move from Renton to Bellevue, then Rachel and I will help you back to your feet.” Jessica noticed my face was on the brink of tears and she asked, “What is it?”
“I am worried about my future,” I said.
Rachel hugged me and said, “All three of us are here for you. Yes, Kristin too. I will stay with you this week and we will stay in Renton. Slowly, you and I will help Jessica pack, and Kristin will be here on Friday.”
“I love you both, but I want to spend time with Kristin too,” I said as we finished our lunch.
Both of my sisters took my hands and Jessica said, “You are our brother. Of course we love you. I don’t mind one bit that you and Kristin are developing a close friendship, because she is like a part of the family.”
I knew my sisters were honestly trying to cheer me up and it was nice that Kristin was there for me as well, but I was still traumatized by nightmares from it. We finished lunch and Rachel said in a very understanding voice, “You are still upset.” My little sister pulled me into a hug and offered, “Would you like to head back to Renton and snuggle up together?”
“Simple snuggling only,” I said as a tear rolled down my face.
“I understand what you’re trying to get at,” My sister replied.
Jessica said, “I promised I would show you my office.”
“Yes you did. After you do, I do want to rest,” I responded.
Jessica took us into her building and there was a huge commotion going on in the main lobby. The crowd was chanting, “Code off! Code off! Code off!” as two guys were taking turns on their respective laptops.
“We have a syntax error. Tyler buys pizza,” Someone called out.
“Pizza! Pizza! Pizza,” The crowd on one side of the room called out.
“Jessica brought guests,” Someone called from what was apparently the winning side of the lobby.
Another person called, “Guest gets crack at pizza!”
It was obvious that all of Jessica’s building knew my plight as many of Jessica’s coworkers – even from the losing side – came over to me, and it was obviously that this was all in good fun.
Jessica reached around to her backpack and pulled out her laptop and it instantly came up from sleep when she opened it. “Let’s show Michael and Rachel how a Coding Challenge works,” My big sister said as she put the computer on a pillow stand on her lap.
Naturally, one of them pulled their laptop out and said, “Oh, it’s on! Syntax or compiler?”
Jessica replied, “Compiler.”
The “Code Off” chant began again and after a few minutes, Jessica’s coworker Kyle conceded to the error dialog that popped up.
“Regular with no ice for everyone, Kyle,” Jessica said, “It will go with the pizza.”
Rachel gladly took my hand as I said, “Renton after pizza. You know I’ve had a rough week.”
Jessica looked up at me and said, “When I get home tonight, it will be just the three of us and we can discuss your future then. For now, stay in Renton where Rachel can keep an eye on you in case that jerk is spotted. I will be 100% honest: Rachel, I do not want you to leave his side for any reason. I know I’m sounding stubborn, but I’m worried sick right now.”
Rachel took my hand as she said, “I understand Jess, and I’m just as worried sick myself.”
“Thank you for not leaving me, Rachel,” I said as I gripped Rachel’s hand tightly.
Jessica’s coworkers were an amazing group of people and it was especially nice to see the people worked to rescue me in the first place. They knew I was very upset and they did their best to cheer me up, which is exactly what I needed.
Rachel said, “Jess, what would you say if I take him to get a new phone and new number?”
Jessica said, “Put him under our Family Plan. I’ll transfer however much money you need when you get there. This will hopefully stop her from communicating with him.” She looked at her watch and said, “There should be a bus to Bellevue in about 10 minutes.”
“I’ll take him, then we will head straight to Renton to do some packing,” Rachel said.
“Get him on the Bellevue bus,” Jessica said as my phone rang. It was Delores.
Jessica took my phone, handed it to one of her guy coworkers, who answered, “WorldSoft this is Kyle.” After a brief pause, Kyle said, “She hung up.” He then repeated it for the whole crowd to hear, “She hung up! Delores is a corward!” Cheers and applause exhoed across the room.
“We need to catch the bus,” Rachel said as she looked at her watch.