Diamond Messages Diaries #3
The alcohol started wearing off as we boarded the train. The ticket parlor asked to see our tickets and we sat down near the rear of the berth. The man we boarded the train with was Travis, a twenty three year old college dropout who up until recently lived alone in an apartment complex not far from my own. He was moving from Bloomington to Chicago to work for his uncle at a small steel business on the outskirts of Chicago. He had yet to inform us that he was on acid but it was rather clear due to his extremely peculiar behavior, I specifically remember him asking me for the time repeatedly, he also kept asking me and Katelyn if he could smoke on the train. I asked him where exactly his sister lived and he told me she lived in Lake County in the suburbs of Chicago.
Katelyn and I left Travis to smoke a cigarette on the outside of the train and get some fresh air, leaning over the train smoking my cigarette I began to think. What are we doing? We have eight hundred dollars left and no place to go, we’re on a train headed to a place completely foreign to us and I still don’t have a plan. I could feel the tension building; I could feel the answers rushing away from me. It was all up to me after all, I was the one who got me and Katelyn in to this situation and that meant it was up to me to fix it. I couldn’t just call my parents; I had to figure it out myself.Travis popped his head through the door and told us his stop was coming up, the way he worded it almost seemed like he was saying goodbye. The train came to a halt beside the station and we grabbed our bags and exited the train.
Travis seemed surprised that we were following him and I asked him if it was okay if we could stay with his sister for a day or two while we got situated in the city. He was hesitant; he paused for a minute and then reassured us that he would take care of it, I wasn’t so sure he would. Katelyn gave me a look that seemed to say “what the fuck are we doing?” and to be honest I had no idea. Travis hailed a cab like a true professional, like he had lived in New York before, he opened the trunk and we threw our bags in. the cab driver was an Arab man with an extremely loud personality, he asked Katelyn what we were doing in Chicago and she went on to tell him we were in town for a Japanese sword convention and that I was currently the American champion sword fighter. He chuckled and asked Travis what he was doing in Chicago and Travis just stared out the window without saying a word.
About twenty minutes later we were in the suburbs of Chicago, we pulled up to a gated house with a fountain in the yard and large looming gargoyle statues lining the driveway. I offered to cover the fare and we hopped out unsure if Travis had even taken us to the right house. As I carried our bags out of the street and up to the gate Travis pressed a silver button on the left of the gate and a rather scratchy voice confirmed the gate was unlocked. As we walked up the driveway towards the house I wondered what we were going to tell his sister, Travis was convinced it wouldn’t be a problem and I believed him. As we approached the front steps the door opened and a small woman in a grey sweater vest motioned for us to come inside. Travis introduced us, “this is Grace, my sister” he said “this is Jason and Katelyn, my friends from Bloomington” he told her. She seemed nice enough and asked us if we were hungry.
We entered the kitchen and sat down, she asked us what we were doing in Chicago and I was tempted to tell her we were in town for a sword convention, but I told her we were old friends of Travis and that we were house hunting in the area and that we were looking for a place near the city. It was already late so Grace showed us to the guest room upstairs. It was furnished with fine Italian furniture and smelled like a hotel, Katelyn asked me what we were going to do tomorrow and I told her the truth, I had no idea. We got undressed and slipped in to bed and fell asleep. Little did we know what we had gotten ourselves into…