Sunday, November 21, 2010

Installment number 16 34,141

Over the next couple of days Jennie and Amy paid much closer attention to when and where they would see their ‘shadows’. And they also started acting just a tad more nervous about them being there. They glanced over their shoulders much more often, walked a little faster, never stopped to talk or to window shop but went straight to their intended destination. They were visibly more worried about the shadows. It was noted where these guys stood while watching the girls and other details.

They played it as far as they could and the guys following them were getting bolder. Which was exactly what the girls were working towards. They wanted the shadows to get careless, to pay more attention to their quarry and less attention to Their surroundings. After three days of this, the good guys stepped in, secretly, two of them stationed themselves at an advantageous position by Amy’s house and the other two did the same thing at Jennie’s. The mom’s were in the houses surreptitiously watching out the window and poised to call the police.

Amy was walking home, looking frequently over her shoulder. She didn’t have to pretend to be nervous, she really was. This could go horribly wrong, someone could get hurt. What if the guys couldn’t catch him? He would still be out there in a position to continue following her or maybe even worse. The thought that this could be one of the men who had attacked her had crossed her mind at one point, but she dismissed it as nonsense. If those men had wanted to do anything else to her they would have shown up a lot sooner. She didn’t realize that this sort of rationalization was a way of protecting her psyche from harm, if she had looked at it logically then she would have realized that her argument contained a flaw. The men could have just found her. It could have taken this long to track her down. But she didn’t and so she went on blithely with their great plan.

They way they had mapped this out, the two girls would be getting to their respective houses at approximately the same time. It didn’t make sense to any of them that the two stalkers were working alone, they had to be a team, so they wanted to be on the same schedule at both places. And as it turned out, they timed it almost perfect.

As Amy was walking into her yard, Brad and Rich bopped out of their hiding places and caught the arms of the stalker. He struggled, trying desperately to free himself, but the two men were more than a match for him.

At Jennie’s house it was the same story. Jennie walked up on her porch and heard the commotion beside the house that signaled the capture of her stalker. He also tried his best to fight his way free, but they pinned his arms and held fast, as they guided him, none to gently, into the house.

At Amy’s house the men wrestled the stalker up to the porch where Wanda had just turned the light on and for the first time Brad got a good look at the young man he was holding. And he almost let go from the shock. “CARL?” He exclaimed “What? How? I mean, what is this all about young man?” Carl just looked at Brad with a mulish expression. He didn’t say a word while they frog marched him into the house.

Meanwhile, back at Jennie’s Bob and Jon were trying to get their young man to talk. He seemed to have no inclination to explain and they were getting a little frustrated with him.

Edna was a bit confused by his refusal to speak to them. He should have been either telling them to go jump in a lake or trying to explain away his actions as something totally innocent. This stubborn silence was condemning all on it’s own.

Wanda got on the phone to Edna and asked what was happening over there. When she was told about their capture and subsequent silence, she told her about Brad knowing this person and that they needed to get the boys together in the same room and see if that would get them to explain this irrational behavior. Edna told her that they would be coming right over and to have the door open so that the neighbors didn’t wonder what was going on over there. Then the three adults hustled the young man out to the car and drove over to the Johnson’s house.

Rich had basically told Brad to stay out of the way and not say anything to Carl. He didn’t want Brad to do anything silly and he had a feeling that he would, knowing how much Brad cared for Amy. “Let’s wait until the others get here Brad, before we do anything. I want the boys to see each other, but I don’t want them to talk to the other, I want to get them to give us their stories in their own words.” “Alright, but I don’t like it, I want to know just What they thought they were doing!” Brad said through clenched teeth.

It only took a few minutes for the three to get there, and when they walked thru the door and Brad saw who it was he was stunned. He sort of walked backwards until his knees hit the edge of a chair and just plopped down in it and stared. He went from angry to confused to down right unbelieving. “Was this supposed to be some sort of joke?” He roared all of a sudden jumping to his feet and advancing on Dwayne. Dwayne tried to shrink away, but the men had not let him go yet, so all he could do was shake his head no and stammered the word in a shaking voice. Carl opened his mouth to say something but Rich quickly placed his hand in front of his face and told him to hush, Brad wasn’t talking to him, yet.

They took Carl into the living room while they seated Dwayne in a chair at the table. Neither boy was giving them any trouble at this point, most likely realizing, no doubt, that the jig was up and there was no point in trying to run.

Brad stood in front of Dwayne with his hands on his hips and tapping his foot. “Ok. Now, I want some answers and I want them NOW.” He said “What is the meaning of this ‘stalking’ crap?” Dwayne looked up at him warily, acting as if her were too afraid to answer and then he squared his shoulders and sat up straight and said “Sensei It was just plain wrong what you did!” Brad’s face was confused, “What?” “You shouldn’t have taken them into the dojo, they are GIRLS Sensei! Girls aren’t supposed to fight. We were only trying to scare them off, so that you could get back to teaching us guys.” Brad took a few minutes to digest this outrageous statement and then started to slowly shake his head. “Rich” he called, “Bring Carl back in here.” The men brought Carl in and sat him on the opposite side of the table where he leaned back in his chair and stared a bit apprehensively at Brad. The same look that Dwayne had had on his face just moments before. “Boys” Brad started quietly “I think that you need to try to understand something. I am a Sensei, I WAS your Sensei. I choose who I teach for what ever reasons I chose to teach them. I do not base my decision on what sex they are or where they come from or what they believe. I pick my students in ways that you might never understand, but one of those ways is if they need what I have to teach. Does that make any sense to you?” Hesitantly both boys nodded “Good. I’m glad that you are getting the concept. I decided to teach Jennie and Amy because they needed to learn to defend themselves against people like YOU! Now I think that you need to start at the beginning and try to explain to me just what it was that you had hoped to accomplish with this idiotic plan of yours.” Slowly Carl started talking, “Well you see Sensei” Brad interrupted furiously “I am NO LONGER your Sensei! You will address me as Sir or you no honorific at all before you call me Sensei again.” “Y-yee-ss Sir” Carl stammered and then began again. “We kinda thought that if we scared the girls then they would go away and not come back. We weren’t planning on hurting them or anything” he said in a rush, not wanting Brad to get the wrong idea. “we were just trying to scare them off. Honest. But it didn’t seem to be working, they just don’t scare that easily.” He sounded a little disappointed when he said that, it almost made Brad smile, his ‘girls didn’t scare that easily’ he thought. “You do realize that the police would take a very dim view of your actions, don’t you?” Dwayne and Carl looked at each other with worried faces “Police?” said Dwayne “We didn’t do anything wrong Sense, er, I mean Sir. All we did was walk along behind them a few times, there’s no law against that” “Oh, I think that they would indeed see it as a crime if it were explained to them the right way. What you did was a form of intimidation, which is generally seen as a threat. In other words, you were threatening these young women an a regular basis. Do you see how that might seem to an Officer?” Again the boys looked at each other and their faces paled noticeably “I don’t want to call in the law” said Brad quietly “so what I want from you two are apologies to both of the these young women from both of you and your assurance that nothing like this will ever happen again. And I’ll be honest with you, I will be speaking to your parents when we take you home, they need to know that they will have to keep a closer eye on their children.” Slowly, with their faces flushing pink with emotion, Carl and Dwayne turned to Amy and Jennie and mumbled their apologies. “And now, let’s go get in the car, Jon and I are taking you two home.” Brad told them “I do NOT want to ever see you around these young women again, do you understand me?” they both said Yes and stood with their heads down. As Brad lead the boys out to his car Jon turned to the others and said, “I am so glad that this turned out as well as it did, but in the future Ladies, if you Ever feel as if someone is following you or threatening you in ANY WAY you had better tell someone. No one will think you are Crazy” he said looking at Amy, “and Jennie you cannot ignore things like this, people do bad things, as we all know, and even with all your lessons, you could not positively walk away from a fight unharmed. Promise me?” They both nodded. Satisfied Jon said his good-nights and followed Brad out to his car.

When Brad and Jon dropped the boys off, they had a long serious talk with the parents, and they were not too happy with their kids. Brad made it clear to them all that the boys were not welcome in his dojo any more, with the exception of coming in to pick up their gear. The parents understood and agreed with that decision.

As Brad was driving Jon home he remarked, “I find it so hard to believe that those two honestly thought that this was the right course to take. Why didn’t they just come and talk to me?” “They knew in their hearts that their reasons for wanting those ladies out of the dojo had nothing at all to do with them being female and everything to do with their jealousy. The girls had all of your attention, and they were used to being the center of the dojo universe.” Answered Jon. “I am not saying that this is your fault Brad, because it isn’t, but I am saying that you might want to pay just a tad closer attention to your students in the future and maybe we can stop this from happening again. After all” he quipped “Isn’t prevention the Real name of the self defense game?” Brad had to laugh “I love how you can take a bad situation and put such a positive slant on it in just a few words Jon, Thanks for all your help tonight, it was noticed” Jon nodded and simply said “You are very welcome my friend.”

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