My room consist of a nightmare. A room where I often have to visit everyday when I have to work. A room where I am often reminded of how bad things really got. A room in where if I could go back, I would change everything about it.
Carolina Beach Boardwalk. 5 Years ago. It was summer. Hot and humid. Thats how it was everyday in Carolina Beach. The wind was blowing but not too much. Not too many clouds in the sky. It was like every other normal day. I worked at the end of the boardwalk. A place called Wheel Fun Rentals. I had been working there for about 2 years now. It was a bike shop that rented out numerous items for the tourist that just didn’t need to rent them. Our shop was fairly old. The paint on the floor was fading and cracked from all the sand and salt air. The pink walls were more of a burnt salmon but fading into a cotton candy that had been rained on color. The shop was over crowded. Too many surfboards. Lots of bikes. Even two freezers for the ice cream shop next door that had storage in it. It was somewhat dark in there. Only a few lights to illuminate the contracts and the people that came in. Back then, there were no video cameras. The only witnesses in the shop were the cockroaches that lurked in the corners. The picture below is where the shop is on the right.
I was wearing my dingy, dirty and holy work shirt. Its Carolina Blue with the Wheel Fun Rentals Logo on it. I had on basketball shorts. I was pretty dirty from cleaning the shop that day. I was sweaty and gross and I really just wanted to be gone that day. But that day, something was different. A man had walked in. He was in his early forties. He had a head of hair, brown with blonde highlights. He was pretty built for his age. He wore a white tee shirt and some short shorts because he had been biking. He had come in once before a couple days ago. We chatted for a little bit and then he was on his merry way but nothing like that happened on this day.
His tire had gone flat. He needed some air to fill it up. Being a bike shop, I thought “Hey, why not?” so he proceeded to fill up his tires like any other customer. But he didn’t stop there. Didn’t stop when it was a little under flatted. Didn’t stop when there was just enough air in there. Didn’t even stop when it was overflowing with air. He only stopped when he heard the sound of POP. That was his tire that went boom. This only gave him more reason to stay in my shop. So we chatted more. He kept getting closer and closer. He did some things and said some things I did not like at all.
So you ask, why go back? And here is why I would. I would go back to that day. Id wait for that exact moment and then I would punch him in the face. Kick him in the balls. And then when the police arrived, as they did that one day, I would charge him with sexual assault. I wouldn’t stand there and let him say lies to the police officer. I would let him rot in jail. I would let prisoners let him get whats coming to him. But I didn’t do that. I let him get away. And he did it to more people. Eventually he would be caught. He did eventually go to jail. But I wish I had stopped him right then and there in his tracks. I wish I had done something more than just stand there silently.
SO this room with a view. Its a dark room. With no windows. A nightmare that Ive had for awhile. Something in my past that will never go away. I will continue to be jumpy when people touch me. I will continue to have trust issues with people. But if I could go to that room and turn back time, that is what I would do. Things would be way different if I had.