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A Tale of Camella: Part One

A Tale of CamellaA Tale of CamellapartONE
I drove 300 miles yesterday. I'm glad I did it, but I feel a little like Don Quixote.

My ex-girlfriend Camella called me a few months ago and told her that some guy had followed her home from Shari's, where she waitresses in the small town of Wenatchee, Washington. She said he was in her apartment when she got home and wouldn't listen to reason. She said she called the police and they were unresponsive. A couple of weeks later she called again and told me she had come home to this man again and that he attacked her. This time, however, he was apprehended by the police shortly after. She said she was afraid to get the police involved because she sort of knew this man, and that he was affiliated with the banditos, the roving motorcycle gangs in Wenatchee.

Omigod, I thought'my little Camella! She is an addict and an alcoholic who I loved and was with for two years. Some of the time we were together she was sober, but much of it she was using or drinking or both. Her schizophrenic addict brother, and her bizarre queen-of-denial mother really made any meaningful recovery hard for her, and I was overjoyed when I found out she had moved halfway across the state and got into transitional housing for addicts. Even being on the street, I thought, was better than her being around her family all the time.

It certainly seemed to be so, and she told me the story of her recovery scene, the various housing situations she was in, finally her own apartment, and her waitress job. I was so happy for her, and felt like maybe even though our love had been too much for me to handle, perhaps it had done some good in the long term. She seemed to be leading a sober, simple life, and I felt a deep sense of contentment that she was doing well. There had been even some understanding and forgiveness for the way things had gone badly in the end.

I was so content, even in light if her disturbing attack, that I didn't even think of her for a couple of months, until a few days ago when I, for some reason, stared at her entry on my cell phone for a long, long time--and didn't call her. The next day she called me.

She was upset again. Evidently she had a boyfriend and had for a few months. "Only we don't say boyfriend around here," she said, "we say, 'he's my ol' man'." Evidently her ol' man was in jail for domestic violence. Against her. Evidently this was his fourth time. Evidently he was involved with the banditos as well, and she had been told by one of the meanest, most serious of the banditos, the Bandito Boss, to quit calling the cops. Or else.

to be continued...