My Life With J J
by Doug Holloway
After completing my draft obligation to the military, I returned to the world and successfully made the adjustment. I was going to school, working at the Post Office and managing a night club. I had 2 new cars, a 3 bedroom apartment and was the ultimate player. Life was good and I had not a care in the world. I was a 24 year old single, player with so many girlfriends, I'd get the names mixed up at some very awkward moments. I really didn't care about anyone but myself and I was happy with that.
While working at the post office a friend and coworker came to me and told me a sad story about a fellow employee who was having difficulties and needed somewhere to stay. I was doing good and trusted and tried to help, any and everyone I could. When he approached me, I welcomed him into my place and after a couple of weeks he offered to share the expenses and move in with me, I welcomed him again. I split everything equally with him, even down to sharing some of my girlfriends and allowing him full access to either vehicle he chose to drive with no limitations. Eventually he lost his job at the post office and found and lost several others.
One rainy day while I was at work, I got a call from a friend who told me I needed to come home because my furniture and things were on the street and the people in the area were taking everything they wanted. When I got there people were still going through our things and the rain was pouring down. I just stood there in the rain crying silently to myself while my neighbors helped themselves. After some time, my roommate arrived, in MY other car and explained that he'd lost his job sometime ago and had not paid our rent (I gave him my half and trusted him to pay it) in three months. At that moment, I was broke and furious but I said nothing. I went to my mother and borrowed enough money to rent a truck and a store room. I loaded what was left of my furniture, leaving his, on the truck. He asked if he could put his on there also and I reluctantly agreed, because of the situation at the time. I rented a storage place and we put everything in there.
We agreed he'd pay the $23 monthly storage fee, until we got some kind of plan worked out. I checked weekly for 3 months and it was always paid. I put the locker in both our names so that he'd have access to his things in case he moved out first. I was living with my mother and he with his. I got lax and trusted him. I didn't check on the locker for about 3 months because it just made me sick to go down there and see all my furniture, irreplaceable pictures, memories and life long possessions locked up in that dank storeroom.
About 6 months after this whole fiasco, I went down there and there was no lock on the storage space and it was empty. I went to the rental office and was told my roomie had come down and cleaned it out about 2 weeks earlier. I was devastated. EVERYTHING I owned was down there and now it was all gone. I prayed every day and every night that GOD would allow me to find him. I was going to kill him if I'd found him. I felt this way for over 3 years. Then one day, I ran across a cousin of his who we'd allowed to live with us for about a month. He told me where he lived, worked and anything else I needed to know. I went to his house and assaulted him in front of his wife and kids and I told him if he didn't start making some kind of effort to pay me back, when I came back I would kill him.
I returned with malice in mind about two weeks later, on what he said was his payday. Of course he'd moved! It was 5 years later, this same cousin told me how to get in touch with him. I think he thought all had been resolved after all this time. I learned he was working regularly, singing in the local church choir and active in community affairs. All this time my daily prayer included a special request that GOD would allow me to find him again. I said this same prayer everyday and every night.
I went to the church where he was for Wednesday night choir rehearsal. I had every intention of shooting him on the parking lot after rehearsal. I sat there staring at him through two hours of choir rehearsal and he never knew who I was. I had a plan and my mind was made up, or so I thought.
While sitting there those two hours something came over me. I didn't realize it and I didn't want it to happen. It could only have been God at work. When he came out, I was right behind him. I never said a word and neither did he. I think he still didn't recognize me, which pissed me off even more. He'd gone on with his life after destroying mine and now he didn't even acknowledge my presence.
As he got into his car, I simply walked over to my own. We both left at the same time. From that moment on, I prayed that GOD would NOT let me see him again, because I didn't know what I might do. The holy spirit worked on me, but good, sitting in that church for those couple of hours of choir rehearsal, watching a man I'd come to kill. I didn't want it to happen, but it happened. I fought it to no avail.
From that day, more than 20 years ago, to this day, I've never seen that man again. I gained ALL faith in GOD after that and lost all faith in man. From that day to this, I've allowed people concessions, but I do not trust anyone absolutely and that mistrust has taken a terrible toll on my personal life. I've tried desperately to be a complete, whole and total person since that time, and though I've been able to move beyond the incident, as you can see, I've never put it aside. I've forgiven, but never forgotten.
Obviously GOD had a plan for both of us that required freedom from jail for me and life for him. Believe you me, over the years I've often wondered about this situation but the choice has never been mine. GOD TRULY DOES MOVE IN MYSTERIOUS WAYS, his wonders to behold.
Thank you for allowing me to vent, I've never written this story for anyone and it feels good to release it.