We were free! Escaping all judgment and punishment, we were on our way to a new life with no rules or restrictions. I was excited to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted to. As soon as we got there, I took out the maximum daily limit out of an ATM, which was about two hundred dollars. I continued to do this each day until my account was dry. I wasn’t sure how long before they would freeze my bank account.
I think Sal had a little cash. I did not have any money left from drug sales, because the last shipment was confiscated with Jane’s arrest. I would receive one more paycheck, and I did have some money from being a barracks “loan shark”. I also had some money that my parents sent me, to fly to Germany for my brother’s high school graduation. That would not be happening.
We drove to a Holiday Inn where we could stay the night and decided to pay the weekly rate. One of the first things I did was to change my appearance. I bleached my hair and shaved it into a Mohawk. I did not want to look like a soldier, I needed to blend in and it was also an act of rebellion. So for the first week, we did nothing but sleep, eat and go out to the clubs of Houston. It was easy to find ecstasy and so we did that too.
That weekend Jane and a couple other people traveled to hang out with us. She had been released on bail and was waiting for a court date. Since it was her first offense and she was not in the military, she probably was only going to get probation and community service. She also informed us that she saw Sal and me on a news report back at Ft. Polk. They were hunting for us, and posted pictures of us as two AWOL military fugitives.
We paid for another week at the Holiday Inn but, this was not going to last. My money was going to run out. Sal was doing nothing to contribute and basically had become like a whiny leach. Partnering with him was such a dumb idea. I had to drag him around everywhere. Tension started to build and he could tell I was not happy with him or this arrangement. I think Jane was starting to get sick of him as well.
We had to downgrade to a cheaper place to live, and we found a motel that gave a military discount. I still had my military I.D. but I made Sal check in because I did not look like a soldier any longer. This place was terrible. It was a seedy area of town and I am 95% sure some of our fellow dwellers were prostitutes. We set up for another week but, I was determined not to stay there any longer than that.
We were visiting Sid and his girlfriend Dee and Sal asked for the keys to my car, he needed to go get something. Hours passed and he did not return. I was furious, I had a bad feeling about this and I was getting angrier by the minute. Some other friends from Chicago were in town and said they would come get me to find out where he had gone.
For some reason I decided to check the bus station. It was there that I found my car. The keys were in it but all my stuff and any money I had left was gone. He took everything including my clothes and a knife collection, and bought a one way ticket back to his hometown. We had missed him by a half hour. I think it was a good thing because had I caught up with him I was literally going to kill him….