Around 5:15 is when the #230 dropped us off on street at Overlake and we headed over to the transit center proper. Rachel sent a text message forward and we waited under the shelter because the skies looked like they could open any second. We knew it was going to snow and sure enough, a light snow started falling as we saw Jessica wheeling to the transit center.
Let’s get to Freddy’s and get this done before the snow gets worse, Jess said as I hugged her.
There was the usual line for the 564 as it pulled up to the bus bay, but as it was all of Jessica’s coworkers, they knew to leave a side available for her. Her WorldSoft coworkers were even nice enough to let Kristin, Rachel, and I have the seat across from Jessica, so we could plan out our trip.
We need to be quick since the snow already started. We will have dinner first thing when we are dropped off, Jessica said,
I promised you some decent clothes, and that’s what we will do.
The bus continued down the freeway and made a stop at Bellevue Transit Center, then quickly hopped back onto Interstate 405. Jessica explained,
Here is the traffic choke point. We will get to Freddy’s when we get there. Sometimes, I wonder what is worse: 405 or 520.
The 520 Bridge hands down, One of Jessica’s coworkers said. A general chuckle came about the bus with that remark.
Jessica, you know better than to say something is worse than the 520 Bridge, Another coworker laughed in good fun.
We arrived at Renton Transit Center and Jessica called forward,
I’m not getting off yet; I’m going to Freddy’s Market. Jessica explained to us that always caught this trip, so the bus was surprised that she wasn’t getting off for her 105.
The 564 dropped us off at the Renton Freddy’s as a light snow was falling. It wasn’t sticking to the street, but we knew we needed to hurry up and get home before the worst came about, because it was sticking to the grass and by now it was really dark and bitterly cold outside.
I promised I would get you that game you wanted, we will have dinner in their deli, and I am getting you new clothes, Jessica said as the lift set her down.
Have a good evening, She said to the driver once she was clear of the wheelchair lift.
We entered the store and had a quick – but satisfying – dinner, picked the game I wanted, and Jessica decided to buy a popular Christmas movie we all liked.
We made our way to the men’s clothing area when we heard an angry voice coming from behind us.
You are no good incestuous bitch!
Kristin immediately took my hand to make it look like we were lovers holding hands (just as she said she’d offer to do) and Jessica immediately put the brakes on her wheelchair and angrily crossed her arms, not turning to face Delores.
You left my brother, after leaving him for dead in Kent! Why do you continue to harass him and why do you make such horrible claims, Jessica demanded?
Yes, Delores somehow knew we were at the Renton Freddy’s and somehow knew exactly which aisle to find us on.
Why do you continue to follow my niece everywhere, Her aunt snapped back.
Uh, I live here in Renton. You live in Kent. Now leave us alone, Jessica replied, her blood starting to boil. Turning to Kristin, Rachel, and I, my older sister continued,
Come on. Let’s get our things paid for and get on the bus.
None of us could believe what happened next. Jessica took the brakes off her wheelchair so we could get away from the situation, and suddenly Delores pushed her over, making her fall onto the floor.
We saw them take off and Jessica said,
They aren’t worth it. Let them go. Help me back into my chair, and let’s pay for our stuff and head home. Besides, we need to beat the snow.
I don’t want you three to leave my side, I said with fear in my voice.
We understand, Rachel replied,
That was quite the scare.
I am fine with that, Jessica said.
I figured her out the first time I saw her when you two were on the bus that morning.
That is when a couple of Freddy’s Market employees – including one who was a security guard – responded.
Kristin, being a Freddy’s employee from a different store, spoke in Lingo saying,
This is a code red with a severity level alpha. (Kristin would explain that this means low priority, customer being a jerk to another). Kristin continued,
I’m Kristin Connelly from Freddy 407 in University Place. The girl who pushed her over is his abusive ex. He is the brother to them, and I am her roommate. We were minding our own business and were just about done our shopping when they came up to us.
I work at WorldSoft up in Redmond and live here in Renton, so that is why I had us come to this Freddy’s since the bus that picks me up at work is the bus that comes by here on its way to Puyallup.
That woman was a monster to me, and I thought I was through. She came up to us.
Finally, we made our way back outside after paying for our things, and it was snowing harder than ever.
We are going to the bus stop and I don’t care what gets here first. We need to get to my apartment before it is too dangerous to travel, Jessica said as Rachel and I worked together to push her through the parking lot while Kristin carried the bags. We knew we needed to hurry because buses were most likely to be thrown off schedule.
We were quickly becoming icicles as we plowed our way to the sidewalk with snow coming down harder and harder, and we were elated to see the 565 coming up the main drag.
I don’t care if we have to carry you onto the bus: we are going to Edmonds Ave, Rachel said, trying to keep her spirits up in the face of the dangerous snowstorm that was blowing up all of the sudden.
That’s the spirit, Kristin said as the bus pulled up to our stop.
The bus was a standing load, but people on board were more than willing to give up the wheelchair space, as well as the seat across, seeing how loaded we were with groceries. Rachel and Kristin flashed their monthly passes, then Kristin inserted a Ticket into the box for me and asked for a transfer. When the lift brought Jessica up, she flashed her WorldSoft ID then said,
The four of us need the 105 before roads are impassable. All you can do is try your best.
We arrived at Renton Transit Center and there was a paratransit van sitting there with its wheelchair ramp deployed. Our bus operator called ahead and explained, and thus Metro had a van waiting for us as the weather conditions deteriorated a lot faster than anyone expected. The supervisor explained,
Are you the customer looking for the 105? We feel it would be safer to take you straight to your destination.
We’re trying to get to Edmonds Ridge, the apartment complex on 3rd and Edmonds. We are all together.
I can do that. I will try to get you as close as possible to your front door as I safely can, The supervisor said as the three of us climbed into the van while Jessica was put onto the wheelchair lift.
All you can do is try your best, Jessica said as she backed herself from the lift and into the van. Once the supervisor was on board, Kristin and Rachel showed their passes, I showed my transfer, and Jessica showed her WorldSoft ID.
I didn’t expect the hard snow to start until overnight. It was only a light dusting when we left Overlake, She added as I helped her transfer to the regular seat,
If you still have to tie down my chair, have at it. Rules are rules.
We slowly made our way to NE 3rd and the van did slip a few times without its snow chains.
It doesn’t snow suddenly like this, Jessica explained to me,
None of us were prepared for this.
We turned the corner onto Edmonds and Rachel called forward,
Left into the parking lot then it will be where the covered parking spots are. You’ll see either the ramp on the left or at least the handicap no parking sign.
I see the sign. I’ll tell you what: let me turn around and offload you on the correct side of the street, The supervisor replied.
Thank you so much, We all said as we were being offloaded directly in front of Jessica’s apartment building. Very slowly, we got our groceries, my new clothes, and Jessica onto the cleared sidewalk under the shelter of her building, and soon were inside.
Turn on the heat please, Jessica said,
Put groceries away, and let’s talk about this. Kristin, you are welcome to join us: we want to discuss putting my brother’s life back together. Tears started to leak from my eyes when my sister said that.