On a cold and foggy day in down town Los Angeles two cars are parked side by side. Window to window hands exchange different bags. I am not sure what’s inside the bag, but I know it couldn’t be anything good.
I follow these two cars as I watch from above, on top of the bridge that they are under. As they drive away I exit the bridge and pull up behind one car. A flat black Dodge Challenger with red break calipers, and chrome handles. Pinstripes run down the side of the door. A chrome tip muffler extends out from underneath the chassis, it is a sound many cars do not make. We stop at a red light, the Challenger is rumbling so loudly that my mirrors are shaking. The man looks in his side mirrors, I am afraid I have been spotted. His face is tattooed, head shaved, and stretched ears. He looks like a high level thug.
I am no cop, just a person who was in the wrong place at the wrong time, but I am not one to let something like this go. My name is Jax. I am just an average person. I wear a suit to work every day. I sit in a cubicle from 9-5 Monday-Friday. I live alone with my two dogs, no woman, just a single guy trying to make a living. Witnessing this exchange was not my idea of a Saturday morning, all I wanted was to drive to the beach in peace, but these stupid asses had to go and mess it up.
I see the Challenger turn into a parking lot. I drive passed his tail lights and turn around the corner. I don’t want him to think I am following him. I park along the curb and watch as he goes into the store. He comes out of the Vons with no bags, but he has been in there for almost 45 minutes. I run inside to ask a clerk if he bought anything, she tells me no. She’s an innocent looking girl, blond hair, blue eyes, and infinity symbol tattooed on her wrist. She looks trustworthy and I figured while I was in there I’d ask her for her number. She hands it to me on the back of a receipt. Julia is her name, I didn’t see her as a Julia, but it fits. I told her I would call her later, but that I had business to get back to. She asked me what I was doing, but I said, I’ll have to tell you some other time.
I rush back out to my car, and what do you know. Just my luck, I parked on a red curb, a ticket placed right under my windshield wiper, just f*****g great. Whatever I need to move on. He still hasn’t left the parking lot, he’s just sitting in his car on the phone. I wait for another 15 minutes thinking about Julia. What should I say to her? She’s so pretty how could a girl like that be attracted to a guy like me. I’m nothing special, I don’t really go to the gym that much. I put her number in my phone and almost press send, but I figure this is neither the place nor time. Another car pulls up and the man with tattoos exits the Challenger. The bag exchanges hands once again, but I decide to stick with my original target. He pulls out of the parking lot and once again I am following him. We drive through skid row, the scummy part of LA. The smell of sweaty dirty people and urine fill my car. It’s disgusting, but I guess it wasn’t exactly what these people wanted to be living in either. We leave skid row and continue on downtown.
Through a series of turns and freeways we end up at LA Live. He pulls into the J.W. Marriot, a high rise looking over Staple’s Center and LA Live. He pulls up and valet takes his car. Does he live here? How could someone like him live in an upscale place like this?
What I have seen him doing does not constitute having the kind of money needed to live in a high rise apartment like this. If he is just running drugs on the streets of LA, how can he afford this life? I decide to make this my new job and I figure what do I have to lose by following him and confronting him.
I hand my keys to the valet and tell them I’ll only be a few minutes I go up behind him and introduce myself. I just wanted to see him face to face, I wanted to know who he was. I told him he looked familiar and he just said, “I don’t know you bro, you got me confused with the wrong guy, I gotta go.” I said no I must know, from that party with Julia right, just to think of a name off of the top of my head.
This caught his attention that I knew who Julia was. He shoved me up against the wall and said, “how the f**k do you know who that is?” He suspected something was up and I quickly realized this wasn’t something to be pursuing.
I apologized for making him angry, but knew I needed to dive in farther. I asked the lady at the front desk what his room number was, because I needed to “send him something.” She gave it to me and I headed to the elevator. I hit floor 34 and sat listening to some nice elevator music.
My heart was pounding, and I knew this was a bad idea, but I kept going. Room 3437 sat at the end of the hallway, right in the middle of the left side of doors and the right. He would see me coming, so I ran the opposite way, back into the elevator, right back to the lobby. I left in a hurry and the lady at the front desk couldn’t even finish her sentence of, “Thank you have a nice day,” before I was in my car and getting the hell away from there.
As I rounded the corner I looked up to where I thought his room may have been, I felt his eyes watching me drive away as fast as I could.
I returned back to my apartment to my dogs who were excited to see me. I was nervous, but I figured I would call Julia and see if she wanted to grab drinks. Her shift ended at 9pm and it was 8:46, I remember looking at the clock on the microwave. She said she’d meet me at Bar 9, a classy upscale bar down the street from where she lived apparently. I hopped back in the car, and headed out. As I exited the parking garage I started to get paranoid that I was being followed. I made turn after turn, and looked behind me after every single on. Nobody was there. I finally got to the bar, a good 25 minutes late. Not a good first impression to make on a girl I was lucky to be going out with in the first place. She didn’t care, but was just excited to see me.
We had a great time having drinks, getting to know each other, exchanged a few kisses. It was all going great. At 11 we decided to head out, but she had walked from work so I gave her a ride home. I couldn’t believe how great it was all going, she asked me to take her home, I was thinking, “holy s**t, I might actually make some progress with this chick,” and damn was she fine!
She invited me to walk upstairs with her to which I kindly agreed to do. She grabbed my hand and pulled me along into the elevator, blowing off the security guard who had greeted us as we walked in. We got in the elevator, which was a little sketchy if I’m being honest, but at that point I didn’t care. I couldn’t wait to get into her apartment. We held hands running down the hall eager to get inside. As I opened the door for her, she jumped up and wrapped her legs around me like a koala and began kissing me. I couldn’t believe how fast this was all happening, but no way in hell was I going to stop it. I’ll let you come to your own conclusion as to what happened following the door closing. It was 2am and we were just laying there, staring into each others eyes. I think this was love, this first time I have truly felt this in my adult life, and to think I found her because I was following a drug dealer around, maybe I should do this more often.
I gave her one last kiss goodbye and got in the elevator at about 3:47am. When I got down to the lobby, my belt un hooked, and tie untied the security guard and I exchanged glances and a quick chuckle and I apologized for blowing him off earlier. He said, “no need to apologize man, I know I wasn’t the first thing on your mind.” I replied, “have a good one,” and walked out. It was dark, and there weren’t many cars on the street, but as I was walking back to my car I heard car doors close and an engine start. I picked up the pace and got my keys out, hopped in my car, and drove away. I looked in my rear view mirror every few seconds, and the car I saw parked on the street was behind me.
I was getting scared, and I called the cops. A police car pulled up behind us as I neared my home and I kept driving. The black car that had been following me pulled over, but as I exited my car I saw it drive past my apartment complex. I walked inside and couldn’t sleep. At 5am on Sunday I heard a knock on my door and in the groggy state I was in I opened it. That was the last thing I remembered before waking up cold, bloody, beaten, and naked.