The next day, Penny was moved from our house to somewhere else. Protective services felt that it was possible that the guys who were after her knew where she was and it was safest to move her. I have to admit that I and my coworkers agreed.
Two days later I was attending a breakfast staff meeting for the other group home organization that I worked for (two part time jobs while still in college). I was regaling them with the story of my terror. Suddenly I hear my name called out across the restaurant. I turned and there was Penny and her social worker having breakfast. They waved me over. As I approached, Penny jumped up and nearly broke my ribs with a hug. Then her social worker, Mary did the same. Mary said “Thank you so much for keeping her safe.” All three of use teared up. We chatted a little bit before I went back to my meeting. Then I found out more about the situation.
Penny had some sketchy friends. The reason she’d not been allowed to use the phone was they were trying to keep her away from some of them. There was this guy in particular. Penny was convinced that he was a good friend and she had managed to call him and tell him we were going to the movies and that was why they showed up there. Now, were they there to rescue her from the evil clutched of the group home? Nope. Her friend was using her as his “entrance fee” into a gang, lead by the Giant. The social worker told me that Penny would have become a commodity to be passed around and payed for. Basically he wanted in to this gang and the price was one human life.
I’m really glad they didn’t take her and I’m really glad I’m still alive.
No. I don’t like field trips.