The Set Up

It was one of those hazy, humid summer nights; you know the ones that are so hot you can barely think straight. My boss had sent me out on a last-minute repo job that had me on high alert to begin with, but the heat and humidity was starting to get to me. I was in an unfamiliar area and my iPhone was not getting reception, so I couldn’t use my Google Maps app. I had just spent the past forty-five minutes driving around in my tow truck, trying to find the right address without drawing too much attention to myself. Scared and frustrated didn’t even come close to describing how I felt at that time.

I turned down a side street and finally found the address I was looking for. Dang it!

The car I needed to pick up was nowhere to be seen! It was time for Plan B. I drove around the block once more and parked it several houses away, around the corner, so I could get out of my truck and walk around a bit. I had to do some necessary recon in an attempt to locate my targeted vehicle. I slipped off my work shirt so that I wasn’t walking around with the towing logo acting like a target on my back. This was definitely not the neighborhood to do that in.

It had gotten dark early that night, probably due to the incoming storm the weatherman had forecast to arrive any minute now. There were several kids playing basketball across the street from the house that I needed to check out, so I thought I could maybe “blend in” a bit better if I joined in on their game. I could also try to get some much-needed information from some of these neighborhood kids while I shot some hoops with them.

I had come up with a cover story about trying to find this guy who had advertised on Craigslist about a car I was interested in buying. I had used that one before and it always worked like a charm. It was working for me again because a few of the kids stepped to the side after one of them had said he might know the guy I was trying to find. While they were talking among themselves, I picked up the basketball and decided to show off my basketball prowess. After shooting a few shots, I started showing off my ball dribbling skills, which I have to say, are actually pretty good.

I’d been on the basketball team throughout high school and had actually won several awards, including being named our varsity team’s MVP my senior year.