Patron Saint of Car Lending

Lean is a giver. She’s been through enough to know life can be scary and overwhelming, so she’s always doing things to help others. She goes out of her way to fill others’ pitchers to the brim. Sometimes, hers are tangible gifts while other times, she gives of herself through support and camaraderie. Bottom line – she’s one helpful biznatch.

I believe I’ve mentioned some of the drama that’s gone down at Lean’s apartment complex, not the least of which was a fire with mysterious beginnings. Here’s the latest: A few months ago, a nice girl, whom we’ll call Kumquat, moved in across the hall. Lean quickly befriended her and learned Kumquat doesn’t have a car. To help out, Lean started letting Kumquat borrow her car. The deal actually worked out well because Kumquat would always pay for gas and generally seemed to be using the car during times in which Lean didn’t need it anyway. As Lean and Kumquat got closer, Lean learned Kumquat is recovering from a cocaine habit. In fact, Kumquat’s parents took her two children away while she tries to get back on her feet. Lean also found out that Kumquat has a boyfriend. Oh and P.S.: He’s in jail. Because Lean is so understanding and giving, she didn’t let any of this information deter her lending. She knows people make mistakes and deserve second chances.

So Monday evening, I headed over to Lean’s to hang out. When I arrived, Kumquat came into the hall and asked to borrow Lean’s car. She said something about having left her ID at the pharmacy. Lean said, “No problem” and Kumquat left. Several hours passed and Kumquat hadn’t returned with the car key. Lean wondered what was going on so she she called Kumquat, who said she was in the shower. About an hour after that, Lean headed across the hall and knocked on Kumquat’s door. She yelled to Lean that she was still in the bathroom and would bring the key in a bit. Another hour later, Lean was getting pretty irritated so she called Kumquat several times, getting no answer. Lean again headed across the hall and knocked. There was no answer, so she went outside around the building to Kumquat’s deck. All the lights in her apartment were on. Lean called Kumquat’s cell phone several times, but she didn’t answer. Finally, Lean stood outside Kumquat’s door and said, “Are you in there? I’m getting worried. If you don’t answer, I’m going to call 911.” There was still no answer but she wasn’t sure what to do. A few minutes later, Lean’s cell phone rang. It was Kumquat. She said a friend picked her up and now was bringing her home. She wanted Lean to know so she wouldn’t worry about the key. Lean waited for more than an hour and finally went to bed. In the morning, the key was under her mat.

Both Lean and I had gotten an odd vibe from Kumquat earlier in the evening. We also wondered why she didn’t drop Lean’s key off BEFORE her friend picked her up. Lean said in the past, she’s been good about returning the key right away. In addition, it seemed odd that Kumquat left all the lights on in her apartment. Finally, neither of us heard Kumquat leave or return or saw anyone pull into the parking lot.

Lean and I were concerned that perhaps Kumquat had strayed from the path of sobriety. I felt really bad though, and didn’t want to jump to conclusions just because of her history. Lean has seen Kumquat in the days since and says she’s still getting an odd vibe.

So would you have been concerned or do you think we totally over reacted? Maybe Kumquat really did forget her ID. And maybe she was just in a hurry and forgot to turn off her apartment lights. Who knows? Stay tuned.


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