Some of my earliest memories are from when my parents and I lived in a small duplex apartment in East Gadsden. Our neighbors in the adjoining apartment had a daughter the same age as me. So Jane (name changed to protect the innocent) and I had known each other since we were 3 or 4 years old.
Over the years, we would see each other sporadically due to moving here or there, losing touch, getting back in touch, and so on.
Fast forward to 1996. At this point I had been training in Bujinkan martial arts for 4 years. We were both 19 years old. I was living in Birmingham at the time and Jane was living in Gadsden. I was in Gadsden to attend a funeral for a couple of days and we decided to meet and catch up.
Jane, a few of her friends, and I went to hang out at her house to watch a movie. At one point about 30-45 minutes into the movie, one of her male friends who was standing in the kitchen called out to me, “Hey Michael. Can you come in here for a second?”
I got up and walked into the kitchen and said, “Hey. What’s up?”
The guy said with clear malicious intent, “You’ve got about thirty seconds to get outta here.” In shock and confusion, I asked, “What? What’s the problem?” And to this day, I still don’t what the hell he meant by what he said next: “Look…I’m a drunk and I’ve got a promise to keep.”