I came to a sudden realization that afternoon at that abandoned building. The life I knew was gone. I wasn’t going to get it back. I cried when I saw that Hannah was dead. It was the last straw. I was not going to continue to live in fear. I had to change things. I thanked Matt and Jonas for saving me. They said they were just passing thru the area looking for stuff. I asked them if they belonged to a tribe and they said No in unison. It made me giggle because they answered a lot of my questions in unison. Matt and Jonas helped me carry Hannah backed to the apartment and on the way, I asked them to join my tribe. I gave them a long speech about how it was safer and that tribes could change the community for the better.
We buried Hannah that afternoon. It’s easier to dig a hole when you have help. It was a nice service. Sad but nice. Hannah was a good leader and I learned a great deal from her in the short couple of weeks that we knew each other. She had a confidence that I didn’t have, a strength to continue on with life. I think she gave part of that to me.
Deciding on a name for our tribe was not an easy task. We, all of us living in the apartment thought of tribe names for several days and then we held a meeting. I can’t remember all of the tribe names mentioned but most of them were pretty bad. Let’s see, The Chieftains, Gators, Blue Jays, Robins, Kawasaki, racoons, badgers, trojans and the list went on and on. We finally decided to just refer to ourselves as Highland Heights because this was the name of the gated community that we lived in.
Life was getting good. We all worked as a team and we spread the word in the community that tribes could help tribes rebuild our city. Then the fire happened. Someone tried to build a fire in an apartment across the way from ours. We could see it thru the windows. It didn’t take long for the fire to get out of hand. The apartment complexes including ours burned to the ground. We were all homeless. I went to Bear Country High school on Lafayette Blvd. It was just down the road. We decided to break into there and stay for a few days until we could find a new place to live. We never left.