I’m going to tell you a little story about one of the best friends I have had, one of the greatest people I have ever had the pleasure of not only meeting but being apart of his life. If you ever meet Linwood, you will fall in love with his charismatic personality and gorgeous smile.
I worked at Family Dollar as an assistant manager. One day this adorable guy comes in, in his Burger King uniform, full of spunk, a big smile on his face. He had applied for a job and was speaking to our manager. A few weeks later, he was hired.
I remember the first night we worked together. At Family Dollar, there’s only two people who close up the store. A cashier and an a assistant manager. It was my night to close.
Linwoood is a faster learner and he used that register as easily as he uses his phone.
He was fantastic with customers and quiet with me. We didn’t have much contact because while he was running the register, I was running around stocking shelves.He didn’t need my help once, which was great for my productivity.
It was almost closing time and the store was empty except the two of us. We were hanging up clothes that needed to be stocked. Our friendship started with a discussion of how cute the new women’s socks were that came in.
Linwood is from Virginia. Richmond to be specific. He moved to Iowa to be with his best friend and her girlfriend. He fell in love with Des Moines. As much as I dislike small town Iowa, Des Moines is a pretty laid back city.
The next night we worked together, he asked for a ride to his boyfriend’s house. It was my first day with my junkie van that I received from CarHop. So junkie that it broke down on my way home after dropping him off.
As he was giving me directions, I had this strange feeling I knew exactly where we were going. Turns out, my hunch was correct.
He was dating one of my best friend’s (Briana, best friends since 3rd grade) little brother, Stephen. I knew were were going to be great friends.
After months of friendship outside of work and inside of work, I needed a place to live. Even as an assistant manager, I didn’t make enough to pay for rent alone in Des Moines.
He had just moved out from his friend’s apartment and had his own place. The apartments directly behind the strip mall where we worked.
We became roommates. Linwood is a blast to live with. We would smoke blunts and talk about boys. His relationship with Stephen ended but that didn’t put a wedge in our friendship.
We were tight. We went everywhere together. We cooked meals together. We shopped together. We laughed together. We even cried together.
Linwood is a magnificent cook. He’s charming, he’s goofy, and he has a huge heart. He will do anything for those he loves. Anything.
He loves unconditionally. Hes always optimistic and full of this light, this energy, that I’ve never seen in anyone. He brought light back into my life. A light I thought I didn’t have anymore.
He tried so hard to protect me from my shitty sort-of-boyfriend who we ended up taking in because he was homeless.
My drug dealing sort-of-boyfriend who could never commit to me but had no problem playing with my emotions. He would say we were only friends (we had benefits, of course) but then he’d say he had feelings.
You know the type.
Linwood tried so hard to protect me because that’s who Linwood is. He tried to reason with me, he tried to throw him out, he tried to show me I deserved better.
He would watch me cry over this guy. Time and time again. They had been friends but he started to hate him for the way he treated me. He valued my friendship over his.
He would remind me I wasn’t worthless. He would remind me I deserved love. I never thought I deserved love for years.
My blogger friends, I hope you meet him someday because he will change your life. I swear on everything, he will change you.
He will make you feel joy in ways you haven’t felt for years. He will dry your tears. He will hold you. He will love you.
I started doing meth a lot. I had done it off and on for years but I started to need it, to depend on it. Hence,the drug dealing sort-of-boyfriend.
I didn’t date him for drugs but that was always a benefit.
Linwood watched me fall apart. He didn’t judge. He tried to lift me up from my darkness but I wasn’t having any of it.
The lease was coming up. We had discussed moving into another apartment. Then Linwood planned on moving in with his boyfriend that he had been dating for six months.
The office had said he could switch the lease over to me when it ended.
Then they changed their mind. It wasn’t his fault but I felt abandoned. I was high all the time. I hated my job. My love life was a wreck. I didn’t have time to even attempt the process of putting the apartment in my name.
I have so many wonderful memories in that apartment. I have so many dark memories in that apartment. All the good memories are because of Linwood.
We fought. We fought hard. I moved in with my grandparents because I didn’t have time to find a place.
It was never his fault. I was cruel when I was on dope. I had so much anger, hurt, trauma, abuse, hate in my heart.
We didn’t talk for a very long time. I had transferred to a different store to be trained as manager. When we did start talking again, he had gone on vacation to see his family in Virginia. About a day or two after arriving, his father passed away so he stayed.
That was about 4 years ago.
His family or friends haven’t seen him since May 6th. He hasn’t posted on Facebook since May 14th. His posts tell a story of someone sad. Not the Linwood I know.
I noticed the missing posts on my timeline with him tagged in them about a week ago.
The reality has hit me fully tonight.
I can’t stop crying because I’m terrified. It’s not like him to not check in with his family. When we lived together he called his mom once a week. His best friend back in Virginia, he’d talk to every single day.
I know I have blogger friends from around everywhere. I’m hoping a few of you may be from the Richmond area. I’m hoping a few of you will share this.
I’m hoping he will come home. I’m hoping he’s just shacked up with some boyfriend somewhere, having a blast, in love.
If I had the money, I’d drop everything to go to Virginia to help his family find him. I hate myself for being able to do nothing. I know he’d drop everything if I was missing. Because that’s Linwood.
I decided this is what I can do. I have shared his post on Facebook in the small case he took off back here, to Iowa. The last time we talked, he wanted to move back.
I’m sharing this here because just maybe someone here is from the Richmond area and knows where he’s at.
I wouldn’t have that hope if it weren’t for Linwood. He always brought the best in me.
Linwood, please, please come home. You are loved by everyone.
I apologize for dumping my feelings on you guys but if you have ever met Linwood, you would truly understand how brilliant, how wonderful he is.