The first time it happened the old woman froze in disbelief in their bed, afraid to move. In the morning she confronted her husband of 50 years, but he told her she was hallucinating. She threatened to call the police. The old man said go ahead, when the police get here they will find nobody here except you and me.
He said the same thing to their pastor, who had questioned him after the old woman had spoken up. Night after night her bedroom was being invaded. Her husband refused to stop; kept insisting nobody was there. She couldn’t sleep. He had hit her once, years ago, sent her to the hospital. She was afraid.
The administrator of the retirement community said the one of the staff people there had thought the old woman was senile. Was that staff person a medical professional? The administrator would neither confirm nor deny it, perhaps afraid of revealing the staffer’s identity.
About $1,000 a month was being withdrawn from the couple’s bank account through an ATM machine in the retirement home’s community center. The rural Lebanon County police checked the camera’s records. It turned out the ATM machine had no camera at or near it.
The police chief said it could not be proven that the home-invading woman was a prostitute. She could be the man’s mistress, he argued. A man has a right to give any woman money whenever he wants. He also has the right to let anyone into his home that he wants.
The husband said the money was being withdrawn to pay off a car he had recently purchased. The old woman thought the car had already been purchased with funds from another account. She had always let her man take care of the finances.
In an exercise class one day in the community center, the old woman saw the young woman looking in at her through the plate glass window. The younger woman held up a wad of bills, ruffled them, and slid them into her purse.
The old woman stopped going to the exercise class.
She was pretty sure she knew who the woman was. She had first noticed her at a church retreat in the Poconos. The younger woman had walked by, and tickled the old man’s hand as she passed.
She was about 40 years old, a divorced mother with several college-age children. By day she worked as an administrator in a healthcare school.
But on her days off, and by night, she is Ninja Ho. Smart! She chooses her marks well. Look at the old woman. A knee replacement that was never right, resulting in chronic pain, impaired mobility, and weight gain over the years. Quiet and submissive to the point where some think she is mentally addled. But she is not.
The husband, on the other hand, is in good shape for his age. A respected member of the community. Drives a late-model vehicle. Casual inquiries reveal no children or other close relatives living nearby. And you can tell by the way he looks at the younger woman that he is interested.
He threatened his wife that the prostitute would sue her if she accused her publicly. That the police would have her committed to an institution.
One day a daughter who lives 400 miles away came to visit. She took the old woman shopping, but they returned home unexpectedly early. The old woman saw one of the younger woman’s vehicles parked near their house (Ninja Ho has several clients, all isolated, older men, whose cars she borrows, perhaps so that her own car won't be recognized if seen too often?). As she and her daughter entered the house, the home invader ran out the back door. The daughter saw her through the kitchen window running through the back yard, zig-zagging like a scared rabbit. She was fast! In her profession, she better be.
The husband denied anybody had been there.
At this point, with a corroborating witness to support her, the old woman told her son on the West Coast, and another daughter, her oldest, who lives a mere 100 miles away, but who is a real Daddy’s girl. The oldest daughter cried out with denial and rage against her mother. The son, on the other hand, just said, “Well, you don’t want to put up with that for the rest of your life.”
They are now divorced, after more than 50 years of marriage. The husband refused to sign the papers, and also tried to have her declared mentally incompetent. Their family doctor, who had kept prescribing Levitra for him, ordered her to undergo psychiatric tests (but refused her request to have the husband tested as well). She was interviewed and examined by several specialists at Lancaster General Health's Geriatric Specialists center, who said they found her to be perfectly fine.
She now has a new family doctor. She still lives in the same retirement community, a short distance from her ex-husband, in her own one-room apartment. They eat meals together. They go to church together -- a new church. The old woman said the pastor from the old church never called or visited her to follow up.
The community center now has cameras at its ATM machine and in the lobby outside the administrator’s office.
And Ninja Ho prowls on. She is robbing a lot more than just money. She is robbing peace of mind for many people. She is robbing the old woman's health and well-being. She would not have cared if the husband and doctor had railroaded the wife into an institution.
Most of all, she is robbing all people of a world in which people do not violate the divine spark in such a way.