Friday night we kept it low key, trying to catch up on missed sleep from the work week. We grabbed an early dinner at The Pony before stopping by the pre-opening of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams in Chicago. I've had Jeni's a few times around the city, mainly from Southport Grocery or the booth they've set up at the local weekly farmer's market, and I can't seem to get enough! When I heard Jeni's had chosen to open it's first Illinois location in Chicago, I was pumped! When I learned of the free scoops (typically $5) they'd be giving out on Friday night, I was ecstatic. However, unfortunately the rest of Chicago was too. The event was to be 7-10pm and we arrived at 7:30 to a line that was approaching three blocks long. Uh-uh. I love ice cream (and free things), but not that much! Instead, we headed home and watched the Great Gatsby. I know we're a bit behind the times, but I'm glad we waited to see it at home verse the theater because we both agreed it was a little too over done.
Saturday morning we woke up early, skipping our usual morning run, to conduct a home visit for a possible adopter with the rescue before Ben dropped me off downtown for brunch with my book club ladies at Atwood Cafe (try the sun dried tomato fritatta, yum!). I met my girlfriend B for some quick shopping before heading back to our place to watch college football and grill. We finally opened the last of our New Glarus beer (Raspberry Tart) we'd picked up on our way back from Duluth. It was sweet and a bit disappointing. We'd hoped for something more sour, but the lack of taste was made up for by the recommendation to serve in champagne glasses.
We decided to head down to B&B's apartment downtown to enjoy their rooftop and grab a drink in the area. Their roof has a deck, which includes fire pits and an amazing view (remember when we watched fireworks here?)
We headed to the piano bar, Zebra Lounge, for a drink. B&B recently discovered this spot, which is somewhat funny because Ben and I had wondered in here the first summer we lived in Chicago. We'd immediately been thrown off by the ambiance and left, now six summers later, here we were enjoying ourselves. Lucky for me, B is also a dessert girl, so we headed over to grab some gelato at the fountain before calling it a night.Or so we thought...here's where the night took an interesting turn...
We left downtown and headed home via El train around midnight. Although we'd both had a few drinks, neither of us were drunk and it'd been nearly three hours since our last drink. We got off at our stop, which is a main busy street with a few bars and people still out and about, and headed home, approximately a seven block walk.
About two blocks from the train while we're walking along the busy street and a jeep came across the “thru-street” (perpendicular street), isn’t paying attention and almost hits us walking trying to cross street. I surely would have been hit had Ben not told me to stop. We stopped and waited for the for Jeep to go by. As it passed Ben put his hand on the back of the jeep, a common, although technically illegal <maybe?>, gesture here for bad drivers to let them know 'hey ya almost hit me'.
The driver slammed on his brakes, got out and ran towards Ben. The driver swung a punch, Ben ducked and they ended up on the ground fighting/wrestling. I'm yelled to stop and then ran to Jeep and took picture of the license plate because that’s all I could think to do. A woman ran out of passenger side to guys on ground and tried to pull driver off, yelling at him "Stop! Stop! What are you doing?"
The driver finally stopped, got up, they both got in car and sped off. I called 911 and we waited. A passerby didn’t see the incident, only the car driving away came to ask if we were okay and gave his name/number before we ensure him were and he didn't have to wait with us. Six minutes pass, no police and Ben's forehead was dripping with blood and had developed a huge welt. Ben has had concussions before and although he was mostly with it, he said he thought he may have one now. He was spitting blood. We decided not to wait for the police and hopped into a cab, knowing was an emergency room a few blocks away. (One of the few times in my life I'm sure we'll ever receive a free cab ride. Thank you Yellow Cab).
Ben was immediately admitted to the ER and I asked to be sure the police were called so we could file a report. We were there about 4.5 hours, during which Ben was examined, had a CT scan (just to be safe; it was clear) and filed a police report. Although we have a picture of the plates and can give a general description of the driver, the police said because the plate is out of state, it may be hard to track the guy down. The CT scanner operator told Ben to stay on top of the police, which I will do.
What was intended to be an easy, carefree night turned into us coming home us nearly 5am completely traumatized. It was the scariest night. I felt so helpless and defenseless. In the moment, everything felt so surreal and I was pretty much stunned frozen. Since then a million "what ifs" have run through my mind. The only thing I can be certain of is that I am thankful nothing worse happened and that we, especially Ben, are okay.
Sunday morning, needless to say, we slept in. The only productive thing I did was to leave the house for groceries. Otherwise, I tried to stay by Ben's said to aid him in icing and providing ibuprofen. He has a welt the size of a baseball on his forehead, a golf ball sized gash on his head, and is generally sore all over from rolling around on the cement, but thankfully at this time we don't think it's anything more that what time will heal.
We've been hinted that the police will be unhelpful in pursing the assailant. In addition to following up with them, we are considering our other options. I appreciate your thoughts and prayers that we can get some type of justice to feel some closure.