Have you ever been followed?
I experienced this tonight as I was talking a nightly walk in the cold winter weather. When my usual route came to its end, instead of going home straight away I walked to town. Since I live about five minutes away from probably the most crowded part of the city, I didn’t see that as I problem. I’ve done it before.
However, as I was crossing the usually trafficked but now almost empty highway, I noticed a car parked too close to the crosswalk. (Yes, I am studying for my driver’s license.) As I passed it, I saw a man, about thirty years old, staring at me through the window of the car. I looked away because I’m socially awkward and continued walking. He turned the car around and followed me slowly as I continued on another, biggest street, containing more people. I noticed that he was following me when I stopped and he had to drive around the house to look at me again without stopping the minimum traffic. There was stopping, parking right next to me, waiting in the corner of the house I had to pass to continue walking on the street, and lap after lap as I stood completely still, not knowing what to do. Fear struck me. The raw, aggressive, blinding kind of fear, and I just stood there, seeing him passing me by slowly and passing me by again.
I am fine. I am perfectly fine as I’m laying in my bed right now. I ran to my boyfriend’s place and he followed me home and that’s that.
I have been spoiled, or blessed, call it whatever you want, with never having to be afraid. I have always known that I have people around me that care for me, and I have never been scared of someone. And I just realized as I came home tonight that so many people are living with this fear. This biting, blood-pumping, icing fear. The fear of not knowing what to do or where to go. The fear of not knowing how to get out of your situation, or being afraid no one will ever care.
I just experienced a glimpse of the fear some people live with all the time, and that was absolutely terrifying. So, tonight my prayers go out to all of you. If you are reading this, you are strong and I know you will get out of it. I believe in you.
All my love, Sara