Next time I will not ignore you. I will not keep walking. I will call 911 and have you arrested before I make the terrified call to my mom.
I felt sick. I wanted to hide and get as far away from you as possible. I wanted to fall into one of my books and teleport anywhere that was away from you and your stalking eyes. I still kind of do at the thought of encountering you again.
It’s funny, not in a ha-ha-this-is-hilarious kind of way, but rather, in a sick-I-cant-believe-this-actually-happened kind of way, that you saw me in the same exact place that the group of guys watched me from about a week or so ago.
You were drying your car off with a rag and staring as I minded my own business, going home. I felt your eyes on me as I walked down the street. I kept looking over my shoulder and you were still watching. One time you even waved. But I kept walking. Ignoring guys like you. Like always.
But you couldn’t leave it alone could you? You couldn’t just let it go.
No. You couldn’t.
You had to get in your car.
You had to turn it around since you were parallel parked on the other side of the street.
You had to follow me as I walked. Pulling over on the side of the road just 15 feet from where I was mid-stride. One street away from my own. Waiting for me to walk by.
You had to get out of your car and call out to me.
You had to stay parked there when I ignored you. You had to throw it in reverse and park down the side street you cornered on and watch where I walked from there.
I regretted not calling 911 right then and there. I regretted not turning around and telling you to leave me the fuck alone and how dare you follow me. I regretted not taking a picture of your car and license plate and you. I regretted not being stronger.
But I’m done with that because I can’t go back. I can’t change my reaction. I can’t dwell on it, because if I do, the anxiety will devour me.
So to the guy that stopped one street down from me and preyed on me. The guy that made me scared to even walk down my own street to my own home:
Next time I won’t hesitate. Next time. Next time. Next time.
I know there will be a next time. If not with you, then with some other creep; and he will be staring at me, not from his driver’s seat, but from behind the steel mesh cage in the cop car.