I had to walk home from work tonight. My car had to be in the shop for the next couple of days. And to make matter worse, it was supposed to be cold tonight, and I could feel that. I decided to take a shortcut on the way home. That meant going through a few alleys. I hadn’t really heard of anything bad happening there, so I thought it wouldn’t be too bad.
I got to the first alley. That’s when I stopped and a flutter of unease began somewhere in the pit of my stomach. There wasn’t anyone there, but I just had this gut feeling, like I should just bare through the cold and take the long way. But it was so cold and a cardigan wasn’t helping anything. I took the first step slowly, but the rest very quickly. Once I got to the end, I felt so much relief. I walked down a few blocks and encountered the second alley. There was no one in this one too, so I just walked as fast as I could without looking behind me. Again, relief filled me as I found the street lamps. There was only one more alley I had to get through, and then only a couple more blocks and I was going to be home. Good thoughts, I told myself.
I reached the third alley, and of course my night couldn’t just be a safe one. I saw a group of people halfway down. It was only people. Not raging fire breathing dragons, just people. I took the first few steps and that same uneasy feeling came back. I couldn’t walk all the way back. It was either walk back and have to walk a few miles safely, or just get through this and be home. I decided to continue down the dark alley and go home.
As I walked past the group of people, one of them whistled and said, “Ow, mommy.”
“Dang,” another one said.
“Why don’t you walk that pretty little thang back here and we can do some real business,” said another one of the group of guys. I continued to walk. I was almost to the end. Then, I could heard them walking towards me. I turned my head as I was walking and saw that they were catching up to me. I started to run. I couldn’t believe what I got myself into.
“Oh, don’t run away, baby! We’ll make sure you’re safe.” They were still coming for me. I kept running, as fast as I could. I was so scared. I couldn’t believe this was really happening. I was almost home. I didn’t even know if they were still behind me. I just wanted to be home. I got to my house and unlocked the door as fast as I could and slammed the door.
“Jesus, Amy! What’s wrong,” my roommate, Sarah said.
“I was just taking a shortcut home. It was freezing out, I just wanted to get home as fast as I could.” I was so scattered brain. So many things were running through my head.
“Amy, sit down. Relax, everything is. You’re safe. CAn you tell me what happened?”
“There were three alleys I had to go throw. The first two were fine, but the third one, there was a group of men. I walked past them and then they started chasing after me. I-I didn’t know what to do, I just ran.”
“Hey, it’s alright now. Brett, can you check outside to see if anyone is there, please.”
“Yeah.” He left to go see and came back. “There’s no one there,” he said.
“See, everything is alright. You said your car was going to be in the shop for a few days, right?”
“Okay, we’re giving you rides home.”
“No, I don’t want to bother anyone.”
“You’re not bothering anyone. We just want to make sure you’re safe,” Brett said.
“Okay, thank you.”