I was hanging out with a few of my girl friends. That night me and my (at the time) best friend Sabrina were with our friends Britney, Alyssa and Beth. It was about midnight, maybe a bit later and we were hanging out at this elementary school literally right across the street from my house, walking around and chatting when we started to notice a white van had been following us. We hid in the playground of the school, and the van slowly circled the school a few times then disappeared for a few minutes. We were in an average neighborhood and not too concerned with it, and being silly teenagers decided to start walking around again.
The van appeared again, and this time, the men in there (maybe 4 or 5 of them) started to yell at us and it quickly became apparent they either were not sober or not in their right minds. We ran to my house, and stayed in there for about 30 minutes before deciding it was safe to leave again, thinking no way did were those guys still around.
When we exited the house I immediately noticed a white van parked right down the street from my house, but it was off and looked like no one was in it so my friends wrote it off as being a different car. No sooner than the words left their mouth the car turned on, instantly blaring music and the men hanging out the window, yelling at us. We immediately took us running (why not back into my house, I’ll never know) and hid throughout the neighborhood for a little bit. We decided to go back to the school, and about a block away we heard the giveaway sound of that loud music and men yelling, and we started running again. Somehow in their mad rush one of my friends accidentally knocked me over. They didn’t notice I wasn’t with them and took off towards the school again. I managed to get up and throw myself behind some bushes just as the men came close enough to see me. After I couldn’t hear the car, I called my friends (who had gotten to the school somehow and freaked out when they realized I wasn’t there) and met up with them where we stayed in a well lit area of the school, by a circle drive, thinking we were in safe place. Wrong.
Surprise, surprise, the van comes speeding across the circle drive and this time, the entire group of guys jumps out and starts chasing after us. We run for our freaking lives and behind us, we can hear the guys yelling after us, trying to say that one of our moms had been looking for us and if we got in their van they would take us home. Obviously we’re like “fuck that” and hauled our asses until we finally lost them. We stayed low for a few minutes then decided to call it a night (which obviously should’ve happened much earlier in this story). We decided the coast was clear. Britney and Beth went to their house while me, Sabrina and Alyssa went back to mine.
We all later laughed about that night but I don’t think any of us quite realized how close we were to being gang raped or whatever else that group of men had in mind! I didn’t hang around the school late at night too much after that.
It was a pleasant Sunday afternoon, summertime in Louisiana. I had decided to escape the heat by staying inside to watch a few episodes of It’s Always Sunny with my dog, Kingsley in my lap. The sun was shining through my windows, which in this complex took up half the living room wall, floor to near ceiling. I had blinds, but had decided to adjust them so some natural light would come in.
Now, the neighborhood wasn’t so bad. It wasn’t the best, but you definitely didn’t leave anything outside, and you always lock your house and your car. I had seen my share of shady activity, so regardless of the time of day, my doors and windows were locked. It had also come to my attention that my ex had done drive-by’s of my new place, and not wanting to be caught off-guard, I was constantly checking that I had locked everything.
A beat up car pulled into the parking lot, which i could see out of my peripheral, across from a grassy area in front of my building. I guess I didn’t think anything of it at the time, but I didn’t recognize the driver who stepped out.
Until he walked in front of my window, staring directly inside my living room.
The bushes in front of my windows were maybe waist-high on me (I’m 5’4″), so this man was clearly staring. RIGHT AT ME. As in, we made eye contact. No blinking, and there was no mistake — he saw I was inside, by myself.
From what I saw between the blinds, he was EASILY 6 feet tall. Heavyset, bald, with dark eyebrows and a goatee. He wore a short-sleeve button up shirt over a dark t-shirt and jeans. I had never seen him in our complex before.
Kingsley’s head shot up, ears perked, his fur standing up on his neck. He was a friendly, playful dog, and loved meeting everyone. But when I felt a low grumble from his stomach when he bolted up off the couch, I knew this wasn’t a stranger he wanted to meet. My heart raced and I felt my palms tingle with anxiety. My cellphone was in my pocket, within easy reach. Kingsley sat in my lap, now growling, his paws nervously twitching. The door was locked, no way he could get in, right?
When I heard a key in the lock, I remember feeling many things at once- my heart stopped and jumped in my throat. My scalp felt like it was on fire, but my hands felt cold. Who was this guy?? Why, of all fucking things, did he have a key to my apartment?? I didn’t have a gun. The front door was 6 feet to my left, the kitchen at least 15 to my right; I didn’t have time to run and grab a knife, especially since I didn’t know whether this guy was armed or not. I didn’t have a baseball bat, and I doubt throwing my nearby shoes would deter a home intruder of his size.
The door cracked open. I panicked. Kingsley let out the loudest bark I had ever heard and in one leap was snarling at the door, his teeth bared, ready to attack. For the split second the door was open, I saw the man’s eyes widen and he shut the door.
AND HE KNOCKED ON THE DOOR. I shit you not, this man KNOCKED on the door. After he had already opened it, with a key he somehow had.
Kingsley was busy, jumping at the door, letting out vicious growls, not acting at all like the giant goofball I knew him to be. I jumped up after him, grabbed his collar, and with the other hand grabbed the doorknob and opened it just enough for Kingsley to poke his head out. “Can I help you with something?” My voice shook. Anger and fear coursed through my veins.
“I’m here to pick up my mail. I’m expecting a package. I used to live here,” the man said, matter-of-factly, as if this was something I should have known. What the fuck? “You don’t live here anymore. I LIVE HERE. I don’t have your mail” Seriously?? Our mailboxes were at the apartment main office. “I was EXPECTING a package from FedEx. I WANT my package.” He took a half step forward, seeming impatient, angry, expecting somehow that I would have his mysterious mail and invite him in? NOPE.
Actually, 3 days prior, FedEx did come by with an envelope, but as the name on it wasn’t mine, I told the delivery guy and never accepted it. Still, did he really expect me to believe that the FedEx guy left him a package in an apartment he no longer resided in? “They came by with something a few days ago. But it wasn’t mine, so I made them take it back.” I responded. His face went red and his fists clenched.
PANIC PANIC PANIC
“WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?? THAT IS MY PACKAGE AND I WAS EXPECTING IT!!!” He exploded, waving his arms, as if I was to blame. Kingsley leapt up, nearly dragging me out of the door. I yanked him back. The man continued his rant. “I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU WOULD DO SOMETHING SO FUCKING STUPID! NOW I HAVE TO GO TRACK IT DOWN MYSELF! DO YOU KNOW WHAT A WASTE OF TIME THIS IS??” I was frantic at this point, I didn’t know where this dude came from, why he still had a key to this place, WHY, when he saw me in the living room with a dog, he tried to come in, and WHY of all things was he freaking out over a stupid envelope.
“LOOK man, I don’t have your package, just call fucking FedEx and take care of it yourself!” The words sounded better in my head; out loud they sounded shaky and fearful and I knew my lack of courage was a terrible disadvantage in this situation. “I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS SHIT!!!” He was completely red, flailing around in rage. “YOU GOTTA LEAVE!” I yelped, trying with all my might to keep a hold of poor Kingsley. “I’M GOING TO CALL THE COPS!” I finally shouted out, figuring this would deter the now furious stranger in front of my door.
For a split second, his eyes widened, and he took a step back.
“I’ll be back.” He gulped, and turned around. I froze, and Kingsley let out a few growls. I patted him and shut the door, locking it, unlocking, then locking it again. I put him on a leash, grabbed my keys and hurried to the front office. I told them what had just happened. I let them know the police would be notified, and demanded they change the locks, and install a chain, NOW. No way was I waiting for the psycho to come back. He never did.
To this day, regardless of where I live, I keep my car, windows, and doors locked, and I double check when I leave the house and go to bed. Thanks asshole, it’s been three years and the paranoia persists.
So, I work as a waitress now, but I used to work as a bus person (all at the same restaurant), and the building we’re in is next door to a bar in a bad part of town, so we get our fair share of drunks stumbling in.
One day, this older man, probably in his late forties or fifties, came in. We have a wait to be seated policy, but he just kept walking right through towards the back. Two of the tables in that area had small children, one was an infant and one was about two or three, and as he walked by he stroked them both on the head without asking the consent of the parents or even looking at them.
I let my floor manager know what was going on (being fourteen, I had been explicitly told not to interact with the drunks and creeps that came in). When he asked the man if he could get him anything, creepy guy pointed at me and said “her.” Floor manager escorted the man out, and told him that he was no longer welcome in our restaurant.