Third Time’s a Charm? Um, No. – Chris’s story
Today, I decided to walk home from work. It’s only a mile from there to my front door, and it would take me longer to get home if I decided to wait for the erratic bus that travels most of the way. My husband was in the ER this morning. I wanted to get home.
Today, it seems, harassers were also out in full force. About halfway up Old Court Road (a fairly busy road), I notice a black 4×4 pickup with tinted windows just sitting in the middle of the road. Cars are moving out of the lane to get around it. I assume it’s a disabled vehicle, but something just doesn’t seem right. Sure enough, as soon as I pass, the window rolls down and the “hey sweetheart” stuff starts.
To preface: my boss keeps the workplace arctic. Therefore, on an 80 degree day, I am wearing jeans, big stompy boots, and a long sleeved cardigan buttoned all the way up when I encounter this douchebag (not that it should matter, of course). Cars are whooshing by, so I can’t clearly make out much of what else follows, thankfully. I just keep walking, eyes ahead. He starts creeping up on me with his truck, still trying to get my attention. This is not the first time this sort of thing has happened. After about a block, he gives up and drives off with an angry shout. I cross the street, in case he’s only turned off on the next side street to holler some more.
I ponder what would have happened had I pulled out my camera to take a picture of his license plate. It’s always a calculated risk, when stuff like this happens. You don’t know who’s just a run of the mill harasser and who will follow you home and hurt you with more than just words. I have had cars follow me home before. I have had guys harass me until the honking of cars bottlenecked up behind them forced them to move on.
Before I can finish pondering this, a bus honks at me. A city bus. Probably the same bus driver who actually pulled over to ask for my number last month.
By the time I get to the convenience store at the corner of my street, I am near shaking with anger. So it’s the perfect time for dude #3 in his silver PT Cruiser to pull up along side me and start, again, with “hey sweetheart, can I talk to you?”
“No,” I grunt at him, and keep walking. I must look really upset, because he rolls his window back up and does a U turn.
One mile. One. simple. mile.