Am I safe? – Sarojini’s story

It was mid-September, a beautiful Wednesday outside. I was craving some banana bread, but I needed a small bottle of rum to complete the recipe. I live a block away from the local liquor store. I looked at what I was wearing-running shorts and a t-shirt with flip flops- I already had a feeling that I was gonna get maybe a look or two walking the block from my house to the liquor store, but I told myself I would be quick. I got to the liquor and notice a man standing outside next to a minivan. As I enter the store, he immediately enters behind me and stands real close, watching me. Now we all know the corner liquor stores are small, but he was inappropriately close to me. I told him he could buy first, I needed to see the options, but he said “No, I am in here for you”. That freaked me the fuck out! I was alone! I am 5 feet 2 inches tall! I am small, he could throw me in his car, who knows! I was not confident that the elderly store owner behind the plexi-glass was going to do anything to help me and I immediately thought of escape plans and reached for my house keys. He said he wanted to buy my alcohol for me and tried to start conversation. I got my rum and started fast-walking out of there, knowing their were two Hop-cops just across the street and all I needed to do was get over there. As I’m trying to get out of there, he keeps asking “what’s your name? Lemme give you a ride home. I want to give you a ride, let’s hang out. What’s your name?” I just ignored him and ran back to my way home. It sucked though because I had to think “okay should I run home, should I just stand near the Hop-cops, or should I zig-zag my way back so he won’t find out where I live? Am I safe?”. This all happened within a BLOCK of my house. I want to buy rum in PEACE and wear what I want without worrying about harassment and unwanted eyes. I got home and made some damn good banana bread.