One morning, I dropped my son off at the preschool he attends two days a week. At 10:00, his really sweet Mother’s Day Out program was hosting a tea for mothers. My plan was to hang out and talk to some mothers before the tea, but I had forgotten a folder I needed for something I was doing right after the party. So, I jumped in my car and headed toward the light right near his school.
That’s when I first saw him. At the light. There was one car in front of me that an elderly lady was driving. He was in the lane beside me and should have pulled up next to Granny, but he stopped right by me. He was a creepy older white man. He was probably in his 60s.
And then he smiled. That creepy smile.
I wouldn’t have seen the smile, except I felt someone staring at me and turned to look his way.
As soon as the light turned green, I stepped on the gas and sped down the road. There were several lights I had to stop at and each time I did, I glanced in my mirror and saw his truck following a few cars behind. Since we were both heading in the direction of the freeway, I didn’t begin to panic at this point. When I crossed OVER the freeway and saw that he was still behind me, I became very suspicious. He smiled that creepy smile at me just a few miles back after all.
Once I came to the next light, I decided to turn. I knew that if he turned with me, he was DEFINITELY following me. I just knew it. So, I turned and held my breath knowing that it would take a few seconds for him to turn since he was a bit behind me.
I began to panic. At this point, I was driving on the main road that cuts through my neighborhood. I knew that I couldn’t actually drive through my neighborhood streets because I wouldn’t be able to drive fast and would have been able to catch me in a cul-de-sac. So, I made a U-turn to head back to the main road.
He made the U-turn, too.
He waved! He KNEW I knew he was following me and he was being cocky about it. I begin to mini-hyperventilate and panic. Tears stung my eyes. I fumbled for my phone to call my husband at work. He didn’t answer. There was no police station nearby. There is a new firestation but I wasn’t sure if it was finished being built or if there was anyone there yet.
I didn’t want to get out of my car.
“You are NOT getting me, Mr. Freak!!! My 3-year-old is WAITING FOR ME!”
Quickly, I turned right at the light, nearly missing two cars. Thankfully, I was able to get onto a freeway and stand on the gas pedal. I’m not sure if he saw me get on the freeway or decided he wasn’t interested anymore. I drove down a bit, exited and made it back to my house finally and got what I needed.
I was shaking.
I know. I’m dramatic.
Although I was late, I finally made it to my son’s school. My little guy was smiling from ear to ear. I just kept thinking, “What if I had never noticed that man at that light and pulled into my driveway? Would that weird man have pulled in right behind me? What if something awful would have happened?” My son would have never seen me arrive at his tea. He would have been confused. Slowly, over time, he would become accustomed to not having me around. He would hardly remember me. He is only in preschool.
BUT, that’s not what happened.
I recognize a creepy smile when I see one.
Do I just watch too much “I Survived”?