Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Fear

As I pushed the accelerator my eyes focused on the dark, windy road ahead I realized I had never known real fear until this exact instant. The truck lights behind me stayed close on my bumper. I fought to remain calm. I didn't know where to go. I didn't want to go home. Didn't want to let this physco idiot know where I live.

This couldn't be real. It felt to much like a scene out of a scary movie. Yet here it was happening to me. I tapped my brakes as I entered the curve then half way thru switched back to the gas. I fumbled for my Blackberry that was in the cup holder beside me; bad part about living in the mountains ~ no cell service. Don Juan was the closet person I could go to for help. I sent a quick text along with a prayer it would go thru. After sending though I realized I didn't want to drag Don Juan into this by letting the guy behind me think I as going there.

Then I knew what I had to do. I prepared myself as I came to the curve, letting off the gas yet not hitting the brake. Right around this curve was a road to my left. In a split second I swerved left, hitting the brake and going wide. The front right tire of the 4Runner went slightly off the road as I punched the gas again leaping back out onto the main road again to complete my 180.

I glanced back. My quick thinking had caught him off guard. I kept on eye on the road in front of me the other on my side mirror as I saw him hit the breaks and hurry to turn around. As I started back into my saving curve I saw the bright reverse lights shine thru the dark night as he hurried to get turned around. I kept my foot on the pedal, going as fast as I dared to go.

Breath: in, out, in, out.. I attempted to calm my racing heart and the adrenaline that coursed thru my veins. Only a few miles to cell service.

The lights were now coming once again in to my rear-view mirror. Distant at first but gaining ground quickly.

I was almost there. As the lights swerved in my rear-view I knew I must not let him pass me. I knew from the stories that if he did he would cut me off by pulling sideways in the road. Leaving me no choice but to turn around or get out of the car. Neither a choice I was planning on having to make.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I had went to town to eat diner with mom. After diner I realized I needed a few items from the grocery store. It was around 9 o'clock, I headed to Ingles and made a quick run grabbing the handful of items that I thought couldn't wait till tomorrow. As I walked to the 4Runner I noticed a vehicle parked beside it in the otherwise empty parking lot. I was parked in one of the front slots so gave no notice to the other vehicle. Keys in hand I slide them in the lock and turned. Reminding myself once again that I needed to get my keyless entry clicker replaced. From behind me I heard a tap. I ignored it and hurried to get in the car. The door of the truck opened.

"Hey."
I was halfway in the car. I paused and turned my head slightly.
"Hey." he said along with something else that I now don't remember. I knew the face looking back at me, but I knew it from a distance. I knew he didn't know me...... or so I thought.
"You work at Sports Bar with Girlfriend."
I hesitated still halfway in the car. "Yeah. I fill in sometimes."
"You know her sister."
Oh yes I know Girlfriends sister and I also know she has a restraining order against you, I think to myself. Realizing now why he was parked next to my car; aside from the vanity tag on the front our cars are identical. "Yeah," I simply reply.
"So where is she now? You know what she's up to?"
"I don't know. I really haven't seen her in awhile." I shrug my shoulders.
He asks me another question I don't remember. My answer the same, "I don't know." I shake my head and get in the car, closing the door and locking it behind me. I crank my car and watch as he has pulled off and is pulling out of the parking lot.
I quickly call Girlfriend so that she can warn her sister. "He is a bad dude. If he bothers you again call 911," she advises.
Here I should mention Girlfriend used to live near me and at one time her sister lived with her. Stalker guy knows this. So as I head home and see the truck behind I realize he thinks that I am her...........

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
As I near the safety point I clutch my Blackberry, my safety line at this point. He knows as well as I do we are almost there, I am sure of it as he once again swerves in the middle of a curve hoping to pass me if I slow down. I don't. I reach the top of the hill and the the phone jumps to full service and I dial 911. As the operator picks up. I breath a sigh of relief and slow down.
I tell her my location, the situation, Stalker Guy's name, and Girlfriends Sister's name. The truck has remained close on my bumper but as I have returned to normal speed surges past me. He shines a light toward me as he passes by. Once past he speeds up. I remain on the line telling the operator the color, make, and model of the truck along with the license plate I was sure catch as he passed by (thank you Nancy Drew). And thanks to X and the endless car knowledge he drilled into my head I was able to give the operator a year for the truck model. As his taillights disappear in the distance I tell the operator I think he realized he was following the wrong person and that I am going to turn around. She assures me a police car is on its way toward my side of town to look for him.
I drive home realizing from now on I need to be more aware of my surroundings in case he mistakes me for her again.
But when will it stop? This was a guy she went on a few dates with over a year ago. After which he stalked her. Chased her trying to run her off the road. Even after she filed a restraining order he continued to stalk her. Show up at the house. Or just drive back and forth by the house at night. Yet nothing has happened to him and she lives with always watching over her shoulder.
This is not a small problem. 1, 006,970 women annually are stalked within the United States alone.
Stalker Facts (coming from a woman's point of view I am only stating female statistics):
  • The average duration of stalking is 1.8 years
  • 28% of female victims obtained a protective order. 69% of female victims had the protection order violated.
  • 56% of women stalked took some type of self-protective measure, often as drastic as relocating.
  • 2/3 of stalkers pursue their victims at least once per week, many daily
  • Weapons are used to harm or threaten victims in 1 out of 5 cases.
  • 76% of intimate partner femicide (femicide meaning the murder of a woman) victims had been stalked by their intimate partner.
  • 54% of femicide victims reported stalking to police before they were killed by their stalkers.

Statistics taken from:

http://www.ncvc.org/src/AGP.Net/Components/DocumentViewer/Download.aspxnz?DocumentID=40616

Pretty scary facts. I empathize with anyone that has been in that type of situation. I see know how easy it is to become a victim. And what does reporting it to the police really do? Put it down on paper that you were stalked? What if he had run me off the road? What if he had hit another car while swerving over?

Tonight I will say a prayer that I am never in this situation again and that GirlFriends Sis will also remain safe away from this guy. I will also add a big thanks to my guardian angel for flying quickly tonight.

3 comments:

phoebe said...

holy crap! i had chills reading this.

Date Girl said...

OH my gosh, I'm so glad you're ok!! I hope this guy gets put away, what a creep!!
On a side note, your writing of this story was like something out of a novel, really great stuff. I felt like I was in the car with you. My heart was racing!

E said...

It was a very surreal experience. I can honestly say I have never had anything remotely similar to this happen! And I hope it never happens again! Its scary that things like this do happen and its one of those you think "oh that will never happen to me" or at least thats what I always thought. Teaches you to be more cautious. I guess my small town mentality makes me at times not be as cautious as I should be.