It was January 2, 2018 and it was really cold out, like 6 degrees, but I really had to go to the store. My roommate was sick so, I bundled up good, and began the 3 block trek to the nearest Mom and Pop, hoping they'd have what we desperately needed.
About a block into my walk, a car started creeping alongside me. I glanced over, but didn't recognize it or the driver, who was clearly staring at me. I told myself I was being paranoid as every red flag in my brain began waving. I'm aware because of my stature, and being so bundled up, he might have mistaken me for a young girl. Most 12 year olds are taller than me. On the other hand, he might be just looking for an address, or debating if I was someone he knew, or just thinking of being nice and offering a lift.
He pulled to a stop at the intersection and poked his head out. If my flags were waving, they were now screaming 'danger' at me. Something was way, way off, especially when he opened the door and stepped out.
Now it gets really weird. I stopped dead in my tracks, debating which way to run, if the need arises, as I'm between houses. No way was I getting within an arm's length of this guy; I could smell the booze from where I was. He was saying something about it being too cold to walk, and he'd be glad to give me a ride. I shook my head saying, "No thanks."
He got insistent taking a step towards me; I feel my weight shift as my hands curl into loose fists. "I SAID, no thanks," as I took a step back while, my mind feverishly plotted a flight path, and my muscles readied to fight. He staggers closer, "C'mon. I just being nice. Get in the car."
I side stepped, and growled, "Leave me alone," my eyes looking for traffic or signs of life nearby, while staring him down. Silently I prayed, "God, if I can't outrun him, please let me be able to kick his ass." Suddenly out of nowhere I hear someone call my name. Both our heads jerked in that direction.
A young man was approaching; wearing a black leather jacket, and the kind of jeans we use to call chinos. His hair was slicked back... Looking at someone who looks like they stepped out of a tough guy 50s film is one thing; but looking at one who knows your name, and looks like your brother once did is another - especially when the brother would be near 70 years old, a double amputee, living states away, and died 3 years ago.
In that moment I didn't care how illogical it was. "Richard!" There was that same smile that somehow didn't show his teeth but flashed a dimple. He's still maybe 2 feet away, but he says, "Problem, Val?" I ran to him even as my mind said this couldn't be. That other guy is wasting no time leaving. I force myself to look at his license plate, and in that instant my brother disappeared.
I finished going to the store, and from there I called the cops and reported that driver. Maybe he was just a drunk trying to be nice, but if it summoned help like that, I think the intent was much worse.