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Scared
August 11 2009

Jennah was scared. The man who had just stopped to say hello scared her. It was more than just a feeling of being approached by a stranger. It was gut instinct. She always followed gut instinct. As she got in her van to drive away, she saw him again, wandering aimlessly about the grounds of the apartment complex. 'Well', she thought to herself, 'maybe he really didn't remember how to get to the office'. However, since she had seen him come from the direction of the office, pass by her home, and then return a few minutes later, she found his story of being lost hard to believe. It was more like he was trying to draw attention to himself. To her, that was a red flag.
After returning home from her shopping trip there was a note on her front desk. The office was informing everyone that in the last few days a few cars and one apartment had been broken into, and they should report any suspicious behavior they observed to the office, or call the police. As she opened her door, she laid the letter down and went about her business. However, she wondered if she should report the man to the office.
A few days later another letter came from the office, informing them that the gang had been caught and they could once more rest comfortably. She had seen the man several times during this time frame and was glad she didn't report him. Besides, she couldn't even remember his name.
One Sunday afternoon about 3 weeks later, a knock came at the door. Her husband got up from his computer to answer the door, and it was the man. He introduced himself, giving only his first name. Then he peeked around the doorway and looked at her. He said, 'do you remember me? We met a few weeks ago when we first moved in.' Jennah acknowledged that yes she did remember him and asked how he liked living there. Her husband could hear the hesitantcy in her voice and therefore did not invite the man in. The man said his name was Rick, or Robert, something that started with an R, she couldn't even remember what he had just said. Then he said, "Look, I know this is strange, but I need some money. Do you have any? I don't but I can replace it by buying you food with my foodstamp card." Her husband quickly told the man that "no, they had no cash on them, and they couldn't help." He left as quickly and quietly as he had come, thanking them anyway, and said "well, God bless Yall."
Jennah told her husband how she had felt that first day the man had seemed to go out of his way to meet her. "What did you say his name was? I still can't remember even tho he just told him."
"Beats the hell out of me, I can't remember, do you know what apartment he lives in"? Jennah shook her head and told him,, "But, I still have that gut instinct feeling about him, then turned back to her computer." The incident bothered her, and the next morning as her husband got ready to leave for work, he told her to make sure she kept the doors locked or at least kept the screens locked. Jennah loved the feel of the open windows and screen doors. She hated air conditioning with a passion.
A few minutes after 9 she walked down to the store. On her way back, she stopped for a second to say hello to the upstairs neighbor who was out on his patio, and as they were chatting, the man came along again. He stopped in the drive way and said,, "good morning", and asked once again what her name was. Then once again, he said "well, God Bless" and walked on off. Jennah told her next door neighbor about what had happened the day before. He told her she really should report it to the office. After thinking about it for awhile she did just that. After all, that gut feeling was still there. After doing a few more chores she sat down to do some work on her computer. Suddenly she heard her name being called, from her patio. She was sitting beside the patio and looked over. The man was at her patio wall. He simply said, "My wife is getting out of jail as we speak, and I need a ride to go get her. Can you please take me out there." Jennah explained that she no longer had a vehicle, that her old clunker had broken down and she couldn't afford to fix it, so she had sold it to a junk yard. The man suddenly got violent, pounding his fist on the wooden beam and threw his hands up in the air, saying, 'hell I don't know what to do.' He retreated and walked off toward the street, then turned around and looked toward her apartment. She had been watching from her patio door. About that time, the lady who lived two doors down came out and got in her vehicle. Jennah knew she had to tell this lady about the incident and tell her not to give the man a ride if she ran across him. As she went toward the lady's car, so did the man. She quickly explained what had just happened and the woman told her not to worry, that she would definitely not give him a ride. Then she started her car and drove off. A few hours later, she returned, and stopped by Jennah's house. She thanked Jennah repeatedly for the warning. The man and his wife were being detained a few blocks away by several police cars. At least it looked like the man to her. That was the last time Jennah saw the man or his wife. But, then today is another day, and Jennah is sitting on her patio, once again wondering, 'should I also report this to the office'? All instincts tell her yes, but scary thoughts keep entering her head, of what if I do and he is still here and retaliates. However, for the first time in 2 months Jennah gave thanks for the fact that she did not have a vehicle.

A.J. Angerstein
Article views: 3004


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