5.8.05

Do I Have A Flashing, Neon "VICTIM" Sign Over My Head?

I feel:: stressed
What song is on a loop in my head right now:: Prince~Purple Rain

Last night, at about 9:30, I leave my house, albeit unwillingly, to go to Wal-Mart for my dad. He has been bugging me to get some cat litter. I figure while I am there, I can get a few things for myself as well. Enter Creepy Middle-aged Man: I walk to the back to get vanilla soy milk. He follows me and gets chocolate soy milk. I wander over to the breakfast food aisle and pick up chocolate fudge Pop-Tarts. He gets Pop-Tarts too. I grab some peach tea mix a few aisles over; he follows me. I go all the way to the ass end of the other side of the store to pick up cat litter and he follows me there.

I make my way to the register looking around for him and expecting him to be right at my heels, but I can't find him. I relax a bit. I'm standing at the register idly reading a People magazine when I feel someone breathing down my neck. I turn cautiously and, lo and behold, it's Creepy Middle-aged Man with all of his purchases, which are identical to mine, in tow. I move forward a bit because I can't stand to be that near him; he moves forward too. I move forward again; he moves forward as well. At this point, I can't go anywhere because there is a lady in front of me dressed in a pink jogging suit waiting for the cashier to finish ringing up her purchases. To say that the cashier is slow is a gross understatement. By now, I'm nearly at full freak out. Finally, the cashier gets finished and the lady in front of me pays with her debit card. The cashier asks her,"Did you want cash back?" The lady in pink screws up her face guiltily and says,"Yes, can you give me cash back? I already pressed 'no'. Do you want me to cancel it and do it again?" Oh joy. She finally gets finished and moves away with her few purchases and it's my turn. The cashier is moving like she is under water. I keep glancing surrepititiously at Creepy Middle-aged Man to see what he is doing and how much closer he has gotten to me. At this point, I can reach out and touch him with no problem. I can even smell him. Every time I see him out of the corner of my eye, he is staring at me looking every bit like Chester the Molester. I silently will the cashier to move faster to no avail. She finally finishes, by this time, I have already gotten my keys from my purse and crammed them quickly into my pants pocket. I shove the money to the casheir and wait impatiently for my ten or so cents in change. I grab my one bag and the unbelievably heavy box of cat litter and turn to go out of the store as fast as I can when these two women, oblivious, stop right in front of me blocking my way. They are talking to each other completely unaware of anything but each other. I push their buggy aside roughly and walk as fast as my sandaled platforms will carry me out to my car. I disarm the alarm before I ever reach the car, open the driver's side door quickly, throw my purchases and my purse into the passenger seat, fall into the car, shut the door and quickly lock it. I just sit there in my car for what seems like hours. I look around for Creepy Middle-aged Man. He's nowhere to be seen, so I start my car and begin driving home. I am freaked out, but I don't quite know what to feel. I keep thinking I am just being paranoid. That thought keeps me calm for a little while, but then my fear takes me over and I start to hyperventilate. My whole face starts to tingle along with my hands and I realize I'm about to pass out while driving my car, so I force myself, with great difficulty, to breathe deeply and I slow my car down to 20 mph. I finally make it home and when I step out of my car I start to hyperventilate again. I make it inside and manage to put everything away, but my dad hears me wheezing in the kitchen from his recliner in the living room. He says,"Did everything go ok?" I don't answer. I can't. I'm having trouble catching my breath. Again, he says,"Are you ok?" I walk over to him and he finally sees me with my face swollen, red and streaked with tears. He says, "What happened?" I try to tell him in between breaths about the man, but all I get out is,"There was this man...at Wal-Mart." My dad,"Did he hurt you?" I say no and my dad says, in typical fashion, "Why are you so upset then if he didn't hurt you?" I get angry with him right then and scream raggedly," HE SCARED ME!" I feel like I'm going to pass out again, so I walk into the hallway going toward my room. All I want to do is sit down. My dad says to my back,"I'm not trying to discount it, but he didn't hurt you he just scared you." I wheel on him in a fury and scream again,"HE FOLLOWED ME ALL AROUND WAL-MART! HE WAS SO CLOSE TO ME THAT I COULD SMELL HIM!" My dad said,"Why didn't you tell security?" At this point, I feel like I could melt into the floor and I sob desperately,"What are they going to say to me,dad, when I tell them that some man was following me around Wal-Mart, but he didn't touch me? THEY ARE GOING TO TELL ME I'M A STUPID, PARANOID GIRL!" I leave him to his recliner and tv at this point and finally make it to my big chair in my room. I fall into it and pick my phone up to call Tanya. I say,"Hey." She says, worriedly,"What's wrong?" So, I tell her the whole story. In the middle of my talking to her, my dad comes to my bedroom door and asks me who I'm talking to, then he wants me to retell him everything that happened, so I did as Tanya waited on the line. Tanya keeps telling me that it's ok now, that I'm at home, that he can't get to me, and that he can't hurt me because I'm safe in my house. She keeps saying,"Everything is going to be ok," which is just what I need to hear.

So, that's my Wal-Mart adventure. No more night trips there for me.

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